Taking the TOEFL is a necessary step for any non US educated student wanting to study at a North American university. It is also increasingly required from other educational institutions throughout the world as well as a desired or mandatory job qualification.
While it is true that the TOEFL is an extremely difficult test there are a number of resources to help students prepare for the test. Luckily the Internet has an ever expanding treasure trove of study materials. Most of these areas require registration and payment however a number of the sites do offer some free services. If you are interested in taking the TOEFL it will probably be necessary to purchase some of these services. This guide shows you a number of the free services available on the Internet. By using this feature you can get an excellent headstart on your studies without paying a dime.
What is the TOEFL?
Before beginning to study for the TOEFL it is a good idea to understand the philosophy and purpose behind this standardized test. Here is an excellent detailed description of the Internet based test.
What can I expect from TOEFL?
There are a number of resources available to help you discover exactly what grammar listening and reading skills will be expected on the TOEFL. One of the most thorough of these resources is Testwise.Com
which explains each type of question in terms of the grammar or skill required to answer that type of question successfully.
How do I approach the TOEFL?
One of the most important skills to acquire before taking the test is not a language skill. It is TOEFL test taking strategy. To get up to speed on test taking, this guide to taking tests can help you understand general test taking preparation. The TOEFL, like all standardized American tests, has a very particular structure and typical traps for you to fall into. By understanding these traps and structures you can go a long way to improving your score.
The writing section of the TOEFL requires that you write an essay based on a set topic. Testmagic.com has a wonderful selection of sample essays
discussing common mistakes and giving examples of essays with various scores to show you the range expected on the essay.
Practising the TOEFL
Now that you have a good idea of what the test is, what is to be expected, AND what strategies are needed you can begin to practice taking various sections of the test. To help you do just that (for FREE) follow the following links to these practice tests and exercises:
3 Free TOEFL Practice Tests
TOEFL Interactive Quizzes at this site:
TestMagic.com has a wonderful selection of free materials:
Free Essay Score with the possibility of scoring within 24 hours for $4.95
Five sets of practice questions for section II at Free ESL.com
by James Duber Practice Section II: Boston
by Chris Yukna Practice Section II
by Chris Yukna Practice: Fuel's TOEFL based on an article in Wired Magazine. By Chris Yukna.
Obviously you will need to do a lot more studying (and probably invest a good bit of money) to do well on the TOEFL. However I hope that this step by step survey to the resources on the Internet has helped you to get a good overall picture of what the TOEFL is all about and what to expect when taking the TOEFL.