Some TOEFL Tips from Smart Ina

About 7 months ago, I decided to take the TOEFL exam, not only because it’s a must for the master degree, but also because I wanted to improve my English.
Choosing the center that would help me succeed was not easy. I consulted many of them and finally I chose Smart Center. The lectures of teacher Eri and Diana were very helpful as well as funny. I learned a lot, but I also had fun learning the new things.

The methods used in improving the four parts of the TOEFL exam were numerous and new. During my preparation time I had a journal in which I used to ‘’talk’’ with my teacher, an American one :D. It seems strange but this method helped me a lot to express everything more easily, and the most useful, to think in English. I watched a lot of movies, I read different books and I took a lot of previous tests of TOEFL. We practiced them simulating the real conditions of the test. These preparations were helpful for the big day.

On May 5 I took the TOEFL exam. I arrived at the center 30 minutes before the reporting time. After presenting the ID and signing some paper of agreement the administrator of the center passed us one by one in the testing room. The room was small and with a few computers around. The administrator gave us only papers and pens. After checking the microphone, the test began.

I consider the Reading section the toughest part because it needs a lot of concentration. The emotions can influence negatively this first part. The fact is that all the questions in this section are related to different paragraphs, so get concentrated on the right paragraphs and read them carefully. One of the reasons I consider this section as a tough one is because I was one of the students that had 5 reading parts instead of 3. But no matter how tiring this was, I managed to deal with it successfully. Regarding the Listening section, I didn’t have any problems and my notes helped me a lot, so try to take a lot of notes.

After finishing these two parts that lasted 2 hours, we had a break of 10 minutes, just to recharge our batteries. (A chocolate helped me a lot, because I knew that it helps the brain. I suggest you to try this method. :D)

Speaking and Writing were the easiest sections to me and my performance in them was pretty good. During the Speaking all you have to do is be concentrated and ignore all the noise made by other ‘’speakers’’. The essential key in the Writing part is to organize your ideas and try to build a structure for your essay.

I hope these tips help you on your test day, but the best thing is that I knew them before the test day, Smart Center taught me!