Category Archives: TOEFL

How Many TOEFL Books To Buy

The TOEFL can seem overwhelming—too difficult, too long, too stressful, and too wide-ranging. How do you study for a test that can include almost any English word, doesn’t focus on any specific grammar rules, and includes all four practical skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing)?  It can be so scary that students don’t know how to begin studying.

And often, the very first question students have is what books to buy and how many. After all, how do you start studying before you have your material? And when you buy one book, it’s hard to know whether that will be all you need.

You might know somebody who studied from three, four, or even more books. And if you’re interested in this specific blog article, you might be thinking about doing the same—buying a whole pile of material to work slowly through.

But the truth is that improving your score as much as possible isn’t about just buying lots and lots of TOEFL books. Quantity of practice is important, in a way, but quality is more important. In other words, it’s important that you are practicing with good material and you are learning from it. If you don’t learn from the material, then it’s just a waste of time.

So don’t buy many books just because you want a high score. It’s not that simple. Continue reading

How Much Time You Have for the TOEFL Essays

The writing section of the TOEFL iBT includes two essays: one is “integrated” (based on what you read from a text and hear in a recording of a lecture on the same topic), and the other is “independent” (involving only writing without any reading or listening). 

Both are very short. You only have 20 minutes to write the integrate essay and 30 minutes to write the independent essay. How much can you write in 30 minutes? Not a lot, I imagine.

And it’s even more difficult than that. You’re not just writing, but also planning and editing in that short time. Trust me when I say that planning helps. It doesn’t have to be a lot of planning—no more than a couple of minutes—but students who think of the structure of their essay before they begin to write are usually also students who get higher TOEFL scores. Continue reading

GRE Preparation Tips

Fall 2014 Applicant’s Story: What did I learn? Part – 2

So continuing the second part of Fall 2014 Applicant’s Story: What did I learn?

6. Projects

Projects also play an important and a similar role just like the internships. Be it your undergrad projects, or your work projects, more they are synced with your field, better it is. Quality of projects and it’s scope matter a lot too. The technologies used form the yardstick for measuring the quality of your project

7. Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Hmmmm.. Statement of Purpose aka SOP is one of the most important aspects of your application because of one major reason: THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE YOU CAN INTERACT WITH THE ADMISSION COMMITTEE ONE ON ONE. You can talk about anything and everything you wanted to. Your Low GPA, Low AWA score, your achievements, hurdles you faced during your undergrad, your socio-economic background and all. Continue reading

GRE Preparation Tips

Fall 2014 Applicant’s Story: What did I learn? Part – 1

Hello Guys,

I am Adit Popli and I am applying for Computer Science-General for fall 2014. As the admit season for most of the fall 2014 applicants is almost over (though I have six more results pending), I feel it is the right time to create a post, based on my experience, which might help some future aspirants.

I, along with, many others felt that I had a decent enough profile, i.e. good GRE score, decent TOEFL, good internships and projects along with an International Publication. Then, why is it that out of the six results I have received so far, almost all the good universities have rejected my profile and I have only been admitted to okayish universities? I felt that my SOP’s were very good too. Continue reading