TOEFL test preparation



 Hi friends,


Back in February, I wrote a post about my experiences as an international student in New York.
Today, I will respond a comment that a reader, Agata, left on my post about the TOEFL test. :]


Just to give you a brief description, the TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English
at the university level (it evaluates how well you combine your
listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic
tasks.) The TOEFL test is required for international students at most American universities.



”Hi Li, I read your blog! Its gorgeous how long you’ve been writing about your life
here:) You see, u regret a little that u didn’t come here before
high school ! So I guess I can say the same thing because I came here after finishing High School. Yes, we
would have saved a lot time for our current goals; but who knew…?
Nobody can predict the future:(  Maybe is finally time for forget!
2-5-even-10 years in comparison to our whole lives is just a little bit:)  

BTW Your blog is very interesting and it is easy to read, but,  to be honest, it was not that easy to read (for me). Soo here I
have a lot of questions: 

1. How did you improve your English? Do you have
any special way or course which u can recommend? 2.When was the first time that you started thinking about studying here and how many time did you need
to prepare yourself for the TOEFL exam? 

3.Everything about TOEFL exam: Did you
take classes before the exam? It was during the time when u were an Au-pair? How was your level of English when u came here? How many points u needed
to get accepted to college? It was really difficult? 

4.When you pass exam what is
next…? They need from you any extra exams or credits? I know that every school have its own application process
and I know I can find everything on-line, but just I would like to know
how it was  from a student perspective. 

5. Money, money, money…How much
do you need study here? And Do u know if the financial assistance and
work on campus can help with pay for school? If you are citizen
the price is very low, but how about the recruitment. They are
supposed to have a credits from courses, classes what exactly? I will come up with more questions but maybe it is enough for now. Hope to see your answer to my comments on your
blog:)”



Hi Agata! First of all, thanks for your kind comments about my blog. I really appreciate it and hopefully you continue to read my posts. I am trying to be more active here but sometimes life gets a little crazy…haha I am happy that you are interested about the TOEFL test and college admissions process. It is a bureaucratic process but definitely worth at the end. I will answer you questions one by one and if you need to know something else, you can leave a comment and I try to get back to you as soon as possible.


1. How did you improve your English? Do you have
any special way or course which u can recommend? 



 As soon as I moved to the U.S, I started studying English at Drew University (Madison-NJ). After a year there, I started taking TOEFL classes in at a school called ALCC. In my learning process, there were a few things that helped me. Watching movies, TV series and news (with NO captions -remember that is how we learn as babies 😉 ) In addition, I signed up for random activities and classes. There is a website called Meetup that offers a lot of groups and meetings. Just pick your groups of interest and meet people that share the same interests! YouTube is also a great learning source,you can find a lot of video classes there. Websites such as Livemocha and Busuu are a wonderful resource for beginners. Last thing is to speak a lot, to everyone, everywhere. You can’t and you shouldn’t be shy.    



2.When was the first
time that you started thinking about studying here and how much time did
you need
to prepare yourself for the TOEFL exam? 



I started thinking about going to college here during my Au Pair year. It was probably around my seventh or eighth month.For the test, I prepared myself for almost 4 months, but I would highly recommend people to take classes for at least a year if your English level is not that good.


3.Everything about
TOEFL exam: Did you
take classes before the exam? It was during the time when u were an
Au-pair? How was your level of English when u came here? How many points
u needed
to get accepted to college? It was really difficult? 



 As I answered previously, I took classes during a period of 4 months. When I took the test, I wasn’t an Au Pair anymore. My English level it was ok; I could read and engage in a basic conversation but it was very limited. Every college has its own standards for the TOEFL test. The TOEFL (online based test) has a total score of  120 points. In order to apply for my college, they asked for at least 45 points (which is very low because it is a community college). I got 98 points. Universities like Columbia or Harvard ask for a minimum of 100-110 points. The test is divided in 4 sections; reading, writing, listening and speaking and usually it has a duration of 4 hours. Oh, and no, it is not that easy. haha remember it is academic English level (there are texts and words there I have never heard! Super tricky to be honest)


 4.When you pass exam what is
next…? They need from you any extra exams or credits? I know that every school have its own application process
and I know I can find everything on-line, but just I would like to know
how it was  from a student perspective. 



The exam does not guarantee your acceptance at the college you are applying. Every college has a different admission process. In my college, I had to send my TOEFL score, fill out forms, send my official high school transcript (which is done by WES) and my transcript from my previous college. When I got the acceptance letter, I had to send my Immunization records, my sponsor (dad) forms and  my sponsor (dad) taxes and assets in order to get my i-20 (most important document for international students).


 5. Money, money, money…How much
do you need study here? And Do u know if the financial assistance and
work on campus can help with pay for school? If you are citizen
the price is very low, but how about the recruitment. They are
supposed to have a credits from courses, classes what exactly?



It really depends on the college you are going to. In my college it is about $9000 a year. Some colleges have a payment plan called Sallie Mae or other plan. Sallie Mae plan allow students to make monthly payments for the semester. Finding a job on campus is really hard and you can only work 20 hours a week. Usually college assistants make $8 -10 dollars per hour ($160- $200/week) so this is not enough to pay all your expenses. We are required by law to maintain a course load of 12 credits per semester, some classes have 3 credits, some have 2,etc. You have to combine classes and have A MINIMUM of 12 credits in total. When you are registering for classes, you will be able to see how many credits each class has, the credits are based on how many hours the class meets during the week.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s