It does seem impossible, but you can prepare to take the TOEFL in one week! However, success-fully passing the exam requires concentration and dedication. The level of your English profi-ciency also helps. If your English is quite good, taking a week to get ready for TOEFL is quite doable. But if your English is very basic, perhaps you need to reschedule for a later date. Below, we’ve prepared tips on how to get ready for TOEFL in just one week.
What is TOEFL?
TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is usually taken by students who are not native speakers of English to apply to universities and schools that use English as their primary language. TOEFL may also be required for employment or immigration purposes. There are some cases when you’re all set with your academic or job application, and you suddenly find out that TOEFL is required. In situations like this, you should not panic and think of your best strategy to get the minimum score required.
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
There are two formats to take the test – the traditional paper-delivered test and the internet-based test (iBT), which became highly popular when test centers had to close down due to COVID-19 and currently used by 98% of TOEFL takers. The paper-delivered test is now only an option in places where the iBT is not available.
The traditional paper-based test has three sections – reading, listening, and writing. The writing component will have you answering written questions as well as writing one essay. The iBT has four parts, including speaking. The iBT has longer durations per section – around an hour each for reading, listening, and writing, plus twenty minutes for speaking.
Minimum required score
You should check the minimum score required by your desired job or university and aim to get higher marks than that. Top universities like Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and NYU require at least 100 for undergrad applicants, while Princeton and Oxford require higher scores of 108 and 110, respectively. Their graduate admissions will require even higher scores. Other universities may mark theirs lower, between the 70s to 90s. Trying to aim for subscores of at least 20 for each sec-tion is a good goal to keep when studying for TOEFL.
Your one-week prep strategy
At this point, you probably speak English already, and it’s not realistic to think you can still learn how to within a week. Instead, preparing for TOEFL is mostly practicing for the test – how to read and answer questions, speak and enunciate, comprehend situational questions, and formu-late the sentences that make up your responses. It would be best if you looked up TOEFL sample tests or get the official TOEFL test guide to familiarize yourself with the structure of these tests and ready to answer them in real-time.
Day 1: Take a practise test
To begin, you should take a practice test to see where you excel and what areas need improve-ment. Focus on the parts where you’re weakest first, pinpoint where you make common mistakes, and become more aware of your English comprehension. In the first few days, use as many tools as possible, such as a dictionary and thesaurus.
Day 2-3: Identify weak areas and work on them
Areas that may need work in the listening section include recognizing the main points of the par-agraph you’re listening to and the keywords that will help you remember the main points. For writing, you should get into the habit of organizing details into an outline. From there, practice fleshing these ideas out into short, coherent sentences.
Day 4-5: Strengthen weak points
By the third day, you should already know all your weak points and have adequately strengthened them by the fifth day.
Day 6-7: Practice makes perfect
If you feel like you’re ready to take your exam by the sixth day, you shouldn’t relax yet. Don’t become complacent and keep taking the practice tests until day seven.
Cancel plans and focus
If you only have one week to prepare for TOEFL, you should cancel all your other plans, ap-pointments, and commitments. There is no time to squeeze an episode of your favorite TV show, even if you try to justify it as English comprehension practice.
It’s not recommended to have only one week to prepare for the test. While the test means to measure your English proficiency, receiving a low score may cost you the chance of getting into your dream university or waylay your plans of moving to another country.
If the rest of your life is highly dependent on getting a good TOEFL score, you should plan ahead and take your time to prepare for it, rather than leave it at the last minute. That said, good luck!