TOEFL Ghouls and Devils

Xiang-Pang often wondered whether or not TOEFL ghouls and devils existed exclusively to disrupt her TOEFL journey.

TOEFL ghouls and devils

TOEFL Ghouls and Devils: What are they anyway

A ghoul has its origins in religions that pre-date Islam. According to these antiquated beliefs, a ghoul is a giant humanlike figure. These monsters typically hang out at graveyards to eat the human flesh of recently deceased individuals.  In more modern times, ghouls are associated with undead monsters.













The devil in many forms of Christianity is believed to be the chief evil spirit. The devil is the opposite of all that is righteous: high TOEFL scores, clearing pharmacy and other healthcare credentials, good paying jobs, and admission into top-notch universities.  The devil, some claim, stands in the way of achieving success. Whether you believe the devil is real or imaginary, unseen forces can harm you in your journey to conquer the TOEFL exam.  Some even believe that there is a place called TOEFL hell, as you can learn more about here.

The devil


Why were TOEFL ghouls and devils tormenting Xiang-Pang?

No one knows for sure why ill fortune falls on  some people and not on others. For example, I just read of a shark attack in Maine, US in which a 63 year old woman was eaten by a great white shark while swimming.  The woman who was killed had a 1 in 12 million chance of being killed by a shark.  Similarly, why was Xiang-Pang having so much trouble reaching her overall scores and subtotal scores on the TOEFL exam?

  • Before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, Xiang had taken the TOEFL exam five times, each time falling short of her target scores of 26 and 24 points on the speaking and writing sections. For instance, on one occasion, she scored 26 on the speaking section but only 23 pts on the writing.  On another TOEFL exam, Xiang scored 25 on the writing but only 24 points on the speaking. Why? Why? Why?
  • During the pandemic, she took the TOEFL iBT Exam Special Home Edition, but her Internet speed was so slow so she had to postpone re-taking the exam for several months.
  • Then after the pandemic when Xiang could finally take the TOEFL iBT at an official test center, she retook the test and finally reached 26 and 24 pts. on the speaking and writing sections. However, she scored 19 and 20 on the reading and the listening sections.  Still, Xiang’s target score alluded her.

These examples suggest that TOEFL Ghouls and Devils were tormenting Xiang.  Or, at the very least bad karma was holding her down.

TOEFL Crazy Lady



What direction did Xiang take?

Finally, Xiang came across my free speaking and free writing evaluation service.  She completed both practice tests. While I provided her feedback, I recommend that she take three TOEFL private lessons and that she use my TOEFL speaking and writing feedback service for three months so that she could improve her speaking and writing proficiency. However, she declined my services saying that the price of these services would be almost $200, which was too expensive. Unfortunately, she has now taken the TOEFL exam more than 11 times and still has not reached her required subtotal scores.

A popular saying in American culture applies to Xiang’s situation, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.”

Michael Buckhoff,

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1 thought on “TOEFL Ghouls and Devils”

  1. The problem isn’t using big data to solve our education woes; the problem is using the wrong type of big data. Instead of focusing on just standardized test scores, we need to use big data to really learn about our students and teachers Everything from their emotional intelligence to their goals to what they’re currently doing to try and get better results.

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