1. Know the TOEFL format well in advance. You can save time instead of reading all the instructions on the day of the exam. You can avoid panic and also anxiety by knowing what you’d be tested in.
2. Research and find out how high you need to score on the exam. Check out websites of colleges you’re going to apply to and note the TOEFL score requirements. Some colleges would want a score of 80+, but some at least 100.
3. Try practicing academic English as the questions will be academics oriented. Read textbooks, journals etc so you can be familiar with words and phrases that are commonly used.
4. Try to take help from a teacher or a mentor who has either taken the test before or is a native English speaker. Notice how he/she speaks and ask questions if any.
5. Improving typing skills will help you be quick during the exam, which will save you lots of time and keep you relaxed. So, practice typing essays instead of writing them on paper.
6. Practice a lot of sample tests to become very familiar with the exam and improve your English. Get your papers graded by your mentor or a friend so you’ll know where you have gone wrong.
7. Practice speaking and record your monologues. Replay them to spot errors and try to improve the next time.
8. Practice note-taking while preparing. You can practice by writing down recipes during television cooking shows or dialogues in movies. Improve your speed gradually. This skill will help you during your speaking and writing section of the TOEFL and also in classes during college later on.
9. Try to arrive at the test center well ahead of time so you can relax and be calm before the exam. Wear a watch and time your departure from home keeping in account traffic issues.
On the Day of the Test:
10. Answer every question asked. Since there is no negative marking on the test, there’s nothing to lose even if your answer is wrong. If you do not know the answer, try to infer it by eliminating all the wrong answers.
11. In the reading section, you can score well by being familiar with academic related passages and articles from science and literary magazines. Skim the passage first and then look at the questions. After you read the questions, read the passage again and write the answers.
12. For scoring well on the listening section, pay attention to the tape as it will be played only once. You can get used to this while practicing by not playing your practice tape more than once.
13. For the speaking section, practice speaking to yourself. It is ok to hesitate slightly before answering, but make sure it sounds like a natural pause while you’re thinking.
14. Practice writing essays on various topics for the writing section. Learn spellings and verbs properly and use them in the essays.
15. Take rest and sleep well before the day of the exam. It will help you feel calm and relaxed on the morning of the exam.