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TOEFL Preparation class

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 This class is generally a one-on-one online tutorial by Skype or Zoom but group classes are an option. The best way to determine if this class is right for you is to contact me for a free online demonstration class. Below is more information about the class.

In this class, we use TOEFL practice books such as the Barron’s IBT SuperPack, The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test  or TOEFL iBT Prep Plus. To evaluate and grade students' speaking and writing responses, I use the official rubrics of the Evaluation Testing Services, the organization that created, administers and grades the test. To understand the way in which your speaking and writing will be evaluated and graded on the TOEFL test, check out and know these rubrics:

For Writing:

For Speaking:

  I provide grammar and vocabulary lessons specific to your particular needs and determined by the trouble spots revealed in your writing and speaking responses to the practice tests. The number of classes you need will depend upon your proficiency when beginning the class. Most intermediate level students will need 10-20 sessions. I would need to assess your proficiency first to estimate how many classes you will need. You can purchase packets of five, ten or twenty classes depending on your needs.

I typically recommend 90-minute classes, once or twice a week, depending on the student's preference and schedule. If your proficiency level is already relatively high, then you could possibly pass with as few as five sessions, which mostly would serve to familiarize you with the test format.The course is most effective and efficient when students are prepared to spend at least twice as much time studying outside of class as they spend in class.

To prepare for the speaking component of the test, I record the spoken responses of a student to the practice test questions, then provide meticulous step-by-step analysis and feedback on particular errors and corrections related to grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, writing organization and development, as well as brevity, clarity, and coherency. Through a number of practice tests and one-on-one coaching, students quickly improve their scores on the TOEFL. When a student begins to routinely score in the range of their target score on the practice tests, they will be ready to take the actual test.


As mentioned on my About Us page, I am a native speaker of English (American) with a Master’s in Education, certified in TESOL, Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, with over 17 years of teaching experience.  

One thing you should avoid while preparing for the TOEFL test is underestimating the level of English that will be expected of you to thrive in a university abroad. Universities regularly reject applications of students who do not have a minimal competency in English. And students with a low proficiency level in English who plan to study and live abroad may struggle with everyday communication, making their adjustment to the new country more challenging and stressful. As most students studying abroad will want to learn as much as possible from there university classes, you will want to be as proficient in English as possible to help you get the most out of your experience abroad. Unfortunately, many students overestimate their proficiency level and are unable to see their own weaknesses in the language until they are living abroad. They also may not know how challenging it is to succeed in an academic environment in English.

For all the above mentioned reasons, you should allow yourself the time needed to improve your language proficiency in English. You should set aside plenty of time in your schedule to dedicate yourself to improving your English if you want to succeed and be accepted by a good college or university abroad. No matter how successful you are in other areas of study, the language burden of studying abroad is immense, with a new language and culture being a universe in itself that requires sufficient study and attention and should not be taken lightly if you are to achieve your goals of studying abroad. So please consider this when planning your study abroad.


For more information about the iBT TOEFL test, check out the website of Evaluation Testing Services, the organization that administers the test:


To learn more about various universities and colleges in the US, check out the US News & World Report ranking of top schools: 

Below is a link to a list of free study materials you can find to help you develop your English. There are many excellent 

resources there, but there is no substitute for an experienced teacher who can give you specific feedback on your speaking and writing:

Free Study Materials


I will share below some information on how to adapt to studying, working, or living in the US. This information will be very helpful in making your trip more successful and less stressful. I can also provide a certain amount of information and advice for students moving to Europe as I have lived and worked there, and I have prepared a number of students for this transition as well. For more information about living and studying in the US, check out my blog posts below on this topic.


Planning on studying or doing research in the US? Here are the first ten things you should do upon arriving:

Surviving and flourishing in winter in the US: some tips for visiting researchers and students:

Please send me a message if you have any questions about this class or if you would like to schedule a free demonstration class.

Jim Hesson

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