4 of the Best TOEFL Preparation Courses Online: Skyrocket Your Score
TOEFL iBT Test Preparation Courses: The Choices!
You want to know how to prepare for the TOEFL, right?
Well, what a task! You’ve got four months to go before your TOEFL exam, and you’re faced with yet another consumer decision to make.
Last week, you spent two and a half hours finding just the right type of orthopedic pillow for your aching neck. This time, it’s about finding the best TOEFL iBT online preparation course.
Relax. We’ll make it easy for you, and provide you with 4 courses that – no matter which one you choose – you can be sure will really help you get the type of TOEFL score you’re presently dreaming of.
Let’s Be Realistic: How to Prepare for TOEFL
Before we start, though, you need to be realistic. The following courses have been designed to help dedicated students do well, so you need to decide before you start whether you’re going to actually be a dedicated student or not.
You can only expect good results if you’re willing to put in the effort. The legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather always chants that he became the champ through, “Hard work! Dedication!’.
You, too, need to start thinking like a champ!
Let’s take a look now at four of the best TOEFL iBT test preparation courses online. The truth is that any one of these courses will hold you in good stead.
Really, it comes down to your specific priorities and needs. What will be ‘best’ for you, might not be best for someone else.
So take a look at the following choices and decide for yourself.
Ace the TOEFL iBT! – An Outstanding TOEFL Course
Ace the TOEFL iBT! starts off in a very important place, which is making sure that you approach the preparation process and test – both of which are very challenging – with the right winning mindset that should help you blow the test out of the water.
It also has a section about how to handle stress in the months before the exam, the day before the exam, and most importantly, on the day of the actual exam.
In Module 2, you learn how to create the best daily routine. You will learn about how to prepare both actively and passively, and how to do this in the most natural manner that requires the least amount of effort. This is covered in the section on implicit learning.
Specifically, it will show you exactly how to plan your own study schedule in the best way so you can consistently stick to your study objectives.
The bulk of the course is contained in Module 4. This final module is split up into four parts, which as you might guess, is based on the four components of the exam: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
The Most Important Thing: Learn the Right Test Writing Strategies & Tactics
What Module 4 does is that it provides you with all the key strategies and tactics you’ll need to answer all the types of questions you’ll be faced with on the exam.
Would you like a tip about online TOEFL preparation courses? The truth is that no matter how much they cover in the way of language skills (grammar, vocabulary, listening skills, writing skills etc.), you’re going to have to turn to other outside sources such as TOEFL preparation books followed by practice tests to really drill these types of things in.
You won’t be able to rely on passively watching some videos with explanations of certain grammar or vocabulary points. It just won’t be enough; especially if you are at a beginner (0 to 59 score) or intermediate (65 to 85 score) level.
Advanced level students (90 to 120 score) might only need to know about the best strategies to write the exam, but for everyone else, you’re going to need to study what’s offered in these courses, and also, spend lots of time doing other things such as listening to academic lectures. Ace the TOEFL iBT! has a special section which covers where these types of lectures can be listened to.
Each of the chapter components ends with a tactics checklist to make sure you really absorb the key points you’ll need to remember for the exam.
What really helps you in these regards, though, are the Cornell note-taking templates which are supplied for all the modules and their sections.
Why is this good? Because note-taking allows for active learning and memorization to take place, so that when you come to the exam, you won’t be struggling to recollect what you’ve learned in the course.
And research shows that the best note-taking method is the Cornell system. So this whole process will force you to absorb and retain what you’ve learned.
Slick-Looking, To the Point and Easy to Understand
One of the biggest problems with TOEFL preparation courses – especially when they’re done online – is that they often appear to overwhelm. There’s just so much information, that people complain of the “Blah Blah Blah” syndrome. They just become overcome with information in what appears to be a noisy and messy process.
Sometimes, only the most devoted students can make it through this type of course.
Each of the courses on this page have distinct characteristics, and one of the distinct characteristics of this course is that it ‘cuts to the chase.’ There are no real wasted words or space. The course content is in written form with plenty of charts and infographics, which makes the whole thing outstandingly neat and presentable, and entirely easy to absorb and remember.
That’s one of the key things about Ace the TOEFL iBT! Even though it’s not done in video form, it has been designed to be extremely straightforward, well-organized and rememberable.
In short, it’s really clean and uncluttered, and purposefully designed to ‘get to the point.’
It should be noted that the makers of Ace the TOEFL iBT! suggest that students should prepare with authentic ETS practice questions, as they are the writers of the TOEFL exam.
Therefore, the course does not contain the TOEFL imitation questions some other courses offer, instead preferring that you stick to the original TOEFL questions such as those found in the ETS’s Official Guide to the TOEFL Test.
An Exceptional Course with All the Right Strategies
To summarize, Ace the TOEFL iBT! starts you off on just the right foot as far as TOEFL preparation is concerned.
The course material doesn’t waste your time with lots of noise which might end up confusing you. It just consistently gets to the point and gives you all the preparation and test-writing tactics you’ll need to achieve TOEFL test writing success.
Our suggestion: Keep it simple, and don’t get bogged down by lots of unnecessary information you’ll probably never end up reading or watching.
Have You Heard of Magoosh?
If you are considering taking one of the major tests for getting into college such as IELTS or TOEFL, you have most likely heard of Magoosh.
That’s because they are one of the top providers for these types of language proficiency tests, as well as other well-known tests such as the GMAT, SAT, LSAT, and GRE.
In short, their reputation precedes them.
Before we start telling you about their wonderful course, we’d like to point out that this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you click onto another website and purchase one of their products, we receive a small commission from that sale at no expense to you.
This helps us continue to bring you the type of high-value content you’re looking for when visiting our website.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s proceed to talk about what Magoosh can offer you.
Once you sign up for Magoosh, you can start at their well-designed dashboard.
Over 100 Instructional Video Lessons
The video lessons provided offer plenty of video-based insights into the reading, listening, speaking and writing sections of the exam, as well as the TOEFL test writing skills you’ll need to do well.
In fact, Magoosh’s online TOEFL preparation course provides you with over 100 training videos. Expect the videos to range in time between approximately 2 to 12 minutes.
Magoosh also provide lessons in grammar, but as we’ve discussed above, you’ll have to also spend time learning the language from outside sources such as TOEFL books and academic lectures.
At the end of the day, your TOEFL preparation will have to include non-passive learning in which you are actively involved in doing the types of drills and practice that you’ll find in TOEFL textbooks.
Without a doubt, though, these types of instructional videos dealing with language components such as grammar will definitely help you in addition to these more traditional and established methods of learning.
Excellent and Insightful Video Instruction
Here is a look at some of the well-taught lessons you can click on to access:
What’s nice about this program is that you also have the option to see the spoken content as a transcript in a small window at the top right-hand part of the page by pressing on the “Show Transcript” button.
Once you start the video, the lesson starts. We suggest you take your pen and paper out, and practice taking notes as the instructor explains the main points to you.
Email Assistance When You Need it
A really appealing feature to this program is that if you get stuck at all in any of the lessons, you can click on the purple help button at the bottom right hand corner of the page, and an instructor will get back to you with an answer to your question.
Over 500 Practice Questions with Videos for All Questions
One of the really good things about Magoosh TOEFL iBT preparation is that they provide you with a short video explanation for each and every question in their practice section.
The level of instruction is really excellent, which is what you’d expect from an established company such as Magoosh.
Magoosh’s presentation of the information and practice section is also very clean, modern and concise.
One of the interesting functions available to the user is that you can customize the practice questions according to the exam component and subject, and can also use the option to avoid questions that have been answered already.
Remember that there are video explanations for each and every one of the over 500 practice questions, which is a real plus.
Well-Planned Ready-to-Go Study Schedules
Another interesting feature of the Magoosh course is that the study schedules they offer are integrated directly with their online TOEFL preparation material. These are also available on their website for free, so you can take a look at them before you buy the course to see if they’ll provide you with what you need.
The study schedule will ensure that you either complete a good portion of the material covered, or will allow you to complete all of it, depending on which study schedule you choose.
Magoosh: One of the Best Online TOEFL iBT Preparation Courses
To sum things up, Magoosh is a well-staffed company that offers you email support when needed, along with a collection of 100 high quality video lessons on both test-writing strategies and essentials of the English language.
With over 500 practice questions with accompanying videos for every question, this course will give you a firm grounding on how to understand what is really required of you when answering the questions for your real TOEFL iBT exam.
What it is slightly lacking in number, it makes up for in the way of organization and quality of instruction.
You can also choose the amount of months you wish to access the course.
All in all, Magoosh is an industry leader in English language proficiency exams such as the TOEFL iBT, and their online TOEFL test preparation will certainly ground you in the skills you need to score really high on the exam.
It certainly shows you how to prepare for TOEFL iBT.
Best Your Test with BestMyTest
Yes. Like we told you before, all the courses mentioned in this article are excellent, and you could choose any of the them and not regret it.
Each one has its own special characteristics that makes it stick out from the others.
And BestMyTest’s special characteristic is the amount of instructor reviews you can get for the speaking and writing sections of their practice tests. But more about that later.
Let’s start with the lessons they provide.
Online TOEFL iBT Preparation That’s Interactive in Nature
BestMyTest’s test preparation course is neatly presented and provides you with complete instruction for the exam.
Covering all four components of the exam as well as well as a good selection of English language elements, BestMyTest walks you through all the tips you’ll need to score really high on the exam.
Some of the course content is in written form, offering you key insights into the tactics and strategies you’ll need for the exam.
A lot of the course is done in video form, with excellent instruction which will really help you understand what you might have found challenging before.
It is certainly well organized and well presented, so the user experience with these videos will no doubt provide you with lots of benefit.
More Than 1000 Practice Questions
As you’ve already understood, you need more than a theoretically-based TOEFL exam preparation course. You also need TOEFL exam practice, and it has to be realistic so that when you sit the actual exam, you know exactly what to do.
And that is exactly what you’ll get with BestMyTest’s practice section of the course.
The questions are just like what you’ll find on the actual TOEFL exam, and the more than 1,000 practice questions will give you all the necessary support you’ll need.
The good thing about BestMyTest is that they’re a growing company which means they’re only adding to their already expansive program.
Lots and Lots of Instructor Based Reviews
As we have previously mentioned, the special thing about BestMyTest’s online TOEFL Preparation Course is the amount of reviews you can get, depending on the package you choose.
The least expensive package includes 6 speaking reviews and 2 writing reviews. The middle package includes an impressive 12 speaking reviews and 4 writing reviews, and the most expensive package offers a really great 60 speaking reviews and 20 writing reviews.
Plenty of Vocabulary Help
BestMyTest is one of the best TOEFL iBT test preparation courses out there. One thing that doesn’t hurt in these regards is the fact that it has a truly extensive list of commonly used words that could possibly show up on the exam.
Interestingly, they are presented as ‘flashcards’ on the screen, and are selected from a large group of word classifications starting with common words, and ending with categories such as archeology, agriculture, astronomy and botany.
In all, you are talking about having access to more than 2,000 words, which really is a great place to start when working on your vocabulary for the exam.
What happens is that the first side of the flash card prompts you to do two things to see if you know the word or not.
Firstly, it asks you to give the definition of the word. Secondly, it asks you to provide a sentence with its correct use.
When you press the “Flip Card” button, it shows you the correct definition of the word, and provides you with one or several model sentences of the word being used correctly.
Although there is no way to assess what you were prompted to write on the first part of the card, it still allows you the ability to know whether you have an idea of the word’s meaning and proper usage – at least to a certain extent.
At the very least, it will give you a good idea of what these words mean, and how they can be used in a sentence.
Of course, a private tutor would be able to coach you to construct your own sets of sentences and then go over them with you, and address finer points such as multiple meanings for words according to context.
Still, the vocabulary portion of this program is a great plus. We are, however, firm believers that it is very hard to completely remove more traditional methods of learning from your program, and that having absolutely all aspects of TOEFL test preparation online is – at the present moment – something of an impossibility.
There is still something to be said for taking pen to paper when studying.
So mix it up. Use the likes of BestMyTest’s grammar and vocabulary lessons, but don’t abandon things such as TOEFL books, private tutors and online academic lectures, podcasts and documentaries.
Think of all these things as complementary parts of a whole.
Got Any Questions?
Okay. What do you do if there’s something you don’t understand?
Well, you’ll have a chance of asking an instructor 10, 20 or 100 questions, depending on the package that you choose. There’s plenty of live, instructor support with BestMyTest’s direct messaging system.
Although this ask-an-instructor a question feature isn’t unlimited like Magoosh’s, it’ll most likely be more than enough for your needs.
Another advantage to BestMyTest’s ask-an-instructor feature is that it is a direct messaging service, which means that you will often (depending on the time of the day) get your questions answered quite quickly, if in fact you do have any questions at all.
A Comprehensive TOEFL Test Preparation Course
This is how to prepare for TOEFL. You can start by signing up for BestMyTest’s free trial, just to see if their course is to your liking.
What with their well-organized dashboard, their performance tracking tools that customize your TOEFL practice, and their extended list of written and video lessons, BestMyTest is proving to be an emerging force in the sphere of TOEFL iBT test preparation.
Add to that their 1,000 practice questions, multiple instructor reviews of your speaking and reading answers, a relatively extensive vocabulary section and dozens of ask-an-instructor questions, BestMyTest is definitely one of the best TOEFL courses out there, and certainly deserves to be purchased.
NoteFull: A Very Instruction-Friendly TOEFL Preparation Course
The truth is that as far as instruction is concerned, NoteFull is an industry leader. Let’s get personal here.
The name of the main instructor at NoteFull is Mr. Joseph Miranda. He has a very sincere demeanor about him, and his videos are very student-centered and student-friendly; as student-centered as an online TOEFL course can be, that is.
You aren’t being lectured to when he teaches you. Rather, he is helping you understand what you need to know.
What NoteFull Gives You
Once you have paid for your Complete TOEFL Mastery course, you should start with the NoteFull Path section, because it will give you a detailed description of how to match your expectations with proper practice.
At the bottom of this page of 23 points, you’ll find 2 videos of approximately 50 minutes each which give you a good introduction to how you should start off.
What’s nice about the NoteFull TOEFL course is that it gives you good benchmarks to use such as the declaration that for every 5 to 10 hours of disciplined study with the NoteFull course, you can expect to improve by 1 point.
That’s very comforting to know.
Your NoteFull Study Plan
Once you have finished the two videos, you can move on to the ‘Your Study Plan’ section.
This section provides you with some general study guidelines you should stick to.
One of the things you should do is go through some quick checklists they provide for you which will help you identify the things you personally need to work on most.
This is a very good idea, as it will help you focus on what’s most important, and thus make your studying sessions much more efficient.
Tips, Tips, Tips and More Tips
Next, we move on to the 5 Bad Ideas section, which outlines some misconceptions and bad practices you shouldn’t fall into.
For example, you are told that you shouldn’t lie or make things up when you’re writing your test. Yes, there are ethical issues involved here; but the point the course is making is that once you start lying and making things up and generally not keeping things real, you will have to start doing mental gymnastics trying to prop up the lie. Keep it real, and everything should go nice and smooth for you on the exam.
You’ll find that a common theme in this course is that you can do well if you put in the effort and stick to what you’re being taught, and this is certainly covered on the 5 Bad Ideas page.
In the TOEFL Basics page, you get a run-down of the exam format, and some information about registration along with more tips related to writing the exam.
NoteFull’s TOEFL Preparation Gems
NoteFull has included a free assessment section in which you can get a good idea of where you stand as far as your TOEFL skills are concerned. The section includes a submission form where you copy and paste your answers into.
One of the things NoteFull could work to improve on is the technical side of things. A lot of this could be done electronically without cutting and pasting things, and the website is definitely in need of being re-designed.
However, as confusing as the layout of the course can be, the instruction more than makes up for it.
Now we can move on to the main portion of the course.
Apart from the “8 Hour Crash Course” that’s included at the bottom of the menu, the main part of the course is split up into the 4 components of the exam, being reading, listening, speaking and writing.
Each section has dozens of sub-sections, which are full of tips, strategies, advice and practice, with some of the instruction being done in video form.
You’ll really like the mountains of information you’ll be given here. It’s that good.
Although navigating the menu bar to access the sub-categories of each test component is no easy task, you won’t regret it once you move from page to page of TOEFL exam preparation benefits.
NoteFull: Everybody Likes the Instruction
NoteFull has an excellent reputation amongst students for being one of the best online TOEFL preparation courses out there. They’ve worked hard to develop that reputation, and certainly deserve it.
Their Complete TOEFL Mastery program includes hours and hours of video instruction, as well as an assessment function which helps you know where you stand as far as your TOEFL skills are concerned.
Although you’ll get lots of practice through this course, if you’re looking for a more formal assessment like you’ll get on the TOEFL exam, you’ll have to order that separately.
In short, if a high level of instruction is the most important thing to you, then NoteFull is an excellent choice for you. But if you want lots of well automated practice questions as well as full-length, timed TOEFL exam practice that mirrors the TOEFL exam with instructors providing formal grading and feedback for your speaking and writing sections, you might want to consider one of the other choices.
As we have said previously, though, it’s always very difficult to say which of these online programs is the best TOEFL preparation course.
At the end of the day, all of the courses included on this page are excellent, and each one has their pros and cons depending on what your specific priorities and needs are.
And that’s what it comes down to: What are your specific priorities and needs?
That, more than anything, is what will help you select the course that will help you the most.
This is how to prepare for TOEFL: With a well-rounded TOEFL preparation course that suits your particular requirements.
And feel good knowing that whichever one of the online programs on this page you do decide to choose, it will certainly prepare you well for the exam.