If you need to pass an English language test for your visa or studies, you may be asking yourself – how much time should I set aside to prepare for the TOEFL language test?
Those looking for an easy answer will be disappointed because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prepare for an English language test. We’ve put together this useful explainer of ways you can prepare for the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language), one of the most commonly used English tests.
Whether you have a year to prepare or you’re wondering how to prepare for TOEFL in a week, E2 Test Prep has resources to suit your time and budget that will boost your confidence and, more importantly, your test score.
Understand the structure of the TOEFL test
There are four sections in the TOEFL test: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The TOEFL test focuses entirely on English found in an academic environment.
This section lasts up to 72 minutes. The TOEFL reading task contains 3 or 4 reading passages of around 700 words. There are 10 questions at the end of each text.
The listening section contains two types of content – lectures and conversations. The task takes up to 57 minutes and will require you to answer questions immediately after each audio is played. Keep in mind you will be allowed to take notes during the whole session.
The TOEFL speaking section takes around 17 minutes and comprises 4 tasks. In the first task, you will need to give your opinion based on your own experience and knowledge about a certain topic while in the other tasks you need to reply based on the text or audio fragments provided to you.
You will have up to 30 seconds to prepare your answer and your speech shall never be more than 60 seconds long. In any case, the examiner will give you clear instructions about the conditions of each section of the task.
For the TOEFL writing task, you will have a time limit of 50 minutes. In the first 20 minutes, you’ll listen to or read a piece of content and then you will need to write the answer to a question. For the remaining time, you must write an essay on a topic that will be given to all the candidates.
How to prepare for TOEFL at home with high-quality materials
When preparing for the TOEFL test, it’s important you use high-quality TOEFL preparation material. This will ensure you are preparing in line with the requirements of the test.
E2 offers a range of high-quality TOEFL preparation packages, which you can use to study TOEFL online. Depending on your budget and timeline, you can choose a bronze, silver or gold package from E2. While your success is ultimately in your hands, these packages give you the best possible chance to pass TOEFL on the first go and obtain a high score.
TOEFL Bronze package
The bronze package gives you six months of access to the materials provided and contains both a mock test and many practice questions and assessments to help you understand what areas you need to work on to succeed. It also includes a one-on-one tutorial with a teacher, which will give you valuable, personalised feedback on your performance.
TOEFL Silver package
In addition to the features listed above, the silver package includes an additional tutorial with a teacher. This means you could complete the mock test and then have a one-on-one tutorial with an expert, giving you even more insight into where you have performed well or need to improve. The silver package gives you nine months of access to the materials, which is excellent for those who have begun studying well in advance.
TOEFL Gold package
The gold package includes all the features of bronze and silver. It contains an additional one-on-one tutorial with a teacher, giving students access to over two hours of personalised feedback and training.
If you’re not ready to commit to a package, E2 has a broad range of free TOEFL exercises and materials you can use to supercharge your test preparation.
A great place to start is with our YouTube channel and podcast. These resources will help you get into the swing of test preparation. You can even go through a full free TOEFL mock test on Youtube, hosted by our E2 expert Jay.
Taking a full mock test with E2 will help you understand where you need to improve to achieve your desired score. You can purchase a Mock test through your E2 Test Prep account. It is a real-life test simulation including a timer and a realistic grade, and you will receive personalised feedback you can use to improve your result.
For those who like to multitask, a podcast is a handy way to prepare as you can listen in and learn while preparing dinner for the family, commuting or doing some exercise. With a new episode every week, the Everyday English podcast will help you improve your English fluency.
Set realistic expectations
One way to help you understand your current language skills and what you can hope to achieve in the time you have available is to take the E2English placement test.
This 30-minute test is available for free, and the results will act as a diagnostic tool to help you understand your overall English language skills. It’s a great tool if you’re trying to figure out what language level course you should enrol in, so make sure you set aside time to complete it.
Your personal circumstances will decide how well you can prepare – but remember, everybody can find a way to approach the TOEFL test as prepared as possible. E2 is committed to making it as easy as possible to achieve your English language goals, no matter your situation.
Some of you might be asking yourselves, ‘can I prepare if I’m a single parent?’ or ‘can I study for TOEFL while at home with a baby?’ The answer is yes. Just remember that if you have significant obligations outside of your test preparation, you may need to begin preparing earlier than someone else with more free time.
How to prepare for TOEFL in a month
If you’ve found yourself pressed for time and need to prepare for TOEFL in a hurry, investing in the E2 TOEFL express package is a great option to help you prepare for TOEFL in a month.
The 30 day TOEFL course includes live classes and recordings in case you miss one. With these resources at your disposal, you’ll become more comfortable for your coming test day.
If you have a specific skill you would like to reinforce, there are also speaking and Writing Intensive packages at your disposal to focus on each skill respectively.
Find ways to prepare for your test without stress
Test preparation doesn’t have to be stressful. You can do simple things to help your English skills along, even in your downtime. For instance, hop on the E2 TikTok channel. Here you can practice and learn English without pressure.
We also have a TOEFL youtube channel with heaps of free content on how to prepare for the general and academic versions of the test. Here you can find very useful videos like how to pass TOEFL in 2022 which help you learn at your own pace.
Did you know E2 Test Prep is an official partner of ETS, the owner of the TOEFL test?
Our final advice to you
Learning English can seem a daunting experience, but you can take simple steps immediately to start your journey to English proficiency and an excellent TOEFL score. Sign up to E2 Test Prep, make use of all our learning resources and tune into our podcast and Youtube channel. We assure you’ll feel closer to your English learning goals day by day.