The TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is a required exam for many people prior to entering college or university, getting certain professional certifications and even sometimes getting hired for a job. Governments, scholarship programs and other organizations may also require a TOEFL exam to get an unbiased, accurate assessment of how well a non-native English speaker understands and uses academic English. The TOEFL is the worldwide standard for testing English competency in those whose first language is not English.
This 4 hour long test consists of four different sections which evaluate reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is available in either paper or computer based forms, depending on where the person takes it. Because the test results typically determine advancement for the individual taking TOEFL, it is usually very important for the individual to pass it and do well. A job or admission to post-secondary school often depends on it. A person may take the TOEFL multiple times however the latest scores are what those requesting them will consider. TOEFL scores are kept on file for up to two years past the test date.
As with any standardized test, it is important to prepare well and practice for it prior to taking the test. TOEFL is not considered an easy test. If you are interested in taking a practice TOEFL test, the best place to start is online. There are many sites which offer excellent practice sections of the TOEFL test for free. You can get a good variety of prior TOEFL questions from such sites. Many of the test preparation sites however, do charge a fee, especially if they offer a full practice test, rather than just examples. However, this typically allows you a more complete and realistic practice than you might find on other free sites. However you can very thoroughly prepare for the exam using free sample TOEFL resources only.
In addition there are many books on the market about preparing for the TOEFL exam. These books help you work through the various skills that the TOEFL will test on to make sure that you are truly ready no matter what type of question is thrown at you. At the end of these books, there is usually a practice TOEFL test to be found that you can and should try before sitting for the actual test. Be sure to time yourself as you would be for the real test, so you get an accurate assessment of whether or not you are really ready to write this very important exam.
No matter how you feel about testing, going into a standardized test completely unprepared is just dumb. You should at least take the time to familiarize yourself with the type of test and type of questions with which you will be presented. Don’t go unprepared or you may just be throwing away your money. TOEFL preparation sites are easy to find and use and will help you save time and money spent on retakes if you take advantage of them. Get ready for your TOEFL today, practice lots for it and good luck!
Jason Kay recommends reviewing a variety of sample Toefl test questions and answers to help you prepare for the Toefl exam.