How to Improve Your TOEFL Score

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting.
Getting a high score on the TOEFL is not just a matter of luck. Success on the TOEFL depends on your knowledge, skills, and attitude. The test consists of four sections:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

This article will take you step-by-step through each of these, so you can perform at your best on the day of your exam. You'll learn the TOEFL secrets that will get you the high score you need to enter college or university.

Everything you need to do well on the TOEFL is right here. Good Luck!


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    Learn the section directions now. Use the time saved during the test to work on questions.
  2. Image titled Improve Your TOEFL Score Step 2
    Successful answers to the earliest questions in computer adaptive versions of the test will lead to higher scores.
  3. Image titled Make a Successful Negotiation Step 7
    Do not write on any test booklet or materials.
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    Use the process of elimination to decide which answers are wrong.
  5. Image titled Not Fail Any Classes Step 4
    In the computer adaptive section, Double check your work and answer before you click on the screen bubble. You cannot skip any question and you cannot go back after you've answered a question.
  6. Image titled Pass History Class Step 13
    Answer every question, making educated guesses if you have to. Just try to eliminate one or more choices before guessing.
  7. Image titled Not Fail Any Classes Step 5
    Don't spend too much time on any one question. You should spend only seconds on the easiest questions, and hesitate to spend more than 1/2 minute on even the hardest ones.


  • Expect some anxiety. It's normal.
  • Arrive at the test centre early so you have plenty of time to complete administrative procedures and relax.
  • Avoid friends who tend to be jittery or agitated. You don't want to absorb their nervous energy.
  • Of course, you should get enough sleep the night before.
  • Drink enough water, but not so much you need to take frequent bathroom breaks. Avoid soft drinks which make you feel thirsty sooner.
  • Have a moderate meal so you don't feel hungry.
  • Make sure your clothes and all necessary identification documents are already organized.
  • Bring a watch to the test center. You can't be guaranteed that there'll be a working clock there.
  • Do something relaxing before your test. Only you can determine what that might be. Strive for relaxed concentration. Use relaxation techniques, such as progressive relaxation, or meditation. Do some deep breathing exercises anytime you start to feel too nervous. It will refocus your mind and ground you.
  • Practice, practice, practice! The following links are for you to practice, no copyright violation intended:


  • Turn off your cellphone and any other electronic devices.
  • Don't overindulge in sweets, coffee, or cigarettes or the cravings will come back to hit you during your test.
  • Go to the bathroom before the test.

Sources and Citations

  • "Reading Comprehension - Free Worksheets." RHL School - Free Worksheets and More. Web. 05 Mar. 2011. RHLSchool.
  • "TOEFL Test Taking Tips and Techniques." SAT, ACT, GRE, TOEFL, MBE, MPRE, DSM-IV Flash Cards. Web. 05 Mar. 2011.
  • "Good Luck TOEFL Format TOEFL IBT Reading." Good Luck TOEFL - Tips, Advice, and Guides to Taking the TOEFL IBT Exam. Web. 05 Mar. 2011. GoodLuckTOEFL
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Categories: Tests and Exams