Test Prep Centers and ESL Schools
Read some useful information about the TOEFL iBT test prep centers and ESL or EFL schools, how to choose them and what points to consider.
Test Prep Centers and ESL Schools

If you decided to take the TOEFL iBT test, you will surely prepare yourself beforehand. TOEFL iBT test preparation centers are specifically designed to help students prepare best for the test and to get the highest scores. Since the test prep centers differ a lot, one should investigate and gather information about the center before taking classes in it.

general_high_acttest_01The points to consider before choosing the center to prepare for the TOEFL iBT:
• Is it a local school or an international chain?
• How many successful graduates has it had?
• Are the instructors qualified exam preparation professionals or general ESL teachers?
• Do the schools have their own study materials or use existing test preparation books and software?
• Do they offer a guarantee, based on student’s success in the exam?
• Do they have a first free class option?

Attending the free class is very desirable. During this class, you can see for yourself how professional the instructors are, and what materials are used at the class. Moreover, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions that you have.

Some of the centers may offer an option of a short, focused, intensive workshops or seminars, which is at times very useful. Such classes are conducted in the evenings or weekends and suit perfectly working professionals and busy people. The main thing is that you have a right to receive the best preparation available, but it is your responsibility to find and choose the right center to provide this.

ESL/EFL schools offer a variety of services including preparation for the TOEFL test. As with the centers, the classes offered at different schools differ in quality, duration and success graduate rates. What can be a benefit is the class schedule. Students may often choose between the full-time and the part-time TOEFL preparation programs. Moreover, there may be an offer of separate classes for each of the TOEFL skill: reading, writing, speaking and listening, and an opportunity to prepare for the TOEFL at different level classes, which helps to boost the “productivity” of the preparation. Another advantage of ESL school is an availability of additional classes, which students can enroll in when they need to improve their week sides or overall English knowledge.

The biggest disadvantage of taking preparation program at an ESL/EFL school is that ESL teachers are usually not test preparation specialists. Undoubtedly, they will help students improve their knowledge of English. Nevertheless, they might not be able to reveal all the little “secrets” of TOEFL test required to pass the exam with the best score. So, visiting the school in person is very advisable. You must make your own decision about the school, its reputation and competence.