In August 2014, I appeared for TOEFL exam and I could clear the test with good marks. My education in English and three years of stay in US helped me to pass the test easily.
But some preparation is needed to get good marks even if you have a background in English. The Official Guide TOEFL iBT book is enough to make you aware of the format of the test and prepare well for the test. Apart from the knowledge of the English language there are few more things which you should brush on to get better marks in this test.
In the listening section, it is important to have a fast writing speed as you need to write down what you are hearing so that you can refer to it while answering the questions. Taking notes while listening is very important as sometimes the speaker talks about technical stuff which is difficult to remember. In our daily routine, we hardly write anything on paper as most of the times we work on computers, so getting back into the habit of writing fast is important for getting good marks in this section. A very minor thing which I would also like to mention is that at the test center I was given only pencils to write and I found my writing speed is slower with pencil as compared to pen. So, in case you have such an issue please do take care of it by practicing.
For the speaking section, do not plan too much as you won’t get much time. Make sure that you do not speak too fast and finish the sentence. In my opinion, you perform the best in speaking section if you let it be instantaneous. In this section, they grade you more on your clarity of speech as compared to content of speech.
For the reading and writing sections, follow the Official Guide and you should be able to get through it.
In the end, I would advice you to stay calm on the day of test as this test is time bound and it is important to be relaxed during the test so that you can perform your best in limited time available.
TOEFL Score 106/120 (Year 2014)