TOEFL Experience

My TOEFL Test Experience

This is the TOEFL test experience submitted by an TOEFL taker. You can read other TOEFL takers’ experience here.

I took the TOEFL test on April 12th and received my results on April 24th:

Overall score = 114

Reading = 30

Listening = 29

Speaking = 28

Writing = 27

I’m grateful because your help has been responsible for my achieving this score.

The venue did not look good from outside, but inside it was better because it was new. There were around 60 candidates taking the test in the same room, so it was chaotic.


I performed the best in this section. I had 30 seconds on an average to review my answers for each passage. The last question required me to choose nine sentences out of eleven and fill in the correct boxes. It was worth three points, but I had five passages in total so perhaps it didn’t add to my score. The first passage was a bit difficult as well. It took me 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and 40 minutes respectively for each passage.

I read the questions first and then read the passage. This helped me answer the questions faster. If I had read the passages first, I would not have been able to attempt passages four and five as I was tired. Also, other candidates were attempting the Listening section and the noise was audible despite using headphones. So, it was difficult to focus on reading.

I was expecting a score of 29, but got a better one!


I was exhausted by the time I completed the Reading section. I haven’t had breakfast well so I ate some sugar that I had carried with me. I hesitated and could not focus. I had a tendency to take too many notes. The challenge was knowing what to note and what to ignore. Also, other candidates were speaking loudly while I was attempting this section.

I had practiced by listening to podcasts from “Stuff You Should Know” (CF iTunes). Also, I have been watching American movies and series without subtitles for the last five years.

I was expecting a score of 25, but I did better!


To prepare, I bought training software from ETS and received a score of 22 on a practice test. It was difficult to think of clever things to say in English and I often lacked ideas. However, it turned out better than my practice sessions at home.

Again, I scored better than my expected score of 25.


I prepared for this section a day in advance of the test. I looked up a few templates on the Internet and committed them to memory. Thus, the writing section was easy because I only had to fit three ideas into the blanks in the templates. I am grateful to for providing a list of sample topics.

I lost around 1.5 minutes here because I had accidentally pressed several keys at once and caused the space bar and erase button to lose functionality. The computer had to be rebooted to resume the test.

I expected to score 29, but got only 28.

I arrived at the venue at 8 a.m. and completed the test by 1:30 p.m. I came out feeling disappointed and was only expecting to score 105. But, I was very happy to see my result. I feel motivated to attempt the GRE now.

Satabdi is a content writer and editor with degrees in Biology and English. Her interests include education, health and wellness, and books. When not writing, she can usually be found reading in a corner.

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