Test Day Advice for TOEFL

This is the time of the year when many students, especially international, are preparing for TOEFL and are scheduled to take the test between July and October. It’s advisable to register for the test as early as possible because there’s a huge rush for registration and slots get filled up very quickly. Traveling to another city to take the TOEFL (like I had to) can be a lot of hassle and may waste precious time that you could have put towards the test preparation.

The Day Before the Test

You have spent weeks in rigorous preparation, practiced reading, writing, listening and speaking thoroughly in the last couple of months leading to the test. Give yourself a break the day before you take the TOEFL. I advice everyone to take full length tests, one each day, in the week leading to your test day. TOEFL is a lengthy exam and you must familiarize yourself with the test patterns, timings and length before attempting the final one. Concentrating for four hours or more, reading constantly from a computer screen is no easy task so I strongly suggest taking 4 or more full length tests in your last week.

The day before your test DO NOT try to cram anything or practice anything. I would advice giving yourself a break the evening before, relaxing a little and spending some time calming down-listen to some music, read a book, watch a movie, go out and meet friends . Whatever you do should soothe your nerves instead of tensing them up. Don’t look at books, learn new words or take a practice test. You don’t want your brain in overdrive mode the evening before you take the TOEFL.

Eat a light, healthy, non-greasy meal and hit the bed early. Pack your id and registration confirmation that you need to take for the test. Get at least 6 hours of sleep! Lack of sleep will make you feel tired and hamper your concentration. Rest well to wake up fresh to face the day ahead!

The D-Day

Arrive on time and with proper documentation at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start. ETS is very strict about having your proper identification in order. You may be sent back if you’re not carrying the appropriate identification. On the day I took TOEFL one guy turned up without his registered ID and was not allowed to take the test.

They don’t allow you to carry anything electronic, metallic and edible foodstuff inside the testing centre. So I suggest either not carrying your mobile phone, wrist watch and pens or leaving them if someone is waiting. A few test centers may have locker facilities where you can store your stuff. Once you take your seat after the requisite verification and confirmation, test your microphone and ensure all things are in order. It’s important to read all instructions on the screen, no matter even if you know them by heart. The agency officials usually distribute paper and pencils prior to the start of the test.

Once you’re all set, begin the TOEFL.

Have a look at what ETS tell you about “What to Bring on Test Day”.

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  • Omanjana

    Omanjana is the Magoosh TOEFL Student Blogger. She is a graduate student from India moving to the US in the fall to pursue her doctoral studies in Environmental Science at Rutgers. Each week, she writes posts about her experience with the TOEFL and US admissions!