Preparing for any exam or test, be it something for yourself or something for your career advancement, is nerve-wracking.
It requires hours of practice and hard work to pass exams, no matter whether it is in a field you may be an expert in or something you don’t know much about.
This is especially true if the TOEFL exam is not in your native language and of the language tests that you could possibly take in the world, one of the most taken and feared is that of the TOEFL test.
This test is something many people strive for, and the TOEFL preparation can be tough. It can be even tougher when you can’t afford to get the TOEFL exam materials.
So, what do you do in this situation? How can you prepare for the free TOEFL practice test online? Well, we have a few ideas that might help you out.
What is the TOEFL?
For those not in the know, or just generally a bit confused about what kind of test we are talking about, the TOEFL exam is a standardized test used to measure the ability of non-native English speakers when using the English language who want to enter an English-speaking university.
Generally, this test is the standardized tests that comes part and parcel for applying to a university in the United States, as there are only a few other universities in the world that use this test, with many others using IELTS, the Trinity College London exams, or Cambridge Assessment English.
While many people do take this test for university, there are also a limited number of establishments that take it as proof of English language ability, and it can be very useful for those who want to have concrete proof of their language ability for the future.
Although TOEFL test is seen as one big exam, it is actually a suite of different tests that can all prove that the taker has a good English ability.
The most common TOEFL test that is taken in the modern day is that of the TOEFL iBT (the TOEFL internet based test) and the TOEFL Essentials exam.
While there are others – like the TOEFL ITP (International Testing Program), TOEFL Junior, and TOEFL Primary – these two are the ones anyone can take, rather than just to students.
The TOEFL iBT was brought in to phase out the paper based tests, and it is now the big TOEFL test. IT takes a whopping 4.5 hours to complete an exams reading, listening, speaking, and comprehensive writing section
This test is accepted by almost all universities and is seen as the defining test for academic English ability.
The TOEFL Essentials test is a flexible and adaptive test that takes 1.5 hours to complete, and examines reading passage, listening, speaking, and writing skills in an academic and general context.
This TOEFL course is designed to be more accessible and substantially cheaper than the longer TOEFL iBT course, however the catch is that not all universities will take this as proof of English language ability, so be prepared to check about your university’s acceptance before taking this test.
The Preparation You Can Find Online For Free
Considering that many university candidates people are not only spending money on taking this test but also going there in the first place, you can understand why they would not want to spend any more when finding resources to prepare for the exam.
With that in mind, we decided to list some places you can find free TOEFL resources or, at the very least, TOEFL resources that cost very little money:
Udemy is a global e-learning institution that focuses on allowing teachers and students to learn or teach online through its platform.
It was founded in 2010 and now has over 54 million students, 204,000 courses, and 71,000 instructors using it for their educational experience in over 75 different languages.
While you do have to register and the courses are not accredited, the price of the course varies from course to course. This means that you can often get courses that are free due to people just genuinely wanting to put their knowledge out there.
It also means there is a variation in professionalism, since some instructors are experts while others are just enthusiastic hobbyists.
This makes it actually pretty good for preparing for the TOEFL exam, as you get a wide range of English spoken to you through the video lectures it uses.
TOEFL Speaking Success In 90 Minutes
One of the best TOEFL preparation courses on Udemy is TOEFL speaking success in 90 minutes.
This course is not going to teach you how to speak English or how to speak slang, but it will take your already established knowledge of English and teach you how to structure your answers and speech like that of an American student, rather than a student who learned American English.
The course is taught by Professor John MacPherson, who is an English professor that heads two online schools that focus on TOEFL prep.
While it offers no certificate, this course’s instructor will teach you the ins and outs of academic English and is considered excellent instructor quality.
The course is also immensely quick, only lasting for about 1.5 hours in total, meaning it is fantastic for reviewing what you have learned and tweaking it to the standards expected.
It will not be the be all and end all of your passing the exam, but it should raise your TOEFL test scores by 3 points at least, if you apply its lessons.
Better TOEFL Writing Techniques For ESL Speakers
Writing in English is surprisingly difficult. This is because a lot of the words in English are originally from different languages or past forms that had sounds that matched their letters, but as time has moved on so has the written language from the spoken one.
As such, the written part of the TOEFL exam can be the downfall of most students taking the TOEFL, especially those whose native languages are in a completely different alphabet or written structure.
This is where this course comes into play, as it is a course geared directly towards those needing writing instruction.
It is taught by a professional ESL teacher, Giles Esnor, who has been an ESL teacher for decades and has gained international experience of teaching ESL as well.
This course provides instruction on how to complete the independent written section of the TOEFL, including brainstorming, proper sentence and paragraph structure, and effective conclusion writing section.
The course is only 1.5 hours long in total, and it is great for reviewing the complicated language structure that can sometimes plague the written word of English.
Once again, the course comes with no certificate, and it could do with doing deeper dives into writing structure, but it is perfect for reviewing and learning what you need for the exam.
EdX might be one of the most prestigious resources to use for the TOEFL prep, both on this list and in the world in general. It is a massive open online course provider that is the brainchild of both MIT and Harvard.
It provides a huge range of university level courses in a variety of different disciplines and fields for those who may not be able to go to the universities of either Harvard or MIT or those who may not be able to afford to.
Now, while a lot of the courses are free with EdX, there are some caveats. You may be able to take the course, but you might have to pay for certification or for each individual class beyond a certain point.
This can be problematic for those learning with them, but it is great for those who wish to revise or prepare for other exams – like those taking the TOEFL.
TOEFL Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide
Of the courses on this list, this is probably the longest and most comprehensive to learn from.
It is recommended by many different professionals who have taken the test in the past, has over 1 million people enrolled in the course, and was designed by the professional test takers who make and administer the TOEFL to students.
As you can imagine, this means that this course is not something to be sniffed at when practicing for the exam.
It is taught by four different professionals from the Educational Testing Service – Cynthia Newman, Michael Knab, Molly Palmer, and Shawn Gorman – which means it covers all the topics that you need to review.
It will teach you to effectively work through the four areas of TOEFL, show you how to achive your target score, how to manage your time while taking the test, and how you should utilize your TOEFL IBT test score when applying for employment or scholarships once you have completed it.
While this might be the best TOEFL test preparation course that you can find, it might also be one of the most challenging. For starters, if you want to be certified with it, it will cost you some money to do so. This is only $49, but still if you are hankering for cash, this is a little steep.
The other thing about it is its length. The course is about 6 weeks long in total. Yes, you heard that correctly, it will last up to 6 weeks.
This is an enormous time commitment for an exam, and you may struggle to find time to study it while also potentially working or studying for other things.
As such, we highly recommend this course, but only if you are willing to put in the time and patience for it.
Skillshare is a large online learning platform that you may have heard of in recent years. The idea is that anyone who believes that they have extensive knowledge of a subject can submit a course to Skillshare and this course can be viewed by anyone who is registered with the platform.
Unlike Udemy, where the instructors are paid per purchase of their course, and unlike EdX, which is paid for by two massive institutions, the courses are given a fee per view of their video lectures in their courses from the Skillshare subscription.
This means that the most viewed courses are often the most informative and best courses on the platform itself.
While this can cause problems, it can also mean that you can learn things you never knew before about subjects you never dreamed of learning really easily.
While it normally requires a subscription, you can get it for completely free with a Skillshare trial for 7 days, which we recommend.
The Complete Guide To TOEFL Writing
Once again, it is a course designed to tackle English’s annoying writing systems. The interesting thing about this course is that it is taught by a former TOEFL student and now is a full time teacher to both English and Korean-speaking students, Keehwan Kim.
This is actually really helpful, as not only is Kim a professional English teacher, but they have been directly in your shoes before and tell you the tips and tricks they used to finish and take the TOEFL course easily.
Once again, the course offers no certification – due to the nature of Skillshare’s online learning platform – but the insight into how non-native English speakers and non-Latin-based writing system user complete the TOEFL is invaluable in the exam itself.
IELTS Reading Masterclass
If you are a person who struggles with English reading and need something that can help you get through this section on the exam, then we highly recommend this course.
Although it is for the IELTS and not TOEFL, they are very similar exams with the same pedigree, and it can provide you with lots of tips to complete the reading section easily.
The TOEFL courses are 17 hours long in total – which is a bit of a slog – and offer no certification, but there are very few courses out there that offer the insight that this course offers and fewer still that offer it for free like this one does (if you get the Skillshare trial).
Preparing for TOEFL can be a daunting and problematic task. It can require time, determination, and money. However, with this free course, we have listed here, you can get all the TOEFL prep you need for relatively few problems.