TOEFL Advice for a Student

Yesterday, I gave some TOEFL advice for a student. The student sent me an email with a request to help him improve his TOEFL score. However, unlike most e-mails that I get, he spent about 300 words explaining to me his situation. I was so impressed with the thoroughness of his e-mail, I decided to make a blog post about it. You can learn some valuable lessons how you can seek help from a TOEFL specialist.

TOEFL advice for a student
TOEFL advice for a student

TOEFL Advice for a Student: Introduction

Notice in the first part of the e-mail how the student specifically explains his overall and subtotal score results. Then, the student explains his target overall score that he needs.  Once I have this information, I can provide TOEFL advice for a student so that h/she will be able to reach his desired score as quickly as possible.

Hi Sir,

Hope you are doing well.

I am Tanvi from India. Appeared for TOEFL IBT on 12th of January 2019 and got a score of 84 with (Reading: 19, Listening: 21, Speaking 20, Writing: 24). I have to achieve a score of 100 (as 100 is the safe score to get accepted in most of the reputed universities for Masters in Regulatory affairs) by the end of February this year as I don’t want to miss out on the deadlines for fall 2019 (deadline: 2nd June 2019)

TOEFL Advice for a Student: Overall experience taking the TOEFL iBT

In the next part of the e-mail, the student explains what his expectations were with the reading section. Furthermore, the student also explains some difficulties that he had with the speaking section. Providing this background information gives me insight in terms of how I will need to coach this student. 

My overall experience: Honestly I thought I would be scoring more than 22 in reading and did not expect a 19. I think I could not make out the main idea when the text was conceptually dense.  Also, I think I can speak well but get tensed eventually when I see the preparation time of only 15 seconds and to speak when all of a sudden the whole room is quiet and only I am speaking.

TOEFL Advice for a Student: Highlights of TOEFL score report

This part of the student’s email is the most impressive. He actually analyzes his score report. His analysis focuses on his reading, listening, speaking, and writing weak points.

Some of the points that were highlighted in my score report are:
Reading: high-level vocabulary difficulty.
Listening: difficulty understanding important details that are not reinforced.
Speaking: somewhat limited grammar and vocabulary which limit me from elaborating ideas fully but they don’t interfere with overall communication.
Writing: Essay was well organized and developed with only difficulty: use of English that is occasionally ungrammatical and elaboration of ideas could be stronger.

TOEFL Advice for a Student: A specific request for help

Finally, in the last part of the e-mail, the student specifically asks me help in improving his score to 100 points.  Since he has already given so much important background information about this situation, I am able to quickly recommend my 3-Month TOEFL Course, which will give him the practice and the time he needs to reach his target score. 

Please help me with the strategic schedule preparation and also how to improve in the problem areas I mentioned above in order to achieve my target score.
I want to work really smart, with 100% dedication and gain more confidence than I had before appearing for the test.
Thanks in advance. Kindly revert back to this mail.

TOEFL Advice for a Student: Final Comments

When you are sending an e-mail to a TOEFL mentor like me, consider the following tips:

Tell me your current TOEFL score, including reading, listening, speaking, and writing subtotals.

Let me know what target score and subtotal scores you need.

Provide any other background information that you want, including an analysis of your most recent TOEFL score report.

If you have not taken the TOEFL iBT and if you have not taken a full-length four practice test, you will need to take a practice test. Without knowing your current level, I cannot recommend a personalized TOEFL path for you.  Email me if you need to take a practice test. I will send you to my partner, who offers realistic, accurate full-length four hour TOEFL practice tests so that you can find your level.

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff,

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