Tips for the TOEFL® exam

  • The TOEFL exam takes several hours to complete. Be prepared!


  • Read the instructions and questions carefully before you listen.
  • Note taking is allowed. You should practice this.
  • Remember, one lecture is spoken with a British or Australian accent
  • Try to get an idea of the situation. Who are the speakers? Where are they? Why are they speaking?
  • In some questions a portion of the lecture or conversation is replayed so you don't need to rely on memory of what was said.
  • Listen for 'signpost words' such as however, although and finally. They help you to anticipate what the speaker will say.
  • For some questions you will need to understand the speaker's attitude. Listen to voice tones and other cues to determine how the speakers feel about the topic.


  • Remember, you will be reading academic texts, so learn academic vocabulary
  • Skim through each text to try to get a basic understanding of it. What is the text about? Who was it written for?
  • Carefully read the title and any sub-headings.
  • What is the main point of each paragraph? Each paragraph contains a single main idea. The questions will focus on these main ideas.


ETS®, TOEFL®, TOEFL iBT® and TOEFL Junior® are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). This web site is not endorsed or approved by ETS.