The following are some Tips & Strategies to help you ace your TOEFL exam:

  1. Know the structure of the TOEFL Exam:

TOEFL Format


3–4 reading passages
10 questions each
54–72 minutes


Approximately 1.8 minutes to answer per question


3–4 lectures, 6 questions each
2–3 conversations, 5 questions each
41–57 minutes


Approximately 1.5 minutes to answer per question


4 speaking tasks, 17 minutes


  • Speaking Independent Task (15 seconds to prepare. 45 seconds to respond)
  • Speaking integrated Task 3 (30 seconds to prepare, 60 seconds to respond).
  • Speaking integrated Task 4 (30 seconds to prepare, 60 seconds to respond).
  • Speaking integrated Task 6 (20 seconds to prepare, 60 seconds to respond).


  • 1 Integrated Writing (20 minutes to type),

  • 1 Independent Writing (30 minutes to type)

2) Approach the TOEFL test with a plan
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Having this kind of understanding can help you decide where to focus yourself more as you prepare for the test.

In addition, get your teacher’s opinion on where you can best spend your preparation time.

3) To maximize your TOEFL score, be ready for test conditions and be well-rehearsed
Practice makes perfect! Make sure that you simulate real exam conditions. Practice your TOEFL exams with a bit of noise in the background because the test centers tend to be a little noisy. This means practice reading, listening, speaking, and writing with light noise in the background (perhaps a YouTube video or a TV show).

4) Become familiar with the directions and questions before the TOEFL test
The more familiar you are with the content, the more prepared and confident you will feel on test day. Each section on the TOEFL ibt has a time limit, and you want to make the most of the time you are given. Use a portion of your preparation to become familiar with the directions for each section and how the questions are set up. Then you can use all you time in answering the questions instead of reviewing the directions.

5) Become an expert brainstormer

For Speaking Type 1 on the exam, many students complain that it is difficult to come up with a developed idea to talk about in just 15 seconds. The key to getting really good at speaking type 1 on the exam, is to go through as many Type 1 questions as possible and come up with two supporting reasons and examples that you would provide for those reasons.

Here is a list of typical type 1 questions from the TOEFL speaking to help you brainstorm (remember you have 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to give your speech:

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the statement: female and male university students should have separate residence halls?  
  2. Do you agree or disagree that it is important for young people to learn some domestic skills like cooking, sewing and taking care of children?  
  3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? If you want to succeed in business, being outgoing and friendly is very important.  
  4. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The government should forbid violence and bad language in TV programs. Use specific reasons and examples in your answer.  
  5. Some universities expect the students to choose a major field of study when they enter the school; while other universities wait until the second or the third year before students deciding to choose a major field of study. Which do you prefer? Why or why not?   
  6. Which one do you prefer? To buy the newly-released e-product as soon as possible or to wait for a while and then decide whether you want to buy it or not.  
  7. Some people prefer to buy new books while some people would like to buy used books, what is your opinion? 
  8. Do you agree or disagree that it is important for children to learn to draw or paint? 
  9. Do you agree or disagree that a celebrity should set a good example for young people? Use details and examples to support your explanation.
  10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the popularity of the technology that focuses on entertainment, people read fewer books than before. 
  11. Some people think that with the development of technology and the Internet, libraries will disappear, while others think libraries are always necessary. Which opinion do you agree?
  12. Some people believe old people should not take risks and participate in adventurous events as the young people. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?


Hopefully these tips have provided you with some insight to the TOEFL exam. For more detailed preparation, enroll in one of our TOEFL preparation  courses today!