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If you are ready to take your TOEFL test prep to the next level, Varsity Tutors can place you in a private TOEFL class to help you pursue your goals. We specialize in helping students of all ages, ability levels, and interests connect with one-on-one TOEFL tutors dedicated to helping you improve your study skills in any way they can. This commitment to customizable TOEFL prep is what makes Varsity Tutors a name you can trust in a competitive industry.

The TOEFL, or Test Of English as a Foreign Language, is a standardized exam taken by non-native English speakers as a demonstration of their command of the language. It is most commonly taken by individuals looking to attend college in, obtain a work visa in, or to emigrate to an English-speaking country. If your goals involve travel to the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, expert TOEFL test prep could help you reach for them more quickly.

The TOEFL is not the only test of its type, but it is the most popular. Below is a detailed list of some of the institutions that accept TOEFL scores:

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. universities prefer the TOEFL test over other English-language tests
  • More than 80% of graduate programs in Canada prefer the TOEFL
  • 100% accepted in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Preferred in France and Germany. French and German universities prefer the TOEFL test and receive more TOEFL scores than any other English-language test.
  • Widely accepted in the U.K.

Likewise, the TOEFL exam is offered at testing centers around the world. TOEFL Resource Centers are located in 9 different countries around the world, in addition to the United States and Canada:

  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates

Clearly, TOEFL prep could be a great investment. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of TOEFL tutoring!

What Topics Does TOEFL Preparation Near Me Focus On?

The TOEFL assesses your knowledge of all four communication skills in the English language: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each has its own devoted section on the test, but the Speaking and Writing sections include reading comprehension and listening as well. This emphasis on information synthesis equips TOEFL test-takers for the rigors of academic study or professional life in English.

Here is a closer look at each section of the exam you might want to explore during TOEFL test prep:


The TOEFL Reading section consists of 36-56 reading comprehension questions based on 3-4 academic reading passages drawn from undergrad-level textbooks. You do not require any prior knowledge of the material discussed to answer the subsequent questions. Some of the information you might need to identify includes the main idea, supporting details, vocabulary words, and rhetorical purpose. Furthermore, you may need to draw conclusions based on what you read using your knowledge of cause and effect or argumentation. Finally, you may need to fill out a table with information you read or complete a summary of the passage. You will have anywhere from 60-80 minutes for this section of the test.

Many students choose to go over active reading techniques during their TOEFL prep. For instance, taking notes as you read forces you to actively engage with the material, potentially improving your retention of it. Since this is a timed test, your TOEFL class may also show you how to refer back to your notes instead of the passage to double-check an answer and save valuable time.

Similarly, TOEFL tutors may demonstrate test-taking techniques to help you with this section of the test. For example, if you read over the questions before diving into the passage, you'll know exactly what information you are looking for when you start reading. This may make it easier to identify what you are looking for.


The TOEFL Listening section includes questions based on 6-9 classroom discussions, lectures, and conversations drawn from a college setting. Once again, you will not need any prior knowledge of the material in order to answer the questions in this section. You may need to identify the passage's main idea, its supporting details, implications of the content, the speaker's purpose, and the speaker's attitude. You will have anywhere from 60-90 minutes to answer 34-51 questions on this section.

One of the most effective ways to pick up a new language is to completely immerse yourself in it. Your TOEFL tutor is an ideal conversation partner because they can speak slowly and repeat themselves as needed whenever you miss something. As you gain confidence, they can ramp up your TOEFL prep by speaking more naturally.

The first two listening passages could include non-North American accents such as British and Australian. If you want to cover additional accents in your TOEFL course, your instructor may recommend English-language YouTube videos to help you gain experience. This could also help make TOEFL test preparation more engaging, as you can choose videos on topics that you find interesting so long as they are in fluent English. Students who are actively engaged in their TOEFL test prep tend to get more out of it than those who stare at the clock waiting for their TOEFL course to end.


There are six tasks total in the TOEFL Speaking section, and they are divided into three categories. The first two are called "independent" tasks because they only involve speaking. You will be asked questions on familiar topics, such as landmarks in your hometown, and graded on the spontaneity and coherence of your answer. The best way to get a feel for what this section could feel like is to have practice conversations with your instructor during your TOEFL preparation.

The remaining four tasks are "integrated" because you will need to incorporate information from a listening or reading passage into your answer. Your responses are graded the same way, except that your ability to synthesize information from multiple sources is added to the rubric. Your TOEFL test prep for the previous sections is likely to come in handy here, so make sure that you concentrate on understanding English as a whole rather than limiting yourself to each section individually.

The TOEFL Speaking section lasts 20 minutes. Your answers are recorded and scored by at least three knowledgeable graders anonymously, so you do not need to worry about the bias that can creep into the equation when your proctor evaluates your performance.


Many students find the TOEFL Writing section to be the most difficult on the entire test. You have 50 minutes to compose two essays: one independent task and one integrated task. The independent task requires test-takers to support an opinion in writing, essentially crafting an argument. The integrated task requires you to identify the key points of a listening passage and relate it to a reading passage in writing, using three of the four communication skills on one question.

If you tend to space out when trying to write in English, you might want to go over how to outline during your TOEFL courses. An outline acts as a convenient reference point you can look at if you get stuck, saving you from wasting time wondering what you wanted to say next. It can also help your piece follow a consistent structure, a very important consideration since organization is part of the rubric. Honestly, learning how to outline during your TOEFL prep could prove useful not only for this exam, but any other exam you may take in the future.

English has several wonky spelling rules, including silent letters like those in "knuckle," words that sound identical but are spelled differently such as "four," "fore," and "for," and rules with noteworthy exceptions such as "i before e except after c." Rote memorization is really the only way to internalize this information, and your TOEFL tutor can help you find ways to make it easier. For example, you might incorporate flashcards into your TOEFL test prep to study how words are spelled.

Do TOEFL Classes Near Me Have To Concentrate On The Exam's Sections?

Absolutely not! One of the biggest advantages of private TOEFL tutoring is the ability to study at your own pace. If you are confident about the Reading section but nervous on the Speaking portion, your TOEFL prep may focus on Speaking to enhance your study efficiency. You never need to leave a topic behind until you are ready to do so, in contrast to large TOEFL courses that try to force all students into the same box.

Your tutor may also be able to design your TOEFL classes around your unique needs. If you are an auditory learner, your tutor may create recordings that you may listen to outside of your scheduled TOEFL test preparation time. In contrast, a visual learner may get more out of graphical representations of all the rules you need to learn. Large TOEFL classes generally lack a comparable level of flexibility, making them inferior TOEFL test prep options to private TOEFL preparation.

You are your teacher's only student during your TOEFL prep sessions, so any questions you ask may be answered promptly. Many students who have worked with us in the past say that the one-on-one learning environment provided by a private TOEFL class made it easier to ask for help as necessary. All of your work can also receive immediate feedback, allowing you to go over any mistakes while the material remains fresh in your mind.

Can A TOEFL Course Near Me Go Over What I Should Expect On Test Day?

Sure! A whopping 98 percent of all TOEFL test-takers take the iBT, or Internet-Based Testing, version of the exam. It is administered via computer, so you might want to take practice exams during your TOEFL prep in advance of your testing date to build some familiarity with its electronic interface. Practice exams can also help your tutor identify what your strengths are, as well as any weaker areas you might need to spend more TOEFL test preparation time on.

Your TOEFL test prep can also cover any reservations you might have about the testing lab experience. You might be asked to produce ID when you check in, so make sure to bring it with you. You cannot bring any personal effects into the testing lab, so plan your TOEFL prep around not having any last-second study time before the exam begins.

Scrap paper will be provided so you can take notes as needed, particularly important during the listening sections of the test to ensure that you can remember everything. More scrap paper is available upon request, but you have to finish your initial supply first.

If iBT testing isn't available where you live, you will take a pencil-and-paper version of the TOEFL instead. It follows the structure above, except that it doesn't have a Speaking section because the technology isn't available.

You will receive your score approximately 10 days after taking the exam. Each section is scored individually on a scale from 0-30, and they are added together to produce a total score from 0-120. That said, the scores are not on the same scale. For instance, a 17 on the Writing section doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as a 17 on the Speaking section. There is no such thing as a "passing" TOEFL score, as each institution has its own unique requirements. If you have any questions about what your score report means, it might be a good question to ask during your TOEFL test prep.

Why Should I Book TOEFL Tutoring Near Me Through Varsity Tutors?

We try to match every student with a TOEFL prep solution that meets their scheduling needs. For example, if you have a prior commitment on Saturday evenings, we will try to avoid scheduling any TOEFL courses in that time frame. We value your time as much as you do and try to design our TOEFL test prep products with that fact in mind.

Likewise, our exclusive Live Learning Platform facilitates digital TOEFL test prep sessions. It's an online classroom with powerful features such as video chat and a virtual whiteboard that provides all of the benefits of face-to-face TOEFL prep without the logistical headache of meeting in person.

If you're looking for an outstanding TOEFL prep experience, look no further than Varsity Tutors. Knowledgeable experts are currently standing by to answer any TOEFL test prep questions you may have, so reach out by phone or online for more information today!

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