6 Winning Ways to Take and Pass the TOEFL Test

6 Ways to Study for the TOEFL Test

Guest post submitted by Susan Craig

TOEFL and TOEIC tests are of immeasurable importance for international students looking into an exchange program, or to permanently study abroad.
It’s a tool used by academia to gauge a student’s language level. How to pass TOEFL is actually quite easy if you follow these steps.

 Look Online for TOEFL Test Support

  • When we say look online, we mean online platforms. Preply, for example, is a great online language website that has tutors geared towards helping you pass your TOEFL exam.
    You can take online TOEFL lessons with a tutor from Preply and learn English online. They provide certified teachers and TOEFL tutors to conduct engaging lessons to help you tackle this language exam.
  • There are also other accredited online schools and free worksheets you can download to supplement your lessons. It’s also important to note that your TOEFL score or TOEFL score range really depends on the institution you are applying to.

Plan and Find Out Your Goal Score

  • Finding your goal score involves a couple of steps:
    •  List out the schools you would like to apply to. Organizing this information in a graph or spreadsheet will help you get a clearer idea.
    • Find out if said schools require a TOEFL score (most do).
    •  If they do, find out the passing score for TOEFL needed to gain entry.

After you have acquired this information, you can find your goal score. This is the equivalent to the school with the highest minimum score. If you achieve this, then you have the chance to be accepted by all the schools on your list and it puts you in the driver’s seat.

Understanding the Format of the TOEFL test

Before you should even attempt to study for a test, it’s important to know the format, this is especially important in how to pass the TOEFL test.

The paper TOEFL format looks somewhat like this:

  •  TOEFL listening – It takes 30-40 min and is comprised of 50 questions.
  • TOEFL writing – 25 min with 40 questions in total
  •  TOEFL Reading – The longest part of the test, taking 55 min with 50
  •  TWE Test– You are allotted 30 min for one essay.

The internet-based TOEFL format follows

  • TOEFL reading – Which is the first part of the test, and takes up anywhere
    between an hour to 80 min. (36-56 questions).
  • TOEFL listening – The second part of the test, you are allotted anywhere
    between an hour to 90 min. (34-51 questions).
  • TOEFL Speaking – The third part of the test is also the shortest part, and only
    takes up 20 min of the entire process. (6 tasks)
  • TOEFL Writing – The last part of the test, and takes up 50 min of the overall
    test time. (2 tasks)

Each of the sections is worth 30 points, making 120 the full score. We also suggest
taking TOEFL practice tests to increase your knowledge on the type of questions you
might encounter.

 Your  TOEFL Test Baseline Score

A good study plan should involve a baseline score. The baseline score is your initial score before doing any kind of TOEFL test preparation. To do this, you would need to take a full TOEFL practice test. Unfortunately, this will add on to your existing TOEFL cost, but thankfully they can be easily accessed online.

There are even TOEFL prep apps that are available that tailor a great study plan for you. Remember that utilizing official resources are your best bet to acing this important exam.
Having a baseline score gives you a clear picture of how much you need to improve, and also allows you to monitor your milestones and know which sections you need to dedicate more attention to.

Make a Study Plan for the TOEFL Test

Once you have identified your goal score, baseline score, organized the passing TOEFL scores of each school and taken the practice test, then you are ready to make a study plan. How to improve your TOEFL score depends very largely on this plan. You should be able to see which sections you excel at and what your weaker sections are. Hopefully, you’ll get 3-6 months before your TOEFL test. Dedicate more time to areas that require more attention, but don’t be too lenient with your stronger areas. Depending on the person, sometimes too much time before a test isn’t necessarily beneficial, and a lot of us don’t do as well when we sit for hours on end for one study session. Learn to pace yourself and spread out your studying hours, but in the end,  you know what works for you!

Extra Tips

  • Answer all the questions. A 50% chance is better than no chance!
  • Read instructions and each question carefully.
  • Deep breaths, you got this!


There are also some key strategies you can utilize to ensure your success when thinking about how to pass TOEFL. Your future depends on your score, but luckily you have a few attempts to achieve your goal score. It’s important to not be nervous before a test, make sure you get plenty of rest, and don’t be too hard on yourself, there is always next time.

February 14, 2020


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