How to Prepare for the NEW TOEFL Online?

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How to Prepare for TOEFL Online

The TOEFL English proficiency test is changing from the 26th of July 2023! TOEFL has introduced new changes in duration, exam pattern and types of questions on the ETS website. Candidates preparing for the test must check the revised pattern. The duration of the examination has been reduced to 2 hours from a 3-hour long test. The number of questions in each section along with the type of question has also changed.

Exam NameTOEFL
Full FormTest of English as a Foreign Language
Organising BodyEducational Testing Services (ETA)
Annual Frequency+50
Exam ModeOffline and Online
Application FeeINR 16,900
SectionsReading, Listening, Speaking and Writing
Official Website

Understanding TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the major English proficiency exams taken by those planning to study or work abroad. TOEFL is conducted by the Education Testing Service (ETA) to evaluate candidates on four parameters, i.e. Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing skills.

This English proficiency test is organised in both offline (paper-based) and online (internet-based) modes and is widely accepted as a language proficiency test in English-speaking countries such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.

For those planning to prepare for TOEFL at home, there are multiple sources, such as online courses, guides and books, practice tests and tutors. Through this blog, we are providing you with the best tips and study resources you must consider on how to prepare for TOEFL online.

Check Out: TOEFL Preparation Tips

New TOEFL Exam Pattern 2023

ETS has announced a new test pattern for TOEFL test takers which will be effective from the 26th of July 2023. Candidates taking the test before the 26th of July 2023 will follow the existing pattern.

Sections TaskNumber of Questions Duration Score 
Reading 2 Reading Passages20 Questions  35 minutes 0-30 
Writing 2 Writing Tasks2 Questions 29 minutes 0-30
Speaking 4 Tasks 4 Questions16 minutes 0-30 
Listening Lectures &
28 Questions  36 minutes 0-30 

Changes in TOEFL Exam Sections

Each of the TOEFL Exam sections has a certain number of tasks followed by questions. Since the exam pattern and duration have changed so does the contents of the exam sections. Though these changes are not yet reported to the core of their details here is what has been declared about each section in the TOEFL exam.

SectionPrevious Format New Format
Reading30- 40 questions
on 3 reading passages
20 questions based
on two reading passages
Listening28–39 questions
on 3-4 lecturers and 2-3 conversations.
28 questions on
2 Lectures & 3 conversations
Speaking 1 open question
3 integrated tasks
No change in this section
Writing1 independent writing task
1 integrated writing task
Writing for an academic discussion (10-minute task)
and an integrated writing task

The main change has been introduced in the writing task. The ‘writing for an academic discussion’ task will have a separate strategy to prepare.

Please Note: Educational Testing Service (ETS) has ultimately planned to discontinue the TOEFL Paper Based Test.

Also read – TOEFL Sample Essays

Preparation Tips to Study TOEFL Online

Listed below are some of the tips to prepare TOEFL exam online:

Set a Target Score

The first step to begin your TOEFL preparation is to set a target score that you want to achieve. Go through the TOEFL exam pattern and understand its structure and the types of questions asked. Then, take a TOEFL sample test and evaluate which section you need to strengthen as well as the ones you need to practice. It is one of the foremost steps to creating an effective plan on how to prepare for TOEFL online. It will help you devise a realistic target for the preparation time you have and thus assist in outlining the right strategy. 

Have a look at TOEFL Exam Dates

Develop Note-taking Skills

You can only listen to audio clips once on the TOEFL. After that, you’ll have to provide feedback, make a speech, or write about what you learned. You must learn to take good notes because you cannot listen back to the audio. You can get practise taking notes in English or your native tongue. Doing a combination of both is generally ideal.

Your objective is to develop the ability to take notes while someone is speaking so that you don’t miss anything. Try a range of audio recordings with varying lengths and levels of complexity, then play the clip once again to check the accuracy of your notes. Pay attention to details that may seem basic, such as how your notes are organised and how legible your handwriting is. It will be quite helpful for you on your TOEFL test as well as in your future academic endeavours to be able to take notes with assurance and record all the crucial information at the moment.

Listen to Podcasts

Whether you prefer the BBC or NPR, comedy or news, there is a tonne of English-language talk radio online. Your listening comprehension will improve if you listen to native English speakers speaking at their normal pace. Playing back sections of the podcast and trying to emulate the speaker’s pronunciation can help you improve your speaking abilities.

Due to the lack of context cues, comprehending a recording is more difficult than understanding a video. Podcasts are therefore more effective for practising listening comprehension than English-language movies or TV programmes.

Draft a Strategy

Preparing for any competitive exam without a defined strategy or study plan can pull you away from reaching your target score. Once you attempt a mock paper, you will get to know about the different types of questions, and how effectively you are able to solve them along with your strong and weak points.

Now, design a study plan by bifurcating the time that you will devote to each section under the TOEFL syllabus and spare an hour or two on a daily or weekly basis to highlight the weak points that you need to revise more. Effective time management is the key to curating the right study plan on how to prepare for TOEFL online.

Know All About TOEFL Eligibility Criteria

Find Your Resources

Once you have a plan of action, the next step is to equip yourself with the best study guides and reference books to ace the TOEFL exam. With a variety of online platforms available for TOEFL preparations, it is necessary to thoroughly research the different preparation guides and online resources. You can start by exploring the official website of the TOEFL i.e., Educational Testing Services (ETS) which offers TOEFL mock tests and study materials.

Alongside, you can purchase exclusive preparatory kits published by Cambridge and Oxford. These study materials will surely assist you in finding the best way to prepare for TOEFL online and crack the exam with a higher score! Also, you can utilise online applications like English Vocabulary in Use with Picture, Vocabulary Builder- Test Prep, English Grammar and Vocabulary, etc. to improve your core English skills and work on your vocabulary.

Also Read: TOEFL Results and Score

Practice Timed Writing and Speaking

You must not forget that TOEFL is a timed test. Thus, you need to train yourself to ace each section within the prescribed time limit. Further, the TOEFL Writing section comprises 2 long questions that need to be answered within a given time limit. Hence, you must make sure that you practice writing at least 2 questions daily while adhering to the allotted time limit.

Furthermore, the answers of the speaking section are recorded through a microphone, thus you should practice speaking answers in the same set using a microphone. Listen to your recorded answers, write down the aspects you need to improve and work on your fluency and pronunciation to perform better in the exam.

Check Out: TOEFL Sample Essays

Practice Mock Tests

While exploring the question of how to prepare for TOEFL online, it is also important to gather TOEFL practice tests and mock tests and practice at least one test every day. With abundant TOEFL study material available online, you can download and practice a variety of tests to assess what you have learned. These mock tests will not only familiarize you with the structure and types of questions but they will also train you to take the test in a timed manner.

Related Read: TOEFL Sample Speaking Questions

How to Prepare for the New Changes in TOEFL?

As the duration and exam pattern has changed the preparation strategy will also have to be restructured to match the guidelines. Though changes have been introduced in all the exam sections the fundamental changes can only be seen in the TOEFL Writing Section. Let’s discuss how to change the preparation strategy and get upgraded with the new pattern.

  • Read about all the changes in detail.
  • Practice the exam papers according to the new time limit.
  • One can also go for sessions with Language experts to prepare for the new format.
  • As the content of questioning is the same in all tasks except Writing, one can easily change the practice by reducing the number of questions in the practice papers.
  • As for the writing task of writing on an academic discussion, the student must note:

Students will read a lecture given by a professor on a topic along with the responses of students on the topic. As a test taker, the student has to write their own responses and ideas on the topic and defend them with relevant arguments.

  • This will judge the student’s capacity to understand and interact in the academic environment which is the sole purpose of TOEFL ibt.
  • Many questions and sample papers are available online around such questions which the students can refer to.
  • They can also download lectures to prepare for the same.

Courses for TOEFL Preparation

The TOEFL Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide is a highly interactive course created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It helps you through short quizzes, discussion boards, tips for experts, etc. The course also practice questions and that course is self-paced for effective and tailored learning.

Books for TOEFL Preparation

Here are a few books for TOEFL Preparation.

How can Leverage Edu Help?

Leverage Edu provides many facilities for students to prepare for their TOEFL Test through Leverage Live. Students can benefit from the following services:

  • Live Classes
  • Mock Tests
  • Personalized Doubt Solving Sessions
  • Study Plans and Prep Material
  • Get Access to Great Faculties

Enrol into Leverage Live Courses to Skyrocket your Test Scores!

How can I prepare for TOEFL at home?

Take notes, Practice tests, Read every day, listen to podcasts, watch movies, practise typing.

How can I study TOEFL online for free?

The TOEFL MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a 6-week course and is a great way to prepare for the test and it’s free.

What is a good TOEFL score?

An average TOEFL score is around 90. It may vary from 85 to 95. Anything above 100 is considered a good TOEFL score.

How long will the at-home option be available?

The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is now a standard option for test-takers and will be available for the near future, along with the option of testing at a test centre.

What test days and times are available?

Test times are available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week, from Saturday to Wednesday.

Thus, we hope that this blog has cleared all your doubts regarding how to prepare for TOEFL online.

Candidates who want to prepare for TOEFL or any other language proficiency test, can Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college.

Fulfil your dreams of studying abroad with Leverage Edu, to get a free counselling session, reach us at 1800572130

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