How To Study For The 2018 TOEFL In One Month

So, you’ve signed up to take the TOEFL — the most recognized English-language test — but the test is only one month away. We’ve put together a one-month-long study plan to help you use your time effectively and enter the test prepared.

Materials You’ll Need

Week 1, Day 1

Practice

In this first week, devote your time to becoming familiar with the different aspects of the exam. The official TOEFL website has a good overview of the test content, as well as some fine details regarding what you can expect on test day. For more in-depth information, take the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL diagnostic test, which will:

  • give you your predicted score on the exam
  • pinpoint the types of questions you struggle with the most

Week 1, Day 2

Practice

Before you begin studying, it’s also a good idea to take a full practice exam. This will take you 4 hours, so make sure to set aside enough time. Find the Test button at the top of the page in the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL app, and select Full Test 1.

Week 1, Day 3

Lesson

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tips & Tricks section, read through the following Reading lessons:

  • TOEFL Reading Overview
  • How To Accelerate Your Reading
  • How To Improve At The Reading Section

Practice

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Workout section, take a 15 minute Reading practice and a 10 minute Reading practice

Week 1, Day 4

Lesson

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tips & Tricks section, read through the following Reading lessons:

  • Think it/Find it Strategy
  • Negative Factual Information
  • Reading Comprehension Exercise
  • Prose Summary

Practice

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tests section, take Mini Test 1

Week 1, Day 5

Lesson

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tips & Tricks section, read through the following Reading lessons:

  • Rhetorical Purpose
  • Fill in the Table
  • Inference
  • Reference

Practice

Under Workouts, take at least two 10-minute Reading practices

Week 1, Day 6

Lesson

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tips & Tricks section, read through the following Reading lessons:

  • Inserted Text
  • Sentence Simplification Questions
  • Vocabulary in Context
  • Factual Information
  • Negative Factual Information

Practice

Take at least three 5-minute Reading workouts, plus a 15-minute Reading practice.

Week 2, Day 1

Today, set aside 4 hours and take Full Test 2, found under the Test section in your Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL app. Take note of which question types give you the most trouble. Make a list of any vocabulary words in the test that give you trouble, and once you’re done, take a few minutes to look up the definitions of these words.

Week 2, Day 2

For this week, you should focus on the Listening section of the test.

Lesson

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Tips & Tricks section, read through the following Listening lessons:

  • Overview of the Listening Section
  • How to take Great Notes
  • Main Idea Questions

Practice

Take a 15-minute Listening workout, as well as a 5-minute Reading workout

Week 2, Day 3

Lesson

Read over the following Listening lessons:

  • Main Function Questions
  • Specific Point Questions
  • Making Sense of Quotes Questions
  • Tone/Perspective Questions

Practice

Take two 10-minute Listening workouts

Week 2, Day 4

Lesson

Read over the following Listening lessons:

  • Identifying Structure of Information
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Create a Passage Map

Practice

Take a 15-minute Listening Workout and a 5-minute Listening Workout

Week 2, Day 5

Lesson

Read over the following Listening lessons:

  • Relating Information List
  • Forming Conclusions Questions

Practice

Under the Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL Test Section, take Mini Test 2

Week 2, Day 6

Today, set aside 4 hours and take Full Test 3, found under the Test section in your Zinkerz Pro for TOEFL app. Take note of which question types give you the most trouble. Make a list of any vocabulary words in the test that give you trouble, and once you’re done, take a few minutes to look up the definitions of these words.

  • Which parts of the test do you find the most confusing or difficult?
  • Are there aspects of the Reading or Listening sections that you still find challenging? If so, feel free to send an email to zoe@zinkerz.com, and we’ll help you however we can.

Week 3, Day 1

Congratulations, you’re half-way through your TOEFL studying! This week, focus on the Speaking section, and, if there is time, begin studying the Writing section.

Lesson

Read over the following Speaking lessons:

  • How to Speak Fluently
  • Example Questions for Speaking

Practice

Take two 10-minute speaking practices, plus a 5-minute Listening practice

Week 3, Day 2

Lesson

Read over the following Speaking lessons:

  • Maintaining the Ideal Speed
  • Master the Timer

Practice

Take two 10-minute speaking practices, plus a 5-minute Listening practice

Week 3, Day 3

Lesson

Read over the following Speaking lessons:

  • Independent Question 1
  • Independent Question 2
  • Independent Question 3

Practice

Take two 10-minute speaking practices, plus a 5-minute Listening practice

Week 3, Day 4

Lesson

Read over the following Speaking lessons:

  • Integrated Question 4
  • Integrated Question 5
  • Integrated Question 6

Practice

Take two 10-minute speaking practices, a 10-minute Listening practice, and a 10-minute Reading practice

Week 3, Day 5

If you feel ready, we’d say it’s time to move onto the Writing section of the exam. As Writing takes some additional time to master, your remaining time should be spent learning and reviewing conventions of English grammar, punctuation, and sentence formation.

Lesson

Read over the following Writing lessons:

  • How to Write a Better Essay
  • How to Improve Your Comprehension and Writing

Practice

Complete one Deep Writing workout

Week 3, Day 6

For today, take the last full practice test, Test 4, on the Zinkerz Prep for TOEFL app. Pay special attention to the Writing section, as you’ll have the rest of the week to study and practice this section.

Week 4, Day 1

Lesson

Continue to review and practice the writing section. Read over the following Writing lessons:

  • Example Writing Questions

Practice

Complete one Deep Writing workout, as well as an additional workout in a category that gives you trouble

Week 4, Day 2

Lesson

Read over the last Writing lesson:

  • Integrated Task

Practice

Complete two Deep Writing workouts

Week 4, Day 3

Review

Take this day to review what you’ve learned over the past month. Go back over the workouts you’ve completed, and review the questions. Helpful tips:

  • Take notes on the lessons and workouts, even if you think you know the information. Writing down additional information can help you remember what you’ve learned, so you’ll be more prepared for the test day.

Practice

Spend at least 15 minutes answering practice questions in new workouts.

Week 4, Day 4

Review

Take some time today to practice your listening — go to an online radio station (we suggest NPR.org), or que up a podcast. Listen carefully to the content, and take notes on what you hear. For some radio stories and interviews, you can find an online transcript, which will help you check that you heard the story correctly.

Practice

Take note of any confusing words you hear frequently in your listening practice. Using flash cards, write the word on one side and its definition on the other. Read through these flashcards to practice your listening vocabulary.

Week 4, Day 5

Review

Take some time today to review your Speaking — review the Zinkerz speaking exercises, and practice your public speaking. Ask a friend or relative to help you practice: have them ask you questions, and record your response. Listen to your response, and take note of any mistakes. For many, the hardest part of the Speaking section is confidence — on test day, it can be hard to speak without any nerves. Practice can help you master your anxiety.

Week 4, Day 6

It’s the last day of studying! Use today to organize yourself for tomorrow’s test. Make sure to gather your identification documents, snacks, and water. Don’t try to cram for tomorrow’s test; you’ve put in the work, so just take today to relax and focus on your likely success. If you’d like, a great way to practice is to read a good book, or watch an English television show.

Good luck — you’ve got this!