When To Start Preparing For The TOEFL Exam
get contacted by a LOT of people who need to take The TOEFL Exam. And one of the biggest mistakes that they make is in thinking that they can just register and take the exam within a few days from when they contact me. Some even ask me if they can take the exam “tomorrow”. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. You need to plan ahead. And I mean MONTHS ahead — not days.
“How Much Time Do I Need
To Prepare For The TOEFL Exam?”
You Need To Have At Least Three Months To Prepare
(Four Months Is Even Better)
n a previous post — I told you about “The Most Important Thing You Need To Know About The TOEFL Exam”. In that post, I stated that the MOST important thing to know is The Format of the exam.
hat is true. And then the NEXT most important thing that you need to know is How To Answer Every Question & Fulfill Every Task On The TOEFL Exam — (which you will learn in the courses and lessons in The TOEFL Excellence Training System).
owever — a lot of people who contact me, are more concerned about registering for the exam, than they are about actually preparing for it! They don’t know anything about the exam — other than that it is a requirement for University or a scholarship — and so it seems that they treat it like going to get a blood test. They don’t need to do anything other than show up!
This Is A BIG Mistake
lot of people make the mistake of thinking that The TOEFL Exam is just like other English Proficiency or College Entrance exams that they may have taken before. (Some people even ask me if there will be any math on the TOEFL!) So, because they may have done well on other exams, they assume that they do not need to Prepare For The TOEFL.
This Could Not Be Farther From The Truth! 😐
ost English proficiency exams — such as the FCE & CAE — test for the skills that a person ALREADY possesses. And although The TOEFL iBT Exam DOES take that into account — this is not actually the main focus of The TOEFL Exam.
he main focus of The TOEFL Exam is to test whether or not you will be able to function in a English-Speaking environment with a university setting. It does this by testing that you are able to effectively…
1) Learn New Material In English
2) Answer Questions About That Material
3) Report About Certain Topics In The Spoken & Written Forms
f you are intending on taking The TOEFL Exam — then you need to: First — Get Acquainted With The Contents Of The Exam. And, Second — Learn How To Answer & Fulfill All Of The Questions & Tasks On The Exam. But all of this is going to take time.
ut that’s not all you need time for! There are also a lot of other things that you need — OTHER THAN learning ABOUT the exam. You need to know and have things Like:
- Knowing The Location Of The Testing-Center
- Knowing What The Available Dates Are
- Enough Time To Obtaining A Passport (if you plan to use the exam to go to a different country)
- Making Sure That You Have Enough Time BEFORE Your Deadline For Your Scores To Be Received In Time
f you already have all of those things, and you have ALREADY learned Everything You Need To Know About The TOEFL Exam. Then you may not need as much time. But that is the exception. And almost no one who takes the exam has all those things, unless they have already taken the exam before. But if that is the case, then they are probably not reading this. 😎
You Should Have AT LEAST Three Months To Prepare
It Should Also Be Noted! — the general time of “three months” does not take into account your specific: Needs, Strengths, & Weaknesses — or what your required score is for the exam. Some people need less time to prepare — some people need more. However — after tutoring A LOT of students of all different skill-levels, for over ten years — it is almost always true that — in the best-case scenario — you will need 5 weeks just to learn everything you need to know just about the exam and all of the questions and tasks. Trying to do it in less time almost always results in failure. 😐
nother HUGE mistake that people make is scheduling their TOEFL Exam a few days before they need to have their scores submitted. Then they find out that their scores will not be ready in-time, because they neglected to consider that IT TAKES TIME TO SCORE YOUR EXAM… IT THEN TAKES EVEN MORE TIME TO MAIL THOSE SCORES TO THE UNIVERSITY YOU HAVE CHOSEN!!!
hat’s right! Your scores are not available immediately after the exam! And contrary to what many people falsely believe — Your Scores Are NOT Mailed To You! They are mailed directly to the university or organization that you specify when you register for the exam. If you do not specify this when registering, then it will take EVEN MORE time.
This Is Why…
You Should Have AT LEAST 1 Additional Month
AFTER Your Exam
For Your Scores To Be Delivered
ith the way the world has been over the last few years, this should be obvious. But even before all the chaos started — people all around the world know that — in some places — the mail take forever to be delivered. And even in places where the mail delivery is reliable — sometimes there are delays.
he organization that created and administers the exam states on their websites that your scores will be mailed out after 2 weeks. This does NOT mean that you will HAVE them in 2 weeks. And once they have mailed them out — they no longer take any responsibility. If the scores take 2 months to be delivered because they were lost, or got stuck at customs control — then there is really nothing that you or anyone else can do about it.
ow when the postal services are working properly — then the mail should only take between 10 days to 2 weeks to be delivered — anywhere in the world. But that is still 1 Month After You Take The Exam!
What If I Don’t Have That Much Time?
Realistically: You May Just Have To Wait Until The Next Available Submission Period.
(And hopefully you will make good use of the extra time.)
Potentially: It COULD Be Possible To Do It All In Less Time. If You Already Have EVERYTHING You Need, And Are Fully Prepared.
(But you still need At LEAST 1 Month After For Scores To Be Delivered.)
The Smartest Way To Prepare For
The TOEFL Exam
fter you complete The TOEFL Exam — your scores are valid for 2 Years. Most people take The TOEFL Exam for university (or a scholarship to get IN to a university). Most people who go to university, stay there for MORE than 2 years. So even though your scores are VALID for 2 years — you will almost certainly NOT even USE them after you are accepted for the university or scholarship.
herefore — you should start preparing for The TOEFL Exam AT LEAST 1 year ahead of time. That’s right… 1 Year. That way, you will have PLENTY of time to Properly Prepare — while, at the same time, ensuring that you get all of the necessary information and other things you need — without having to stress about deadlines.
hen — you should actually TAKE the exam At Least 6 Months Before you will even need the scores to be sent anywhere. In this way — not only will you be able to do-so with no stress about deadlines — but if there is some sort of problem — like a cancellation, or problems with the equipment at the testing center — or even that you did not get the score you needed, and you need to re-take the exam… Then you will have PLENTY of time to do all of that, without the stress of a deadline.
1: You Should Have AT LEAST 3 Months To Prepare For The TOEFL Exam
(Because, now you know that there is a lot more to preparing than just Taking A TOEFL Preparation Course.)
2: You Should Have AT LEAST 1 Additional Month AFTER Taking The Exam For Scores To Be Delivered
(And even THAT is still cutting it very close.)
3: If You Are Smart — You Should Be Starting This Whole Process AT LEAST 1 YEAR Before You Even Need To Submit Scores
(Because then you will be “Doing The TOEFL” like a Champion!)
f these things are not possible for you — but you are still determined to Do The TOEFL Exam — then send me a message and let me know your situation. I will let you know if it is possible for you.
f you are able to meet the conditions for even being able to do The TOEFL — properly — then I suggest downloading the PDF course that I created called “How Do I Do The TOEFL?”. It is a complete step-b-step guide that will take you through the entire process — with check-lists at the end of each chapter.
Have An Excellent Day!
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