As soon as you decide to do something (for instance, take a TOEFL test), you set a specific deadline which you swear to keep up with. However, days pass and turn into weeks while you haven’t even started doing anything.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry. You are not the only one. We all procrastinated at least once.
The good news is that there is an easy solution! Time management and planning techniques are excellent tools. It is the same with exam preparation. This Custom-Writing article gives you a ready-to-use study plan that will help you prepare for TOEFL quickly! It is possible to do it in only ten days!
Learn how below.
⌛ How Long Does It Take to Prepare for TOEFL?
How long it takes to prepare for TOEFL realistically? Generally speaking, it depends on two factors: your current level of English and the desired test result.
- First of all, get to know your starting point. Do some trial tests to see what level you are at.
- Then, apply your results to your desired TOEFL score to find out how much preparation you need.
Usually, students take about a couple of months to get ready for the exam. However, if you already have a sturdy foundation and only want to level up a bit, the following 10-day plan is totally suitable.
📅 How to Prepare for TOEFL in 10 Days? A Study Plan
The most exciting part of this article is below (note that it refers to iBT format). It is a study plan on how to prepare for TOEFL in 10 days. However, there are some rules you need to stick to if you want to succeed. First of all, take it seriously and spend at least a few hours per day on preparation. To see good results, you really need to focus and get into it.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #1. Choose Your TOEFL Format
First thing first, you need to choose how you want to take the exam.
There are two options available: iBT and paper-delivered.
- TOEFL iBT means an Internet-based test, and it is organized online, but you still need to be present in a particular test center.
- TOEFL revised paper-delivered is not the same as previously administered paper-based. This TOEFL format is available where the first one is not.
The main difference between them is that the paper-delivered test doesn’t include the speaking part due to specific recording technology requirements. Other than that, both formats are considered equal.
However, those differences also affect the time for checking and sending back the results. For iBT, it usually takes about a week before the scores are available online. Paper-delivered test results might take around a month to be delivered via mail.
Therefore, you need to consider which format fits your goals better. Usually, it’s only a matter of availability. The internet-based exam seems faster and more convenient if you have an opportunity to take it.
TOEFL Test Structure
Below is a structure of a TOEFL iBT. You’ll find the detailed descriptions of all of the test’s sections below.
|Read several passages and answer 30-40 questions
|Listen to short lectures and discussions and answer 28-39 questions
|Speak on a topic, study and discuss the material
|Study the material and write your reaction; write an essay on a given topic
TOEFL Preparation: Day #2. Rate Your Level
You need to know your starting point. Even if you’re confident in your level, the TOEFL format might be new for you. The best way to determine how ready you are for it is to take a practice test. There are hundreds of different options; some of them are even paid.
However, you can simply go to the official TOEFL website and take a practice test there. While doing it, try to imitate the real-life conditions of the exam. The test lasts approximately 4 hours so remove anything that might distract you.
Such an exercise is necessary to check how realistic it is for you to get ready for TOEFL in the short term. After taking a practice exam, see what score you got and compare it to the desirable one. Usually, colleges accept scores over 80. However, some of the top universities might demand a score as high as 100 and even higher. It is always a good idea to check with the requirements beforehand to see what the good TOEFL score is for you personally.
Generally speaking, if you are missing some 10-15 points, ten days should be quite enough for you to improve the results. However, if you aim for 100 and the practice test shows that your level is 60, you might need to reconsider the time limits and allow yourself more time for TOEFL preparation.
Practice tests are also suitable for checking your weak spots. Each section of the exam is rated from 0 to 30 scores, so you will know which skill requires special attention.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #3. Choose Your Path
Now, it’s time for planning. You need to decide how you will be getting ready for TOEFL. Ultimately, it depends on your budget.
- If you don’t have extra money to spend and you’re pretty confident in your own willpower, then self-preparation is a good option:
- There is one prep course (a free one) available on the official website
- They also offer paid courses with different value pack options that start at $30.
- There is yet another path you can choose – hire a tutor. Having private consultations might be the best way to really work through your weak spots. However, it depends on your finances and goals.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #4. The Reading Section
The reading section of the TOEFL exam is specifically designed to check your ability to comprehend written English. The tasks are based on actual academic texts from university-level study books. Moreover, those passages are only changed slightly, which allows more accuracy in testing your reading skills.
Even though those texts usually refer to various topics, you don’t have to be an expert in any of them. All the information you need to answer the questions is provided within the context.
- There are 3-4 passages and 10 questions to answer for each of them.
- There are three types of questions as well.
- You will have 54-72 minutes to complete the section.
- Some questions are multiple-choice with one correct answer.
- There will be some tasks that require you to find where the sentence belongs in the text.
- Be ready to handle multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions, which aim to check how well you extract the correct information from the passages.
You can prepare for the exam with the sources available for you, including practice materials from the official TOEFL website.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #5. The Listening Section
The listening section tests your listening skills in a specific setting. You need to show the ability to understand spoken academic English in order to get high scores. The recordings used for this part are based on some lectures and conversations.
The option of taking notes is available to you throughout the whole listening part of the exam.
- You will hear 3-4 prerecorded lectures and 2-3 conversations.
- There are 28-39 questions in this section in total.
- You get to have 41-57 minutes.
- Two types of questions are used.
- You will find some questions to be the traditional multiple-choice questions with four options and only one correct answer.
- There are also multiple-choice and multiple-answer tasks, with two out of four options being correct.
You can always practice this part using the sets available online on the official website. However, it would be better to listen to some additional materials, regardless of their format. Whatever is more convenient for you, practicing more benefits you in any way.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #6. The Speaking Section
The following section you will need to go through is speaking. It is created to challenge and check your ability to produce standard English.
The four tasks are composed in the way that they imitate different environments. You might be asked to perform as if you were in the classroom or somewhere outside. There will be a headset with a microphone available for you to record your answers.
- The first task is called “independent” since you will be required to create an answer based on your opinion or ideas.
- The rest of the questions integrate some of your other English skills, such as listening and reading.
- Preparation time for each question is about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Depending on the task type, your response should be either 45 or 60 seconds long.
- Seventeen minutes in total is given to finish the speaking section.
There are some great sources for practicing this section of the exam that you can find on the TOEFL website. Also, try to use any chance to use your English. For example, if you have friends from abroad, chat with them.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #7. The Writing Section
The last section of the TOEFL exam is writing, which goal is to test your ability to write in English. Your thoughts expressed in the tasks should be coherent and clear. The use of academic English for writing might be tricky, but preparation is the key.
- There are two tasks.
- You will have 50 minutes to get everything done in this section.
- The first task with a 20-minute time limit integrates listening and reading as well since you will need to write something in response to the given materials.
- You will receive a prompt with a specific topic that you have to address in an essay providing your opinion or experience. The time limit is 30 minutes.
- You type in the essay with the keyboard.
- Getting a high score is possible even with some grammar errors since the essay task is considered a first draft.
- Also, you don’t have to be an expert in specific topics as the writing past of TOEFL aims to rate your English proficiency.
The most relevant and up-to-date source to find preparation materials for this section is to go to the official website. You’ll find plenty of tasks to exercise.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #8. Your Weak Point
Today is the day for extra practice. Do you remember the mock test you took on the second day? It’s time to go back and recheck your results.
What is the section that you got the lowest score for? Go back to it and dive deep. You should try to include as many practical exercises as possible to level up that skill.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #9. Practice
Yet more practice. Perhaps you already got it by now that the more training you have, the higher your chances are to get the desired score.
Therefore, it is good to spend one day solely on taking mock tests. They are not hard to find online or in the library, but you may choose an easier path and just get a bunch of them off the official website.
You can find a value pack that fits your needs in no time. When it comes to speaking, find a friend who will be glad to help you. Have conversations on various topics together, after which you can ask for feedback.
TOEFL Preparation: Day #10. Relax
We all know how stressful the day before the exam. However, don’t fall for the tricks of your mind, which tells you to study more. It is counterproductive to exhaust yourself. Try to relax and go for a walk. You can even allow yourself to watch a movie (preferably in English) which will be a nice distraction.
TOEFL Preparation: The Test Day
Spend a few minutes to learn what to expect from the exam. It’s not only all about knowing how long the TOEFL test is. Getting familiar with the procedure and general rules can help you avoid unnecessary worries and hassle.
|Don’t be late
|You should come to the examination center at least 30 minutes beforehand to ensure you have enough time to do the check-in. Don’t bring any food or beverages unless you have health conditions and you got the permission.
|Take your ID
|Don’t forget your ID! In fact, you should instead take two different ones just in case. Only IDs are allowed as personal belongings, so everything else must be left outside the testing room. If you have doubts, go to TOEFL official website to check the list of prohibited items.
|Follow the rules
|You should understand that there are a lot of people coming to take the exam. Therefore, there are special rules and procedures to follow to create a secure and fair environment. If you are not ready to follow those, you won’t be able to take the test.
|Ask for help if needed
|During the test, there will be test administrators to help you. Noice-reducing headphones will help you concentrate. Be aware that you can only leave the room with permission, and your time counter doesn’t stop. You will also get some paper to take notes on, but it will need to be returned at the end of the exam.
👌 TOEFL Tips
We would like to give you as many helpful tools as possible. Therefore, we put together some extras to keep in mind while you’re on this road. These tips won’t guarantee you the highest score, but they’ll make your life easier and may help your efficiency on the test day:
- Rest and eat.As we mentioned, it’s recommended that you spend the day before TOEFL relaxing. Besides that, you shouldn’t forget to get enough sleep and have a juicy breakfast the following day.
- Look through all the choices first.The exam is tricky, so don’t just pick the first answer that looks correct. Spend some time and read all the answer options available.
- Eliminate. If you can’t find the answer that you’re sure about, try the elimination process. Just get rid of all the options that are incorrect.
- Take notes. Make good use of that piece of paper you receive and take notes during every part of the exam.
- Answer every question. You don’t lose points for the wrong answer on TOEFL, so use this chance and don’t skip hard questions. There is still a chance it will be correct!
- Stay calm and take a test.Try not to panic. Being nervous never helped anyone. If it works for you, use some breathing techniques to stay focused.
- Read tough texts.In preparation for the reading part, don’t avoid long texts that seem too complex. It gives you excellent practice.
- Try reading techniques.If you haven’t heard about skimming and scanning yet, it’s time to learn how to use them. They help you save a lot of time!
- Set a timer. Any time you take a mock test, make sure you stay within the allowed time limit for each task.
- Study the questions carefully. Usually, they would contain a keyword related to the answer. For example, in the reading section, they can help you understand what to look for in the passage.
- Skip and return later.If you are not sure about the answer, just leave it for now. Don’t waste time trying to crack it or you risk running out of time that you should spend on the rest of the questions.
- Double-check.After practicing enough, you should know the basic rule of time management for the exam takers – save a few spare minutes from double-checking the answers at the end. Besides, you can go through your answers with a fresh look. Maybe, you can find something you missed the first time.
To sum up, remember about balance in everything. Don’t take too much on yourself if you see that ten days won’t be enough. This guide takes you through the essential steps in your TOEFL preparation, whether you decide to go with this plan or give yourself a bit more time. Get enough rest since a tired person equals less efficiency. We wish you good luck on the exam!
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
TOEFL stands for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. That’s the official test name. TOEFL measures one’s ability to speak and understand English, especially in educational and academic settings. TOEFL scores are accepted by thousands of colleges and universities in 130 countries.
How Long Is TOEFL Test?
It will take you about 3 hours to complete TOEFL. The test consists of four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), and a 10-minutes break. The shortest section is a speaking one, lasting for 17 minutes.
TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years. You’ll be able to download and print your score report from your ETS account. The reports are usually ready for download in 8 days after your test date. The scores appear in your account within 6 days after you’ve passed your test.
There are no “good” or “bad” scores in TOEFL. Each institution sets its own requirements. Scores above 80 are usually considered to be good for many schools, though some of the top colleges require 100 scores and even more.