TOEFL is the test that aims at testing student’s knowledge and usage of English language. It consists of the following parts: Listening section, Reading section and Structure and Test of Written English.
Essay is considered to be the one of the most difficult part of the TOEFL. It has to be written according to concrete structure, be laconic (usually around 700 words) and relevant. The sentences should be precise and not very long. The topic of an essay should appear in the first several sentences in a so-called theses statement. Each of the next paragraphs should develop this topic, but each should discuss another aspect of it. So, the paragraphs have their own main ideas, which should also be stated clearly. Overall, the paragraphs must be arranged with cohesion and coherence.
Listening is also a very difficult part. The peculiarity of listening task is that the speakers use American variant of the English and most students study British variant. The two are different in pronunciation as well as in the vocabulary. That’s why it would be highly recommended to listen to the US news programme CNN or American movies without translation. Another option is to purchase special cassettes that have tape-recorded dialogues like the ones you meet during the test (ELTS TOEFL Preparation Kit is designed for TOEFL preparation purposes and can be very helpful).
If your overall level of English is not very high, it would be useful to take up some courses that are taught by the American teachers. Moreover, attending a speech club may be a valuable experience. Such activities will help you to develop more confidence in your speaking skills.
The difficulty that you may encounter in the reading section of the test is that the texts chosen for the TOEFL contain for the most part certain specific scientific topics on biology, natural, social and physical science, history and so on. So, if you wish to feel prepared for the reading section, make sure you read American press that deals with such topics (for example, National Geographic or anything alike).
To summarize, remember that taking a TOEFL without being properly prepared for it is a waste of time and money. That’s why take time to study so that you show the highest performance you are capable of on the test.