How are you? I am fine and hope to be the same with you.
My toefl score just came out last week. I got 116/120. 29 in each section: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
In writing, I wrote and extremely simple essay with no ornamentation whatsoever; I just made sure that every sentence is grammatically and structurally correct. 97% of them were simple sentences. The only vocabulary, I used was ‘unwonted’. Other than that, not a single fancy word did I use. But I made sure that the examples, I have (I made them out obviously) were very solid.
In speaking, I followed the guides toe-to-toe in youtube videos of ‘Notefull’. If you search by Notefull, they’ll give you guide to answer each of the speaking question in youtube. That helped me a great deal in spite of fumbling a bit; it’s not mainly how much you say or how correctly you speak; obviously those are important too but it is more about how strong an argument, you can present. Without it 29 would never have been possible in speaking.
For reading and listening, I practiced Barron’s and TPO. I don’t appreciate Kaplan, as I felt it is non-standard. Your students can practice ETS but it seemed too easy to me.
I hope these experiences of mine will come in handy for your students.
Malik M. Tahiyat
2014 Local Secretary General
JCI Dhaka Cosmopolitan