Eventually, Sultan will begin using his TOEFL course to prepare for his upcoming exam.

A few days ago, Sultan subscribed to an online TOEFL course to improve his score, for he needed to enter a graduate program at Princeton.  But for some reason he had not begun his  TOEFL preparation studies yet. Sure, he had been sent his username, his password, his enrollment key, and his link to the web site in which he could begin his studies. Still, he had not started the course yet.  After all, he did not need to take the official TOEFL test for another six weeks. He had plenty of time to prepare.

Sultan was busy doing what young single men do: attending parties, going on trips to Las Vegas, keeping his house clean and orderly, and hanging out with his best buddy on the weekends. He knew he needed to study TOEFL, but a thousand other things/people were competing for his attention. He did not need to take the TOEFL test for another five weeks.

One of the funnest things Sultan did one week was to visit Coachella Valley, California in which he and his friends attended a rock music festival. They listened to 12 different bands, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, and ate at fast foods restaurants.  During the three days he was at the festival, he slept a total of six hours. Every now and then he thought about his TOEFL preparation studies, but he had plenty of time to do that since he still had four weeks to prepare.

The following week, Sultan was so tired from the weekend concert that he was literally dragging at work at the Walgreens where he worked as a pharmacy technician. When he came home from work in the evenings, he had planned on studying TOEFL, but he was so tired he decided to just be a couch potato and watch TV instead. He had forgotten that he only had three weeks to prepare for the test.

Having caught up on his sleep from the crazy rock music festival, he was now ready to dig his heels in to study TOEFL. However, he woke up Monday morning with a monster cold.  He had a violent headache, attended by extreme nausea and dizziness. In fact, every time he turned on his computer, his head was seized with violent aching pain, his chest racked by congestion, his ears filling with fluid, and his stuffy nose preventing him from sleeping peacefully at night.  His symptoms were so severe, he felt like he was 30 meters underwater.  Although he wanted to prepare for his English exam, he was simply too sick.  He knew that he had only two weeks to prepare, and this week had essentially been a non-starter.

Finally, the 7-day cold that had tormented his body lessened, and he regained physical and mental strength to begin preparing for his upcoming test in six days.  On Sunday morning, he went online to “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,”  typed in his username and password, and, to his wild amazement, were links to 330 vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking lessons. His jaw dropped to the floor as he pondered, “How can I learn all these lessons in six days?”

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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