Explore Courses

TOEFL Exam Preparation: How to Prepare for TOEFL

Updated on 17 April, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

toefl exam preparation

First introduced to the students who aspired for higher education in the native English-speaking nations in the year 1964, the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language is widely respected till date in assessing the English language skills of a person and is accepted for admission purposes to thousands of prestigious institutions in more than 150 nations like the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, et al. The motto of the test is to understand the language abilities of the aspirants and evaluate the following skill sets related to the English language: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and comprehending – based on integrated tasks that evaluate prowess related to the language and its application. What makes this testing system so reliable and popular is the fact that it has never stagnated – it advanced with the progress of time and its real-time demands embracing several innovative design features to simulate the use of the English language in the world of academics and beyond. This explains the need for extremely perfect TOEFL test preparation and performing brilliantly in the TOEFL exams.

Who needs to go for a TOEFL test?

Most of the universities and colleges in the native English-speaking countries ask for a TOEFL test result from the students at the time of applying for admission there. If the students perceive to study abroad in such prestigious educational institutions, they must clear the test and score above the cut-off level decided by those colleges. This is important because it lets the educational institutions get an idea if the aspirant can bear the load of the regular English language usage in their syllabus and courses. Apart from this, if any non-native English-speaking person is looking for a job in these countries or wants to migrate there and seek citizenship, taking this test becomes essential.

How does the TOEFL test help the applicants?

The TOEFL test helps the applicant to have a better command of this language and understand its complexities and profundities with in-depth insight. It makes the student an expert in conversing fluently with the native English speakers, writing about it comprehensively, and even reading and comprehension of this language. This ultimately helps the student to cope better with the advanced education system in such universities. It also helps them cope with the new environment if they are seeking citizenship to such a country or are looking to work there as a successful professional. Basically, the TOEFL test practice and high scores open up doors of opportunities for individuals. 

What is the best way to prepare for TOEFL? 

An organized approach towards TOEFL preparation is a must if you want to score high in this test and match the criterion attributed by the universities. For this, if the applicants just follow the below-listed steps, they are sure to get great results in the test.

1) Know the formats of the TOEFL test

An applicant just can’t perform well in the TOEFL exams if she/he did not prepare well keeping in mind the TOEFL exam syllabus. This also includes knowing the exact format in which the test is conducted. The official website of TOEFL provides you with comprehensive guidelines. So, let us talk about the TOEFL exam pattern:

a) Reading the language without any mistakes — The TOEFL syllabus includes reading various passages and write-ups in English and comprehending the matter given to them comprehensively. This is checked thoroughly when the students answer the questions regarding the passages provided.

b) Listening to a conversation in the native English language— The TOEFL exam also includes listening intently to a specific speech or conversation in the native English language and then summarizing the data or answering the questions regarding it.

c) Writing in perfect native English language— The applicants are also expected to write in English in a candid manner and this carries lots of importance in their overall test results.

d) Speaking fluently in the English language— The best way to prepare for TOEFL for the applicants taking the Internet-based test, even the fluency in spoken English is tested and marked.

Recommended Reads:

TOEFL Exam Eligibility CriteriaTOEFL Exam SyllabusTOEFL Exam Dates 2022
TOEFL Exam FormatTOEFL Exam FeesTOEFL Exam Registration

Study Abroad Preparation Course

What does the Course include:

  • 12 Weeks of Dedicated Coaching to Build a robust profile for Top 1% Universities
  • SOP & Personal Statements For Academic Writing
  • 25 hours of live online classes with mock tests for IELTS
  • Visa, University Application & Submission
  • Country-specific Support with Education loan Guidance
  • International Faculty Masterclass

2) Knowing the types of TOEFL tests

There are two types of TOEFL tests that applicants can take to pass the exam. 

a) The internet-based test —Presently, most of the students are opting for the TOEFL IBT which is actually an online exam where the student is required to appear through computer settings. These students get ample amount of time to appear for and attempt all the 4 sections listed above.

b) Paper-based test — The paper-based test is not so popular currently and requires the student to appear offline for the exams.

3) Setting up a particular goal in mind 

The students can prepare better for the exams if they have a specific goal in their mind regarding their results. If someone is looking for the average cut-off for a university and just wants to gain that passing score, then a moderate amount of preparation is alright. For the ones aspiring to gain the best score, obviously, the efforts are double.

4) Creating an ideal study space

For all the students intending to pass the TOEFL exams in flying colors, studying in a peaceful space is important. Only then can the applicant concentrate well on the native English language usage and its proper summarizing and writing skills.

5) Practicing for the exams beforehand

There are innumerable exceptional options like the TOEFL mock test (available online) where an applicant can repetitively practice for disciplined grooming beforehand. But it’s always recommended to start such mock tests way before the exam dates so that the mistakes can be rectified ahead of time.

6) Joining a reputed online coaching platform 

A reputed and reliable online learning platform like Upgrad Aboard holds TOEFL practice tests regularly for the students. Their experienced staff and coaches who are fluent in the native English language make the preparations for the students easier. With the right theory and practical knowledge from them, the students can be way ahead in their preparations for the TOEFL exams.

7) Joining the community

The students appearing for the TOEFL exams get a lot of support and encouragement because of the communities of fellow applicants. They set a certain goal together and compete with each other to excel and learn which ultimately helps them massively during the examination.

8) Putting the language to regular practice

Practice, Practice, and practicethis should be the only mantra to success for TOEFL aspirants. The more you practice, the more full-proof your learning, knowledge, and consequently preparation become. When the applicants are constantly using the language to converse among peers and even reading a lot of stuff in this language, ultimately their skills excel in this field.

The TOEFL exam is not a tough nut to crack if you know the tricks to handle the preparations with order and method. The guidance above and a good learning center like Upgradaboard cumulatively will make an aspirant’s dreams come true without much a do.

Read More:

Documents Required for TOEFLTOEFL SpeakingTOEFL Tips


Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

IELTS Online Test

IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

See More

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.


Other Exams

University Acceptance Rate

University Ranking

IELTS Resources


The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.