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Author Archive | Rachel Kapelke-Dale

How to Start Your TOEFL Independent Speaking and Writing Responses

While everybody has their own personal preference as to their favorite (or least-favorite) type of speaking and writing prompt, I’ve found that many students struggle with beginning their answers to independent tasks. Although speaking is a different skill than writing, test-takers can waste a good amount of time struggling to begin both speaking and writing […]

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Tricky English Grammar: Commonly Confused Verbs

Let’s face it: Typos happen to everyone. When you’re writing your TOEFL essays on test day, making one or two small spelling mistakes or typing errors probably won’t affect your score. However, once they start to change the meaning of your sentences, these little errors can start adding up big-time. While your scorers won’t know […]

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Little Things That Make a Big Difference to Your Score: Speaking and Writing Conclusions

Let’s start with the good news: Unlike exams in your English class, the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL won’t automatically take points away from you if you make a little mistake, or even a handful of them. The bad news, though, is that while these sections of the TOEFL are graded holistically, or […]

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Little Things That Make a Big Difference to Your Score: The Articles ‘A’, ‘An’, and ‘The’

Although the TOEFL speaking and writing sections are graded holistically–meaning that you’re scored on the overall quality of your response and don’t lose points for any specific error–it’s important to remember that it’s the little things that add up to the ”overall quality of your response”! In a previous post from this series, I discussed […]

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Little Things That Make a Big Difference to Your Score: The Letter S

It’s important to master the basics of the TOEFL to lay the groundwork for your best score. However, most students will find that, at some point or another, they hit a plateau–that is, they keep getting stuck at the same score on practice tests, making the same kinds of mistakes, finding themselves unable to push […]

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Spontaneous Speaking: How to Give Your Best Answers Under Time Pressure

When that clock starts ticking down from :15 or :30 on the TOEFL speaking section, a lot of test-takers panic. Maybe they hadn’t considered this particular question before. Maybe they didn’t fully understand the question. Maybe they’ve been asked for an opinion (independent tasks, anyone?) about an issue on which they just don’t have an […]

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Meet Rachel Kapelke-Dale, our newest blogger!

Hello, all! I’m Rachel Kapelke-Dale, and I’m thrilled to be joining the Magoosh team as a TOEFL blogger. I can’t wait to begin helping you achieve your goals; I’ll start posting TOEFL tips over the next few days. Before that, though, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself. I started teaching English […]

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