Holy smokes! Think about it for a minute. What would you do if you got exactly the same speaking score on four TOEFL exams in a row, but you needed to score 26 or higher. Would you claw your eyes out, would you feel like jumping off a cliff, or would it drive you to the edge of insanity?! Getting the same score four times in a row, spending countless hours preparing and practicing for each exam, driving to the testing center each time and going through the nerve-racking ordeal of taking the five hour exam: these factors drove Natalia to register for her first Online TOEFL Course ever. In fact, it was the first online course of any kind that she ever had taken. Needing to get answers, Natalia wanted to know why she could not score 26/30 on the speaking section. Why? Why? and Why? And most importantly, she wanted to know what she needed to do to score 26!
After joining her Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” Natalia joined a Voxopop Discussion Group, at which she could post her speaking practice tests. And she wasted no time posting her first response so that her Online TOEFL specialist Michael Buckhoff could listen to and evaluate her response.
Her first independent speaking practice task was as follows: “If you could change one thing about your country, what would you change and why? Give specific examples and reasons to support your point of view.” It sounded simple enough so she recorded a 51 second response to the task. In her response she argued that she would like her country of Brazil to require children to attend school full time, and she provided reasons to support her point of view.
However, Natalia was shocked when she got her audio comments back from her TOEFL speaking mentor Michael Buckhoff. He told her that she had a good delivery and good control of her language use and grammar but that she had terrible topic development. To elaborate, Michael told Natalia that she needed a sharply-focused topic statement forecasting the two key points of her speech and that she needed to cohesively tie her ideas together in the body paragraphs of her speech. Finally, Michael recommended that Natalia study Speaking Lesson 7 so that she could learn how to speak more coherently.
After listening to Michael’s comments about her first speaking practice test that she had submitted at her new Online TOEFL Course, Natalia, though a bit taken back at the directness of her TOEFL Speaking mentor’s criticisms, was relieved that she now knew that she needed to organize her ideas better during the speaking section of the exam. Moreover, she was hopeful that now she knew what her problems were and that she also knew how to solve those problems. Finally, she had a TOEFL speaking mentor who was ready to guide her along the way until she reached her goal of getting 26 on the speaking section. And it would not take her long before she would reach her target score. Hot dog!