A current student in the TOEFL class at EC Toronto talks about preparing to take the TOEFL exam:
At some point in our lives, our expectations are very high: to enter a study program of a well -known university or get a job in a new country, for instance. To get it, all of us have to face an unbearable stage: to demonstrate evidence of English skills at the appropriate level. Therefore, a wide range of tests have been created like Cambridge language exams, IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
At that point, the important question is: how to prepare ourselves to write one of these, for instance, the TOEFL exam and to pass it? Do we need special preparation? For instance, do we need to spend days and hours in a TOEFL class before we book a test?
On one hand, we feel that osmosis in an English environment allows us not only to be prepared for this test but also to enter in a proper way into a culture, a language, a way of life. For instance, we know that when we start to answer funnily to a question or to dream in English, a big leap forward is being done. This is probably the best evidence of English language that we will ever get in Toronto! So why should we need to attend a TOELF class?
On the other hand, we fear that the test would be a demanding exercise. In addition, we know that some people are very successful in testing themselves whereas other people are genetically reluctant to write an exam and to pass it.
Those last people definitely need a TOEFL class, like me. So let me tell you about my experience of attending a TOEFL class for 4 weeks.
Firstly, I have realised, slowly by slowly, that to train in the four distinct areas of the TOEFL – which are the reading, the listening, the speaking and the writing sections -, I need to gain confidence in my ability to succeed. This is the main goal of the TOEFL class I am achieving.
Secondly, I have also realised that I need to be more open to the others. With the other 8 to 10 students each from a different background and origin, age and purpose, I am learning better in a peer to peer learning process than on my own. It is an every day lesson of humility and courage because it is not easy to expose my limits and my errors but I feel that we respect each other: we are able to rejoice our progress together and to laugh at our mistakes.
Thirdly, we are spending together 4 hours every day under the guidance of a prepared teacher. He knows the TOEFL from inside and he is giving us the templates and the tips to perform well. Day by day, I am getting more able to answer the questions, so that the test we have each Friday is becoming less terrifying and even pleasant.
Now, one more question. Is the TOEFL training class enough in order to be prepared for the test? My experience is that, after class, I need to carry on with learning English, doing some exercises, speaking to the air, writing for my own. On that point, I have to confess that most of the time it is hard, just because I am exhausted…Living in another country, learning another language, speaking it all the time leaves me tired and it is normal.
Finally, if I had to make a conclusion of this experience, I should say that attending a TOEFL class is above all a human adventure. As such, it is a success. If the score at the test I have booked for December is not being high enough, I will try again!
Thank you, Albert, for sharing your thoughts with us! Good luck on the TOEFL exam next month!
For more information about classes to prepare for the TOEFL exams at EC Toronto, you can check our website with the link TOEFL – Higher Score Canada