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,

or lectures.

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.



Food Crops

Target Words

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

of crops.

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

agricultural purposes

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

for irrigation.

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

the job.

9. photosynthesis n. The process by which green plants make their

own food by combining water, salts, and carbon dioxide in the presence

of light.

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.

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