For Test Takers

TOEFL® Tip: Test-Taking Strategies

  • Carefully follow directions in each section to avoid wasting time.
  • Click Help to review the directions only if you have to; the clock does not stop when the Help function is being used.
  • Do not panic. Focus on the current question only. Do not think about how you answered other questions.
  • Avoid spending too much time on any one question. If you have given the question some thought and you still don't know the answer, eliminate as many choices as possible and select the best choice. Although responses can be reviewed in the Reading section by clicking on View, it is best that test takers do this only after answering all of the questions in a Reading subsection. Once test takers leave a subsection, they are not allowed to return to it.
  • Pace yourself so you have enough time to answer every question. Be aware of the time limit for each section and allow enough time for each question so you do not have to rush at the end. You can hide the time clock if you wish, but it is a good idea to check the clock periodically to monitor your progress. The clock will automatically alert you when five minutes remain in the Listening and Reading sections and in the independent and integrated tasks in the Writing section.

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