'Are grammar skills important to crack TOEFL?'
On September 12, Teresa Sanchez-Lazer, Executive Director of the TOEFL programme at Educational Testing Service (ETS) addressed reader queries related to the TOEFL preparation and TOEFL scholarships to study abroad.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an important exam for students applying to international universities which use English as a medium of instruction. The TOEFL exam essentially tests the students' English language skills in Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
Every year, the TOEFL Scholarship Programme awards ten meritorious students from India the opportunity to study abroad through its scholarships.
For those who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer says, Hi ! This is Teresa Sanchez-Lazer. I am the Executive Director of the TOEFL Program based in Princeton, NJ, USA. Thank you for taking time to speak with me today. I would be happy to answer your questions regarding the TOEFL test.
Ravi asked, hw to crack the toefl
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, at 2012-09-12 16:15:18ETS has developed numerous free resources to help you prepare for the TOEFL test. The TOEFL® Test Prep Planner provides an eight-week calendar so you will be prepared in order to do your best on test day. It can help you plan for test day. Check it out at (www.ets.org/toefl/planner). The TOEFL iBT® Quick Prep will be helpful. It offers test questions that have appeared on past TOEFL tests to aid students with study preparation. TOEFL iBT® Quick Prep is available at www.ets.org/toefl/quickprep. In addition, ETS now offers an online practice course. Go to www.ets.org/toefl for details.
vish asked, how to crack reading section?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Great question. On the TOEFL Go Anywhere website, there are helpful hints and videos for each of the four sections (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) of the TOEFL test. The reading section should be of interest to you. You can view the videos at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/meet-study-group-tips-test-takers-you
Renee asked, Does TOEFL have any free test guides, sample tests etc?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Yes. The TOEFL iBT® Quick Prep will be helpful. It offers test questions that have appeared on past TOEFL tests to aid students with study preparation. TOEFL iBT® Quick Prep is available at www.ets.org/toefl/quickprep.
Amy asked, How long does it take for preparation?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, We encourage students to allow ample time to prepare for the TOEFL test. There is no set time. A lot depends on how much you have studied English and are using it on a daily basis. Good luck!
ashita asked, hello Ms.Sanchez,What material would you suggest for TOEFL preparation?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, I would start by looking at the TOEFL® Go Anywhere Website (www.TOEFLGoAnywhere.org): The interactive website is constantly updated with new resources designed specifically for TOEFL test takers. Through the site's multimedia platforms, students can benefit from various study resources, such as the Study Group video series (available at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/meet-study-group-tips-test-takers-you) which provide specific strategies for the reading, writing, speaking and listening sections of the TOEFL test. I would also suggest viewing the TOEFL® TV Channel hosted on YouTube® (www.youtube.com/TOEFLtv): Watch a new video each day that shares best practices and study tips regarding the TOEFL test from English-language teachers, students who have taken the TOEFL test, as well as institutions around the world who accept the TOEFL test. A third option would be to use the TOEFL Practice Online, which is available at www.ets.org, but you can also get a discount when you register for the TOEFL test.
Emma asked, i would like to study in the UK. is the TOEFL applicable there?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Yes. The TOEFL test is accepted in the UK and Australia as well as in more than 130 countries. It is the most widely accepted English-language assessment, More than 8,500 institutions around the world accept the TOEFL test.
Emma asked, In which countries is the TOEFL applicable?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The TOEFL test is a global test accepted in more than 130 countries around the world. It is the most widely accepted English-language assessment. You can truly use it to "Go Anywhere!"
kamal asked, how to start toefl preparation
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, I would suggest that you use a book designed by ETS, the developer of the TOEFL test. The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test, Third Edition is the latest edition available. This bestselling guide has 2 full-length tests, hundreds of authentic test questions and essay topics, plus valuable tips to help you prepare for success! More information regarding TOEFL Prep materials are available at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/content/toefl%C2%AE-test-prep-official-tools-help-you-prepare. The fourth edition of the Official Guide to the TOEFL® test has been released. It includes new content and extra practice material. Good luck with your studies!
Renee asked, hello, are there any scholarships available? How do we apply?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, We were very pleased to offer US$70,000 in scholarships to deserving Indian students last year. We have held the TOEFL Scholarship Program for the last three consecutive years in India. The TOEFL Program typically announces scholarships in November. Stay tuned!
Kishore asked, I forgot most of the grammar which i learn t at school, but still i manage to speak grammatically. Do i need to know the grammar properly for toefl?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The TOEFL test measures general communicative competence in academic English, rather than specific emphasis on grammar or vocabulary.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
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'How do I practice speaking in such a short time?'
Emma asked, What is the structure of the TOEFL test? how many sections are there? whats the maximum score? is there a break?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The TOEFL test closely measures those English communication skills that students need to have to succeed in the classroom. It assesses how well you read, listen, speak and write in English and integrate these skills for communicative purposes. For example, students might be asked to read a passage, listen to a lecture on the same topic and then speak or write to integrate the information from both sources. Through preparing for and taking the TOEFL iBT test that assesses "real-life" communication skills, students are aware what is expected to thrive in an academic environment. There are four sections to the test that measure your writing, listening, speaking and reading skills. The test takes approximately 4 hours. Yes. There is a break.
NAMRAMITA asked, What all things are to be prepared for the test? What is the minimum score required to qualify TOEFL? Is there any criteria?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, There is no minimum score for the TOEFL test. Each institution set their own score requirements. The requirements will vary depending on the school and the nature of the educational program. The TOEFL Go Anywhere website (www.TOEFLGOAnywhere.org) provides direct links to the more than 8,500 institutions that accept the TOEFL test and information regarding their score requirements.
varun asked, Do we have one definite vocab list, so that that we don't have to wander around to collect the words we don't know might appear or not in TOEFL, when preparing in a short time.
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, There is no official vocabulary list to use. However, I would suggest that you use a study guide designed by ETS, the developer of the TOEFL test. The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test, Third Edition is the latest edition available. This bestselling guide has 2 full-length tests, hundreds of authentic test questions and essay topics, plus valuable tips to help you prepare for success! More information regarding TOEFL Prep materials are available at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/content/toefl%C2%AE-test-prep-official-tools-help-you-prepare. The fourth edition of the Official Guide to the TOEFL® test has been released. It includes new content and extra practice material. Good luck with your studies! TOEFL Reading topics cover a wide range of subjects. In the test, we provide definitions for any specialized voc. words used in a passage.
avishek asked, how could i crack d toefll exm 2 stdy in abroad?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The TOEFL Program recently launched the TOEFL Search Service connecting higher education institutions around the world with students who are interested in studying abroad. Test takers can opt in for free when registering for the TOEFL test allowing students to receive information from universities that are interested in your profile.
Emma asked, is there a helpline in case of problems?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Yes. The college admissions process is a busy time in a student's life. ETS has two resource centers available to answer your questions: -The TOEFL Customer Call Center for Indian students is available to answer your pre-and post TOEFL questions and is accessible by phone toll-free directly from India, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. p.m., India Standard Time, at 000-800-100-3780, and by email at TOEFLsupport4India@ets.org. -The TOEFL Resource Center in India is available to answer your questions about the TOEFL test and available study resources by email at TOEFL@studyplaces.com or by phone at 91 9 7112 37111.
arunesh asked, how do i begin my writing section
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The format of the Writing and Speaking sections of the TOEFL test don't have to be a mystery. A five-part video series provides an in-depth look at the Writing and Speaking sections of the TOEFL test to familiarize students with the test. Inside the TOEFL® Test" Video Series is available at (www.ets.org/toefl/video_library/) This should be a helpful resource for you! Good luck!
ashita asked, when do we get to know the score after finishing the exam?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Test takers will receive an email when their scores have been posted online. You can find your scores by going to your profile on the TOEFL registration site. In general, scores are available 10 days after the test. Sometimes a bit sooner! I hope that answers your question.
Emma asked, my friend speaks good english but has a thick accent. will he be penalized for this?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, TOEFL scorers are experienced English professionals who are familiar with a wide range of accents. Students will not be penalized for accents provided that the quality of their response meets the criteria in the scoring rubrics.
Sally asked, does TOEFL have a Facebook page?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Yes we do !! TOEFL® Go Anywhere India page on Facebook® (www.facebook.com/toeflgoanywhereindia): Join the conversation with more than 193,000 students from India and learn the latest information pertaining to the TOEFL test and educational events taking place throughout India.
Murphy asked, Hi Ms. Sanchez, what tools can i use to help me prepare for the TOEFL
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, ETS offers numerous resources to assist students in preparing for the TOEFL Test. The TOEFL Journey® Program (www.toeflgoanywhere.org/user/toefl-journey) creates a personalized web page for students based on expressed study abroad interests and identified stage within the testing process. The program also provides access to a wide spectrum of resources ranging from helpful hints for living in a foreign country, to a comprehensive listing of student visa requirements and available scholarship opportunities, as well as timely and helpful email and text messages customized for your journey. You may find it useful in preparing.
Sally asked, how many test centers are there in india?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, We have test centers throughout India. Due to heavy demand for the test, we monitor capacity on an ongoing basis. For example, we recently added a new testing administration on Oct. 12th and expect to add new testing times which will be announced in the next two weeks!
Emma asked, how many times can i take the test?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, There is no limit on the number of times you can take the test. However, we recommend that you allow time after your test to review how you did and to improve your skills before sitting for the test again.
Shraddha asked, How many times can we take the TOEFL test? And which score is taken into consideration if we do it multiple times?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Students can take the TOEFL test as many times as they wish. If you have taken the test multiple times, when it is time to apply for admissions, visit your profile and select the score that you want to report. Please note that you cannot mix and match section scores for different test dates.
suganya.r asked, where can i get proper study materials? i m in 3rd year be now when i have to start prepare for toelf?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Glad you asked! We will be hosting, The TOEFL Test – Ultimate English Quiz-A-Thon in Delhi on the following dates: October 4 & 5 – Venkateswara College October 8 & 9 – Modern School October 9 & 10 - Jesus and Mary College October 17 & 18 - Khalsa College October 18 & 19 – GD Goenka School The events offer students a fun way to improve their English skills and receive answers to any of their TOEFL-related questions. Prizes and give a-ways will be given. Hope you can join!!
Sally asked, how do we deal with the rampant use of SMS language nowadays?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, The TOEFL Program works with an international body of English-language experts to set the standards for what is included and measured in the test. We review changes in English-language usage on a regular basis and if we decide to change the standards for the test we would announce the changes well in advance. Currently we require standard academic English.
Kishore asked, How do i practice speaking in a short time?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, Good question! On the TOEFL Go Anywhere website, there are helpful hints and videos for each of the four sections (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) of the TOEFL test. The speaking section should be of interest to you. You can watch the videos at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/meet-study-group-tips-test-takers-yo u The format of the Speaking section of the TOEFL test does not have to be a mystery. A five-part video series provides an in-depth look at the Writing and Speaking sections of the TOEFL test to familiarize students with the test. Inside the TOEFL® Test" Video Series is available at (www.ets.org/toefl/video_library/) Another way to practice speaking is to watch the news with a friend and ask each other questions about the content. Make sure to pay attention to your pacing as some students tend to rush.
Emma asked, what are good practice methods?
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer answers, We have time for one last question. I would like to thank you all for joining me today! I would encourage all students to visit the TOEFL® Go Anywhere Website (www.TOEFLGoAnywhere.org): The interactive website is constantly updated with new resources designed specifically for TOEFL test takers. Through the site's multimedia platforms, students can benefit from various study resources. Good luck!
Teresa Sanchez-Lazer says, Thanks again for taking time today and good luck!
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh