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TOEFL Tip #126: Getting To Performance Speed

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on October 21, 2011

 Time is of the essence. There’s no time like the present. Time flies when you’re having fun. We have a lot of sayings about the importance of time, and how quickly it passes.

As students prepare for the TOEFL, they’re often concerned about working within a time limit, and they worry about running out of time before they finish a section. As a result, many students think that they have to practice at the same speed that they will ultimately perform at, so they can get used to working quickly.

 This is a mistake.

 There is practice speed and there is performance speed; they are NOT the same. Do not worry about performance speed; focus instead on practice speed. As you work in practice speed mode, you will naturally perform more quickly, and your speed will increase until it reaches the levels you need in order to do well on the TOEFL.

 Our goal at Strictly English is to make your performance speed equal your practice speed.


 Because practice speed is the speed at which you can do everything correctly. Going fast doesn’t help your TOEFL score if you’re making a lot of mistakes. The key is to be fast AND accurate. You cannot begin at performance speed. By focusing on doing everything correctly at practice speed, you’ll work quickly without mistakes as you naturally increase – over time – to performance speed. 

 Don’t worry. “Over time” does not mean two years. This is what everyone fears, and what leads them to try to jump to the end of the process.  “Over time” really means . . . . about two weeks of steady, dedicated practice. Remember: it doesn’t take a 5 year old two years to learn how to ride a bike. A child may WANT to ride it perfectly on day one, but it will usually take until  . . . . day ten. That might seem like a long time, but 10 days is much shorter than 2 years!


Categories: Test day,TOEFL Preparation

1 comment so far. Leave a comment.

  1. Jeff M

    wrote on October 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    This information on TOEFL reading and how to make faster TOEFL reading is important for TOEFL students. The TOEFL writing section also has constraining time limits. Speed in TOEFL writing is key to obtaining a successful TOEFL score.

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