TOEFL Listening Tips

TOEFL Listening: I couldn’t agree more…

Over the years, many people have asked me about this type of TOEFL Listening Comprehension question.

So, here’s what you need to know, with a detailed explanation of why.

But first, let’s see some examples of the type of question we will be looking at:

Example #1

W: This coffee is really terrible.
M: I couldn’t agree more.
N: What does the man mean?

(A) He would like more coffee.
(B) He thinks the woman should complain.
(C) He also dislikes the coffee.
(D) He thinks the coffee is acceptable.

Example #2

W: This is just about the worst coffee I’ve ever had.
M: I couldn’t agree less.
N: What does the man mean?

(A) He would like more coffee.
(B) He thinks the woman should complain.
(C) He also dislikes the coffee.
(D) He thinks the coffee does not taste bad.

Example #3

M: Hey, I heard you tried that new Japanese restaurant around the corner. How was it?
W: Couldn’t have been better!
N: What does the woman mean?

(A) She has not been to the restaurant yet.
(B) She enjoyed the restaurant very much.
(C) She thinks that some of the menu items are better than others.
(D) She plans to eat at the restaurant soon.

Example #4

W: Justine, Joanna told me that you’d seen the student sculpture exhibit on the quad. What’d you think of it?
W: I’ve seen better!
N: What does Justine mean?

(A) The exhibit is not as impressive as other exhibits that she has seen.
(B) She was not able to see the exhibit.
(C) It was difficult to enjoy the exhibit.
(D) Her eyes are troubling her.

Example #5

W: Carl, how you feeling today?
M: Couldn’t be better!
N: What does the man mean?

(A) He feels great.
(B) She was not able to see the exhibit.
(C) It was difficult to enjoy the exhibit.
(D) Her eyes are troubling her.

Why They’re Confusing

These questions are confusing mainly because they introduce two or three elements to think of. In other words, the overall meaning of the statement is dependent on evaluating one thing in relation to another. The trickiest ones are the ones that use a negative such as not in the sentence. But don’t worry, if you have a hard time with these questions, it means simply that you are normal–the human brain, no matter what language it is familiar with, is not wired to process negatives and double negatives quickly.

Let’s look at a “progression” of statements to put these ideas into context. I will use the simulated TOEFL question about Carl, and how he feels today:

Statement: I feel very good today.

Meaning: I feel very good today.

Discussion: Easy, right? Right! This is a very normal sentence for us, for our brains, and for our language.

Okay, let’s make this one a bit harder…

Statement: I feel better today than I felt yesterday.

Meaning: My mood today > My mood yesterday. Or, today is good; yesterday was not so good.

Discussion: Still easy, right? Right! We are comparing moods for two days–the mood for today is better than that of yesterday. So far, so good, right?

Statement: Today I could feel better.

Meaning: I could feel better today. Therefore, today my mood is not perfect, since there is still some room for improvement.

Discussion: Getting a little bit harder now, but if you understand the sentence “I could feel better” , then you’re almost there! Remember your modals–could is often used to express the idea that you have the ability to do something, even if you haven’t done it.

Statement: Today I could not feel better.

Meaning: Today I feel perfect.

Discussion:There is no more room for improvement. Having a better mood is not possible. Therefore, I can say that today my mood is perfect. Therefore, I could not feel better today.

Test Explanation

The key here is to realize that when we hear something like “I could not feel better,” or “I could not feel worse,” we are saying that we are already at a limit–either the minimum or the maximum. So, if I say that I could not feel better, I’m feeling “perfect,” (okay, that’s not really possible in the real world, but we’re talking about language here). And if I’m sick with the flu, I just lost my job, and my dog just bit me, I can say “I could not feel worse,” meaning that I’m already at the limit. Remember, if you’re all the way at the bottom, you can’t get any lower. And if you’re already at the top, you can’t get any higher!

posted by beasiswa at 10:33 AM 0 comments

TestMagic TOEFL Sentences

Tips and tricks on TOEFL TEST

TestMagic TOEFL Sentences

These sentences will help you remember grammar rules. Try it!

Each of the following sentences is written to isolate a certain grammar point. In his years of teaching, Erin has noticed that each of these grammar points causes problems for both TOEFL test-takers and learners of English as another language. Erin has written some easy-to-remember sentences that will help you remember the grammar rules that are keeping your TOEFL grammar scores low.

Quiz: See how you do!

Choose the best answer for each of the following questions. There is only one correct answer choice for each. You will need to write down your answers for this quiz; it is NOT a computer test.

Have fun!

1. ______ not very healthy.

A Eaten cookies is

B Eating cookies are

C Eating cookies which are

D Eating cookies is

2. Your job is ______ your TOEFL score.

A working hard and raising

B which works hard and raising

C worked hard and raised

D to work hard and raise

3. The population of the US is ______.

A greater than Canada

B more than the population Canada

C greater than that of Canada

D greater than Canada’s one

4. You make ______.

A me happily

B me happy

C happy me

D me to happy

5. Mother Theresa dedicated ______ the poor.

A her life and helped

B her life to helping

C her help and life

D to help

6. The guy ______ my brother.

A you saw was

B that saw

C who saw

D that saw you

7. You are the first person ______ I am funny.

A to tell me

B telling me that

C who telling me

D that tells me to be

8. ______ pretty funny.

A You said

B You said that

C What you said was

D The thing

9. ______ a new student.

A The room came

B The room came into

C Into the room came

D Came into the room

10. Robin Hood stole from ______ poor.

A rich and gave

B the rich and gave to the

C the rich and giving

D rich and the

Check your answers

posted by beasiswa at 10:31 AM 1 comments

Overview: The new Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)

May be you know about New IBT. The new Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) will include
– a new Speaking Section,
– twice the number of essays
– integrated skills testing
– will be one hour longer.

The TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The test helps students demonstrate that they have the English skills needed for success.

What Is the Benefit of An Internet-based Test?

TOEFL iBT emphasizes integrated skills and provides better information to institutions about students’ ability to communicate in an academic setting and their readiness for academic coursework. With Internet-based testing, ETS can capture speech and score responses in a standardized manner.

Online registration and online score reporting make it easier for students to REGISTER for TOEFL iBT and receive their test scores.

When Will TOEFL iBT Be Available?

ETS is introducing the new test in phases.
United States (excluding U.S. Territories) September 24, 2005
Canada, France, Germany, Italy October 22, 2005
Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands November 4, 2005
American Samoa November 5, 2005
Guam March 18, 2006
Worldwide In 2006

A complete schedule will be available on this Web site by October 1, 2005.

What Is Happening To The Current TOEFL Tests?

The computer- and paper-based (CBT, PBT) versions of the TOEFL test will be given at a particular location until the Internet-based version is implemented.

How Can I Learn More About TOEFL iBT?

* Take the TOEFL iBT Tour at

* Read the TOEFL iBT frequently asked questions at

* Take a practice test at TOEFL Practice Online at

Why Take the TOEFL Test?

Most people take the TOEFL test as a prerequisite for admission into colleges and universities where English is used or required. In addition, many government, licensing, and certification agencies and exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people for whom English is not their native language.
Who Should Take the TOEFL Test?

Nonnative English speakers at the 11th-grade level or above should take the TOEFL test to provide evidence of their English proficiency before beginning academic work. The test content is considered too difficult for students below 11th grade.

Many institutions report that they frequently do not require TOEFL test scores of certain kinds of international applicants. These include

* nonative speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from postsecondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand)
* nonnative speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-year course of study in which English was the language of instruction
* transfer students from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work was favorably evaluated in relation to its demands and duration.
* nonnative speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years
* nonnative speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period, generally two years.

Students should contact their prospective institutions directly concerning their specific admission requirements.

Where Can People Take the Test?

TOEFL iBT is taken via the Internet at ETS-certified test centers. This makes it possible to greatly expand the number of locations where the test can be taken.

posted by beasiswa at 10:17 AM 0 comments

Tips for passing TOEFL

Tips for passing TOEFL

Author: sunshinenjoy, Posted on Saturday, August 27 @ 03:33:29 IST by RxPG

I had my TOEFL on 26th August,2005, and I got a scaled score of 233-290. With the quality of essay I wrote, I am hoping to get anything above the 280 mark.

* After GRE, TOEFL seemed to be something like a cakewalk. I did a few CDs, like kaplan, cambridge, and powerprep. But just doing the powerprep is more than enough.

* The LISTENING section was all that I was concerned about, since I am not much into English movies, infact I hardly watch movies. Just do not doze off during the listening part, the one liners are more tough ‘coz the conversations start and end even before you have had a chance to train your ears. The longer ones were cool. Keep your eyes glued to the comp as a lot of unfamiliar terms will be written down frequently. If a process is being discussed, try remembering it sequentially, as in, what happens after what.And yes, when you hear a conversation, you see two people on the screen. Most of the times, you would have seen the people concerned previously in the powerprep CD while practising. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE CONVERSATIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE AND DO NOT TRY TO RECALL WHAT WERE THESE PEOPLE PARTICULARLY TALKING ABOUT IN YOUR PRACTICE CD. This works as an instant distraction.

* The STRUCTURE part was quite okay. Since time is not a constraint, recheck your answers before you have made the final click.

* The COMPREHENSION was the most boring part, where you have 4 essays and 4 x 11 = 44 questions. But there is plenty of time, and there are no extra points for being the fastest one to complete them. So do not rush. The essays are just school level ones, unlike the GRE.

* The WRITING part, nothing to worry about, I never expected an easy topic like this. Just hone your typing speed and keep typing.

* Make use of the earplugs. The sound of the key boards being frantically used around you can be quite a distraction.

* In GRE, just mentioning the names of the universities sufficed. Here, I had to mention the departments as well.

* As usual, the second ID was needed.

* Get plenty of sleep the previous night and just relax.

Break up of my scores:

Structure and Writing- 13-30/30
Comprehension- 28/30.

Good Luck.


posted by beasiswa at 10:15 AM 0 comments



Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) adalah salah satu model pengujian bahasa inggris yang digunakan untuk mengukur tingkat kecakapan atau profisiensi mereka yang tidak menggunakan bahasa inggris sebagai bahasa ibu (non native speaker), umumnya TOEFL digunakan sebagai salah satu syarat untuk studi di luar negeri, terutama negara-negara yang menggunakan bahasa inggris sebagai pengantar. TOEFL juga menjadi persyaratan untuk melanjutkan studi S-2 dan S-3 di dalam negeri. Bahkan belakangan mahasiswa S-1 pada berbagai universitas ternama di Indonesia juga diharuskan untuk memiliki skor TOEFL tertentu sebagai syarat kelulusannya. Demikian pula TOEFL saat ini sudah mulai digunakan dalam dunia kerja sebagai salah satu mekanisme rekruitmen atau kenaikan jenjang karir.
TOEFL terdiri dari dua jenis, yaitu Computer-based Testing dan Paper-Based Testing. Model computer-based adalah ujian TOEFL dengan menggunakan komputer. Skala penilaian model ini berkisar antara 40-300. Paper-based, adalah ujian TOEFL yang menggunakan kertas sebagai media pengujiannya. Skor penilaian model ini berada pada kisaran 217-677. bentuk kedua ini adalah yang paling banyak dan lazim digunakan.
Batas minimal skor TOEFL yang dibutuhkan pada berbagai perguruan tinggi dan institusi lainnya berbeda satu sama lainnya. Beasiswa keluar negeri untuk studi S2 membutuhkan nilai TOEFL antara 450-550, dan untuk tingkat S3 di atas 550. sedangkan untuk program pasca sarjana universitas dalam negeri sekitar 400 sebagai batas minimal.


posted by beasiswa at 10:02 AM 0 comments

5 Tipe Soal TOEFL

5 Tipe Soal TOEFL pada sesi Reading Comprehension
Terdapat 5 tipe soal yang sering ditanyakan dalam TOEFL pada sesi Reading Comprehension:


•What is the topic of the passage?
•What is the subject of the passage?
•What is the main idea of the passage?
•What is the auhor’s main point in the passage?
•With what the author’s primarily concerned?
•Which of the following would be the best title?


The answer to this type of question can generally be determined by looking at the first sentence of each paragraph.


1.Read the first line of each paragraph
2.Look for a common theme or idea in first lines
3.Pass your eyes quickly over the rest of the passage to check that you have realy found the sentence(s)
4.Eliminate any definetly wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices


•According to the passage …….
•It is stated in the passage …….
•The passage indicates that …….
•Which of the following is true …….

The answer of this questions are found in order in the passage

1.Choose a key word in the questions
2.Skim in the appropriate part of the passage for the key world or idea
3.Read the sentence that contains the key word or idea carrefully
4.Eliminate the definetly wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices


•Which of the following is not stated.?
•Which of the following is not mentioned?
•Which of the following is not discussed?
•All of the following are true except…..

The answer of this question are found in order in the passage

1.Choose a keyword in the question
2.Scan the appropriate place in the key word or idea carefully
3.Look for answers that are definetly true according to the passage
4.Eliminate those answers
5.Choose the answer that is not true or not discussed in the passage


•It is implied in the passage that….
•It can be inferred from the passage that ….
•It is most likely that ….
•What probably happened ….?

The answer to these questions are generally found in order in the passage

1.Choose a keyword in the question
2.Scan the passage for the key word (or a related idea)
3.Carefully read the sentence that contains the key word
4.Look for an answer that could be true, according to the passage


•What is the meaning of X in line Y?
•The word X in line Y could best be replaced by….

Information to help you understand the meaning of a vocabulary word can often be found in the context surrounding the word

1.Find the word in the passage
2.Read the sentence that contains the word carefully
3.Look for context clues to help you understand the meaning
4.Choose the answer that the context indicates

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