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

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  🙂

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On the Day of TOEFL

TOEFL is one of the essential tests for pursuing higher education abroad especially in the USA. A test that assesses a student’s proficiency of academic English, TOEFL is one of the deciding factors for the university to admit a student as well as for the VISA procedure. Here is the brief overview of how to go about on the day when you take TOEFL.

Like GRE or GMAT your passport is your hall-ticket for TOEFL. Make sure that your passport is in order before you even register for the TOEFL test. You will NOT be permitted to give TOEFL without your passport. Be sure to reach the test centre well in advanced so you can well complete all the formalities beforehand. You will be asked to fill a form and then your seat will be allotted to you. This process takes a better part of 15-20 minutes therefore make sure well before time.

Unlike GRE you are allowed to carry your watch and water bottle with you so it is alright if you carry these items. TOEFL lasts for roughly four hours so it is important that you are refreshed and alert. Don’t stress your self. Keep a cool head and concentrate on your test. It may happen that while you are still on the listening section some students have already reached the speaking section so make sure that you don’t get distracted. Also many students around you may start speaking on the same time. This is the time where you have to really concentrate on your task and do not lose your focus.

TOEFL is a fairly easy test. Do not be nervous but on the other hand do not get overconfident as well. You may see some simple but tricky questions so it is very important that you are well aware of the test pattern and the types of questions asked. Do well and increase your chances of getting into a good University. All the very Best.

TOEFL Preparation- Tips to get a High TOEFL score

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.

Speaking

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.

Listening

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.

Reading

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.

Writing

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.