TOEFL – READING COMPREHENSION TIPS!

RC TOEFL – READING COMPREHENSION TIPS!

The first Section that you will have in TOEFL iBT exam is the Reading Section. The Reading Section of TOEL iBT measures your ability to read and apprehend academic based passages in English. You have to have a strong and effective Reading Skills that will help you achieve high Score in the Reading Sectopn. As we discussed in our previous TOEFL iBT Format Blog; with its 4 Sectional division of Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing, in my TODAYS BLOG, we will be learning about the 1st Section of READING SKILLS & its STRATEGIES.

There are 3 main purposes for Academic Reading in TOEFL iBT:

1. Reading to find related information

2.Understanding the Basic comprehension

3. Reading to learn

The Reading Section in TOEFL iBT consists of 3-5 Passages; each Passage is about 500-700 words long. Each Reading passage is followed by 12 – 14 questions related to the passage. The complete time frame for the reading Section is 60 – 80 Minutes, depending on the number of passages appear.

The total time dedicated to all the passage is for 60 -80 minutes for reading and answering the questions, this time as mention varies depending on the number of Passages that appear going up to maximum of 80 Minutes. The system will automatically stop you after the time ends, so you must be very attentive on the time. Thus, you must be not only good at reading and grasping the details of the passage but also pretty quickly in it.

 bookkeeping-tips10 Strategies for Reading Comprehension:

1) When you have at least 3 month in hand: I suggest you Read, Read & Read a lot. Keep a regular habit of reading English Newspaper that will particularly enhance your reading skills. Emphasis on academic based reading particularly, from university textbooks or other materials. Don’t just read on topics that interest you. Your Reading Comprehension passage comes from wide range of Topics, Therefore, expand your reading topics, whether is suits your interests of NOT, whether its boring or interesting, make it a point that you read from different subjects & topics like History, Arts, Sociology, science, Finance, Social science, Business journals, Archeology, Geography, Economics, and any others. Academic texts, apart from textbooks, these could be found in variety of articles in various Publications like Nat Geo Magazines etc. and academic publications Or on the Internet or your university libraries.

2) Strengthen your vocabulary: When reading any topic on different subjects you should make your own set of vocabulary. Improve your vocabulary by starting with Root Prefixes & Suffixes first, have a grip over your Root Words, the origin of these words, this you will find in my previous Blog on VOCABULARY. Then make separate list, organize your list in topics for better results may be alphabetically. Study through Flash cards, there are lots of flashcards available by various publications like Barron’s, Kaplan & Princton, study them when you are travelling in Train, Bus, Or Car make best use of your travel time. Or you can make your own flashcards to help you learn those set of Vocabulary. Use the words learned in your writings and speaking section of your TOEFL / SAT / GRE OR GMAT.

3) Take rough notes: You are provided with a rough sheet to take notes on them, make full use of it – take notes on that paper. It is an absolute essential element, as it’s difficult to remember all facts and details from a reading text in order to answer the questions. You don’t want to waste your time in searching details over & over again in the passage. So, the best thing to do is to keep taking note with line numbers for reference. While skimming and reading the texts you should jot down all key facts and details so find them when, you need them.

4) Skim the Passage: Skimming is reading the passage in about 30 seconds, just an over all look on the passage. Skimming means having a quickly glance of the Passage to obtain very first idea / imprint on what the passage is about, or get a rough idea of what is its main idea of it. Train yourself to skim quickly through the passage, without wasting much of your time and by identifying the main point & key words in the passage. Taking notes will help you sail through this.

5)  Read Passage after skimming : Once your skimming is done, read the Passage carefully looking for details & facts. Look for key words & Phrases mentioned in the passage. Particularly the 3 Major types of transition Words: Connection, Progression & Contradiction, along with them look for Phrases, idioms and Adjective words. It will enlighten you with author’s opinion and point of view. As only skimming is not enough. Reading it more carefully, but don’t forget you do not have much time. Keep taking notes; make it a habit whenever you solve any practice test. You need to understand the ClassificationOR Types of Passages like – classification, Rhetorical Type, Cause & effect, Persuasive, Factual Type, Detailed type, compare or contrast, Narrative, Problem OR solution, Sarcastic Type, etc.

6) Make an intelligent guess the word meaning: Use your knowledge of Prefixes, Root & Suffixes in order to identify the meaning of the word from the passages; refer to its context to get the over all meaning of it. Guessing the words from the context is very easy, as it must not be a dictionary meaning. You save on time and it its very quick.

7)  Practice, Practice & Practice a lot: Practicing in a proper exam environment will help you deal with exam pressure better. Try to take a minimum of 5 Full-length Test before your main TOEFL Exam. You need to always remember that TOEFL is a standardized test. This means it always follows the same format. Keep practicing tests to familiarize yourself with the format and testing conditions and keeping track of your time.

There are lots of Free Online Testing site to help you attain good score in respective sections like:

1) http://www.testden.com/challenge/free-toefl.asp

2) http://www.4tests.com/toefl

8)  Remember: That all the answer are present in the Passage, you are not expected to answer from your opinion. Through the Reading Comprehension it tests your ability to understand and comprehend ideas related to the passage. Hence focus on reading & cognizing the over all idea of the passage.

9) As discussed earlier understand and keep taking note with line numbers so you can quickly reach that part, Note down the Main Topic or its Main idea and the Key words / points or Phrases when reading the passages, and use your notes for answering the questions.

10) Read the questions careful, remember if you interpret the meaning of the question wrong, you will choose a wrong answer, so be careful! However, remember that the answer to all the questions are in the information provided in the passages itself. Try to answer these questions using what you have understood from the read passages.

If you want to get a superb score in the TOEFL Reading Section my advice – Keep Practicing!

toefl-etsALL THE BEST for your TOEFL EXAM !!

See you in my next Blog on the Different TYPES of QUESTION & and its approach, under the TOEFL READING SECTION, which will help you score high in READING PASSAGES.

Till then Adios mi amigos !! 😀

Shraddha

TOEFL – SPEAKING TIPS !!

Tradeshow-Speaker1Hello, My awesome students …!  

As discussed with you all, we will study & now more about the TOEFL Speaking Tips :These simple tips will assist you achieve higher score on the Speaking section of TOEFL exam.

Content under the Speaking Section of TOEFL:

It comes directly after the 10-minute break. It measures the test taker’s ability to converse and communicate in the Speaking section of English. The Speaking section of TOEFL consists six tasks, majorly into two types – independent speaking tasks (2 tasks) and integrated speaking tasks (4 tasks). Students must demonstrate that they are able to comprehend & communicate fluently as per the questioned asked.

Speaking Section

The speaking section measures your ability to speak in English about a variety of topics.

The format of the speaking section is given below.

  • Time limit : 20 min.
  • You may take notes on paper, and you may use them to answer your questions.

Know the content of your TOEFL Exam 🙂

Directions: The Speaking section in the test measures your ability to speak about a variety of topics. As per the http://www.ets.org/toefl

  • In questions 1 and 2, in an actual test, your response will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently about familiar topics.
  • In questions 3 and 4, in an actual test, you will first read a short text and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will have to combine appropriate information from the text and the talk to provide a complete answer. Your response will be scored on your ability to accurately convey information, and to speak clearly and coherently. In this sampler, you will read both the text and the talk.
  • In questions 5 and 6, in an actual test, you will listen to part of a conversation or lecture. Then, you will be asked a question about what you have heard. Your response will be scored on your ability to accurately convey information, and to speak clearly and coherently. In this sampler, you will read the conversation.

TOEFL is Awesoeme! The most easy Exam I have ever come across!! 😀

public-speaking4The First 2 TasksYou are expected to do the following things:

  • Speaking need a clear Structure of your response.
  • Try to speak the way you as an individual speaks, try not to Speak in a Accent, as I warn not to use such accent based speaking. Just focus on speak than on accent, just be as clearly as possible. Have a clear Pronunciation of what you speak.
  • The Structure MUST include an introduction Quote, a body and a conclusion.
  • A Smoother transition from one part to another is important in a very clear, logical, specific and organized manner.
  • Avoid using Pause sounds like Hmm… Aaaa…. Weelll… Umm… with long sound involved in it. Be short & clear in your approach.
  • Try not to use High Level English Vocabulary, be clear & specific in your approach, and speak as confident as you can in an expressive manner. i.e: Use Simplicity English.
  • For the Give Topic you are expected to provide a maximum of three reasons & examples with detail for your response. You are expected to not go around the bush.
  • Use Specific Adjectives to clarify your thoughts & Ideas. The Usage of Verbs is more functioning and makes your English sound more attention grabbing – Use them frequently.
  • Speak clearly, so that the listener understands what you speak. Try not sounding too ROBOTIC or taking lots of Long Pauses in a sentence. It’s always good to speak using your points which the examiner can understand your words, that to speak randomly.
  • Always concluding your topic, because it shows that you were not in a hurry, but got good time to conclude your Topic. It leaves a good impression on the listener.

Independent Task 1 TOPICS : Asks you to Describe the given topic.

Examples Topics : Describe a teacher who has influenced you and why. Be sure to include specific details and examples in your response.

You have 15 Secs to Prepare and have 45 Secs to Respond (Record) your answer.

Sample Response :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux2Q0upiD_0

Similarly , following are few Sample Question on Task 1 of Speaking Section: 

1.Who is your best friend? Describe this person and say why do you consider this person as your best friend.

2. What is your favorite place to visit ? Explain in brief why it is your favorite place to go with specific examples.

3. What is your happiest childhood memory? Describe it and give reasons to explain why it is your happiest memory.

4. Who is your most favourite charter in History? Describe the reason for him/her to your favourite.

Independent Task 2 (Preference Based) TOPICS :You are given a choice and you need to take a STAND and You cannot be Neutral on the given topic.

Examples Topics : What do you prefer to get News from, by reading a NEWSPAPER or Watching LIVE T.V. NEWS ? Please choose which one & describe it with reasons you so? Use specific details and examples in your response.

You have 15 Secs to Prepare And have 45 Secs to Respond (Record) your answer.

Similarly , following are few Sample Question on Task 2 of Speaking Section: 

1. What do you prefer to go out to dinner or stay home and cook a meal? please choose one and use reasons to support your response.

2. What do you prefer to Study alone or in a group? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

3. Some people prefer to Study abroad or Study in your home country? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

4.Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in and why? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

Sample Response : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjS74bf2v3A

Hope you liked it, Post your comments & likes !!

Have fun !! Lets meet next time with a Reading Section of TOEFL !! 🙂

Adios Amigos 😀 !

F.A.C.T.

toefl-ets Visit: http://www.ets.org for TOEFL’s Official Website for details!

SAT/ GRE – ESSAY WRITING TIPS !

Hello Guyz… Welcome once again to F.A.C.T.  – SAT Writing TIP!

  

bookkeeping-tipsStarting with SAT – Essay Writing Section!

One thing that you MUST always keep in Mind is that You MUST always KNOW the DIRECTION before hand, and do not waste your valuable time in reading Direction during your EXAM.

So Lets, start with few basic things KNOWING the DIRECTION : http://sat.collegeboard.org

The SAT essay measures your ability to:

  • develop a point of view on an issue presented in an excerpt
  • support your point of view using reasoning and examples from your reading, studies, experience, or observations
  • follow the conventions of standard written English

The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express ideas. You should, therefore, take care to develop your point of view, present your ideas logically and clearly, and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written on the lines provided on your answer sheet — you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You can practice writing essays using the essay prompts from the most recent SAT from http://sat.collegeboard.org. website.

Few Very Important COLLAGE BOARD RULES :

Services-VISA-Img4Important THINGS During exam :

  1. A pencil is required for the essay. An essay written in ink will receive a score of zero.
  2. Do not write your essay in your test book. You will receive credit only for what you write on your answer sheet.
  3. An off-topic essay will receive a score of zero.
  4. If your essay does not reflect your original and individual work, your test scores may be canceled.

How does it look ??

SAMPLE ESSAY : The SAT examination begins with a 25-minute writing task: The essay; You have no choice of topic: you have to write on the prompt ESSAY TOPIC given in a text box. For example you may see something like this:

SAT2

Underneath the prompt is the assignment a statement that clarifies what you are supposed to do. For example, after the issue given in the prompt above, you might see: Assignment:  Plan your response, and then write an essay to explain your views on this issue. Be sure to support your position with specific points and examples. (You may use personal examples or examples from your reading, observations, or, knowledge of subjects such as history, literature, science.)

The examiners tell us in the Official Guide to the SAT that there is no formula for writing an effective essay. I suggest that you practice a few practice essays within a set TIME.

unanswered questions - brainstorming conceptBRAINSTORMING :NOW HERE IS HOW TO FRAME YOUR ESSAY :

Since the Essay is of 25 Minutes spend around 2 or 3 minutes making OUTLINES OR DRAWING notes and organizing your thoughts. Spend about 20 minutes writing your essay. Spend 1 or 2 minutes for proofreading your essay. Use & Divide your Time very Efficiently!

Think over the following things:

  • What claims does the author make?
    • Why do they sound good? Is it the logic, the sources, the writing, the structure? Is it something else?
  • What evidence does the author present? (Look for his Examples)
    • Why does the evidence sound credible? How does the author present facts, and what is his/her approach to telling a story with facts?
  • Is the logic sound or faulty, and why?
    • Why is the logic sound? Does the author back up his/her claims with examples that are easy to follow?

                                            ——————-@–@–@–@–@——————

Scrutinize your ESSAY Carefully! 

  1. You have in all ONLY 25 minutes to plan effectively and write an essay on the assigned topic. You will have line space for writing notes to help you organize your thoughts, write within that only , as you will not be provided with extra sheet.
  2. Use Quotations related to the TOPIC of prompt issue at hand.
  3. Keep a tab on TIME,  plan your time during the practice test itself !!!
  4. Notice that this topic, or prompt, features a quote about an issue to which you are asked to respond. It is written with the intent that you will be able to respond quickly regardless of your background or interests.
  5. The Topic, or prompt, could have a one quote or a pair of quotes (two quotes) about an issue at hand to guide you better.
  6. Try not be over smart by using Large writing, filling pages, it does not serve the purpose,Try not to leave extensive wide margins.
  7. The assignment will ask you to give your view on a topic. Support your point of view with reasoning and specific details or examples out of your experience drawn by you over the years.
  8. Any Drift from the Topic mentioned to write on will not fetch you marks. So, Make sure that the essay you write is on the mentioned topic only.
  9. Use Correct Grammar, make it a point that you use correct form of Standard written English Grammar and your PUNCTUATIONs are used well.
  10. You are expected to write of Minimum of 3 to 4 Paragraph of ESSAY. Very short essays will receive very low scores. Aim for at least three paragraphs.
  11. Be clear & specific to your Point / idea / argument, not vague . Your readers are not, as you may suppose draw inference from your writing. They are looking for Clear,Logical & Specific details,with concrete evidence of some kind used to support your point of view and ideas.
  12. Remember: Your essay should be clear and effective.
  13. Do not forget to write the CONCLUSION, Without a proper conclusion it looks incomplete  you may loose points on it!
  14. Do not forget to PROOFREAD it, you might notice that Facebook & Wass app has ruined your English Writing with all the Shortcuts! as , wen U mght Bf9 with it!  (Avoid it – Rather NOTICE IT)
  15. Last but not the least, Quality Matters NOT the QUANTITY! , So don’t write lengthy essay write quality essay.

                                                    ——————–@–@–@–@–@——————

Essay-Writing-Tips1CREATE OUTLINE OF YOUR ESSAY within 2-3 Min.

Brainstorm and assemble, anther collect your Ideas into an outline. Write a topic sentence for your main ideas. Then, underneath, make bullet points for every Paragraph and list your supporting evidence as per requirement. Generally, you want a min. of 3 arguments or pieces of evidence to support each main idea.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

Explain, in your own words, what the issue is. Include a thesis statement, which is a clear statement of your point of view/ idea / argument.

Paragraph 2: Point one in support of your thesis Statement

  • Example 1 : ABCDEFG
  • DETAIL : …… Explain the point you are making with the aid of a specific example with detail, Write the point & example you want to use in 1 -3 words. Explain every point you make is related to the Question or Issue / Topic asked. Look at the ideas / points/ examples that you came up with. Choose one to three of your strongest ideas that supports your topic the best. You should be able to support these ideas with evidence from your ideas/ experiences & studies drawn from over the years.

Paragraph 3: Point two in support of your thesis statement

    • Example 1 : ABCDEFG
    • DETAIL : …..Explain the point you are making with the aid of a specific example, again write the point & example you want to use in 1 -3 words supporting your IDEA!
    • Use Correct TRANSITION WORDS to connect two Paragraphs.

Paragraph 4: Qualification

  • Example 1 : ABCDEFG
  • DETAIL : …… Explain that, under certain circumstances, the opposite point of view might be correct. (This is to show that you are aware of all aspects of the issue, even though you are 80-90% convinced of your thesis.) [Sometimes this paragraph is replaced by another point and/or further discussion or reasoning.]

Paragraph 5: Reinforcement of thesis / CONCLUSION

Show how your  idea / argument/ viewpoint, despite the qualification you have just made, is more persuasive under the present circumstances.Draw your themes together.

                              ————————@–@–@–@–@———————-

5-paragraph-essay-outline1

I hope you got how to Write an effective Essay for SAT or GRE. Plan & Write effectively!

 Tell us about your Experience, Tips, Ideas on SAT / GRE ESSAY – see you soon with New TIPS on Other Writing Topics!

Have Fun! Gracias , Amigos! 🙂

F.A.C.T. Or VISIT Our FACEBOOK PAGE on FACT  🙂

FACT SEMINAR in APRIL!

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