Six Quick Hints for Success on the TOEFL
1. Try to understand a reading or lecture as a whole. Unlike earlier
versions of the TOEFL, the new version tests whether you can see
how ideas interact in a longer reading.
2. Take notes. Especially in the listening section, you will need notes
to remember what you have heard. Note-taking will also help you
concentrate.You can practice by taking notes of news stories, documentaries,
3. Study grammar in context, not by itself. Unlike earlier versions
of the TOEFL, the new version has no grammar section.Your
knowledge of grammar is useful in helping you understand the
readings and lectures, not in answering grammar-specific questions.
4. Practice writing essays that express your opinion on a topic.
The writing section of the 2005 TOEFL includes questions asking
for your opinion on various daily topics. These are timed.
Practice writing under a time limit, shaping your thoughts into
a well-rounded essay.
5. Build up your academic vocabulary.Your ability to comprehend
reading passages rests largely on your academic vocabulary. Build
your vocabulary by reading, making flash cards, and writing sentences
using new words in context. A strong vocabulary will help
you not only in your reading comprehension, but also in listening,
writing, and speaking.
6. Commit your attention to the test. Some of the topics covered in
the test may not actually interest you. Still, your focused energy
will improve your test score. Agree with yourself not to think
about other topics during the test. Force yourself to keep your attention
on the tested material.
1. abandon 6. intensify
2. adversely 7. irrigation
3. aggregate 8. obtain
4. cultivation 9. photosynthesis
5. fertilize 10. precipitation
Definitions and Samples
1. abandon v. To leave; to give up
To save their lives, the sailors had to abandon the sinking ship.
Parts of speech abandonment n
2. adversely adv. In a harmful way; negatively
Excessive rainfall early in the spring can adversely affect the planting
Usage tips Adversely is often followed by affect.
Parts of speech adversity n, adverse adj
3. aggregate adj. Gathered into or amounting to a whole
It is impossible to judge last year’s performance without knowing
the aggregate sales numbers.
Usage tips Aggregate is often followed by a term like sum, total, or
Parts of speech aggregate v, aggregate n
4. cultivation n. Preparing the land to grow crops; improvement for
With the development of land cultivation, hunters and gatherers
were able to settle in one place.
Parts of speech cultivate v
5. fertilize v. To supply with nourishment for plants by adding helpful
substances to the soil
This farm fertilizes tomatoes more than any other crop.
Parts of speech fertilizer n, fertilization n
6. intensify v. To increase in power; to act with increased strength
Jacob’s long absence intensified his certainty that he should marry
Parts of speech intensification n, intense adj
7. irrigation n. The supplying of water to dry land
In dry areas of the country, you can see ditches all over the farmland
Parts of speech irrigate v
8. obtain v. To gain possession of; to get
After a series of difficult interviews, he finally was able to obtain
9. photosynthesis n. The process by which green plants make their
own food by combining water, salts, and carbon dioxide in the presence
Oxygen is a by-product of the process of photosynthesis.
Parts of speech photosynthesize v
10. precipitation n. Water that falls to the Earth’s surface
In the Pacific Northwest, the high level of precipitation ensures rich,
green plant life.
TOEFL Prep I Complete each sentence by filling in the blank with
the best word from the list. Change the form of the word if necessary.
Use each word only once.
abandoned precipitation cultivation fertilize photosynthesis
1. Through __________, green plants create organic materials with the
help of chlorophyll.
2. The coastal city gets half of its __________ during the months of January,
February, and March.
3. Farmers use various methods of land __________.
4. When they heard the hull crack, all but two of the sailors __________
5. Inexperienced gardeners may not realize how important it is that
they __________ their plants.
TOEFL Prep II Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning
to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. Write the
letter in the blank.
1. obtain (a) weaken
2. intensify (b) separate
3. irrigation (c) lose
4. aggregate (d) drainage
5. adversely (e) positively
TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you
have learned. Answer the questions that follow.
In countries like Niger and Mauritania, the cultivation of
land has changed little in the past several centuries.
Additionally, these countries’ mono-modal rainfall pattern
brings precipitation for only three months during the year.
As a result, food production doesn’t nearly meet demand.