How tough is the TOEFL exam?
Posted on July 13, 2020
Before taking the test, many test-takers wonder about the difficulty level of the TOEFL. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that question. TOEFL is a language test and real research has proved that it is very difficult to scientifically determine the difficulty level of a language.
Let us look at the four sections of the TOEFL exam to help you assess the difficulty level of the exam.
According to a study in 2012, this higher level of difficulty of the TOEFL is due to the academic vocabulary, especially with the scientific articles. However, on the other hand, that also does not mean that the TOEFL will always be harder for you. The fact that TOEFL only talks about academic subjects and use university-level academic vocabulary may work in your favor depending on your native language.
TOEFL papers can be harder to read than conversational English because of the academic vocabulary. But if you want to be effective in reading TOEFL, you should be able to read academic papers at about the same speed as if you were reading conversational English on a daily basis. You need to read about 750 words within 20 minutes and answer 14 multiple choices.
Too many people listening is the most difficult section because of two key things. During the listening section, the recordings are usually slower than natural voice. But besides speed, everything else about the conversations and speech is completely natural.
Some recordings are short, some long. Regardless of the duration of the tapes, you only get to listen once. You will have to take notes while paying full attention to the recording. And sometimes, it’s harder to pay attention to the entire period of time when the recordings are too long.
Speaking and writing section
Not only does the TOEFL expect you to speak or write well, but they also assess your ability to receive information through other skills and process the information into speeches and essays. And the second explanation of why it’s difficult to assess the degree of complexity of these two parts is that there is no correct and wrong answer. It all depends on how you get your responses organized.
Each section has its difficulty level, but getting through the TOEFL exam with a good score requires a holistic approach where you should equally prepare for all the sections so that you get a good overall score.
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