9 Best Free TOEFL Resources to Boost Your Score

9 Best Free TOEFL Resources to Boost Your Score
Melbourne Classical Radio - Hey guys. Welcome to my website. Some people left me comments asking for recommendations about free TOEFL resources. And I also received comments like if the practice tests on toeflbank are similar to the real exam. 

So I decided to make a article about the top 9 free TOEFL resources that I used for preparation and tell you how to make good use of them. Let’s get started! The first resource is TPO websites. What’s TPO? It’s short for TOEFL practice online. Each TPO is a real, retired TOEFL. They are the best resources that you can use for authentic practice. 

I usually got familiar with the same type of questions at first. Then I started to do TPO. I had kept practicing TPO before the real exam for about one month, like two to three times per week. Don’t do it at the beginning because there are not many free TPO. You can use TPO to practice the whole test under time pressure, so it’s better to practice in the middle of your preparation. Most people used zaban.com before since it had many TPO, but it was already shut down. Here I share two TPO Chinese websites. 

One is toefl.zhan.com, and the other is tpo.xdf.cn. You can google translate the websites into English. At that time, I practiced more on toelfbank because zaban often crashed. Although I only practiced a few reading passages on zaban, my reading score improved a lot. 

I wish I could practice more on TPO instead of toeflbank. I know many of you have heard of or even used the second resource toeflbank. It was free before, but now it charges money. Here are its advantages and disadvantages for your reference. Toeflbank simulates the real full exam online. It has different types of practice tests and it can even record your speaking. 

So I often timed myself and took the full tests on it. But toelfbank’s tests are not TPO, so some of them are easier than real one, especially speaking and writing. It develops AI to grade speaking and writing, but the results may not be reliable. I often got high scores in speaking, like 25 to 27. 

But I got only 23 in the real exam. AI can find out your grammar mistakes to deduct points, but it may grade bad writing with 100% grammar correctness with a high score. This is why I often encourage you guys to practice on different platforms and materials. You won’t know how the exam is only after you take it. The third resource is about TOEFL writing topics. 

I also introduced this website in another article. I found it because I felt difficult to come up with ideas for writing and speaking at first. Many people feel the same way. One of my suggestions is to practice coming up with 2 or 3 ideas for writing questions. Just write down some bullet points. For example, when you see this question “Teachers should assign homework that students must do every day?”, think about 2 or 3 reasons for why you agree/disagree with it. 

Then click on the link with a red logo. Scroll down and see what ideas the author comes up with. Then go to the next topic and practice in the same way. The goal is to train your brain to come up with ideas fast. And Alan often chooses the easier topic with reasons. You can also learn to find out the easier topics. 

Next resource is a website called Test Resources. There are many writing and speaking samples. But it didn’t have many speaking samples before, so I only used it for writing practice. I wrote for the same topics as those of the author. 

After finishing my writing, I compared my writing with the samples. I learned not to use difficult vocabulary or complicated sentence structures to express my ideas. And I often copied the author’s wri ting. Why? Because writing down helps with your memory of how to write nicely. This will improve your writing fluency. 

I just copied the sample writings 2 times, and my friends said my writing improved a lot. The fifth resource is Grammarly.com. I still use it after taking TOEFL. It’s a free website for revising your writing grammar mistakes. Don’t use Word or Google doc when you practice writing because they often show your grammar mistakes automatically. 

But you can’t use these apps in real exam. So I used Notepad on computer. It doesn’t highlight or change my grammar mistakes. I got into a habit of checking grammar in the last 2 minutes of writing. Then, I used Grammarly to double check my writing again. 

The next resource is ted.com. I’d suggest practicing listening as early as possible because there is no shortcut for listening. You need to improve your listening skills day by day and real life listening is more difficult than TOEFL’s. As well as practicing on TPO, you can also watch other YouTube channels such as ted.com. 

There are many academic topics on ted. Click discover. Then click topics. See, there are lots of different topics. Click on the topics that related to TOEFL like astronomy, animals, etc. Especially watch the topics that you’re not familiar with. It will help you understand the listening better. Next is the TOEFL official website. Here’s a section called “prepare for the test”. There are many materials like courses and books, but not all of them are free. 

I only used this one, the free practice test and these practice sets. You need to record yourself for speaking, and your speaking and writing will not be graded. But it’s still good practice. Honestly, these tests are a little bit difficult than the real test. Probably because TOEFL wants you to buy more materials on the website. And remember to check out the additional links at the bottom of the practice sets. 

There are more free TPO. Don’t forget to practice. The eighth resource is the groups on Facebook or Reddit. My friend recommended a Facebook group to me before taking TOEFL. I found many TOEFL resources there. And I could ask questions and find TOEFL partners. Just search TOEFL on Facebook or Reddit, you will see many groups. 

Join a few ones to see which one is the best. But don’t spend too much time browsing group information. Some of the information wasn’t useful. You need to stay focused and keep practicing. The final resource is TOEFL books borrowed from libraries. Community colleges provide free English courses or even TOEFL courses in America. 

Don’t forget to find TOEFL books in school libraries. You may be surprised. I went to the library and ended up borrowing 5 TOEFL books. This saved me at least $100, and is really helpful for my preparation. These are the top 9 free TOEFL resources that I recommend.

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