TOEFL Writing

Ideas for TOEFL independent writing

Jane Birkenhead, June 24 2022

These are some of the most common questions that I get asked about TOEFL independent writing. Thinking of ideas and writing about them in an essay shouldn't be stressful or time-consuming but for many students, it is. Let’s consider some different ways that you can practice thinking of ideas.

Read More
TOEFL Lessons

Paying for TOEFL Lessons

Jane Birkenhead, June 16 2022

If you're wondering if TOEFL lessons are really worth the investment, or if you're worried about the cost of paying for them, then I hope this article will address some of your concerns. If you have any other questions about TOEFL lessons, then please contact me. I’ve always believed in being open and honest about what I charge for lessons and my r...

Read More
Language Skills

25 Skills Building Exercises from the TOEFL Official Guide

Jane Birkenhead, June 10 2022

It’s nice to get things for free. Sometimes though we need to spend money to make the important things in life, like TOEFL, happen. So, instead of asking if something is free, ask if it gives you value for money. For example, if you know that you need to improve your language proficiency for TOEFL, then investing in the TOEFL Official Guide could m...

Read More

Practice Effectively for TOEFL

Jane Birkenhead, June 3 2022

If your TOEFL scores are stuck...If you've done all the TPO questions...If you're worried about missing your deadline......then this post is for you. Let’s talk about how to PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY for TOEFL. I think everyone agrees that it’s important to practice for TOEFL. But HOW you practice is really important too. TOEFL is a skills based exam. Y...

Read More
TOEFL Speaking

TOEFL Speaking Task 2

Jane Birkenhead, May 30 2022

Speaking task 2 can sometimes seem confusing. Some students have recently told me that they’ve had questions where they think the main speaker agrees AND disagrees with the announcement or proposal. And they’re wondering how to answer these questions. First, it’s highly unlikely that the speaker will agree and disagree. In the Official Guide to the...

Read More
TOEFL Reading

TOEFL and IELTS Reading Terms Explained

Jane Birkenhead, April 14 2022

Many TOEFL and IELTS resources talk about the different skills that are required for reading. They often focus on skimming and scanning, and don't separate these skills, which can cause confusion. Many test-takers don't really understand what these terms mean, while others believe that they should always skim and scan - and do both at the same time...

Read More
TOEFL Speaking

Prepare for TOEFL Speaking in the 10 Minute Break

Jane Birkenhead, April 12 2022

In the TOEFL exam, there is a mandatory 10 minute break between the listening and speaking sections. At the start of the 10 minute break, you will be told to leave the exam room and you'll only be allowed to return when the break is over. The exam centre staff will record the time for you.

Read More
Studying Strategies

Take a break if you're studying for TOEFL. It will help.

Jane Birkenhead, June 17 2020

Do you wonder if you are studying enough for TOEFL? Or, do you struggle to fit studying for TOEFL around your work and family commitments, and get frustrated because you always run out of time? If so, this post is for you! I’m going to explain why it’s important to take breaks from studying, and why studying less is sometimes a very good idea.

Read More
Language Skills

How to study for TOEFL using children's resources

Jane Birkenhead, April 28 2020

If you’re at home with your children because of Covid-19 and you’re trying to combine their home-schooling with your own TOEFL studying, then this post is for you. If you don’t have children, or you’re not at home with them, read on anyway. There’s a section at the end for you! As you probably know, I believe in using all possible resources to get...

Read More
Language Skills

COVID-19 and TOEFL: Ways to practice your language skills and remain exam ready

Jane Birkenhead, April 2 2020

TOEFL exam centres are closed for the next few weeks while everyone practices physical distancing and most of the world goes into some sort of lockdown. This is frustrating, but it’s absolutely the right course of action. Although ETS has created a Special Home Edition of the TOEFL test, many licensing organizations are not accepting it.

Read More