Studying abroad is often a dream for all students. The ones who have excelled in academics throughout their lives aim to get into a foreign university at least once in their academic careers. However, although these students clear the entrance examinations with flying colors, some of them often remain stuck due to one particular test- TOEFL. TOEFL, an abbreviation for Test of English as a Foreign Language, is an examination that has to be mandatorily taken by students who have attended universities with a vernacular medium of teaching. This exam is preferred by universities in the United States, France and Germany, and by graduate programs in Canada.
While academically sound students do not find it hard to crack the other entrance exams required to get into foreign universities, TOEFL is a different ball game. Since the language of instructions for many is not English, they find it difficult to prepare for TOEFL properly. Even if a student has a hold over the said language, it can be difficult to assess and get used to the pattern of questions that TOEFL follows.
To combat this, there are several TOEFL mock tests that are available online. Since TOEFL is a computer-based examination, these TOEFL practice tests online are the best options. The good news is, most of them are free! However, not all these mock tests are effective and accurate.
How to select the best TOEFL practice tests and questions
For an exam like TOEFL, selecting proper practice tests is a necessity. These tests determine a lot of things. They primarily give you an idea about the exam itself. A TOEFL mock test that has not been properly designed can cause hassles. It might not be able to bring you the essence of the real examination.
Moreover, a poorly designed test can make your preparation go haywire while giving you the wrong idea about the entire scenario. For example, you can be very well prepared for the TOEFL, but due to some inaccurate examinations, you might get a different picture of your preparation and end up in a mess. On the contrary, if your preparation is not up to the mark yet, these badly designed examinations can make you think otherwise. Hence, you will never try to prepare harder and better for TOEFL.
To avoid all these extra headaches, it is best to keep a keen eye on free online examinations that you are planning to take for TOEFL. Some points given below will help you decide which ones are good and which ones are not.
- The tests should be updated according to the recent changes: TOEFL is famous for changing question patterns now and then. However, it is notified by the committee that conducts the examination. TOEFL practice materials are updated to indicate this. However, some free online exams do not take this into account. In spite of all the notices provided, they do not update their questions accordingly. These examinations should largely be avoided as they no longer give you the kind of questions that you can expect on the D Day. In fact, if you perform well on these tests, you might get a notion that you will do well on the TOEFL. That can be shattering for your career since these do not accurately assess your skills.
- The test should cover all the important topics: TOEFL, although an examination revolving around one specific language can be quite a handful to handle. It can be difficult to deal with it, given the wide range of topics or concepts that it is meant to check. All these topics are given different weight depending on the committee’s discretion. This is visible in their previous question papers and question patterns. Following this is of utmost importance as students are expected to stick to it to clear the test. If your TOEFL mock test does not accurately cover these topics, it is best to not go for it.
- The assessment analysis of the test should be similar to TOEFL; The TOEFL has a unique way of assessing students based on their answers. The mock tests that you take online must also follow this pattern. This is the way you will be marked on the final day. Following any other pattern to give you an analysis of your preparation will be a fallacy that you will want to avoid. One wrong assessment of your skills can be harmful to your self-esteem. If your mock test scores are falsely towards the higher end, you will become overconfident, and if it is towards the lower end, it will be a hit on your self-esteem. Hence, it is better to go for the exams that assess you correctly.
- The tests should be time-bound to give students a feeling of the real exam: The TOEFL is all about accuracy within a specific timeline. Students are expected to deliver correct answers within a very tight deadline. However, mock tests often fail to replicate that. The time provided by the free ones is often too much or too less. Both of these can be harmful, the former more than the latter. Hence, the time factor must be taken into account before choosing a mock test.
- The test should have accurate answers provided as the solutions: You, as the student appearing for an exam, will like to see where you went wrong. To do this, you will have to check the solutions given after the test. These answers provided by the mock test website can be faulty, hence mitigating wrong knowledge and information. If you find something of this sort while checking your answers, avoid taking a mock test from that website again.
If this article has helped you chose your own way of TOEFL preparation then schedule your TOEFL exam and start preparing. Also, do share it and help others searching for the right guidance to ace the exam.
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