Cracking the TOEFL


What is TOEFL?

TOEFL and IELTS are the two major English language tests in the world. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an internet based test connected with reading, listening, speaking and writing English. TOEFL being a standardized test of English language proficiency, its test scores are accepted by many English speaking academic and professional institutions. It is helpful to the non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. universities.

Dinakar Ayalasomayajula, is the winner of the TOEFL scholarship. Here are some tips he shares to crack the TOEFL.

As we all know the exam is divided into four parts-reading, writing, listening and speaking, it is important to practice and excel in all the four sections to crack the test.


The exam will be a computer-based test. For this the students have to make themselves equipped with reading and answering on the computer screen. Practice summarizing and paraphrasing the passages.


Tip-Use outlines to assist in organising your ideas and practise reading to improve comprehension.



Being eloquent is equally important in both, the test as well as our daily lives. For this, read a short article from a newspaper or magazine aloud. Even here summarizing is very important. Orally, give a one-minute summary of the article. Secondly, express your opinions regarding the article to make communication powerful. For further improvising, you can agree or disagree to the content presented. In case you come across any issue in the article, try to come up with a solution.

Tip for speaking skills- Learning to pronounce correctly is very important in this section. Start with speaking slowly as the importance is to pronounce correctly. Enunciate every syllable properly, gradually work on the speed.



Writing English is equally important as reading and speaking and comparatively takes a little more effort than other sections.

To improve your writing skills, watch your favorite television show and write a summary or express your views in writing. Things like how the television programme has made you feel, some words on the describing your favorite character/s, and how you feel on the current episode from the different episodes can be covered. Another major important part of English language is the vocabulary which is very important. Vocabulary and the grammar are the major things to be considered.

More the occasions you get to speak English, more familiar will you get with the language.

Tip- Prepare your vocabulary cards and carry them wherever you go. It is a great way to learn.

Other helpful activities-

  • Listen to podcasts,
  • Recorded lectures,
  • Read articles on your favourite travel destination.
  • Determine the main idea, major points and supporting ideas being presented.
  • Present what you learned to a friend or family member.
  • Find a speaking partner, preferably a native English speaker
  • Try an online video chat.
  • Find some free resource on the net that can assist you.

Along with refining your skills, it is important to plan your test day. Remember the things you need at the test centre such as a valid photo ID, water and a snack. Pack your bag the night before and set an alarm. Have a good night’s rest and wear comfortable clothes.

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