How to prepare for TOEFL exam?


TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Lan­guage is required of all applicants whose mother tongue is not English.

It seeks to check out your ability to under­stand spoken, American-accented English, which allows the admissions staff to judge whether you will comprehend the college lec­tures sufficiently well.

The test consists of recorded sessions played from a tape recorder and the student is ex­pected to simultaneously mark answers to the questions on the test book. The test consists of the following sections:

  • Listening comprehension
  • English grammar
  • Reading comprehension
  • Syntax usage.


The 150-odd questions on this test have four choices each and a maximum score of 677 is possible. Most colleges ask for a score of at least 550 for admission. The score is valid for two years. A score above 640 makes 99 per­centile.

TOEFL is held seven times a year in several major cities, and the exact test dates are mentioned in the latest bulletin which can be obtained in India from IPEM, Allahabad.

TOEFL preparation

The Baron’s Guide to TOEFL unlike for the other tests is possibly, the worst choice you could make. The best and most worthwhile, although a little expensive way to prepare for the TOEFL is to order the set of cassettes from etc., which are also available at many book stores. It usually happens that the same voice that rec­ords the test cassettes, also records the main test, thus making it easier to gain familiarity which, in turn, helps boost test scores.


The other option is the REA Test Prep Kit selling for around $50. The cassette set is for $39 in the local market and can of course be bought in local currency. The new Cliff’s Guide is fairly comprehensive but the speech sec­tions are too slow.

The tests are held in August, October, No­vember, January, March, April and May. The $41 fee can be paid in Indian rupees.

Taking this test on a Friday test date instead of a Saturday date costs $48 for no really con­vincing reason. You’d be better off giving it on a Saturday and saving the seven dollars!


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