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TOEFL Tip #50: Kind Words From A Friend Of Strictly English

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on July 10, 2009

I would like to thank you for the tips on the speaking section, and also for leting me know that the integrated writing had changed. I did not have a lot of time for studying these changes, but I did have some time to search the ETS website for some examples of level 5 essays.

Again, thanks a lot for helping me achieve this score.

TOEFL Tip #49: Strictly English Will Launch TOEFL Videos July 15th!

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on July 8, 2009

Strictly English has been working on a series of HOW TO videos about the TOEFL test. For example:
How to sign up at ETS.
How to register for the TOEFL.
How to View your TOEFL results online.

We will also be making videos that will help you improve your TOEFL English!

TOEFL Tip #39: Test Taker’s Feedback

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on June 14, 2009

Hi Jon!
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you!

I did my exam ok and I feel quite comfortable with what I have done!

To be honest, the it was a little bit tougher than I thought. The reading I did well. I knew most of the words so I’m quite happy with that! The listening was faster and longer than I expected! The speaking section, I think I did better than ever, I tried to remember what you told me about “pace myself, take a short breath between sentences ..” I felt really calm and seemed not to be nervous at all. So, I answered all the 6 questions quite well. Thank you for that.

Writing was a little bit rushed, I was running out of time but still finished everything, including proof-reading! I wrote quite a lot, about > 350 words for the second essay.

Again, thanks for your help during the time I practiced. you have been a great help for me.! God blesses you!
Hope you are having a nice weekend!

TOEFL Tip #38: Grammar vs. Essay Structure

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on June 10, 2009

It is hard to say definitively if your Grammar or your Essay’s Structure will count more toward your TOEFL score.  Officially, ETS says that the score is “integrated”, which means that it counts all aspects of communication equally. Yet, if you make really basic grammar errors, then it won’t matter how great your essay’s structure is.  Here’s what I do know: an essay with perfect structure, and perfect **Intermediate-Level English** can score 29 (you don’t need Advanced English grammar to get a high score), but an essay with perfect structure and Intermediate-Level English that has consistent Subject-Verb agreement errors will drop down to a 22. That’s a loss of 7 points just because you repeatedly wrote sentences like, “he go”, “it give”, “she have” instead of “he goES”, “it giveS”, “she haS”.  So be very careful with grammar. It Counts!

TOEFL Tip #28: 20-Minute Essay Conclusion

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on April 3, 2009

Because the 20-minutes essay is only a summary and not an argument, it does not need a conclusion. Therefore, don’t waste precious time on a conclusion. Spend that time proofreading instead!

TOEFL Tip #24: English Level For TOEFL Writing Section

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on March 6, 2009

People think that to get a good writing score, you have to write at an advanced level of English. This is not true. A virtually perfect score can be achieved with intermediate level English that has no mistakes. Short sentences that are perfect will score higher than complicated sentences that have mistakes.  So don’t try to “sound smart” or “show off” on the test. Focus on being accurate and clear instead.

TOEFL Tip #18: The Reading Passage For The 20-Minute Essay

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on January 29, 2009

I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes TOEFL makes things EASY for you!  After you finish listening to the lecture for the 20-Minute Essay, the reading passage returns. This helps you a lot. If you can locate the reading’s three main points, then they will help you to figure out what the listening was saying. So even if you didn’t understand the listening, all you have to remember is that it talked about the same points as the reading. Once you locate those points in the reading, they might help you to figure out what the listening was saying about those same points.

TOEFL Tip #17: Bad Subject/Verb Agreement Can Cost You Points

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on

If you have consistent subject verb agreement problems in your writing, it could lower your score up to 33%. So be careful. Make sure that every singular subject has a singular verb. For example: “he writeS” or “the sun burnS”. This is a very simple grammar point, so make every effort to remember to use your “S”s!

TOEFL Tip #16: How To Organize The 20-Minute Essay

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on

The twenty-minute essay requires you to summarize a reading and a listening on the same topic. The reading offers three points and the listening usually opposes those three points one at a time.  The best way to organize your essay, then is it have four paragraphs.

Paragraph one: Introduction
Paragraph two: Point one
Paragraph three: Point two
Paragraph Four: Point three

TOEFL Tip #1: Good Conclusions For The 30-Minute Essay

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on December 28, 2008

Everyone says that your conclusion should “repeat the introduction”. Strictly English says: NO IT SHOULDN’T! Repeating the introduction lacks creativity and it lacks “development,” which is the idea that your essay has intellectually “gone somewhere.” The best way to write a conclusion is to offer a “plan of action” for the reader based on what you’ve written in the essay.
To find out more about how to write a “plan-of-action” conclusion for TOEFL’s 30-minute essay, sign up for our ONLINE writing tutorials!

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