Tips for Toefl

By Floyd Lawrence,2014-01-17 07:21
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Tips for Toefl

    Reading Part

    Pattern of questions:

    1) Detail;

    2) Reference;

    3) Context;

    4) Lead word;

    5) Paraphrase;

    6) Definition;

    7) Before/After;

    8) Sentence Insertion;

    9) Except;

    10) Inference;

    11) Summary;

    12) Organization;

    13) Rhetoric;


    1) Don’t try to understand every detail of the essay.

    Read the first paragraph and every first sentence for every paragraph so that

    understand the main idea and organization of this essay; Spend less than 2


    2) For every question, read it carefully and find the key words of the question; locate

    the position of this key word and read the 4-5 lines around it; answer the question

    by your own words; use POE to find the best answer.

    3) For context question, find the answer with the relationship, such as be or

    appositive adjective clause or phrase, list or series, examples, contrast,

    punctuation, keywords etc.

    4) When guessing the context question, put the same first character answer as the


    5) For paraphrase question, trim the sentence and exclude the answer with new

    information and different subjects.

    6) For inference question, you should realize the answer must be true, not could be


    7) For except question, find the key words for each choice, locate them in the essay

    and find every choice right or wrong.

    8) For rhetoric question, pay attention to the logical relationship between the key

    word and its context.

    ; Illustrate: 说明;图解 examples or comparisons;

    ; Demonstrate: 证明;演示 reasoning or adducing evidence by experiment

    / examples;

    ; Identify: 识别;鉴别;确定?

    ; Trace: 描述?

    ; Caution: 警告?

    9) For summary question, use POE rule that

    ; Not minor idea or supporting details;

    ; Not inaccurate or untrue;

    ; Not irrelevant or not mentioned;

Listening part

[Lecture’s Structure]:


    Purpose of the lecture;

    Details and examples;


    Questions or comments;

[Conversation’s Structure]:


    Statement of the problem / issue; Response;


    [Type of the lecture]: Compare / contrast;

    Cause-and-Effect relationship; Abstract category / Specific examples; Sequences;

    [Type of the conversation]: Problem / Solution;

    Service encounter;

    Significant Event;

    [Tips when listening]: Find the main idea or purpose; Focus on the structure;

    Listen for tone and attitude; Pay attention to transition; Don’t try to do too much;

    Balance the note;

[Tone and attitude]:

    Objective / subjective / inquisitive; Excited / disappointed or upset; Uncertain confused;


    Reversal Transitions;

    Negation Transitions;

[Type of questions]:

    Main idea: (POE: too specific; too broad; not mention; too good to select); locate at the beginning of the essay;

    Detail: Major points; (POE: too extreme; contrary to the main idea); Purpose: (POE: new ideas; contrary to main idea);


    Inference or suggestion:


[Pay attention to these details]:

    1) 听到什么;选择什么?

    2) Suggestion;

    You should / I suggest / I propose / I recommend / had better to do something / be

    better off doing something / how about / what about / why not / why dont you / if

    I were you, I would / wouldnt / would it make things so faster if you / Maybe /

    Perhaps you / how does sounds?

    3) Emphasize:

    Indeed / certainly / just remember / and again / special feature / most importantly /

    one thing I should mention / Make / Be sure to

    4) Cause-and-Effect relationship:

    Why would this happen? What is the reason for this? How could this happen?

    What lead to this? Cause / result / produce / lead / bring / responsible / attribute /

    Due to / since / as / for / owing to / thereby / hereby / thus / as a result / hence /


    5) 转折?

    Nevertheless / however / while / except for / unless / yet / actually / in fact / to tell

    you the truth / practically / virtually / as a matter of fact

    6) 开头Topic

    7) 重复?

    8) 尾巴?

    9) 人名?

    10) Compare / Contrast:

    Several theories / possible explanations / many different views;

    Similarly / on the other hand / on contrast / however / additionally / also

Speaking Part Integrated Speaking

    03 Reading + Listening + Speaking about campus life


    [Reading]: 75-100 words; opinions + 2 reasons;

    [Listening]: 60-80 seconds; one person has a strong opinion about the issue and gives 2 to 3 reasons;

    [Speaking]: The first sentence about the issue red and give the opinion about the person; the second part is his/her reasons about his/her opinion;


    The university gave a proposal about … and the man/woman didn’t support it / agree with that very much. The first reason is that …. The second reason is that ….

    04 Reading + Listening + Speaking about academic issue


    [Reading]: expert on life science, social science, physical science and humanities; 75-100 words; definition/principle/process/lecture that discusses a specific

    instance/counterexample of the principle/process or problem/lecture that presents the success, failure, unintended consequences of an attempt to solve the problem. [Listening]:

    [Speaking]: explain principle/ process using specific information from listening; or explain the attempt to solve the problem and account for its results;


    The topic in the reading passages is that …

    The professor gives two examples to demonstrate ….

    / He gives two examples to illustrate its benefits, in the first example …; in the second example … The result is that …

    /He gives an example o illustrate that … In the example, on the one hand, … ; on the other hand …

05 Listening + speaking about campus life

    [Listening]: One person has a problem and another person gives 2-3 suggestions [Speaking]: The man encounter a problem that … and his friends gives him several stndpossible suggestions. [1 suggestion] and [2 suggestion]. As far as I am concerned, I stndprefer to [1/2 suggestion]. The first reason is that … and the second reason is that….

06 Listening about the academic issue

    [Listening]: expert on life science, social science, physical science and humanities; 60-90 seconds;

    [Speaking]: explain the main concept or issue of the lecture, using points and examples that were given in the lecture; if it is process, explain it by describing some of its functions; if it is theory, explain it by describing its applications; if it is phenomenon, explain it through examples that illustrate its causes or effects.

    [Pay attention]: try to identify the main idea. Don’t try to catch all of the details provided. You need only enough details so that you can talk for a minute.


    1) State main idea: The professor argue that … st2) Reason 1: The 1 reason given by professor is that

    3) Detail for reason 1

    4) Link between reason 1 and the main idea

    5) Reason 2: Further more,

    6) Detail for reason 2

    7) Link between reason 2 and the main idea


    Objects: problems, opinions, personal preference

    One aspect of; one characteristic of; one quality of; one issue; one feature; one attribute; one element; one thing.


    According to the reading/ lecture/ speaker,


    In contrast to; one difference between; unlike; one distinction between; dissimilarly, one disagreement between; one inconsistency between; one point at issue is;


    Argue; define; illustrate; prove; caution; describe; introduce; show; classify; emphasize; persuade; summarize; compare; explain; point out; support; contrast; give examples; praise; trace; criticize; identify; predict; warn; demonstrate.

[Words that indicates preference]:

    Favorite, best, most, better, superior, favorable; worse, less, inferior, worst, least;

[Template for independent speaking]


    She is a good listener. I can talk with her about a lot of things, my research, my study, my friends.

    She always gives me some advice on how to get along with friends with different background, how to plan for the future and how to choose a part-time job.

She cares about me very much.

    He is always a history maker. He is the only person who had won the French Bycicle race seven times.

    He has a great determination and mental strength. He has been diagnosed with cancer, but he kept on training and never slowed it down. Finally, he won the coming competition.

    His stories, especially his great will power encourage me profoundly.

    One of the characteristic I would like most is honesty. Honesty is the foundation of the friendship. I can’t image friends cheated mutually and there was no trust between them, how could they make friends?

    Another important characteristic, I think, is forgiveness. There exists so many misunderstanding among persons. If friends couldn’t forgive each other, how would they develop their friendships?


    Computer provides us a brand new way of communication. It is fast, cheap and convenient. Beyond the geographical distance, we can communicate with each other in any place, at any time.

    Computer brings about a large amount of information everyday. It allows us to collect useful information in second.

    Computer offers us diverse kinds of entertainment. We can listen to music, watch movies and play games on computers.

    Making such a decision really needs courage since I will go to and live in another country, far from home, alone.

    I am sure this decision will be critical one for me because I will have the chance to experience another kind of culture, totally different from my country.

I will become more independent.

    Piphi is an incredible friend, very affectionate and caring. Whenever you come home, he will always there to appreciate your back.

    He understands me and reads me very well. Once I did badly in a contest and felt very frustrated. He came to me, lacking my face and saying it’s ok. Of course, he can’t speak, but by staring into his eyes, I can communicate with him deep into heart, deeper even than my best friend in the real world. When I hold him in my arm, I learn that even though I lost the whole world, piphi would be with me.


    My high school graduation is the most memorable event in my life because it was such a special day. During our graduation, we were each called up one at a time to the stage and then received our diploma. Everyone applauded our hard work.

    I was even rewarded as the best math student. There was a get-together afterwards which was attended by all my friends and family. It was memorable because on that day I ended one part of my life and embarked on the beginning of my future.


    Switzerland in picture is very beautiful. Postcard of Switzerland show snowcapped mountains. I like to hike and mountains capture my interest. There are a lot of plants, trees and flowers and sometimes I can see songbirds and some small animals, like rabbits, squirrels.

    I had red Hedi when I was little. I had dreamed of living the country where the writer lives. It would be so excited when I saw a goat in the snow mountain.

    So the beauty of snow and mountain is the main reason why I like living in the Switzerland.

    It holds its name because it looks just like a pretty woman who is looking at the remote mountains. It’s attractive to me because it’s so mysterious like holding a secret.

    On my birthday of 13 years old, I went to climb this mountain with one of my best friend. We nearly gave up because of the difficulty of climbing up. However, finally we did it. When we got the top of this mountain, we were so excited and shouted to the sky: we are the king of the mountain. Then we sat on the top of this mountain, sharing my birthday cake. My friend gave me a telescope as a gift. I began to grow up there. It’s just like our second home and it always reminds me of the sweetest memory in my childhood.


    1) avoid to speak Em.

    2) For preference part, I suggest that you should prepare it as soon as you see the

    question, not when you listen the question, so that you have more time to prepare.

    Meanwhile, I think you needn’t choose the prefect one to argue, just choose the

    one you see at the first sight.

Writing Part Integrated

    [Reading]: main idea about doing with some policy or practice or some position on an issue; about proposing some overall hypothesis about the way some process or procedure works or should work.; how some natural phenomenon is believe to work; [Listening]: information, examples or explanations that make points in the reading passage;

[Template for independent writing]

[Good beginning]

    I appreciate all the three qualities in my friends. It is important for that my friends are intelligent because I value intellectual conversation on meaningful topics. On the other hand, a friend with sense of humor can entertain and understands how to ease my sorrow by making me laugh in the difficulty times. However, only the reliable friend, with the virtue of dependability and royalty, is guaranteed to stand by me in the difficulty times.


    A good co-worker should have a sense of humor. Working at any companies, every employee is stressful. Even though everyone should work hard, it does not mean that work can not be fun. Since co-workers spend so much time together, being able to joke and laugh each other is so important to make the work atmosphere easier. If one person is perceived as a humorless workaholic, s/he will not be able to get along with the others. It will hurt the team-spirit, not only irritate the people around him/her, but also damage the company’s high morale.


    However, my third friend and I were able to rely on each other. We overcame our common frustrations and fears by completing the work we set out to do. During those long evening when the work seemed unbearable we cheered each other up and kept working hard. Meanwhile, our intelligent friend was minding her own business and our humorous friend was making somebody else laugh.

[Tomas Edison]

    Throughout history, there have been thousands and thousands of inventors, prophets and visionaries who had dramatically affected the way we live today. If I could choose one of these ones meeting, I would choose Tomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors I respect.

    The great inventor had invented thousands of useful products which are still used today, some famous ones of which are phonograph, storage batteries, telegraph systems and a wide variety of products, To have invented such a diverse range of items, Edison must be a brilliant person. I would greatly meet him and discuss some of his ideas with him. I am sure such a meeting should be a great inspiration and perhaps lead me some inventions of my own.

One of Edison’s projects is a working version of electric car. If he had continued to work

    on his invention instead of working on something else, and if his invention had been successful, the world would have no pollution problem that is widely present today. If I could meet him, perhaps I would convince him that, for the sake of the future generations, he should not give up on this idea.


    1) 个人感觉写作部分;多默写范文是个好办法。

[Tips for all parts of the exam]:

2) Just concentrate on the test and try you best, and not take care of the score during

taking test.

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