Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Best Books for Toefl Preparation

“How do I prepare for the TOEFL exam?”

This may be the first question you are asking yourself after you officially decide you are going to take the TOEFL. With all the resources and study materials, one would think that studying for the TOEFL would be fairly easy. Unfortunately for a lot of students, this is not the case: a lot get overwhelmed with the large selection of books, online resources, and practice tests. It’s understandable considering there is so much out there!

To help reduce the stress, we’ve put together a list of the best and most recommended study materials for the TOEFL. If we missed anything specific or you have a resource you would like to suggest, be sure to comment below. Happy studying!

TIP: Before looking into study materials, it’s probably best to get familiar with the test itself. If you want to know more about the TOEFL and the breakdown of the test, be sure to check out one of our past blog posts, ‘Getting to Know: TOEFL’.

1. TOEFL iBT: The Official ETS Study Guide
Educational Testing Service

The title says it all: this is the official guide to the TOEFL. It was written by the ETS (Educational Testing Service), which is the organization that administers the TOEFL, as well as a variety of other student tests. Considering this, it’s safe to say that you’ll be provided with test questions and examples that are as similar as possible to those found on the test. It contains a lot of test examples, which are great if you want to practice by pretending to take a real test in the comfort of your own home. Students have said that that it focuses mainly on the reading and listening sections. Unfortunately, this means that there is little focus on the writing and speaking elements, with only one or two sets of speaking/writing practice questions. Overall, a great resource!

2. Delta's Key to the TOEFL iBT: Advanced Skill Practice
Nancy Gallagher

This book is aimed towards English speakers of an intermediate to high level, giving advanced practice skills. The book comes with an audio CD containing over 9 hours of audio, to ensure the listening component of the test is mastered. It is also one of the less expensive options, considering it comes with the answer key, audio CD, and four full length practice tests all included.

3. The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test iBT Edition
Bruce Rogers

Readers agree that this is another great resource, as it gives an abundance of information and examples that are very similar to those found on the test. Apparently there is a lot of focus on developing the skills needed to take the test before actually giving example questions and practice tests, which is great and will surely benefit in the long run. The only downfall is the price. The book is a bit more expensive than the others, and there are also other resources that are recommended to be paired with the book (a CD, an answer key). However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra on achieving the best score possible, it is worth it according to reviews!

Gmat Scoring

Resource for the latter material GMAT scoring. It contains a large material free GMAT scoring and the free IELTS preparation materials, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, English grammar and other English tests.
The Graduate Management Admission Test GMAT gives four scores: Verbal, Quantitative, Total and analytical writing assessment. Each of these scores is reported on a fixed scale and will appear on the official reports GMAT score.

GMAT score report
Score reports include all your GMAT test scores during the past five (5) years. Contact and demographic information that was required to register for the test will also appear on your transcript.

Digital photography that you provided at the test center will be sent with your transcript score recipients you select, if these beneficiaries have asked to receive such information. In addition, if you provide the following basic information on registration or the day of the test, it can also appear on your transcript: telephone number; undergraduate institution, grade point average (GPA), major, and graduation date; for higher education; and the highest level of schooling. This information is self-reported and will be marked as such.

For each of your GMAT test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical Total Assessment of writing), you will receive a percentile rank. Each row shows the percentage of examinees who got below you based on the scores of all of the GMAT test population for the most recent three-year period. Your percentile rank may change from year to year. However, your scaled score never changes.

Total, verbal and quantitative scores
Total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. Two-thirds of those tested get between 400 and 600.

The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60. Scores below 9 above and 44 verbal section or below 7 and 50 above for the quantitative section are rare. The two scores are on a fixed scale and can be compared across all GMAT test administrations. The Verbal and Quantitative scores measure different constructs and can not be compared.

Please note that if you do not finish in the allotted time, you will always receive scores as long as you worked on each section. However, your scores will be calculated based on the number of questions answered, and your score will decrease significantly each question unanswered.

Analytical Writing Assessment Score
The analytical writing assessment score (AWA) is an average of the scores given to the analysis of an issue and analysis of a section of arguments.
Each answer is given two independent evaluations. After two tries were scored, the scores are averaged to provide an overall score. AWA scores range 0-6 in the semi-colons.

Writing scores are calculated separately from the multiple-choice scores and have no effect on the verbal, quantitative, or total scores.

How AWA is marked
Each of your tests in the AWA section will be given two independent evaluations, one of which can be performed by an automated essay-scoring engine. The motor-automated test scoring is an electronic system that evaluates more than 50 structural and linguistic features, including the organization of ideas, syntactic variety and news analysis.
If the two assessments differ by more than one point, another evaluation by an expert reader is required to resolve the discrepancy and determine the final score.

Faculty members at colleges and universities trained as readers AWA consider the following:

the overall quality of your ideas on the issue and arguments

your overall ability to organize, develop and express ideas
the reasons and relevant examples to support you used

your ability to control the elements of standard written English

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