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by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on January 4, 2013
The beginning of January is a season of transition and assessment. After relaxing over the holidays, we look ahead to the new year with refreshed determination to achieve our goals. And yet, all too often, we slip back into old habits, despite our best intentions to change.
If you are preparing to take the TOEFL exam in 2013, how can you use New Year’s resolutions to help you reach the score you need?
First, decide if you need to explore or exploit. That is, do you need to develop new study habits, or learn new test-taking strategies? This is a resolution to explore – you will be absorbing new material, using new ways of thinking, and reinventing your TOEFL-prep process. On the other hand, do you need to make adjustments to techniques that already work pretty well for you? Then you will be exploiting the process that you already have, fine-tuning it to meet your needs more effectively.
Most likely, you will need a combination of exploring and exploiting. Think carefully about how you learn and how you study for tests. If you need to explore new areas, you need to be willing to try lots of things, discard those that don’t work for you, and move on. If you need to exploit your current resources, make small adjustments and track their effectiveness. Knowing which type of resolution you’re working on can help target your approach.
Overall, you will be more successful with any New Year’s resolution if you break large goals into smaller sub-goals, and if you are specific about what you want to do. To take a simplified example, if your current score is 80 and you need a score of 100, instead of making one resolution – to get a 100 – establish sub-goals. Maybe your goal will be to take the test twice, and raise your overall score by 10 points each time. Maybe your goal will be to take the test four times, and focus on raising your score on one section at a time. Maybe you will take the TOEFL before a new study program and again afterwards in order to measure how well that new system is working for you. By breaking your major goal into smaller pieces, you can build motivation and momentum toward the overall goal.
Think about HOW you want to reach your goal, rather than focusing only on the end result you want to achieve. Leave us a comment, and tell us how you are going to reach your TOEFL goal in 2013!