How to prepare for TOEFL and IELTS?
IELTS and TOEFL are universally recognized English proficiency tests. These tests are taken for a wide range of reasons, including higher education, scoring jobs and getting visas. Top universities like Oxford and Harvard have extremely high cut off scores like above 100 in TOEFL and above 7.5 in IELTS. But achieving these scores are obviously not easy and need meticulous planning and work depending on your initial proficiency in the language.
So here’s how you can ace these tests in the very first attempt!
Both these tests consist of 4 sections :
In this section, you will be required to read and understand the words, logic and in what sense they have been used. Reading and the required understanding can only get better with proper practice. Read articles, journals, blogs, books and newspapers. Make a note of the words and phrases you don’t understand immediately and look them up. Keep a record of particularly challenging words and keep an hour in your schedule every day to just revise these words. Try to incorporate these words into your daily thoughts and speeches. This will increase your vocabulary and help you in all the sections of the exam.
This section will test your writing skills, grammar, vocabulary and ability to express yourself in English. While writing about anything, keeping a few things in mind helps. Keep your ideas simple and pay attention to your grammar. Keep your sentences short as it reduces the chances of making mistakes. Try to showcase a good vocabulary which comes from extensive reading as mentioned above. Writing only improves with practice. During your preparation, make sure you write everyday. Write on whatever topic you choose and then monitor it for grammatical errors and places to improve your vocabulary. Remember that your knowledge is not being tested here. Only your ability to express well in English is your prime priority in this aspect.
Listening is all about paying attention, being able to understand the person speaking and understand the relevance of the words and phrases used. The listening section of the tests will hence test your active listening skills and ability to understand people talking in English with an accent. To improve your performance in this section, you can tune into any English news channel and watch English movies. Pay close attention to what’s said, try to understand and interpret what the words used meant in the relevant context and try to remember the relevant information. Its important because in the tests, you will listen to a lot of unnecessary information but will have to retain and recollect only the relevant portions and that takes practice. Even during listening, make sure you note down words you don’t understand in order to increase your vocabulary as it is something which would be necessary in all 4 sections of the test.
This is the section which can be the most challenging for anyone who doesn’t have English as their first language and there is only one way to ace it – practice. Talk in English whenever possible, around friends, family and even while alone. Ask people to correct you if you make grammatical errors and try to incorporate the new words that you learn into your speech. During the tests, you will have to have a conversation in English. It will include talking about regular personal information and also a speech on a given topic. You will be asked questions about your topic and yourself. During this section, it’s important to focus on grammar, vocabulary and fluency. Focus on expressing yourself and don’t be nervous. Relaxing and focusing on the conversation as if it were a regular conversation helps it in staying natural and performing your best. Don’t try to put on an accent, just try to be fluent. And no matter what, don’t keep quiet.
In order to ace any exam, its important to prepare a schedule and keep practicing. Practice timed mock papers which help you understand the pattern of questions and get accustomed to them while improving your time management. Most importantly, relax and stay calm to ensure doing your best. Now that you know how to go about preparing for these exams, start preparing. All the best!
Tests like TOEFL and IELTS require extra guidance because it includes learning and becoming comfortable in a language which can’t be done unless you are corrected every time you make a mistake. Having a mentor to guide you through the process makes the journey much easier and helps you achieve it in a much smaller time span. We at Mentoring N More recognise your need for guidance. Our experienced mentors and specially prepared study material help you prepare for your test by always staying on the right track. Want to ace your TOEFL and IELTS?