Attitude is everything when you decide to take an online TOEFL course.

For my TOEFL course, “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” I created a Voxopop Discussion Group, which allows my online students to record and get feedback on pronunciation pre-tests, a post- test, and 50 independent and integrated speaking practice tests.  At their online membership web site, these students click over to the discussion group, after which they create a free Voxopop Discussion Group. The process is quite simple:  First, they join Voxopop by creating a username and password, and second, they join my particular talk group.  Obviously, hundreds and hundreds of users have joined my talk group, and I cannot remember all their usernames, but there is one username I will never forget: “IllpassTOEFL.”

Think about this username for a minute.  “IllpassTOEFL” is taken from the sentence “I will pass the TOEFL.” It the certainty and attitude of the username, exuding confidence and certainty of accomplishing the goal of passing the exam with flying colors, that will help this user reach his dreams. “If I pass the TOEFL, Michael,” say so many students, ” I will be able to enter a graduate school.” Using the word “if” leaves room for doubt and weakness in the mindset of the individual. It is not the condition of “if” but “when” he/she will pass.

Having been defeated by the test too many times, others say, “I do not know if I will ever pass the TOEFL.” These testers lack faith in their own English abilities and everything else connected to helping them. Weakness, doubt, and negativity surround them causing them not to approach their TOEFL study with the right mindset. Maybe, if they are lucky, they might pass the TOEFL iBT, probably after wasting an extraordinary large amount of time and money.

Unlike many, “IllpassTOEFL” knows that he will conquer the exam and is doing everything possible to make it happen, he knows that 1000’s of test-takers pass the test every year, and he knows he will one one of them very soon. So, is it surprising that “IllpassTOEFL” submits daily writing and speaking practice tests online for me to grade? Is it surprising that he spends 45 minutes a day reading newspapers, magazines, and books in English? Is it surprising that he finds daily opportunities to listen to and speak English to native speakers? Is it surprising that he has increased his reading speed to 300 words per minute so that he can read faster with better comprehension and fewer distractions.

So, before beginning “The 7-Step to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” I ask you this question, “Will you pass the TOEFL iBT?”

This article was written by Michael Buckhoff–co-founder and materials writer for Better TOEFL Scores and The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, Composition and Linguistics Professor, TOEFL Specialist, ESL Master Instructor, and Placement and Testing Coordinator for California State University, San Bernardino.Follow more posts and videos from Michael at Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

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