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TOEFL Methodology

TOEFL Methodology

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Published by: fuatturgut on Feb 09, 2012
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1 Structure (Sentence Completion):

To answer the Structure questions, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Read through the entire sentence, analyse structure of the sentence, and then figure out what part of the sentence is missed

Step 2: Cover up answer choices and choose the answer choice that is most appropriate to what you think is omitted in the sentence

Here are some examples to illustrate my methodology


6. Because the wood of the dogwood tree is very hard, _____ is used for objects, such as roller skate wheels, in which hardness is desired. (A) and (B) it (C) what (D) thus

To crack the question above, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Do not look at answer choices, look at the sentence first. Analyse the structure of the sentence. You can recognise that here is the complex sentence in which ‘Because the wood of the dogwood tree is very hard’ is a subordinate clause (adverb clause). It can be inferred that the clause folowing the comma (,) is a main clause. Easily recognised, a subject should be filled in the blank to complete the main clause

Step 2: Cover up answer choices and figure out that (B) is the only best choice

defining the verb ‘ indicate’. You can recognise that that is a complex sentence in which ‘Fossil records’ is a subject and ‘indicate’ is a verb (predicate) of the main clause. follow the steps below: Step 1: Analyse the structure of the sentence. (A) that many species of organisms (B) many species of organisms that (C) many species of organisms are (D) there are many organisms To crack the question above. in my classes. _____ the diffusion of heat upward to the Earth's surface. (A) That (B) Despite . students are taught how to distinguish subordinate clauses and that a noun clause functions as a subject or an object of a complex sentence) Step 2: Cover up answer choices. ‘that’ is a noun clause maker. you can realise that ‘have become’ is a verb. It can be inferred that an object. Fossil records indicate _____ existing in the past have become extinct. Cover up the sentence. must be a noun clause (in my classes. a noun phrase or a clause. the temperature within the Earth remains constant. students are also told that the sentence above can be rewritten in the other way. ‘species of organisms’ is a subject of the noun clause In addition. that is. ‘Fossil records indicate that many species of organisms which exist in the past have become extinct’ 11. it is easy to find out that (A) is the only best answer. You can figure out that the sentence needs an object that can be a word.13.

and subordinate clauses (Adverb. Please remember that SW section tests your grammar rather than your vocabulary To illustrate my points. it takes just an hour for students to be familiar with these terms 2. You must interpret the sentences in order to find out correct answers. articles. and find out that (B) is the only best answer Notes: In my lectures. and complex). Clues lead you to understanding both correct and incorrect answers. In my experiences. adverbs). pronouns. written expression part is a clue hunting process. students will be familiar with some terms that are used in this section.1. sentences (single. and figure out that ‘the temperature within the Earth remains constant’ is an independent clause. All correct and incorrect answers of ETS tests are constructed on a system of clues that unconsciously puts ETS in a dilemma. Adjective/Relative. please observe the way I crack the following sentences: . Noun clauses). I unequivocally state that analytical reasoning rather than English knowledge is the key to cracking these questions. subjects.(C) If (D) When Step 1: Analyse the sentence. It is easily inferred that we should choose a preposition rather than a conjunction to complete the sentence Step 2: Cover up answer choices. prepositions. Terms include nouns. Please also note that you cannot find out any clue in many questions of non-ETS practice tests. modifiers (such as adjectives.2 Methodology for Written Expression (Error Identification) As a matter of fact. conjunctions. compound. verbs.

B. ‘that’ to complete the adjective clause that modifies the noun ‘content’. The word ‘yeilds’ can be either a noun or a verb. POE is only the second best policy that is not compelling enough to influence students. English teachers help students to recognise that choice D is incorrect. English teachers. that methodology is compelling enough to influence any English teacher 2. the word ‘yeilds’ would be correct if it was a singular noun ‘yeild’ or there was a preposition. They will be wasting valuable time. test takers face the two biggest problems on this section: vocabulary and time pressure. From a grammatical perspective. which has a high sugar content for yeilds sugar and syrup ABCD At the speed of light. say. and C are correct. When you eventually take the TOEFL. often teach them in conventional ways. you can bet that most of the people in the room with you will spend most of their alloted time reading and reading the passages. The question is why choice D is incorrect. most test takers approach the Reading Comprehension section as if they get points just for reading. Look back at sentence. I strongly recommend the RC methodology introduced by The Princeton Review be applied to this syllabus Summary of The Princeton Review’s methodology: . the word ‘for’ in choice D must be replaced by a relative pronoun. ETS guys understand this well and know how to trap test takers) Regarding challenges test takers encounter on RC section and typical features of TOEFL reading section. Assuming that the word ‘yeilds’ is a noun. However.33. who believe that TOEFL is just a linguistic test. we find that if ‘yields’ is a noun. it cannot be in the plural form before the noun ‘sugar’. Via POE (process of elimination). It can be concluded that ‘yeilds’ must be a singular verb’ and as a result.2 Methodology for Reading Comprehension In my experiences. trying to understand every word. ‘of’ between the word ‘yeilds’ and ‘sugar’ (yeilds of sugar). In addition. Here is my way based on analytical reasoning rather than English knowledge: The clue is the word ‘yields’. A piece of cake! That way. even the most mentally challenged English student can understand my methodology! Also. you can find out clues that help to know choices A. say. (It is a piece of cake to understand why students take this way of approach on RC section. Some maple trees are raised for their sap.

“before and after” questions. Guess from what’s left . vocabulary-in-context and reference questions and except/not questions. Remember. “Before/after” questions – use the first or last sentence of the passage 3. Sometimes. General questions include main idea/tone/attitude/purpose. Inference – use lead words and look for a paraphrase. pronouns must agree in number and gender with the nouns they replace o Except/Not questions – use lead words from the question or from the answer choices o Then tackle the general questions: 1. o Vocabulary-in-context questions – make up your own word to replace the word in question o Reference questions – plug each answer choice back into the sentence and see if the sentence makes sense. Main idea – use the specific questions to find the main idea 2. Organization – use transitional signals… Never get stuck on one question Use POE to eliminate. using common sense and outside knowledge if you can. inference questions. and organization questions First do the specific questions: Lead words – use the words in the question to lead you to the answer. use POE (process of elimination) 4. Specific questions include “lead word” questions/restatement questions. Go to the questions first Answer the questions in order of difficulty RC questions are categorised into 2 main groups of questions: Specific Questions and General Questions. you need to paraphrase the answer you found.Do not read the passage.

Non-ETS practice tests deviate from ETS tests. are self-study oriented books full of detail explanations. Specific strategies will be developed for each type of question. Practising ETS tests is the shortest and most effective way to TOEFL high scores . Contents .They are actual and accredited tests that have been published by the ETS.Notes: I strongly recommend only ETS tests be introduced in TOEFL preparation classes for the two following reasons: . 3.Practising ETS tests is the most powerful way to challenge students and qualify teachers. It will be further elaborated on ETS questions during my lectures. which are available in markets. Non-ETS TOEFL publications. There are no explanations but only answer keys in ETS tests (is this a reason why English teachers do not like to use ETS books? I hope not!) .Please also note that here is a summary of Princeton Review’s methodology.

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