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Hello, fellow readers.  In the last civil servant entrance test, there was a new rule established in several province. The additional requirement to apply as civil servant candidate is a TOEFL Certificate. The candidates’ responses were quite interesting.  In fact, this was not a huge deal for me since I have studied English in my university. However, for those who are never engaged in English Proficiency Test, this would be such huge obstacle for them.

These questions are commonly found, “What should I do to pass the test?”, “What is the test about?”, “How do I start?”, “Do I have to take a TOEFL course before participating in the real TOEFL test?”, “How much is the test? Can’t I just buy the certificate without doing the test?”

As the proverb says, do not bring a knife to a gunfight. So, I will explain to you how to pass TOEFL test in a proper method and to prepare yourself better. 

I will only discuss listening section for now, so stay tune!

First, you have to set the standard. Remember, you are not aiming for the highest score. As long as you pass the score, 450 is the common standard in Indonesia, is enough. You have to know that there are 140 multiple choice questions in the test. The order are 50 questions in listening section, 40 questions in structure section and 50 question in reading section. 
Therefore, if you at least get 20 – 25 correct answer in each section, you will acquire the standard score, 450.

Second, you must fully understand each section. Let’s start with the first section, listening. There are three parts of listening section, part A, B and C. 

For a beginner, part A is the easiest way to gain score. It contains short dialogue between two speakers and consists of 30 questions. All you have to do is listen to the first speaker who brings out the topic and pay attention to the second speaker’s response. For example, the first speaker talk about the hot current trends. The second speaker’s responses are mostly about one of these: agreement, statement, denial, idiom, asking for clarification, or short information. Take note! Although this is the easiest part to gain score, there are tons of tricky choices given. Pay Attention. Do not choose the answer based on what you hear. The correct choices in answer sheet is written in paraphrase or synonym. The test-creator also try to confuse you by giving similar sound. So, try to focus yourself and avoid these tricky distraction.

Then, Part B is a longer version of part A dialogue between two speaker. Instead of listening for one question, you have to listen to longer dialogue for answering 5 questions. My suggestion is you have to read the answers before the dialogue starts. Read the answers in each questions and assume what will be asked during the dialogue. Contrary to part A answers, In part B, you have to focus on what the speaker. Literally all of what they talk will be covered in the answer sheet. There is no trick here. Just listen to what they say, and write it down.

The last part in listening section, part C, is the most boring and long part. It contains a long speech or a monologue. Even for myself, a graduate of English major program, you will feel exhausted even before answering the questions and you will lose track of what the monologue is about. Do not worry. The solution is exactly the same with Part B but it comes in longer speech. If I may say, part C is a test of endurance. 

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