The TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) is a test of English-language proficiency for nonnative English speakers. This test is usually required when applying to a college or university where instruction is conducted in English. In addition, some government agencies and other organizations may request TOEFL results in order to assess fluency level of applicants.
The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that also manages other standardized tests, such as AP®, GRE®, ICT Literacy Assessment, MAPP™, PRAXIS™, SAT®, TOEIC® and TSE®. Currently the test can be taken at one of the numerous test centers at a time convenient to the test-taker. In addition, TOEFL iBT can be taken over the Internet.
According to ETS, "The Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL®) measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings."
The test is composed of several sections that attempt to evaluate various aspects of the person's English language proficiency. Clearly, your success on the test will to a large degree be determined by the extend of your English vocabulary. You should be able to recognize at least several thousand words visually and aurally. Even though the vocabulary used in TOEFL is not as demanding as the GRE vocabulary, it still makes a good sense to spend time reviewing what you already know and learning more challenging words.
The best way to acquire an extensive vocabulary is to read a lot. When you start reading English-language texts, don't rush to translate every single word you don't understand. This would be a very tedious and unthankful task. It's much better and more enjoyable to translate primarily the words that you've already seen or heard a few times. This way you will not waste your time on rarely used words. Besides, practice (in this case seeing the same word multiple times) makes perfect.
Once you have identified and translated a new word, put it on a flashcard. Just by writing the word and its meaning you will make it even easier to remember it the next time you need it, for example during your TOEFL test. We also recommend Quiz-Buddy, a flashcard software program that can be used for TOEFL preparation and in many other situations when you need to memorize a lot of information. Learn more about Quiz-Buddy (new window)
On the following pages you will find quizzes with words similar to those that you may encounter on your TOEFL test. You can take the quizzes as many times as you like and monitor your progress.