Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top 3 iBT TOEFL Tips

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Professor Winn is often asked about tips for the iBT TOEFL.

Here are three top TOEFL tips to hold you in good steed:

1) Increase your vocabulary!

A strong vocabulary cuts across all four sections of the TOEFL - reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Unfairly or not, one is judged by his or her word choice. Remember there is a passive and active vocabulary. The passive is used mainly while reading when you recognize familiar words that may not be used in everyday speech. An active vocabulary is the group of words you do use when communicating in line at the grocery store or swapping stories with friends. The Academic Word List is a good starting point.

2) Target and Improve Your Pronunciation Weaknesses

The speaking section of the iBT TOEFL  is unnerving for some. That is why it is doubly important to identify any weaknesses in your pronunciation BEFORE the exam. One way is to record your voice on a tape recorder. Is your voice steady? Do you hesitate or use ´´um, um?´´ To score high, one must be confident and express this confidence in their voice. Practice with a tape recorder will help!

3) Know thy grammar

Sure, it´s boring. Many times grammar is skimmed over by well-meaning teachers. However, no doubt about it, grammar is at the heart of a language. Without the rules, how can you drive from point A to point B? Grammar brings order and structure to the language and mastering the basics yields a strong foundation to express yourself intelligently in writing and speech. Knowing thy grammar will boost your score, too!

If you are in São Paulo and want English lessons personally designed to fit your needs or TOEFL preparation, please call Professor Winn at 6214-1511 or send an email to

Anyone interested in English-language services or translations (Sp/Fr/Pt>En) may send an email to for a prompt evaluation.

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