Step 1 of 5
The board of SAPA wants to make sure you don't waste money studying for TOEFL iBT. To help with your decision, you will answer some questions about your situation. Depending on your answer, you may see either of these symbols pop up:
The 💸 symbol shows money flying away... which means that now may not be the best time for you to invest seriously in your studies.
The ✅ symbol shows a checkmark... which means that now sounds like a good time for you to invest seriously in your studies and see a result.
Below the symbols, you will see a message from me with more information about how your answer impacts your TOEFL study situation. At the end, you'll have a chance to ask me any questions you have.
Click NEXT to begin answering questions.
Jaime says: That's amazing and after all of the difficulties with the COVID pandemic, I'm super happy for you and you deserve the vacation. Unfortunately, when you join a group class, we can't pause things just for you. 🥺 You might fall behind during that time. Do you think it might be better to wait a few months (until you are more settled) to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT?
Jaime says: Huge congratulations! America is lucky to have you. Getting citizenship was a big challenge for so many of my students. I noticed a huge improvement in my students' focus (and a major decrease in their stress levels) AFTER they got citizenship. During a group class, you don't have the ability to take breaks when you need them so... We suggest you wait until after your family's citizenship process is over to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: I can understand how important it is to you to do well on that test. In the past, I watched students study for that... and it's not usually possible for people to study for TOEFL iBT 10-15 hours per week at the same time that they do PTCB training. We suggest you wait until after your are done with that to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: That's so exciting! It's virtually impossible to survive in America without a car, so I am genuinely happy for you to have this freedom. It will give you so much independence and I'm sure it will improve your quality of life. That said, it's hard to study for TOEFL iBT at the same time that you're studying for ANOTHER test. We suggest you wait until after your driver's license process is over to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: Congratulations on navigating the stressful process of applying, interviewing and getting hired! That's a big achievement! Will you have mandatory trainings? Will you be required to work certain days? Will you be unable to ask for certain days off each week? If you will not have lots of freedom, this is probably not a good time to join a group class with a schedule for the whole group. It may be better to wait a few months to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: Some of my students are not in control of their schedules for studying because they must coordinate with their employer or family members (like to provide childcare). It may be difficult for you to coordinate with the schedule for the group classes if you will not have lots of control over your time. It may be better to wait a few months to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: I hope that it's an exciting move! Personally, I find moving incredibly disruptive. It's very stressful to pack up your entire life into boxes and get all of your belongings to a new location. When I watch any of my students move, I always notice that they need 1-2 weeks to get settled. Unfortunately, when you join a group class, we can't pause things just for you. 🥺 You might fall behind during that time. Do you think it might be better to wait a few months (until you are more settled) to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT?
Jaime says: I am so sorry to hear that. I'm not sure what you're going through, but I want to say that it's important to give yourself time and space to process everything. I got divorced in 2017. My step-father died in 2020. 🥺 During those times, I had depression and it was hard to focus and achieve my goals sometimes. Do you think it might be better to wait a few months (until you are more settled) to seriously invest in studying for TOEFL iBT? Or... Would the class give you something positive to focus on?
Jaime says: I am so sorry to hear that. I'm sending you a hug. Before my step-father died in 2020, I watched my mom take care of him for years. It was so hard for her to always be the strong one. Being a care taker is not easy. 🥺 I have noticed that my students who are care-takers need much more time to finish the same activities than students who are not dealing with such heavy responsibilities. If you need a very customized and flexible schedule, it may not be a good idea to invest in a group program.
Jaime says: Oh gosh! That's really stressful. The 2 times in my life when I was dealing with my visa status (to live in Turkey and to live in England), I developed health issues because of the stress. I would understand if your health is suffering because of that, too. I have noticed that my students who FINISH dealing with their visa status are much more focused and productive. Is there a way you can wait to start studying until after your visa status is confirmed?
Jaime says: I'm very sorry to hear that. Depending on what you're dealing with, you may need some weeks or months to overcome these challenges so that everything calms down and you are not stressed about these things. It seems like it might be best for you to wait before making any serious investments in studying for TOEFL iBT, and there's no shame in that at all. 💪
Jaime says: My deep condolences for your loss. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. In the past, I noticed my grieving students fall into 2 groups:
Jaime says: I typically recommend that people find 10-15 hours per week to study with the curriculum and materials that I provide. So because of that, your situation is excellent from the standpoint of being able to manage your time how you want and invest heavily in your career goals.
Jaime says: That's great news! I'm glad you're able to work something out. I typically recommend that people find 10-15 hours per week to study with the curriculum and materials that I provide. In order to make sure that you see the fastest results from any investment in studying for TOEFL, it is important to keep 10-15 hours per week to yourself so you can study very productively.
Jaime says: Oh dear 🥺 I imagine that you've got a lot on your plate right now. I want to share a quick story with you about a woman who joined my program a few months ago.
Before she registered, I asked her: "Do you have kids who need supervision?"
She said, "Yes, a child under 18 months."
I asked, "Do you have childcare set up?" because her husband worked a full-time job and her family is not close by so she's basically just doing it on her own. 😢
She said, "Not yet but I'll figure it out."
Well, she registered for my program. As soon as she paid, she started getting assignments and instructions via email about what to study and how to spend her time.
She realized that she couldn't watch her son full-time and also follow such a rigorous, serious TOEFL program like mine.
Fortunately, she didn't join a group program. She was in a private program. 10 days after she registered, she asked to pause her schedule until she found daycare for her son.
It took 4 weeks to find daycare. Then we resumed our schedule. Now, she is making much faster progress because she can actually fully-focus without any interruptions.
The problem in your situation is that if you join a group class, there will be a schedule that we cannot pause. I would really hate for you to feel behind and frustrated simply because you are busy with parenting responsibilities.
I'm not saying "Don't join" ... but I am saying that it's really important for you to be sure that you know exactly when those 10-15 hours a week will be. 💕
❌ living room or kitchen
✅ a room with a door
Jaime says: Excellent! This quiet, dedicated space gives you an advantage because during the 10-15 hours per week that you study with the curriculum and materials that I provide, you will be much more focused -- and therefore much more productive.
Jaime says: I'm sorry to hear that. I really feel for you. There was a time a few years ago when I was moving around a lot. I was living in temporary housing. Because of that, I did not have a dedicated office. The people who I lived with moved my work belongings without permission so my things were disorganized. As a result, I wasn't as productive as I could be. Plus, the noise they created around me was incredibly distracting. I can say honestly that was the hardest time of my career.
When you think back to your days in university, were you more productive studying when people didn't interrupt you? If your answer is yes, then you need to look for creative options to set up a space so that you can study as productively now for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: Great! A strong signal is essential. My students who have strong internet signals learn faster and more easily. The reason is because during Zoom classes, we have no delays when talking or seeing each other. Fast internet means you will not get distracted by annoying interruptions, so you will be much more focused -- and therefore much more productive.
Jaime says: Phew! I'm very glad we dodged this bullet now. A strong internet signal is essential. I suggest that you figure out how to get a strong internet signal before investing in any group classes.
One of my students right now has a weak internet signal. During classes, he loses a lot of time running around to different locations in his house. Like, while he should be sitting down, focusing and taking notes, he is actually just holding his computer walking around his house. He forgets to move his charger cord and all his notebooks and stuff, so then he has to stand up and go get them.
Because of this student's bad internet connection, the class time he gets with me is literally about 10% as effective as the class time that students with good internet.
The strength of your internet signal connection is very important to figure out BEFORE you register for any classes for TOEFL iBT.
Jaime says: So that you avoid frustration and lost time, energy and money, it is very important to figure out the strength of your internet signal connection in your study location BEFORE you register for any classes for TOEFL iBT.
Different locations in your house can have different strengths. Also, if your family uses the internet, that can decrease the strength of YOUR connection to the internet. The more people who are using the internet, the slower it is.
You can check the strength of your connection by doing "a speed test" on various websites. After the test, you will see 2 speeds:
For you to be happy and stress-free in Zoom classes, your speeds must be at least these numbers:
Click here to do a speed test: https://www.speedtest.net/
Jaime says: Excellent news! Viruses cause legitimate and difficult delays for students who are studying online. It sounds like you will avoid all of that headache, and as a result, study much more efficiently.
Jaime says: Uh oh! This is a serious issue that you need to address before registering for classes. I strongly encourage you to wait investing any time, money or energy studying for TOEFL iBT until you fully-resolve this situation. People who have virus-free computers study much more productively than people with viruses, or people without computers.
3810 Broadway, Sacramento CA 95817