Passing Your English Exams (TOEFL & IELTS)

We often get emails asking if has test preparation materials for English language exams.

If you want to study at a U.S. university or college, you will likely take one of two English language exams.

The most common “standardized” English test in the United States is the TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language). (Standardized tests are tests on which everyone answers the same questions and the answers are scored (determined to have correct or incorrect answers) in the same way.)

There’s another English exam more popular in British and Australian universities called the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

How should you prepare for your exams?

If you said, “Drink a lot of beer when you study,” you will probably not do very well.

The best way to prepare for an English test is to improve your English overall. For that, you should start with our lessons which will help you do well on any English language test.

The problem is that many people who want test prep (preparation) want to improve their English a lot in a very short period of time – like, NOW!

Unfortunately, your brain doesn’t work that way.

You can cram it (force it) to remember some facts, vocabulary, grammar rules, etc., but to do really well on English language tests, you’ll need a deeper knowledge of English.

That can only come in one way: Getting a lot of English “input” through listening and reading.

But the good news is that you *can* influence how quickly you improve!

Do these two things to maximize (get the most from) your time and effort:

1) Listen/read at the right level. To get the full benefits, you need to understand what you are hearing/reading. Shoot for (try for) understanding over 90%.

You will actually slow down your improvement by wasting time listening to and reading English that is way (much) too hard.

2) Listen/read as much and as often as you can. Listen/read on your commute, while you’re doing household chores (housework), exercising, while you brush your teeth.

All of that learning adds up, even if it’s in small chunks (bits; sections).

The more you listen/read, the more you improve, so it’s up to you how quickly your English gets better.

Honestly, it isn’t that complicated (difficult; complex). The more time you spend reading and listening to mostly understandable English, the faster you will improve.

We recently received an email from Edith in Hong Kong and who recently took the IELTS exam. She wrote to tell us that she received a good score!

“Hi, this is Edith from Hong Kong. I used to be a paid member on your website and I listened to your podcasts a lot. It really helped me improve my overall listening and speaking, especially when it comes to learning common expressions and idioms. I found this way of learning new words most effective, even just in a short period of time…This year, I undertook the IELTS test and I got a relatively good result because of your podcast as well as some other online materials 🙂 I would like to recommend your podcasts to those people who are determined to improve their English. Thanks for your help.”

Quite often, we get emails like Edith’s with success stories using Some are from students, like Edith, who reached their goal of studying in the U.S.

Some got jobs or better jobs because their English improved.

Some are able to speak English better every day living in the U.S.

Thanks to all of you for telling us about your success! Read more success stories here.

Got a success story yourself? Tell us about it!


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash


P.S. Want to start improving your English? Try a FREE 30-minute English lesson.

  • Do you have difficulties remembering the “right” word when speaking in English?
  • Do you have to stop and think about everything you want to say in English?
  • Do you get lost when someone speaks English quickly to you?

Then you need to try one of our Unlimited English lessons from!

Used by more than 1.27 million people in 189 countries, our Unlimited English lessons are designed to help you understand English so you can speak it.

Just fill out the form below and we’ll send a FREE lesson to try!

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What Will I Learn in My Free Lesson?

Here is just a small part of what you’re going to learn in this free lesson:

  • What “take a rain check” means and how to use it in a conversation . . .
  • The difference between a “recluse” and a “busybody” . . .
  • Why “to fend OFF” means something from “to fend FOR” . . .
  • What it means to “take a rain check,” “keep to yourself,” and “to appoint (someone)” . . .
  • What a social secretary is . . .
  • The best way to use “to sort out” and “to turn down” . . .
  • How to use phrasal verbs like “to settle in” and “to settle down” (they’re not the same!) . . .

And much, much more!

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