TOEFL (Paper-Based) General Strategies for listening comprehension
- Be familiar with the directions. The directions on every paper TOEFL test are the same, so it is not necessary to spend time reading the directions carefully when you take the test. You should be completely familiar with the directions before the day of the test.
- Listen carefully to the passages. You should concentrate fully on what the speakers are saying on the recording because you will hear the recording one time only.
- Know where the easier and the more difficult questions are generally found. Within each part of the Listening Comprehension section on the paper test. the questions generally progress from easy to difficult.
- Be familiar with the pacing of the test. You have twelve seconds between each question on the recording. so, you must answer each question within twelve seconds and then be prepared for the next question on the recording.
- Never leave any answers blank on your answer sheet. Even if you are not sure of the correct response. you should answer each question. There is no penalty for guessing.
- Use any remaining time to look ahead at the answers to the questions that follow. When you finish with one question. you may have time to look ahead at the answers to the next question.
Procedures For the Short Dialogues
- As you listen to each short dialogue, focus on the second line of the conversation. The answer to the question is generally found in the second line.
- Keep in mind that the correct answer is probably a restatement of a keyword or idea in the second line of the dialogue. Think of possible restatements.
- Keep in mind that certain structures and expressions are tested regularly in short dialogues. Use for these structures and expressions: restatements. negatives, suggestions, passives, who and where, and agreement
- Keep in mind that these questions generally progress from easy to difficult. This means that questions I through 5 will be the easiest and questions 26 through 30 will be the hardest.
- Read the answers and choose the best answer to each question. Remember to answer each question even if you are not sure of the correct response. Never leave any answers blank.
- Even if you do not understand the complete dialogue, you can still find the correct answer
- If you only understand a few words or ideas in the second line, choose the answer that contains a restatement of those words or ideas.
- If you did not understand anything at all in the second line of the dialogue, choose the answer that sounds the most different from what you heard.
- Never choose an answer because it sounds like what you heard in the dialogue.
- Be prepared for the next question. You have only 12 seconds between questions.
Procedures For the Long Conversations and the Long Talks
- If you have the time, preview the answers to the questions. While you are looking at the answers, you should try to anticipate the questions for each of the groups of answers.
- Listen carefully to the first line of the conversation. The first line of the conversation often contains the main idea, subject, or topic of the conversation, and you will often be asked to answer such questions.
- As you listen to the conversation, follow along with the answers in your test book and try to determine the correct answers. Detail questions are generally answered in order in the conversation, and the answers often sound the same as what is said on the recording.
- You should guess even if you are not sure. Never leave any answers blank.
- Use any remaining time to look ahead at the answers to the questions that follow.
Philips, D. (2003). Longman Introductory Course for the TOEFL Test. New York: Pearson Education, Inc.