5 Ways TOEFL Prep Prepares you for a U.S. University Experience By David Recine

Does TOEFL prep really help you get ready for your actual American school experience? In many ways, yes. Here are the main reasons that TOEFL helps you get ready for life on an American campus.

 

 

#1: The Conversation Audio is Accurate to School Life

To prepare for the TOEFL, you’ll learn to hear and understand English language conversations that take place on a university campus. You’ll hear students getting help from university staff. You’ll hear professors meeting with their students. You’ll listen to classmates as they talk to each other about their lives and studies.

This conversation audio boosts your English skills and your school life vocabulary. It also helps you become familiar with many common situations you’ll face in your future life in the USA.

#2: The Lectures and Readings Realistically Cover Topics That You’ll Probably Study

The lecture audio and reading passages on the TOEFL cover a variety of topics: history, science, economics, biology, and so on. You may wonder if you’ll actually need to know about all of these subjects to get your American degree. The answer: you probably will.

American universities follow the “liberal arts” model. What does this mean? It means that you will be asked to take lots of “general education” classes. These “gen eds,” as university advisers call them, will cover many different subjects. Your required general education courses will be at least as varied as the topics on the TOEFL. So prepping for this exam helps you get ready for the variety of learning experiences you’ll have in the U.S.

#3: The Speaking Tasks are Very “Impromptu.”

An “impromptu speech” is a speech you give with little or no preparation. In American universities, your professors will often ask you to give short impromptu talks on different topics. In addition, professors will sometimes call on you to participate in a class discussion. This too is a form of short impromptu speech.

It’s good then, that all of the tasks in TOEFL Speaking are short impromptu speeches. You have 15-30 seconds to prepare. Then you have between 45 seconds and a minute to actually speak. Preparing for the TOEFL Speaking section will help you master the art of impromptu speech, and this skill will serve you well in your future studies.

#4: The TOEFL Writing Section Covers Two Very Common Types of Essay

To prep for TOEFL Writing, you need to write two essays. The first essay is source-based. It’s a summary of the information from a textbook passage and a lecture related to the reading. In the second essay, you express and defend a personal opinion, writing a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

These are the two most common types of writing assignments at American universities. You’ll frequently write summaries of information from course lectures and texts. Just as often, you’ll be asked to defend your point of view in a well-structured written argument. Your “real” university essays will be longer than the TOEFL ones. But the TOEFL Writing section is a good warmup exercise for the writing you’ll do in your future studies.

#5: Passing the TOEFL Will Help You Pass Other University Tests and Assignments Later

The TOEFL consists of multiple-choice questions, speeches, and essays. These same activities come up in final exams, end-of-semester presentations, and term papers at U.S. universities. Really, TOEFL test skills and TOEFL academic skills can be thought of simply as “test skills” and “academic skills.” Every skill you learn in your TOEFL prep today will help you in your studies tomorrow.

So what are you waiting for? Prepare for your future academics with some TOEFL practice. Through Magoosh’s TOEFL portal of full-length TOEFL practice tests, you can get started right away.