Four steps to suc­cess

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - WORKSMART - Flash cards Read­ing tips Speak­ing prac­tice Writ­ing right Make use of avail­able free re­sources Plan your test day

Ev­ery year thou­sands of In­dian stu­dents go abroad for tech­ni­cal, man­age­ment and other higher stud­ies, which opens up new vis­tas for their ca­reer. The num­ber of stu­dents tak­ing to the for­eign univer­sity has been in­creas­ing with the pas­sage of ev­ery year.

How­ever, get­ting ad­mis­sion in any in­sti­tute or univer­sity of re­pute is not a cake­walk. One needs to ful­fil cer­tain min­i­mum cri­te­rion, in­clud­ing good marks and pro­fi­ciency in English lan­guage, for get­ting into for­eign uni­ver­si­ties.

So, if you have scored well in your ex­am­i­na­tions, you must hone your English-lan­guage skills so as to make to for­eign uni­ver­si­ties, as most of them fol­low English as medium of teach­ing and cur­ric­ula.

When it comes to English­language ex­ams, the TOEFL test (Test of English as a For­eign Lan­guage) is the most widely ac­cepted as­sess­ment, which is recog­nised by more than 8,500 in­sti­tu­tions in more than 130 coun­tries.

With the TOEFL test, one needs to take only one English-lan­guage as­sess­ment, if he/she wants to study in Australia, the UK, Canada, or the United States, as it is ac­cepted at nearly ev­ery higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion. More­over, the test can be com­pleted in one day.

The TOEFL IBT test is the In­ter­net-based Test (IBT), which was in­tro­duced in 2005. It is an im­por­tant part of your jour­ney to study in an English-speak­ing coun­try.

The TOEFL IBT test is di­vided into four sec­tions: read­ing, writ­ing, lis­ten­ing and speak­ing. Here are some use­ful tips to help you do your best:

Learn more about a favourite topic and share what you learned with a friend.

Lis­ten to pod­casts, recorded lec­tures, and read ar­ti­cles on your favourite travel des­ti­na­tion. De­ter­mine the main idea, ma­jor points and sup­port­ing ideas be­ing pre­sented. Present what you learned to a friend or fam­ily mem­ber.

Find a speak­ing part­ner, prefer­ably with an orig­i­nal English speaker or try an on­line video chat.

The more oc­ca­sions you have to speak English, the more fa­mil­iar and com­fort­able you will be­come. Cre­ate your own vo­cab­u­lary cards and carry them wher­ever you go. It's a great way to prac­tice and pass the time. Pull them out while trav­el­ling and use your time well. Sum­marise and para­phrase read­ing pas­sages. Use out­lines to as­sist in or­gan­is­ing your ideas. Prac­tice read­ing to im­prove your com­pre­hen­sion. Be­come fa­mil­iar with read­ing and an­swer­ing ques­tions on a com­puter screen, as this will make you fa­mil­iar with the for­mat used for the TOEFL IBT test. Read a short ar­ti­cle from a news­pa­per or mag­a­zine aloud. Give a one-minute oral sum­mary of the ar­ti­cle. Ex­press your opin­ion re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle. Do you agree or dis­agree with the con­tent pre­sented in the ar­ti­cle? If there is a prob­lem dis­cussed, out­line a so­lu­tion. Prac­tise pro­nun­ci­a­tion. Speak slowly, an­nun­ci­at­ing ev­ery syl­la­ble. Watch your favourite tele­vi­sion show. Write a sum­mary of the episode. Ex­plain the tele­vi­sion pro­gram, the way it made you feel, and how it was sim­i­lar or dif­fer­ent from the past episodes. Have a fam­ily mem­ber read your es­say.

The ETS (Ed­u­ca­tional Test­ing Ser­vice) TOEFL pro­gramme of­fers nu­mer­ous free re­sources to as­sist you in study­ing for the test in­clud­ing:

TOEFL Go Any­where web­site(www.toe­flgo­any­wher e.org): a web­site ded­i­cated to as­sist­ing stu­dents in mas­ter­ing the TOEFL test, in­clud­ing free sam­ple test ques­tions avail­able at TOEFL TV Chan­nel on You Tube (www.youtube.com/user/toe Fltv/fea­tured): ben­e­fit and learn from videos shar­ing best prac­tices and study tips re­gard­ing English lan­guage learn­ing and the TOEFL test from English-lan­guage teach­ers, stu­dents who have taken the TOEFL test, as well as uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges around the world. Re­mem­ber the things you need at the test cen­tre such as valid photo ID, water and a snack. Pack your bag the night be­fore and set an alarm. Have a good rest the night be­fore. On test day, be sure to eat break­fast. Wear com­fort­able clothes and keep in mind it may be cold.

ETS has put to­gether help­ful test day tips for you at http://www.toe­flgo­any­where.org/con­tent/wha­t­ex­pect-test-day.

Good luck!

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