The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT)

Tips for the TOEFL exam

The TOEFL exam takes several hours to complete. Be prepared!


Read the instructions and questions carefully before you listen.
Note taking is allowed. You should practice this.
Remember, one lecture is spoken with a British or Australian accent
Try to get an idea of the situation. Who are the speakers? Where are they? Why are they speaking?
In some questions a portion of the lecture or conversation is replayed so you don't need to rely on memory of what was said.
Listen for 'signpost words' such as however, although and finally. They help you to anticipate what the speaker will say.
For some questions you will need to understand the speaker's attitude. Listen to voice tones and other cues to determine how the speakers feel about the topic.


Remember, you will be reading academic texts, so learn academic vocabulary
Skim through each text to try to get a basic understanding of what it is about. What is the text about? Who was it written for?
Carefully read the title and any sub-headings.
What is the main point of each paragraph? Each paragraph contains a single main idea. The questions will focus on these main ideas.