Sanja got out of her 89-92 score slump after enrolling in a TOEFL course.

“It was so frustrating,” says Sanja, “to have had my TOEFL score stuck between 89-92 for so long.”  After all, she had taken several different TOEFL courses and had taken the exam four times.  The tuition she had spent plus the cost of registering for the exam had cost her more than $7,400. Heck, she could have purchased a nice used car with the money she had spend on her English preparation studies. Something had to give.

Lost, angry, hopeless, inadequate, frustrated: These feelings all describe how Sanja felt about her inability to score above 100.  Trying to collect her thoughts, Sanja refused to give up.  “There has got to be a solution,” she thought.  “I’ve got the rest of my life ahead of me. I can’t let a stupid test hold back my dreams.”  She needed a change in her routine if she were going to reach her goal of scoring 100.

First, Sanja changed her thought process in the sense that she did not rule out the possibility that she could complete her TOEFL preparation studies online.  With that new idea in her mind, she began browsing the Internet for online classes that would help her prepare for her next ETS exam.  Finally, after spending time searching the Internet at Web Sites such as Test Den, Steve Ford, Strictly English, Notefull, and a smattering of others, she came across a web site titled which featured “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.”

Second, she changed her attitude about having to meet with someone in person to study TOEFL.  She learned that she could complete vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking exercises and practice tests online at her pace. For example,  she could go through the video and pdf lessons as fast or as slow as she wanted without having to wait for other students. And, if she had questions, she could E-mail founder, materials writer, and owner of the course Michael Buckhoff. In fact, she had already E-mailed him questions about the course, and the next day he had e-mailed her a 10 minute video response telling her all about “The 7-Step System.”  She could tell from the video that Michael was sincerely interested in helping her to break the 100/120 barrier.

Finally, after working through “The 7-Step System”  and getting written, audio, and video diagnostic feedback on her pronunciation, speaking, and writing, including recommended lessons from an iBT specialist to help her strengthen her weaknesses, Sanja took the TOEFL exam and changed her TOEFL score by finally getting 101/120.  And even better than that, she scored 26 and 27 on the speaking and writing sections. After not being able to get higher than 92/120, she had changed her thoughts, her attitude, her TOEFL course, and her score.  “Change is good,” thought Sanja.

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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