TOEFL “School Life” Vocabulary Review

Today, we’ll review eight “school life” terms that you can use to discuss choices, opportunities, and long-term planning on campus.. I’ll give you short definitions and example sentences. Next, I’ll show you how these terms might be used in real campus speech through a comic strip.

  • Well rounded: Having a good amount of variety or a good balance of different things

    Example use: Try to write essays on as many different subjects as possible; professors like to see well-rounded writing.

  • Broad range: A group of things that are varied and different from each other

    Example use: This campus has international students from a broad range of countries, including Latin American, East Asian, and Middle Eastern countries.

  • Take advantage of: Use the opportunities one is given OR unfairly use a person or thing for one’s own benefit

    Example use: Take advantage of the education you are getting, so that no one can take advantage of you and make you accept a low-paying job.

  • Versus: Opposing each other. In sports, this can be abbreviated as “vs.”

    Example use: I really want to go to the Colorado Nebraska football game on campus, but I’m trying to decide between doing my homework versus going to the game.

  • Core curriculum: The most important classes in a degree or major

    Example use: The core curriculum of my world history degree includes a general writing course and some courses that focus on the two World Wars.

  • Practical training/skills: Training or skills that help someone do something important or necessary

    Example use: The Academic Skills Center on campus can give you practical training for school life. You’ll learn practical skills like note-taking and time management.

  • Workforce: A group of people that work

    Example use: I can’t wait to join the workforce after I graduate. I hope I get a job in the software workforce, because I’m majoring in computer science.

  • Better off: In a better situation or making a better choice

    Example use: After you graduate, you will be better off moving to a bigger city that has more jobs.

Now, read this comic about “Vermin U,” a special university for rats and cockroaches. Notice the way the characters use the words above.


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[UPDATE]: If you want more TOEFL comics like these, check out our 50 page TOEFL Comics eBook!




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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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