Old: Practice & Get Feedback on Your Progress

After you watch my presentations, it’s time to get serious about finishing the homework. 

Even students who need to increase their score just a couple points end up doing dozens of practice tests.  Reading or Listening to just 4 or 5 sets for TOEFL iBT is unlikely to lead to any measurable changes. 

4-5 days per week you should be memorizing vocabulary with Spaced Repetition, tackling unfamiliar topics on TPO, improving your note-taking abilities and answering realistic TOEFL activities.

One day a week, you should be simulating a full test (with Reading, Listening back to back — one immediately after the other with no break) so that you can develop the energy levels and ability to focus for about 2 hours that the real test will demand from you.

In addition, you will need to build up to finishing 4 Reading passages.

The Cafe Test Protocol

Your Options to Get Feedback

Option 1: Take a real test


  • It is the most realistic form of feedback.
  • You find out your scores at the test center, immediately after you submit your essays at the end of the test. 


  • It costs over $200.
  • You don’t see any specific details about WHY or HOW you got your scores in Reading and Listening. Which questions did you get correct and which were wrong? Is your score low because of that difficult topic or did you lose points in one of the “easier” topics? You have to guess to answer all of these questions. 
Option 2: Take an official, realistic practice test

By this, I specifically mean one of ETS’s realistic practice tests which you buy from this website:


  • It costs less than $50.
  • It can give you very realistic feedback if you take it seriously and use the “timed” conditions AND ALSO if you play distracting sounds in the background to simulate the kind of quiet conversations that happen at real TOEFL iBT test centers that you must block out. 
  • You can see each passage, set of questions and your answer choices after you finish the whole test. You can share this with me and submit it for feedback if you want extra details.


  • You will need to borrow a friend or family member’s PC if you only have an Apple / Mac computer.
  • Some students find it difficult to trust the score because “it’s not real.” In my experience, the only time when the scoring is not consistent is when students have a super quiet, 100% distraction-free environment at their house — and they did not train to block out distractions, so when they go to the test center, they’re distracted constantly during Reading and Listening (which then causes their score to “drop”). 
Option 3: Get feedback from your daily practice

In my video presentations, you learned how to calculate your scores in Reading and Listening. You should be collecting all of these results so that you can track your progress. 


  • You can switch between “timed” conditions and “untimed” conditions, depending on what you need that day.
  • You have time to stop and…
    • break down the grammar of very complex sentences.
    • follow the “Score Maximizing Listening Protocol”
    • make flashcards for unfamiliar vocabulary.
    • watch YouTube videos that are related to the difficult topics, so that the concept is brought to life and you can “see” the ideas in the Reading or Listening passage. 


  • You may be too close to your own situation to be an objective, neutral observer about how to follow the approach that I’ve recommended in this program. In this case, consider my 8-week Accountability Program, where I’ll interpret your results and create an appropriate study schedule that raises your score.  

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