TOEFL iBT: Test Day

May 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

TOEFLHey everyone. So yesterday I did the TOEFL test. After a long period of preparing, it all comes down to this! I went to the test center early because I was worried about traffic jams, fortunately I didn’t came late, unfortunately I came 2,5 hours early -__-. The place was at Plaza Sentral, Jakarta. There is McDonald’s beside the building, so I went there to wait. At around 8 (my test was on 9), I went in the building to the 15th floor. Came in the room and I was kinda confused because I didn’t read any instruction for the test day, so here I will share things that I did before the test starts and also about the test itself ;)

What to do after you arrive at the test center?

  1. Go to the ‘front desk’, bring you’re printed-ticket-confirmation (the ticket confirmation that was emailed to you when you register) and also your ID (passport, driver license, etc). Then the man in charge will confirm if your name is on the list of people that will take the test that day. After that, he will give you a form to fill and a locker key to put your things.
  2. Fill up the form and put your belongings to your locker. Remember, don’t bring your cellphone or anything to the test room, including writing tools (pencils, etc), so put those things in your bag and in the locker. Keep ONLY your ID all the time.
  3. Sit and wait for your name to be called. When you’re called, your picture will be taken and you will be given a sticker that you need to wear on your chest. Then you are allowed to enter the test room.
  4. The supervisor of the room will lead you to your desk and give instruction on how to use the headphones.
Then, let the party test begin! The order of the sections: reading, listening, speaking, and last but not least, writing. Here are some tips on doing each part:


  1. The reading is kind of complex, nevertheless, you should try to fully read the text first before answer the questions. I find it more time-efficient than to read a part of it on each question.
  2. There are several parts of the reading sections. Each part have a different limit of time, if you are on the last question of a part and you still have plenty of time, go back to questions before to recheck it. You can go back and check question that’s in a same part
  3. Widen your vocabulary before the test.
  4. Practice to fast-read passages, don’t just read it but understand it.
  5. DON’T skip any questions, eliminate impossible answers and just choose an answer. If you are blank, just answer according to your intuition. Remember, there are no score reduction for wrong answers


  1. Where your headphone comfortably don’t let it bother you while you are listening
  2. Adjust the volume
  3. Take notes efficiently. Personally, I didn’t take notes at the test yesterday, I find that take notes can sometime distract me. But if you are the kind of person that are used to take notes, do it fast and efficiently. The person next to me take notes by making a mind-map, which I think is fast and will get all the points of the recording.
  4. Be careful in answering because you CAN”T go back to a question after you leave it.


  1. Don’t get nervous, just talk in your normal voice and tone.
  2. Practice. Download the sample questions or talk in English with people around you (family, friends)
  3. Use your preparing time for each question to make the idea line of what you are going to say, don’t think about the whole answer.
  4. Use all of your answering time, you should finish your answer exactly when the time is up.
  5. Don’t try to force yourself using complicated or formal words that you are not used to. Just use everyday words.
  6. A bit of “hmmm”, “emmm” or silence is OK.


  1. Make sure you can type fast, it will help to reduce your time in making your essay.
  2. Read example answers on the sample questions, you can have a picture of what they ask you to write. Pour it in your writing.
  3. Spare about 3 to 5 minutes to read your own essay. Beware of grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes.
That’s some per sections tips, here is the last part of this post, tips for taking TOEFL in general:
  1. Don’t come late.
  2. The room will be a test place for around 30 people. The starting time of one person is different from another and on top of that, a person can answer questions faster than another. So what I mean is that there will be some people that will have the speaking section when others have the listening section. It will be a bit noisy, just concentrate and wear your headphone all the time to reduce the noise.
  3. Do not cheat. Cheating for any reason is NOT good.
  4. Answer questions by following the instruction, especially on speaking and writing. There are questions that only ask about the lecture or text and tell you to NOT insert your own opinion. Make sure to not to do so.
  5. Ask the supervisor of the room. Raise your hand if anything is wrong, whether if it’s about the computer, the desk, the headphone, or anything.

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