Listen to this post: Good Study Skill and Writing Habits to Help You Get a Higher TOEFL iBT Score
In my TOEFL iBT classes, I began to notice two kinds of students: those who are eager to take notes on reading and listening passages and those who refuse to take notes. The first group of students often approach writing by using prewriting strategies in an effort to understand the TOEFL iBT writing prompt, to write a sharply-focused thesis restating the writing task, and to create a shopping list of key ideas for the developmental paragraphs. Conversely, the second group of students begin writing furiously once the TOEFL iBT writing test begins- without using any prewriting strategies.
Of course, the first group of students are more likely to develop a sound understanding of reading and listening passages, and they will perfect an efficient note-taking system to help them navigate successfully through the TOEFL iBT and their university studies. They are also more likely to write coherently organized essays with adequate details to support their generalizations.
Unfortunately, not having practiced note-taking on reading and listening passages and not having practiced prewriting strategies, the second group of students will get slaughtered when they take the TOEFL iBT, and they will have a hard time getting the gist of reading passages and university lectures. Finally, these are the same students who will complain and say they did not have enough time to finish their in-class essay exams, often begging and pleading for additional time. And even after additional time is given, they still fail to write organized essays and do not support their generalizations with sufficient details. But what they fail to see is, if they had had some prewriting strategies as a precursor to beginning their essays, they would have written more focused essays well within the imposed time constraints.
A saying I tell my students quite often is the following: “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.” How true this statement is!
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http://www.michaelbuckhoff.com/index.html (TOEFL iBT)