The hardest part of the TOEFL is different for each student. However, there are common hardest parts that many students struggle with.
Lucas Fink, the TOEFL guy at Magoosh, goes over what these common hardest parts are.
Which skill is hardest for you?
The TOEFL has four sections: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Many students find that one of these skills is the hardest part of the TOEFL for them.
Students who take the TOEFL come from different backgrounds. For example, there are some countries where students practise a lot of reading and writing in English, but they do not work much on speaking. Other students speak English fluently, but have not spent much time reading and writing in English.
It’s important that you ask yourself which of the four skills that are tested in the TOEFL is most difficult for you. Which one do you have the least practice with? This might be the hardest part of the TOEFL for you. You should practise this skill more than the others!
Since the TOEFL is a standardised test, it is a bit different from real life situations where you need to use English. Therefore, some students find that they have “test specific” TOEFL problems. For example, many students have speed problems: they find they do not have enough time to answer all of the test questions.
Check out: How Hard is the TOEFL? (Video)
This is often a problem on the Reading and Speaking sections. On the Reading section, for example, you are given 20 minutes to read a text and answer a set of questions related to the text.
If you find it difficult to read quickly in English, or if you often have a hard time answering all of the questions in tests, you need to start doing timed TOEFL questions immediately!
Other students find that the hardest part of the TOEFL for them is staying focused. This can be especially difficult when you have to listen to a recording. In the TOEFL, you can only listen to recordings once. If you lose focus, and don’t pay attention while the recording is playing, you don’t get a chance to listen again. When students miss important information from the recordings, they cannot answer the questions correctly.
The TOEFL will have you listen to recordings in three sections of the test: Listening, Speaking, and Writing. If you think that you might find it challenging to stay focused, you should begin listening to recordings as soon as possible! Practising will help you get better at saying focused.
These are some of the biggest problems that students often have in the TOEFL. It’s important to know what will be the biggest problem for you, so that you can begin practising that particular skill early in your studies.