How to Enjoy Your TOEFL Prep

When you study for the TOEFL, you need to learn synonyms, different words that mean the same thing. Probably, very few people would think the phrase “TOEFL prep” is synonymous with “fun.” Still, there are some ways to really enjoy your TOEFL prep experience. Let’s look at some TOEFL resources that are fun.

Word games like Apples to Apples, Scrabble, Boggle, and Pictionary all provide great ways to build vocabulary for the TOEFL. Apples to Apples is especially good for building TOEFL skills. This word matching game requires players to explain why they feel two or more words should go together. Best of all, it’s possible to make your own Apples to Apples word cards based on TOEFL vocabulary. To make your Apples to Apples cards, look the official Apples to Apples rules for guidance (external link for the official rules here). 

Making your own flashcards is another fun activity for TOEFL prep. You can paste pictures from magazines and newspapers onto the cards to illustrate the vocabulary words. Then, add your own creative example sentences to TOEFL vocabulary flashcards. Compete with fellow TOEFL students to see who can come up with the coolest flashcards for TOEFL words.

Of course, you’ll also want to look for enjoyable TOEFL resources online. (You are after all reading this post on the Web!) While some websites are obviously meant for TOEFL prep, online TOEFL prep can come in many other surprising— and yes, fun— forms.

Internet message boards are a good way to write to other English speakers about things you are interested in, while practicing your writing skills. Find an Internet message board that discusses one of the things you like (movies, books, or motorcycles, to give possible example topics). Then post to the message board in English. As an added challenge, try to summarize or paraphrase something you read or listened to that is related to the subject of the message board.

For online reading practice, find interesting news and entertainment websites and read the articles on them. Popular educational sites that focus on subjects like science and history can be both fascinating and a good form of online TOEFL prep.

For fun TOEFL speaking practice, try building your English skills through a speaking partner website. Sites like Speaking24 and Speak English Today help you find voice chat English conversation partners free of charge.

Finally, for TOEFL Listening practice, there are many places on the Web where you can hear speeches that are informative and entertaining. TED Talks and RSA Talks (found both on YouTube and the official TED and RSA websites) are often used as TOEFL resources. These kinds of educational talks are similar in style to TOEFL lectures, and cover important and interesting subjects. As you probably know, the TOEFL has both lectures and conversations. To practice listening to conversations, try watching popular American TV shows online.

Playing games, being creative, writing about things you love, meeting new people over voice chat, browsing interesting articles and videos, and watching TV. Who knew that TOEFL prep could be so much fun?

This post was written by David Recine, TOEFL expert at Magoosh, a leader in TOEFL Prep. For more advice on taking the TOEFL, check out Magoosh’s TOEFL blog.


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