TOEFL® PBT Test Strategy and Tips

Practicing Your Skills Is the Key to Success

  • Use English Every Day
    Set aside time each day to communicate only in English. Listen, read and write in English every chance you get.
  • Write
    Make notes for yourself and write down daily reminders, using new words and common expressions. Practice with emails if you can. This helps with sentence structure and vocabulary.
  • Listen
    Listen to music, radio, television, movies and online broadcasts (if available) in English. The more you listen, the more you will understand vocabulary and expressions. Music helps you acquire the rhythm and stress patterns of spoken English. Listen closely to the words.
  • Read
    Reading is the best way to improve your vocabulary. English-language reading materials — newspapers, magazines, books and websites — are always available. Choose your favorites! Try some academic reading material to prepare for communicating at the university level in English.
  • Keep a Journal
    Write down things you are doing to prepare for college and other events in your daily life. This is a great way to organize your thoughts and practice writing in English. You can track your own progress. Read it to yourself and read it out loud.

Tips for Success on Test Day

  • Follow directions carefully.
  • Relax and concentrate on each task in front of you.
  • Pace yourself and avoid rushing.

How to Mark Your Answers on the Answer Sheet

  • Use a medium-soft (No. 2 or HB) black lead pencil.
  • Mark only one answer to each question.
  • Mark your answer in the row with the same number as the question you are answering.
  • Fill in the oval space that corresponds to the answer. If you change your mind, erase your old answer and mark your new one.
  • Erase any unnecessary or stray marks. You cannot make corrections after time is called.

Examples of Marking Answers

The answer sheet for the TOEFL® PBT Test may be either horizontal or vertical. The examples below show you the correct way and wrong ways to mark each version of the answer sheet.

Examples of Practice Answer Sheets