TOEFL iBT Skills
The TOEFL exam tests four areas – reading, listening, speaking, and writing – but demands many more secondary and support skills. These include grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, note-taking, summarizing, synthesizing, outlining, skimming, scanning and mind mapping.
TOEFL STUDY PLANS
To score highly in the TOEFL exam, it is best to develop a systematic study plan. Guidebooks such as Barron's provide sample syllabus or study options you can follow. Their standard syllabus covers 80 hours in 16 weeks and their accelerated syllabus covers 80 hours in 8 weeks. They also provide an abbreviated syllabus for those who have limited time. Delta's Guidebook offers a 75-hour / 15-week preparation program. Aside from the main TOEFL guidebooks, you will benefit from referring to a number of ESL books which focus on the development of specific skills such as skimming, scanning, note-taking, etc. By doing so, you will succeed in building a strong foundation of language and academic skills which will support you throughout your academic and professional career.
Most important, give yourself sufficient time to develop the various English language skills mentioned above. The TOEFL iBT is a demanding exam, and you need time to prepare yourself for it. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to study for the TOEFL, take the exam, and receive your results before you have to apply to the college. Stay calm. Don't be in a rush. Start studying for the TOEFL well in advance. Immerse yourself in English, and consider studying at an ESL school or exam prep centre in an English speaking country, if possible. Refer to a variety of TOEFL guidebooks, attend TOEFL exam preparation classes and successfully complete a number of practice TOEFL tests.
Finally, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses realistically, review as much as necessary, and take the test only when you feel you're confident and ready.