The 8 Characteristics of Foreign-Trained Professionals who Get 26+ on TOEFL iBT Speaking in ~4 months

Honesty and transparency are very important to me. Collaborating with me is not right for everyone. From 12 years of doing this, I’ve identified 8 characteristics of people who got the fastest results with The Partnership.

Your success depends on factors beyond my control and I cannot guarantee that you’re going to get a particular score in 4 months.

People who get results within 4 months usually have ALL of the following 8 characteristics…

#1 You are comfortable reading and listening a lot.

The easiest way to check this is by looking at your scores for TOEFL iBT Reading and Listening. Typically, when students already have regular scores at  TOEFL iBT Reading 23+ Listening 23+, they make faster progress because they understand so much.  Yes, students who have lower scores can still learn from me—but they tend to get tired and need more breaks (whereas students with higher scores can keep going). 

It matters because...

You’ll receive assignments from me in a variety of ways, some written, some in video.

If you have a lot of energy to read and listen, you’re going to understand much faster and avoid misunderstandings that create delays.

#2 You are very comfortable typing and writing.

The easiest way to check this is by looking at your scores for TOEFL iBT Writing. Typically, when students already have regular scores at  TOEFL iBT Writing 24+, they see faster increases in their TOEFL iBT Speaking scores because their foundation with English grammar and vocabulary exists. 

Yes, students who have lower scores can still learn from me but they must do more self-study outside class to develop the missing skills with grammar or vocabulary.

It matters because...

Your TOEFL iBT Writing score helps us quickly answer: “Do you already have the foundation with English grammar and vocabulary to see rapid results when we unlock your fluency for Speaking?”

Although it’s normal if you need to review 3-4 grammar topics, you’re not starting from scratch or struggling so much to express your message.

🙋🏻‍♀️“What if I got 24 on a previous exam but I’ve recently struggled with lower scores?”

In my opinion, this isn’t a dealbreaker. If you managed to get a TOEFL iBT Writing score of 24 or higher on any past exams, that is proof that you have the kind of foundation with English grammar and vocabulary that I mentioned above. You can’t lose that foundation. Yes, you can be confused and tired… but the English knowledge and skills are still in your head. The main reason why I’ve watched people’s scores on TOEFL Writing drop is because they unknowingly switch templates or they change their style of writing on various exams. Fortunately, by using my e-course for TOEFL Writing in coordination with my program for Speaking, many students became success stories, re-claiming a 24+ on Writing, . If you’re willing to put the time in, there’s no reason that you cannot get your score in TOEFL Writing again relatively easily. 

#3 You are comfortable with technology

It matters because...

The TOEFL iBT test is on a computer, so you’ll be doing assignments in various websites and apps.

Plus, if you study with me, you’ll follow Google Calendar, use Google Drive and Google Doc, save Zoom video recordings on your computer and share links to assignments via email.

In the past, students of mine who felt they were “bad with technology” and who continued to believe they could not get better did not see the same kind of improvements as students who consider themselves “good” or at least “capable” with technology.

#4 You have opportunities to speak English

It matters because...

Speaking (and improving accent) is more a physical skill than an intellectual one.

Movement creates “muscle memory.”

People who speak English for hours every day with family, friends or co-workers have real chances to use the concepts from classes.

Don’t worry! Many of my students who did not have a job or relationships in English were able to get 26+ on TOEFL Speaking. How did they do it? They spent hours a day talking out loud by themselves at home. It may not always be fun, but it is possible! 

#5 You recover from setbacks within hours or a couple of days

It matters because...

The road to a 26 on TOEFL iBT Speaking is consistently challenging… until the moment that it’s suddenly all over. While you grow into the new person who has better English, there will still be difficulties.

If you need weeks or months to feel good enough to keep going after you experience any disappointments or setbacks, it is unlikely that you will get results during a 4-month period. Plus, if you’re in The Partnership with me, I’ll be messaging you to schedule and do the assignments. If you ignore those messages from me, you will not benefit from the job you hire me to do. 

Interestingly, students with learning disorders like dyslexia and ADHD usually make faster progress studying with me compared to students who never had any challenges in their life… until TOEFL iBT.  

The reason? Because when people learn how to navigate the world with their learning disorder, they develop a deep understanding that failure is temporary and mistakes are ok. Plus, they discover their “tricks” or coping mechanisms for succeeding. They are able to use all of that experience and resilience during the project of studying for TOEFL iBT.

However, “perfect” or “excellent” students who literally never experienced any failure in their lives before TOEFL iBT tend to be the ones who stay stuck if they do not have an intuitive sense that failure is temporary and mistakes are fixable (not a source of shame). When these types of people realize that the project with TOEFL is requiring them to develop the coping mechanisms and mental resilience that their less academically successful peers had to learn at a much younger age, they are able to bounce back and make progress. 

#6 You actually make 10-15 hours per week to study

It matters because...

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of conversations with TOEFL students since 2010. When I ask them, “Do you have 10 to 15 hours per week to study for TOEFL Speaking?”  99% of students say YES. 

However… the people who get results are the ones who actually find it, week after week.

The growth happens not only because of classes but also because of your self-studies.

#7 You love communicating. You check and reply to emails. You send a lot of text messages. You have a lot to say.

It matters because...

My communication style is immersive and extends outside of scheduled classes in Zoom. 

For some students, this is perfect and they’ve been missing the opportunity to have more access to a teacher to ask all kinds of random little questions. 

For others, my communication style feels like an exhausting burden.

Students who don’t give me regular updates via email or text (because they “don’t like texting” or “hate typing” or want to “wait until we can talk in Zoom”)  miss dozens of opportunities for extra support. They are frustrated because class time is “not enough.” Those students make progress — but at a much slower rate. Typically, they run out of classes without reaching their goals. 

On the other hand, there are students who put me on their list of the Top 5 Most-Contacted People in their life until they’re done with TOEFL. They regularly email me and they use Google Doc’s commenting function to discuss various questions with me. They coordinate their TOEFL study schedule with my work schedule at least 1-2 business days per week. As a result of their willingness to use email and text messaging, we resolve many important discussions outside of and between classes. This constant extra communication week after week rapidly adds up. It becomes a key factor that massively accelerates their progress, without which, progress in just 4 months simply couldn’t happen. 

#8 You are more committed to growth than staying the same

It matters because...

Ultimately, you must be more committed to growing and transforming into the person who can speak in the way that gets the 26 than your are committed to staying in your comfort zone with your current belief system about your current capacity.

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many non-native speakers want to avoid the personal growth that is necessary for the transformation.🌱

Which of the 8 characteristics do you have?

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