When To Start Preparing For The TOEFL iBT Exam


When To Start Preparing For The TOEFL iBT Exam - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!


“How Much Time Do I Need To Prepare For The TOEFL Exam?”


Answer:  (In A Best-Case Scenario)  At LEAST Three Months!!!

(Read-On To Find Out Why)

In a previous post, I explained “The Most Important Thing To Know About The TOEFL iBT Exam”.  In that post, I stated that the MOST important thing to know is The Format.

That is absolutely true.  Then, the NEXT-most important thing is to know “How To Answer Every Question & Fulfill Every Task On The Exam”. (which you will learn in either of The Full Courses in The TOEFL Excellence Training System.)

However — many people who need to take the exam start making plans about WHEN they will take it even BEFORE they start preparing for it!  And they often choose a  date and  register for the exam with almost no time to properly prepare.

This Is A Very Big Mistake


The number one reason that this is a mistake is because many of these individuals assume that The TOEFL Exam is yet another proficiency exam — similar to all the others that they have already taken in the past.

However — This Could Not Be Farther From The Truth

I Immediately Regret This Decision - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Most English proficiency exams — such as the FCE & CAE — test for the skills that a person ALREADY possesses.  Though The TOEFL iBT Exam does take this into account — this is not actually the main focus of The Exam.

The main focus of The TOEFL Exam is to test whether or not you will be able to function in a English-Speaking University setting, by showing that you is able to effectively…

1)  Learn New Material In English

2)  Answer Questions About That Material

3)  Express Your Thoughts And Opinions About Certain Topics In The Spoken & Written Forms


If you are intending on taking the TOEFL iBT Exam, you need to — First:  Get Acquainted With The Contents Of The Exam — And, Second:  Learn How To Answer & Fulfill All Of The Questions & Tasks On The Exam.  But all of this is going to take time.

And So…

You NEED To Have Enough Time To FULLY Prepare For The Exam BEFORE Registering For The Exam!!!

It should be noted that — the general time of “three months” does not take into account your specific:  Needs, Strengths, & Weaknesses — or what your required score is for the exam.  Some people need less time to prepare — some people need moreHowever — after tutoring A LOT of students of all different skill-levels, for over ten years — it is almost always true that…

(On Average)  If You Are Planning On Taking The TOEFL iBT Exam — You Should Have  AT LEAST THREE MONTHS To Prepare, BEFORE Taking The TOEFL Exam.

How Much Time Do I Need To Take The TOEFL


After you have Properly Prepared For The Exam — you should also do a review of your course before your actual exam day…  (something which you can do with ALL TOEFL Excellence Courses, because there is NO TIME LIMIT with any of the courses!!! ) 😎 “You’re Welcome”

I have coached people who took The TOEFL Exam with less preparation-time and still got a “good enough” score.  But that score would have been significantly better with even a few more week’s worth of preparation.

Anything Else?

Most people who are taking The TOEFL Exam have some deadline for when their exam results need to be submitted to a University — and so they have an “end-date”.  So perhaps they do not have enough time.  For those people I have also created a “Last Minute TOEFL Preparation Course”.

But for those of you who have much more time — there is NO reason to delay your preparation.  As stated above — there is no time-limit with any of The TOEFL Excellence Courses (unlike almost every other TOEFL course available ).  So…

Start Right Away!!!

By doing this — you will be able to prepare for the exam in a relaxed way.  You will also have plenty of time to ask me any questions that you may have as you are preparing for the exam.  And finally — you will have time to do a final review before your exam date.

One Last Thing!!!

The last thing that you need to remember is to keep a close eye on the schedule of Testing Dates & Locations for wherever you will be taking the exam.  This is because, in many locations, the testing dates can sometimes be completely booked-out, up to three months in advance!

So  —  to assume that you can go to the Official Testing Center and register only a week or two before The Exam…  IS A MISTAKE!!!  (I stress that because it happens ALL The Time!!!)


Keep track of availability in your area!!!  I update the information on availabile test dates on a regular basis, and the dates are usually posted for about three months ahead of time.  But things change week-by-week.  Dates can fill up quickly, (some places faster than others).

So The Moral Of This Story Is…

Plan Ahead!!!

Let's Get Down To Business - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Just To Summarize — Give yourself at least 3 months to prepare.  If you do — you should have no troubles.  (Six months to a year is better though).  Investigate what courses & resources are available to you.  And finally — Let me know if you need my help.

Good Luck!  And Have An Excellent Day!




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20 Responses

  1. blanchard says:

    very big thanks for all your advice about approaching the test

    • Hello Blanchard,

      Thank you for the message. You are very welcome.

      I’m glad that this is helpful. If there is anything else that I can do for you, please feel free to ask.

      I am always happy to help when I am able.

      Have An Excellent,


  2. Cathleen-White says:

    Thanks a million for your help

  3. Wendemagegn mitiku says:

    Ya its a good suggestion thanks.i am on the way to take toifle exam and i decide to prepare the exam format and the like at list four month ahead. Finally what did you recommended to me to score good result?

    • Hello Mitiku,

      Thanks for the comment.

      As for your question – that is a very big question that would require a lot of explanation. But the simple answer is, practice, practice, practice. Find out what you can about the different question-types and learn exactly how to answer each one.

      Good Luck!

  4. Well, I hope that you did well, but I would never recommend taking the exam with only 10 days to prepare. The article above should have clearly expressed that.

    That being said, I hope it wasn’t a waste of money.

    Have An Excellent Day

  5. Carole says:

    Hello this indeed is very helpful!!!
    I come from Africa and want to get into college next year hopfully, I don’t have a degree me so was adviced to go for the TOEFL exam, after reading this I plan to take the exam end September or early October. I will definatly practice daily, thank you for the insight very helpful.

    • Hello Carole,

      You are very welcome, and thank you for your kind words; I’m glad that it helped.

      Let me know if you ever have any questions, and good luck on the exam!

      Have An Excellent Day

  6. Ange Elvire says:

    hey Teacher
    I would like to know if someone can prepare for the TOEFL online and how?
    Thank you:)

    • Hello Ange,

      Thank you for the message. When you sent it we were still in the process of creating the way you asked about, but now you can prepare on-line here.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

  7. Jacqueline says:

    hi, I took an test IELTS exam and now I am wondering wether I should take the TOEFL instead ? What are the main differences ? I need some sort of certification of my lvelof English to teach it to groups of employees in the banking sector. I might also turn to secondary schools to by end of next year… I am fluent in English but I have never learnt the English grammar and so on. I am alos no too comforrtable with idioms and expressions when it comes to using them but I do understand them fairly well in a given context. What advice could you give me ?

    • Hello Jacqueline,

      Thanks for the message.
      First of all, I am not an authority on the IELTS exam. But it would be unusual to have to take both exams. As for the differences, there are a lot of videos on youtube about that. But the main one is that some Universities and organizations require the TOEFL, and others require the IELTS. But it is my suspicion that most organizations would except both. That is something that I can’t answer for sure though, as I am not affiliated with any school, organization, or government that requires either.

      As for the other advice, just keep reading the blog posts here, and watching videos on YouTube. I think that any different of the “EngVid” videos are good. The teachers for those channels are really good at what they do. And hopefully we will have our own videos in the near future.

      If you are looking to become a certified English Teacher, search for TEFL or CELTA certification courses. Those are the two main certifications.

      I hope that this helps.

      Have An Excellent Day!

  8. Piteimo says:

    Thank you for the information provided for TOEFL preparation. It 8s very informative.

  9. Piteimo says:

    Do TOEFL test vary for different fields of studies?

    • Hello Piteimo,

      Thanks for your messages. I’m glad that the information was helpful. To answer your question – there is only one version of the TOEFL exam; it does not change for different fields. The focus is on general academia as it is designed to test if people will be able to function in an English-Speaking University situation.

      The same organization also has another exam called the TOEIC which is basically the same exam but with the focus of business, rather than academia. However, that exam is not nearly as popular because fewer organizations require it.

      Have An Excellent Day!

  10. Samuel says:

    Thanks for such a helpful information.

  11. JEREMIAH says:


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