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Madhura
04-21-2003, 05:48 PM
Hi Erin and All the Test Magicians,

First, I would like to thank everyone for this wonderful forum. I just had a week to prepare for the TOEFL and this forum was just what I needed. So then, its my turn to help those of you who are preparing for your TOEFL. I am quite happy with my score although I knowing how well I faired in my essay would have helped. Guess I will have to wait a while for that. Some pointers to the exam:

1) Make sure you go through the test tutorials and as somebody on this forum had very rightly said, make sure the volume is sligthly higher than usual because somehow the volume tends to decrease a bit during the actual test.
2) More often than not if it helps close your eyes when you listen to the conversations as this really helps you focus better. As for missing any relevant diagrams you don't need to worry about that, as more often than not the speaker will give a cue, meaning say something like " And lets see a diagram that will show you what I mean" or something like that.
3)I guess I had the advantage of being a Native English speaker, as I am from India and English is almost my mother tongue. However what I observed in the test was that the more difficult questions on listening had little to do with the complexity of the language as such, and more to do with the common phrases used by Americans to express emotions. For e.g " Way to go man!!" which is used to say " Thats great Keep it up". So what I would suggest for non native speakers would be that they watch more of American serials, movies and get the hang of common everyday phrases as this constitutes a major part of the test.
4)For reading comprehension I would suggest taking a minute to summarise the main points of the passage before going on the questions as this helps a great deal in selecting the right answer choice. The best guide I would suggest here is to go through, Kaplans tips for GMAT Reading Comprehension. Would make the TOEFL passages feel like a piece of cake. Also make sure you mark the answers that you are not sure of on your scratch paper as you can go back and spend some time over these questions if you finish all the questions before time which you invariably will. Noting down the numbers of these questions on your scratch paper will help you keep track as the test does not allow you to mark answers to review later.
5) The Structure Section was quite easy but then again that would be because of the feel Native English Speakers have for the correct "sounding" sentences. But this should not be a problem if you practice well enough and go through all the common Grammar rules. Be sure to read the sentence before you click the Confirm button to make sure that it "sounds" right.
6) About the essays, a very useful thing to do would be to download all the topics available at the ETS website. Taking a print out of all these topics and just spending around three to four minutes on each topic would be a tremendous help as it will save you some time to improvise on your essay on test day. Also the familiarity with the topic would help you think of some more points and make your essay more interesting. The topic I got was from the list on the website. The link I think is ftp://ftp.ets.org/pub/toefl/989563wt.pdf

Well I hope these pointers will help you prepare better. And yes one more thing, its really really important that you stay calm if something untoward happens. When I was on my 12th question in the Listening Section the computer just hung up on me. I called the administrator and he restarted the computer for me and it had recorded all my responses upto that point and I just went back to where I had left off. So be prepared for such unexpected events and don't worry because your responses are automatically saved by the system even if it hangs midway. So stay calm as this is really important to fare well.

Oh yes and about the material I used, I did not have much time so I just went through some tests in Cliffs Toefl and did some listening from Barrons. Although I would suggest going through the Powerprep Software for Toefl as that is, from what I have heard the closest replica of the real test questions.
So then, ALL THE VERY BEST TO ALL OF YOU!!!! THANKS AGAIN

Regards,
Madhura

iconoclast
04-22-2003, 03:29 PM
Hi Madhura! First of all congratulations on your gr8 score!One thing I'd like to know is if you're allowed to use scratch paper for the RC.When I took the TOEFL, I was specifically instructed not to use the scratch paper for the RC.

Madhura
04-22-2003, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by iconoclast

Hi Madhura! First of all congratulations on your gr8 score!One thing I'd like to know is if you're allowed to use scratch paper for the RC.When I took the TOEFL, I was specifically instructed not to use the scratch paper for the RC.

Madhura
04-22-2003, 04:20 PM
Hi there,

I just posted a reply to your question but somehow it did not appear on the forum so I am posting it again.

Answering your question, you are not allowed to use scratch paper in the first two sections of the test, i.e. the Listening and the Structure sections. However you can ask for scratch paper in the break after your Structure section. You will see instructions on the screen after your Structure Section telling you to ask for Scratch paper in case you require it. You are allowed to use your scratch paper for the next two sections, i.e the Reading Comprehension and the Essay Sections. I hope this clarified your doubt. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Madhura

Madhura
05-09-2003, 06:12 PM
Final score 300!! Am happy :-).

Erin
05-09-2003, 06:32 PM
W-O-W!!
[bounce]
Record breaker!!

That's an awesome score! You must effectively be a native speaker, I'm guessing. Thanks for posting and sharing your insights; your post is a good one and is very helpful. Are you doing GRE or GMAT next?

Sri
05-09-2003, 06:38 PM
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS MADHURA.....Its great to hit the bull's eye..ain't it???

Madhura
05-15-2003, 01:38 AM
Hi Erin and Sri,

Thanks a lot!!! Actually I did not expect to score a 300 and was pleasantly surprised. As for the GMAT or GRE, I did take the GMAT on April 12th after preparing for about two months and got a really low score of 610 (Q-42, V-31):-(. But the program that I wanted to get into required an average score of 570 so although I really felt bad about my score I was able to apply to the program. Actually I came to know about this site about a week before I was to take the GMAT and did not have the Official Guide which according to you guys is the "Bible" for the GMAT. Anyways I did not intend to take the GMAT again although I definitely feel that I could have done a lot better had I taken it again and this time studied the Official Guide. I guess after the GMAT debacle I wanted to atleast do really well on the TOEFL and although I could qualify as a native English speaker as I am from India and an avid reader of novels, and watch movies and English serials frequently, I still practiced seriously especially for the Listening Section on the GMAT. Guess that must have really helped. I also took my time to review the answers on the Reading Section although I finished the section with almost an hour to spare. As for the essay, I always loved that part of the test and managed to secure a perfect score on the GMAT AWA section as well.

Well Erin I must add here that the Test Magic Forum is just amazing and although I could not make adequate use of it I made sure that I recommended it to a couple of my friends who intend to take the GRE and the GMAT tests. Thanks again Erin, Sri and do reply if you can.

Madhura

Sri
05-15-2003, 01:32 PM
That's great, but, methinks that retaking ur GMAT might help u get into a top b-school like HAAS or Wharton etc. I dont mean that this score is inadequate or anything but, as we all know, this year the number of applicants to b-schools in particular increased by some umpteen percentage and I expect that it wouldn't be any different next year either....So to be in the competition I guess a good GMAT score will always help, albeit, it may not break or make ur app........Well, I only have a limited knowledge of GMAT and B-schools and so I will leave it to THE GURU-ERIN.

thaiva
05-16-2003, 04:36 AM
CONGRATULATIONS :cool::cool::cool: Madhura,

It is great to know that test magic has helped you as it has to many other people to give you an awesome score. And I am sure that your advice will help other Test Magicians to gain high scores.

Once more congratulations on the score and things can only get better from here,

All the Best for you,

Tim:)

Madhura
05-16-2003, 12:28 PM
Thanks a lot Tim :) . Glad to help other Test Magicians get high scores. As for things getting better I sure hope so!!!! Thanks again Tim and All the best to you for all your future endeavours!!!

Regards
Madhura


Originally posted by thaiva

CONGRATULATIONS :cool::cool::cool: Madhura,

It is great to know that test magic has helped you as it has to many other people to give you an awesome score. And I am sure that your advice will help other Test Magicians to gain high scores.

Once more congratulations on the score and things can only get better from here,

All the Best for you,

Tim:)

coolvenk
07-07-2003, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Madhura

Hi there,

I just posted a reply to your question but somehow it did not appear on the forum so I am posting it again.

Answering your question, you are not allowed to use scratch paper in the first two sections of the test, i.e. the Listening and the Structure sections. However you can ask for scratch paper in the break after your Structure section. You will see instructions on the screen after your Structure Section telling you to ask for Scratch paper in case you require it. You are allowed to use your scratch paper for the next two sections, i.e the Reading Comprehension and the Essay Sections. I hope this clarified your doubt. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Madhura


I took my TOEFL today...

NO, you are given scratch paper before the Reading section, but are NOT SUPPOSED TO USE IT DURING THE READING SECTION. This is what the TOEFL Orientation sheet that is given before the exam states.

Of course, you could use it, and then erase stuff, but remember that you are being videotaped, so though unlikely there is potential for trouble...Be warned!

Hope this helps!
Venkat

andrea
07-18-2003, 12:14 AM
hi madhura,
congrats on that score, thats great, pl. could u tell me which books did u refer to,
thanks