After taking an Online TOEFL Course, Manan finally joins the 26/30 TOEFL speaking club.

Manan joined an Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” for one reason: to improve his score of 22 to 26 points on the speaking section of the exam.

But what does 22/30 on the speaking section mean? First, it means that he has minor problems with intonation, word stress, or pacing, sometimes requiring listener effort. Second, it means he has minor problems with grammar and vocabulary and that he is somewhat limited in the use of these structures or words.  Third, it means that he fails at times to support his generalizations with specific details and that it is sometimes difficult to understand the organization of his ideas. To put it mildly, when Manan joined his Online TOEFL course, he had some big hurdles to climb before reaching his goal.

And how did he improve his score to 26 points in only one month?  Manan’s strategy was two fold: he began completing the pronunciation pretests and practice exercises, and, at the same time, he studied the independent and integrated speaking lessons. Then, upon completing these lessons, he completed one independent or integrated speaking practice test each day for a little over a month. After Manan posted his speaking practice test at TOEFL Speaking Mentor Michael Buckhoff’s Voxopop Discussion Group, his TOEFL iBT speaking specialist would comment on his response, give it a score, and recommend specific lessons to help him improve. It was a tedious and boring process at times, but, in the end, Manan got the results for which he was looking. The following is an E-mail he recently sent to his TOEFL teacher:

Hello Michael,
I received my score today of toefl iBT, and I got desired speaking 26/30. My previous score was 22/30 about four weeks ago, and its all your help and valuable feedbacks helped me to gain those critical 4 points gap. Your guidance in delivering the topic/subject helped me the most.
Thank You once again, and I wish you good luck to all your students for great success.

After receiving Manan’s message Michael thought about what it meant to score 26/30 on TOEFL speaking.  Manan had learned how to speak clearly with a fluid expression of ideas.  Even though Manan still has some minor pauses and hesitations, it is now quite easy to understand what he is saying. Manan had learned to use effective grammar and vocabulary with natural sounding expressions and structures. He had demonstrated to the TOEFL iBT human raters that he had good control of basic and complex grammatical structures,  although he had minor or systematic errors which did not affect the meaning of his ideas. Lastly, Manan had delivered a well-developed and organized response in that it was easy to understand the relationship of his ideas.  “Wow!” Michael thought, “He was able to make these improvements in 30 days.” Of course, Michael could not let this E-mail message go unanswered, so he sent the following words to Manan:


You have achieved TOEFL speaking greatness! It is nearly impossible to improve so quickly with your TOEFL speaking like you did, but you were one of the hardest working students I have ever had at my Online TOEFL Course.

Congratulations from the bottom of my heart!


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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