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

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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  🙂

TOEFL Registrations!

Hello Every one ,

Today I thought that I we will discuss about TOEFL iBT and how to go about its registration details.

TOEFL is conducted by ets.org

I have always been asked by students about  its registration & University unloading details, so i thought to hare it with all of you.

TOEFL is abbreviation for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It’s international test conducted by ETS that is Educational Testing Service. The TOEFL Exam is compulsory for students who come from Non – English Background, i.e. If you do not come from a country where English is NOT you 1st Language then you are required to take the TOEFL Exam. This exam basically conducted to estimate a level of English language of foreigner speakers. Many university need students to take and pass TOEFL with Minimum requirement of 85+ to enter students to there Masters or Undergraduate Programs. TOEFL is accepted in more than 300 Universities in USA and Canada; and more than 150 world countries accept TOEFL certificates. TOEFL certificates can be accepted even in UK. If you are planning early to start preparing for higher education , you can take TOEFL Exam as its Valid for 2 Years and the registration Fees changes as per your area you leave, like TOEFL Fees in INDIA is $ 165 and UAE $ 235. 

TOEFL iBT Test has four sections consisting the 4 division of English language skills like of Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. It is approximately 4 hours long, with an obligatory 10-minute break after the Listening section.

At FACT we train you to prepare you for these specific section with online tests & evaluation of every test that you take.

TOEFL iBT Test is approximately 4 hours long

Article

‘TOEFL iBT Test is for 4 hours long so be prepared to sit that long’

 

Scoring On The TOEFL iBT Test – The TOEFL score report will show:

  1. Separate Score of 0 to 30 for each of the Four Sections of the language skills
  2. Total test score of 0 to 120

Uploading Of your Universities: You can upload the names of 4 Universities for FREE, under the Test Services in your Account, but this should be done BEFORE the Exam , as after the exam you pay  $18 for each university you upload.

For more information: Visit the official website: www.ets.org/toefl

There are various books available to prepare yourself or TOEFL like …

Will meet next time with Tips for every section of TOEFL, till then adios… 🙂

Byeee… All the best!

Seminars in Mumbai on 20th September 09 on SCHOLARSHIPS IN USA …Register now !!

Foreign Academic Consultancy & Training ( FACT ) is organising Seminars in Mumbai on 20th September 2009 at Thane,Vashi,Dombivli,Andheri,Borivali and Dadar.

The seminars are for participants interested in pursuing education abroad in USA. The seminars will give info about scholarships in USA as well as opportunities for Post HSC,Post Graduation and Medical field.

FACT has placed more than 5000 students abroad in the past 8 years with most of them availing scholarships.

Seminar Schedule for 20th September 09:

Borivali : 11 am
Andheri : 2 pm
Dadar : 6 pm
Vashi : 11 am
Thane : 2 pm
Dombivli : 6 pm

Interested ones wanting to attend the seminars can register themselves on http://gurukulonweb.com/register_mumbai_seminar.html at the earliest..

Do spread the message !!!