9 Common Mistakes made by TOEFL test takers and How to Avoid them

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The TOEFL exam is a bit difficult, and it is easy to make mistakes while making preparations until you write your exam. Let’s see what are the common mistakes made by  TOEFL test-takers which will help you to know how to study as effectively as possible.

Common mistakes made by TOEFL test takers

1. Being too anxious before the test

It is normal for humans to feel a bit nervous before the test. However, do not let your nervousness take the best of you. Excessive stress can put a hindrance in your performance. If you are having panic attacks, diarrhea, chronic aches, or numbness, it is a sign you need to relax. Plan your studies and remember to take proper breaks and eat food on time. Try to end up your preparation for the TOEFL test at least before a day. Leave at least one day for relaxation or leisure activities.

2. Not having enough knowledge of the TOEFL Exam pattern.

After you register for the TOEFL test, your next step should be to know the test format. How many sections are there? What is the score for each module? How much time will be given to complete each section? This is one of the things which test-takers fail to do and make mistakes. The TOEFL consists of 4 sections: Reading section, Listening section, Speaking section, and Writing section. Keep in mind that the TOEFL is a four-and-a-half-hour long test.

3. Using unknown words or difficult grammar

It is important for candidates to improve their grammar and vocabulary for the TOEFL exam. But many test-takers use unknown words or complex grammar structures during the test which does not make any sense. The examiners assess a candidate’s clarity of thought and ability to communicate clearly and fluently. So, use words and grammar you are familiar with. You should be able to express your thoughts and ideas very naturally the same as a native speaker can. Instead of using unknown words and grammar, spend time structuring your content.

4. Not attempting practice tests

The main component of the TOEFL test preparation is the practice tests. Practice tests are an easy way to understand the test format and questions of each section. You can find several online practice test papers for free. So make use of them and practice hard.

5. Not remembering registration information

When you arrive at a testing center, you will be asked to show your valid identification document. Ensure that you remember your registration number, which is the name you used during TOEFL registration. In case of any difference, test takers are not permitted to take the exam.

6. Not taking notes

Practice taking notes quickly during the reading or listening section while you prepare for the TOEFL. So that it will become easy for you in the test and you can answer the question with correct answers. Being quick is necessary for all sections, especially the listening section. Due to time limitations, you will have to write down notes quickly.

7. Losing motivation during the test

If any mistake is done in one section, do not lose hope or take the stress. Start the next section calmly without getting stressed. Be conscious of the mistakes you made in the previous section and do not repeat them further.

8. Reading the whole passage word by word

You have to remember that TOEFL is a time-based test. So there are no points for understanding and enjoying the whole passage reading like a novel or story, word by word. So, you just have to scan and skim the given text quickly to get an idea of the topic. There are many unnecessary words and information that can be skipped. It is a waste of time to explore the meaning of any word that is of no use in answering the questions.


9. Getting distracted and losing your concentration

Do not get distracted by other test takers. Just focus on your test alone. Also, arrive at your testing center at least 30 minutes before the test starts.

So the final word for you is to make sure that you have understood the TOEFL format totally before you move into the testing center. Make a good strategy for each type of question that you can use on every practice test and on the original TOEFL. Feeling prepared for anything will give you confidence on the test day and is the best way to avoid common TOEFL mistakes.​