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Home Blogs 12 TOEFL Mistakes You Must Avoid for a High Score

12 TOEFL Mistakes You Must Avoid for a High Score

Viral Vora

Viral Vora

Nov 25, 2022

6 mins read

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Is your TOEFL exam nearing? If yes, then, you must have come across a bunch of resources talking about what to do and what not to do. Be it any competitive exam, it is important for students to understand the question paper without panicking to ensure they don’t make avoidable mistakes. Read on to see what kind of mistakes you must avoid in all sections of the TOEFL.

1. Mistakes To Avoid In TOEFL Writing

The TOEFL Writing test can be tricky which can end up with you making silly mistakes. Being mindful of the following points-

Using Run-On Paragraphs

A run-on paragraph is created when two or more paragraphs are improperly combined into just one. Sometimes in the flow of writing, you might forget to break for a paragraph and then it just ends up being visually heavy and tedious for the examiner. 

Example: Keep an eye out for the way you are dissecting your ideas and divide your paragraphs accordingly so that it doesn’t end up being too much for the reader.

Suggested: Top Universities Without TOEFL Requirement

Not Being Mindful Of Writing Style

A formal and regular writing style aids in improving grades. Students should refrain from utilizing acronyms and idiomatic expressions.

Example: Don’t use textual short forms such as LOL and say “laughed loudly” instead, using proper English. 

Not Taking Punctuations Seriously

While punctuations seem small, they are a very important part of the English language and grammar. Hence, not using proper punctuation can alter the meaning of your sentence, making it harder for a reader to understand what you mean.

Example: Using a comma instead of a full stop will completely alter what your statement means.

2. Mistakes To Avoid In TOEFL Speaking 

The TOEFL speaking test might seem easy but that is what makes it unexpectedly hard and easy to make mistakes. Here are some mistakes to look out for-

Not Taking Notes

Many students believe they don’t need to write or organize notes because it’s a speaking section. They think that answering the question with just their spoken English abilities will result in a high score. And this is a major misconception. 

Example: Being overconfident and not taking notes might end up with you missing out on some detail important for the test

Suggested: How To Score 110+ In TOEFL

Unclear Pronunciation

It will be regarded as a wrong answer if someone speaks using poor pronunciation that the examiner finds it difficult to understand. Ambiguous or unclear pronunciation may cause the scorer to become confused and fail to provide a good score.

Example: Practice your pronunciation using available online resources, recordings, and mirrors. It will make it easier for the exams

Wasting Your Preparation Time

Anyone can achieve a high score on the speaking section by making smart use of the provided preparation time. Poor use of preparation time will make the exam hard.

Example: Be prepared to take notes and keep your calm while speaking during the speaking test

3. Mistakes To Avoid In TOEFL Listening

The TOEFL’s Listening section evaluates your ability to hear and understand an English speaker and then respond to questions about what they asked. The audio recordings range in length and are followed by a number of questions regarding the recording’s subject

Not Practicing

In any language, listening is a difficult skill, but the difficulty rises when you have to listen and answer in a language that is not your mother tongue. You will eventually have to take the listening test, so prepare as much as you can beforehand.

Example: Practice listening to English speakers in different accents to improve your understanding of the pronunciations

Suggested: Everything To Know About TOEFL

Fixating On The Details 

Concentrate on the central idea rather than the minor details when listening. Consider the kinds of questions you may be asked about the subject as you listen.

Example: If you try to understand all intricacies of every spoken word, you might miss the main topic at hand. Focus and make notes on the big picture.

Leaving Answers Blank

If a question is skipped or not answered, it will be marked as a wrong answer, and the student will lose points. Therefore, in order to improve your chances of getting a good score, it is advisable to guess and respond.

Example: Leaving an answer blank will ensure you have no marks on it but if you make an educated guess based on what you heard and noted, you might score more marks.

4. Mistakes To Avoid In TOEFL Reading

For people who have trouble reading in English or who are unsure of their reading pace and worried they may run out of time, the TOEFL Reading part can be nerve-wracking. Although learning speed reading can seem like the greatest strategy, there are many other practical ways to approach this test portion.

Reading Every Detail

Students will run out of time if they attempt to read the entire passage word for word. Simply put, there is too much complex material to go through, and trying to read every word will take too much time. 

Example: Scan through the text and underline or circle keywords or phrases.

Rushing Through The Test

Although the test is timed, there is no reward for coming in first place, so take your time and carefully read the questions and answer possibilities before choosing one. When you rush through the questions, answer choices or text, you run the risk of missing important terms that could aid in the right response.

Example: While you should scan through the passage, don’t rush through it so that you miss important information

Ignoring The Review Button

The review button on the computer’s TOEFL exam screen is an extremely important resource. When clicked, you will be taken to a screen that lists every question from the reading part. One may see which questions they have already finished, which ones they haven’t finished, and which ones they haven’t gotten to yet on the review button page.

Example: The review button will help you see where you stand in the exam and how much you have to finish. However, focusing only on this button might end up with you wasting your time so be mindful of the same.

Before entering the testing center, make sure you completely understand the TOEFL format. Create effective strategies for approaching each type of question which you can utilize on both the original TOEFL and all practice tests. The greatest approach to prevent typical TOEFL blunders is to feel confident and ready for anything on test day. ​

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Viral Vora
Viral Vora

Viral Vora is the co-founder of MastersBuddy, a platform that is building the world’s best study abroad experience. He is a graduate of IE Business School and KJSCE Vidyavihar. Viral is passionate about helping students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.

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