5 Tips to Improve Your TOEFL PBT Score!

Kody, TOEFL Prep Instructor

Kody, TOEFL Prep Instructor

Test taking can be challenging for anybody. TOEFL PBT is no exception.  There are a few very simple things that you can do to improve your TOEFL score.

1. Know the test – It is important to familiarize yourself with all of the instructions on every part of the test. TOEFL is a timed test, so you do not want to take any time reading and trying to learn the rules on test day. You should take practice tests early and often to help you become completely confident in the directions of the questions and the style of the questions.

2. Listen for the meaning – On the listening section of the test, do not focus on words or phrases given in the answers that sound similar to the audio. TOEFL will try to confuse you with such questions. You should listen to each part carefully and try to understand the meaning of what each speaker says. The main section of the listening involves short conversations, and the answer is often found in the meaning of what the second speaker says.

3. Look for mistakes in the answers – The grammar portion of the test asks you to complete a sentence or find an error in a sentence. The answers often have one or two very obviously wrong choices. You may be able to eliminate these answers without reading

image courtesy of umshare

the question. Look for patterns or structures that will never be correct and eliminate them first. Then go back to the questions and pay close attention to subject-verb agreement and verb tense.

4. Read the questions first – The biggest problem for most people on the reading section is the limited amount of time given to complete the questions. One way to cut down on your reading time is to read the questions first. After you read all of the questions related to one article, you can skim or read the article quickly to look for the relevant information. Also, many questions in this section are vocabulary questions that simply ask the meaning of a word. These questions can be answered and eliminated early.

5. Answer everything – Finally, you should never leave an answer blank. A blank answer is a wrong answer, so guessing is better than skipping. Always double-check that you didn’t miss any question before the time runs out.


Book Club Begins February 5th

Emily, Book Club Sponsor

Emily, Book Club Sponsor

The English Book Club is very excited to invite all students currently enrolled in Intensive English classes at levels 3, 4, and 5. Come join us as we read, discuss, and have fun!

We will begin this term by reading Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” We hope to see you there!

Book Club Spring-1 2013

February 5th Book Club Reading

Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Simplified Version: “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”
You can read and listen to the story at


TOEFL Test December 7, 2012

If you plan to take the TOEFL PBT test be sure not to miss the TOEFL Prep Class on Wednesday afternoons. We meet from 2:45 – 4:00 in Classroom #2. This class prepares test takers for the paper based TOEFL test. We will practice listening, reading, and grammar questions similar to those from the test. In addition, we will discuss strategies and test rules to help you become familiar with the style of the PBT test.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for the test is become familiar with the instructions and question styles. This will help you save valuable time while taking the test and know what kind of answer you may be looking for.

Come join us on Wednesday. This course is open to all full-time students in the AUM ESL program.

The next TOEFL Test at AUM will be on Friday, December 7 from 9:30am – 11:30am on the 7th floor of the Library Tower.  To register for the TOEFL Test contact the ESL Office at 334.244.3131 or stop by in person – Office #700 on the 7th floor of the AUM Library Tower. The TOEFL Test fee is $35.

*AUM requires a minimum score of 500 on the PBT TOEFL test. The requirement for IBT TOEFL is 61.

Kody, TOEFL Test Prep Instructor

Fall-2 Conversation Partners Program

Conversation Partners is a fun program open to all students enrolled in the ESL Program at AUM. The program is designed to give ESL students opportunities to practice their English conversation skills with native English language speakers. ESL students can build communicative competence and fluency and enjoy making new friends and learning about American culture.

Fall-2 Conversation Partners Schedule is listed below:

October 23

October 30

November 6

November 13

November 27

Obie, Conversation Partners Sponsor

Fall-2 Book Club

Auburn University Montgomery’s ESL Program is proud to host ESL BOOK CLUB! This club is open to all ESL students currently enrolled in the Intensive English Program at levels 3, 4, and 5. We will be meeting every Monday from 2:45pm to 4:15pm.

This term’s theme is “flash fiction,” so we will be reading short stories from the highly acclaimed anthology, Flash Fiction Forward:

Image: BetterWorldBooks.com

After publication of the first Flash Fiction anthology over a decade ago, “flash” became part of the creative writing lexicon for readers, writers, students, and teachers. In this follow-up collection, the editors once again tackle the question: “How short can a story be and truly be a story?” Determined to find the best flashes from America in the twenty-first century, James Thomas and Robert Shapard searched everywhere for stories that were not merely good but memorable. Moving, and certainly unforgettable, this collection includes stories from the best and most popular fiction writers of our time, including Ron Carlson, Robert Coover, Steve Almond, Amy Hempel, A. M. Homes, Grace Paley, and Paul Theroux. In addition, Rick Moody properly defines armoire, Lydia Davis delves into a world of cats, and Dave Eggers explores narrow escapes. Over and over, these stories prove that often less is more.

Book Club Sponsor