Begum browses the internet in search of a TOEFL course to help her pass the exam.

Begum, frustrated with her last TOEFL test score of 79/120, uses the Google search engine and types in key words “TOEFL lessons” to see if she can find an online TOEFL course to help her improve. On her last exam, pretty much a train wreck, she lost her train of thought during the reading section and was unable to finish 12 or 13 questions before the time ran out.  She felt flustered and distracted and carried those feelings through the listening, speaking, and writing sections. In fact, by the time she had gotten to the writing section, she could not concentrate at all.

As she browses through the Google search results, she hopes that her last dismal failure with the TOEFL exam will never EVER repeat itself.  “So many different web sites with so many different test preparation approaches,” she thinks. “Which one will be the right one to help me reach my goal?” On her monitor are TestDen, Steve Ford, EngVid, Kaplan, EC English,  and S.T.E.A.L.T.H. The 7-Step System Study Guide, a sampling of TOEFL-related web sites claiming to increase her TOEFL score.  She spends about an hour visiting the different web sites, and then she clicks on a link to The 7-Step System Study Guide.

She lands on a web site called Better TOEFL Scores advertising The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.  After watching a video, and reading a special invitation from the founder, owner, and materials writer, she learns that the 330 lessons include instruction in vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Even she has an option of completing pronunciation, speaking, and writing practice tests, with feedback allocated by iBT TOEFL specialists.

It all makes sense to her now. For a low monthly fee, she can have someone diagnose her intelligibility issues and recommend lessons to help her speak more clearly, and she can complete independent and integrated speaking practice tests and have them scored by an iBT specialist. In fact, there are 30 independent and 20 integrated speaking practice tests that she can complete. In addition, she can also complete 10 independent and 10 integrated writing practice tests, again with scores allocated by TOEFL iBT specialists. There are also skill-building lessons to help her reach a very high level of balanced academic English proficiency.

Then, she reads all the testimonials on the Better TOEFL Scores home page of many students who, after using “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, had scored over 100/120.”  She thinks to herself, “I can be just like them.”

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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