Saturday, April 5, 2008

Speaking Topics

Speaking Topics
1. Your favourite pet
2. Your dressing style
3. What do you do in your free time? (Your most favourite hobby)
4. How do you learn English?
5. Which sport do you like best?
6. Which dish do you like best?
7. Your most favourite/important subject
8. You future plan
9. Your best scholastic achievement
10. What kind of music do you like best?
11. What do you expect in your parents?
12. If you had a wish, what would you wish?
13. If you can change one thing in your university, what would you change?
14. Your best friend
15. The person you like best
16. Your unforgettable day
17. What is unforgettable in your school life?
18. Your idea of a happy life
19. A type of book you enjoy reading
20. The fruit you like to eat most
21. Your favourite TV show
22. The movie you like best
23. The place you would like to visit
24. The strangest dream you have had
25. What would you do if you suddenly had a lot of money?
26. Your first attempt to gain
27. Your ideal holiday resort
28. Your ambition

29. Your most influential person/teacher, and explain why you feel this person is a positive role model.
30. Where will you be professionally in ten/15/20 years time?
31. What quality do you like best in a friend?
32. What do you treasure most in life?
33. What are the qualities of a good citizen?
34. Your favourite time of the year?
35. Your favourite colour?
36. What are the qualities of a good teacher?
37. What are the qualities of a good student?
38. What are the qualities of a good parent?
40. If you could change one thing in your country, what would you change?
41. The most inspiring person to you
42. Describe a job that you’ve had, and explain why it was important.
43. Describe a person you admire and explain why you admire him or her.
44. If you could have any job in the world, which job would you choose?
45. Describe a book that you have read and explain why it was important to you
46. what all u miss when u r away from ur home

Do you think children should always obey their parents, or are there times when it is not necessary for children to obey?
Do you make decisions quickly or do take your time making them?
It is better to learn about the news from newspapers or from television?
Do you think it is better to get up early in the morning or sleep until later? Would you prefer to go to a big party or a small gathering with friends?
Would you prefer to write a paper by yourself or with a group?
Do you think it is better to tell the truth and hurt someone’s feelings or tell a little lie and keep from hurting the person?
Some college students choose to take courses in a variety of subject areas in order to get a broad education. Others choose to focus on a single subject area in order to have deeper understanding of that area. Which approach to the course selection do you think is better for students and why?
Do you like to try new food or eat the same kind of food?
Do you prefer to be in a large or a small class?
Would you prefer to go to dinner or stay home and cook a meal?
Do you think it is better to marry before the age of 30?
Do you prefer to take an essay exam or multiple choice exams?
Would you prefer to take a trip by plane or train?
Would you like to live in a big city or a small town?
Do you think it is better to study alone or study with friends?
Do you prefer to play sports or watch sports?
Would you prefer to go to the opera or to a football game?
Would you prefer to take the TOEFL test or a math test?
If your teacher makes a mistake, is it better to correct the teacher or ignore the mistake?
Is it better to take choices in life or play it safe?
Is it better to have a career that pays a lot of money but keeps you away from your family, or a career that does not pay you much but allows you to spend time with your family?

Monday, March 17, 2008

TOEFL Preparation - My Experience

Preparation Time : 10 days.

Materials used :
  • ETS book
  • Longman Software
  • Kaplan Software

I downloaded all the above mentioned materials.

TOEFL iBT is really simple. It may look as a tough one but it is not.

Just dont spend more time in a single passage. Make sure that you complete a passage in 20 minutes.Listening:Listening passages were a bit faster than the sample listening passage in longman. It is as fast as the one in kaplan.

Speaking is really simple if u just practice the 35 sample questions. I got the question from the sample question.Writing:It is one of the most simple section. I just practiced 1 set before my test. My preparation during GMAT really helped me @ this time.

The most important thing in reading is concentration.. if u are able to concentrate and read the passage once that will do.. dont spend more time to read.. the passage are a bit lengthy.. on a average i spend 6 minutes to read the passage. even of i dont understand i just start answering the questions. dont spend more time on a particular question. one adv in this ibt is that u can review ur answers if u finish the section a bit early.. just make a note of questions on which u r not sure of the answers so that u could have a look at them once u complete early..In my exam the reading section splitted into 3 parts...1st part - 1 passage (20 min)2nd part - 2 passages (40 min)3rd part - 2 passages (40 min)i found it hard to concentrate on the last passage.. but i scored pretty good in this section by God's grace..Tip: The ETS server is a bit slow.. so once u go bac to the previous question the timer stops and the page takes some 5 to 6 seconds to load and the timer to start again... so i used those seconds for my advantage...

The most important thing is taking notes. The listening section in Longman is a bit slow.. i would say kaplan's questions had the speed similar to that of ETS. i dont think this section should trouble anyone if he/she has taken good notes.Speaking:This is easier than what people expects it to be. I m not a good speaker of English also my vocabulary is not that great.. I just used to practice the topics given above . After that I used to simulate the test scenario by giving 15 sec initially to think of a reason and then start recording my talk using Sound Recorder for exactly 45 to 60 sec depending the question. After answering I used to play the answers a number of times and then analyse whether i made any mistakes. Make sure that u dont talk too fast or too slow.. Just talk at the normal rate. There is no harm if u complete ur response in 40 sec for a 45 sec question but if u complete in 30 sec then u would be penalized. For the Second Question there is nothin like correct or wrong answer.. for eg if u are given a question like whats ur fav subject - english or maths? u wont be given any additional marks if u select english or u wont be getting less marks if u select maths.. scoring depends on the valid reasons u give for the answer... just practice.. thats the key..for the questions 3-6 make sure tht u take proper notes of the listening passage.Warning: Dont listen to the sample answers for the integrated topics from Longman. They dont answer the question properly and also they are not correct according to my view. Kaplan's answers helped me to prepare well. also listen to ETS sample answers.. they will really help u to understand what all ETS expects.These are the topics I got.

1. Favourite Type of movie (drama or comedy)
2. University should encourage physical activities or not.
3. (dont remember)
4. Some marketing lecture
5. A woman wants her sister to come to CA during her holidays whereas she wanted to do some summer course in French Revolution.
6. (dont remember)Writing:If u had done ur GRE or GMAT then this section is pretty simple.

To tell the truth I just prepared 1 set of questions before my TOEFL. I also read few toefl sample essays and they gave me a good idea how to face this section. I downloaded that from some site.. The word count feature in the new S/W is really helpful. Make sure that u answer more number of words with valid reasons. Also dont deviate from the question asked or from the topic. For my first question I answered around 275 words... ETS expects 175 - 225 i guess.. for my second question I answered around 500 words... ETS expects 300 words...These are the questions I got.1. Reading passage - video teaching is better than books.Listening passage - a professor arguing books are the best.Question passage - How does the teacher argue her point (somethin like that)2. Which one is better? working in small company or a big company.Make sure that u type fast or else practice a lot before taking the exam.


Other Blogs:



Longman Links

Kaplan Links:
Warning: Do not install Kaplan CD contents from ur PC, extract the kaplan contents and write the iso file in a CD and then install it.. if u do wrongly it will not work..if that doesnt work then try mounting them using a virtual drive.

ETS Book: (Around 70 MB)

Online Tests:

TOEFL Essays:

Other Sites:

Orkut Links:

Kaplan Software installation procedure..Uninstall Kaplan Software incase u have installed it earlier.Download Virtual CD drive from the following path

Install the EXE to a folder and follow the instructions below.Installation instructions=========================

1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder.
2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
3. Click "Driver control"
4. If the "Install Driver" button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
5. Click "Start"
6. Click OK
7. Click "Add Drive" to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click "Add Drive" until an unused drive letter is available.
8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click "Mount".
9. Navigate to TOEFL IBT CD1.iso and select the file.Once it is selected a virtual drive will be displayed along with other drives in My Computer.Now install the Kaplan Software.Note: The mounting using virtual drive needs to be done each and every time the PC is restarted. Suppose if u have installed the software by selected the Drive Letter Z:, if the PC is restarted the .iso file must be again mounted to the same drive (Z:).