TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language) like IELTS is a test to evaluate a student’s English speaking skills. It is a standard test to measure a student’s English fluency in order to communicate with his/her peers when he/she enters the academic set up of the university. Unlike GRE, TOEFL is not a computer adaptive test.
The TOEFL consists of four sections- Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The total score is out of 120. Every university has a minimum score requirement in order to admit a student to a particular program. Some universities even have sectional cut-offs for certain programs. It is very crucial that students score very well in TOEFL as a high score in TOEFL helps students get into good universities abroad.
It is observed that many students have a major problem in the speaking section. For students who are not fluent in English speaking, practice well in advance. It is essential to speak clearly with minimum of grammatical errors. So, it is ok to speak slowly but correctly. However, do try to complete your response within the time frame so as not to lose your points. Conversing with friends in English will definitely help. Over a period of time, you will see a difference in yourself. However, it is best to have good professional coaching to really do well.
In this section you have to listen to a set of dialogues and answer the questions based on them. This is an easy section provided you are familiar with the American accent. Sometimes however one of the dialogues can also be in English or an Australian accent. The best way to practice is to watch English programs, talk shows etc. Watch English movies and familiarize yourself with the pronunciations. Understanding the words is the key.
This is an easy section with simple reading passages. Straightforward questions are asked and are therefore scoring. However sometimes the second passage can be tougher than the first and will require some reading between the lines. Therefore vigilance is the key.
This section measures how well you can express your thoughts and ideas and carries weight as the universities correlate it with how well you can write your thesis. A lucid, grammatically correct writing piece with coherently expressed views will fetch a good score. However Do Not give your opinion in the integrated task. You only have to answer the question asked to you. Practicing writing and proper coaching is the most important factor to acquire a high score in this section.