Friday, October 29

TOEFL Pay Sites - Buyer Beware

Google TOEFL and you'll get a lot of TOEFL web sites. The free stuff is great. But what about TOEFL pay sites? How do you know which TOEFL pay sites are good, which are just using material from TOEFL texts, and which are a rip off? 

Here's how. Do a test. Before you sign up for a TOEFL pay site, ask a scoring question, for example: "Dear TOEFL Pay Web Site. Before I sign up, I have a question. What scoring strategy can I use to increase my integrated essay score from 4.0 to 5.0?" Or, "What scoring strategy can I use to increase my speaking-task-six score from 20 to 25?” 

Remember: TOEFL is all about scoring. That means the answer you get back should be scoring based. If not, buyer beware.

The Pro

Thursday, October 28

TOEFL Junior - Read About It

ETS has introduced a new English-proficiency test - TOEFL Junior. The market is middle-school students, particularly in South Korea. Why South Korea? The second link suggests a reason. 

South Korea! Call the Pro! The Pro can help!

Wednesday, October 27

ETS and the Profit Game

In my TOEFL texts and in my TOEFL classes, I stress that TOEFL is a game. That game is designed by Educational Testing Services (ETS). ETS claims to be a "non profit organization." However, financial information for the year ending 2007 paints a very different picture (see below).

ETS is definitely in the profit game. How does ETS make make a profit? By designing a game people will play for a fee. That game is TOEFL. Below are two quotes describing how ETS plays the profit game - and wins.

For the year ending 2007, ETS, a non profit company, earned an 11% profit.

The CEO of ETS, Mr. Kurt Landgraf, earned $997,608.00 for the year ending 2007, seven times higher than the industry standard.

Remember: The TOEFL test costs $170.00. I predict it will go up in 2011. How much? I predict $185.00.

The Pro

- Keeping an Eye on the Bottomline -

The Future of Computing - Watch the Video!

Sixth Sense - A Must-See Video

Click here to watch the future of computing

Click here for more about Sixth Sense

Got a TOEFL question? Ask the Pro!

Friday, October 22

500 Words for the TOEFL iBT!

This is my other TOEFL text, 500 Words, Phrases and Idioms for the TOEFL iBT plus Typing Strategies.

How is my vocab text different from the rest? Other vocab texts give you word lists. You then memorize those lists. Unfortunately, memorizing word lists is not an effective TOEFL strategy. Why not? Because if you do not use a word in context, you will forget it.

My text, however, gives you a new word, such as myriad. You then recylce this word across four different quizs. The page below tells you how it's done. Why is vocabulary recyling an important TOEFL strategy? Because you are applying a new word in four different contexts. By applying it in four different situations, you will remember it on test day.

Why typing strategies? Let me give you some real-world examples. A student in one of my TOEFL classes always scored 5/5 on her essays - which she wrote with a pen. I asked her to type an essay and she said, "I don't know how to type in English." I couldn't believe it. That's means she would get a low score (0!) when taking the official iBT. This is not an isolated case. It happens with the integrated essay too. My TOEFL students score high when writing integrated essays by pen. They score a point lower when typing - a full point! Why? Because they can't type proficiently. It's that simple. Poor typing = a low writing section score = lower TOEFL iBT score.

Remember: Learn how to type proficiently in English. This is a critical TOEFL strategy all instructors and TOEFL texts ignore. If you can't type, you will waste time writing your essays. If you waste time making corrections, you will not be able to develop your essays. This, in turn, will result in low writing scores and a lower over final TOEFL iBT score.

Want to learn more? It's all in the book.

Click here to buy 500 Words, Phrase, Idioms...

- Can type -

- Can't type -

© Bruce Stirling 2010-2011