TOEFL Listening: Getting Ready

Let’s take a break from our focus on Reading and start thinking about the Listening section of the exam.  Before getting into the particulars of the types of listening and the questions that appear on the exam, I’d like to begin by framing the issue of listening in terms of training.  Many of you may only have a more or less solid plan to do the exam in the coming months.  However, it’s never too early to begin training yourself to listen regularly to advanced, informationally dense material, increasing the time and frequency of your listening as the exam date approaches.  What I will present below then is the outlines of a listening training program that should have your listening skills in optimum condition before starting the focused TOEFL preparation.

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TOEFL Reading – Vocabulary Questions

There is a tendency to be fatalistic about the vocabulary questions in the TOEFL Reading section: you either know the word or not, and if you don’t, play the TOEFL lottery and guess.  While I can symapthize with the frustration, there are a number of things students can do to maximize the possibiltiy of answering correctly when they don’t perfectly know the vocabulary words in the text or answers.  Let’s go over some of the key strategies.

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