Monthly accounts of other TOEFL® test takers' journeys to success.

TOEFL® Scholarship Winner Talks Success Strategies

Dec 5, 2014

Karanveer Mohan is one of nine Indian students to win the TOEFL® Scholarship in 2011. Here, he talks about preparing for and taking the TOEFL test, and why time management is an important skill for test takers.

Karanveer on taking the test

  • Reading: All the information you need to answer the questions is right there in the text. The key is to read each passage carefully and manage your time effectively. 
  • Listening: You only get to hear the entire passage once, so be sure to take detailed notes. 
  • Speaking: I found this section to be the most challenging. For some tasks, the preparation time is less so you need to quickly formulate your ideas and opinions on the topic. Again, timing is key.
  • Writing: Use as many examples and details as possible in your essay. Information must be presented in an organized manner, and having a good vocabulary can help deliver a range of expressions. 

On how to prepare

There is no hard and fast rule on how many hours you should practice, or the number of practice tests you need to solve. Instead, focus on the sections you feel are your weakest. Having taken the SAT exam only a month before the TOEFL test, my reading and writing skills were already strong. As a result, I spent more time on the listening and speaking sections. I would advise test takers to solve at least two practice tests and identify and study those sections that need more attention. 

Interested in hearing more advice from top TOEFL test takers? See past scholarship winners and success stories >