119 – Top 10 TOEFL Study Tips – Test Preparation Lesson

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Study for the TOEFL at Happy English!

Top 10 TOEFL Tips just for you! For today’s English lesson, I’m going to show you my ten best tips for preparing for the TOEFL exam. These tips can also help those Happy English fans who aren’t looking to take TOEFL, too. Learn how to study English!

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Here are the example sentences:

Check the podcast or the transcript for the details

  1. Learn about the TOEFL.
  2. Think in English.
  3. Learn different forms of the same word.
  4. Learn refixes, roots, and suffixes.
  5. Read English!.
  6. Learn Everyday Idioms.
  7. Listen to English.
  8. Write An Essay A day.
  9. Take practice tests.
  10. Be prepared.
Yesterday’s listening challenge answer:
  • (sample) I hope you get a great score on the TOEFL. I wish I were taller.
Today’s listening challenge:
  • Which method above do you use when you study for the TOEFL EXAM?

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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TOEFL Essay Writing Lesson: The Concluding Paragraph

Practice writing an essay a day!

The other day we studied how to write a body paragraphs for the independent essay question on the TOEFL exam. Today, let’s move finish our essay by looking at the next two body paragraphs, and the conclusion. As you recall, we had the following question, and we wrote the introductory paragraph and one body paragraph:

Some people prefer living in a big city. Others may prefer to live in the countryside. Which area would you prefer to live in? Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

Now, let’s finish the essay. In the introductory paragraph, I mentioned noise and congestion as two reasons I prefer living in the countryside. Here are two paragraphs that develop those ideas:

Since the city had many people and attractions, it can tend to be noisier than the countryside. We can here the sounds of car horns and sirens all day and night. There is often noise from building construction or roadwork as well. In addition, commercial traffic in the city creates a good deal of noise. The countryside has few or none of these sources of noise, resulting in a more peaceful and quite living situation.

Finally, big cities attract a lot of people. Not only are there many people living and working in the city, but also there are usually a good number of tourists. For example in New York City, neighborhoods such as Times Square are generally crowded with tourists. The countryside has fewer residents and workers, and hardly any tourists, so it is much less congested than a big city would be.

Now, I will write the conclusion. This final paragraph should restate the topic and your opinion and summarize the points you made in the body paragraphs.

While it is true that big cities have a number of points that make them attractive places to live, the disadvantages significantly ought weigh them. Thus, life in the countryside can be much quieter, and more secluded than life in a big city. Furthermore, the clean air associated with life in the country can give us a more enjoyable and healthier way of life. In conclusion, life in the countryside is much more desirable than life in a big city.

Well, there you have a complete TOEFL essay for the independent writing section of the exam. If you are preparing for the TOEFL, be sure to practice writing no less than one essay every day until the day of the exam. The ETS website has a list of TOEFL essay questions you can download for free, so get writing today!

TOEFL is a trademark of ETS, and Happy English is providing this information for informative and educational purposes only. 

How about studying English with me? I am available for private English lessons in New York, and online via Skype. Also, check out my newest book & audio podcasts, 109 Phrasal Verbs

TOEFL Essay Writing Lesson: Body Paragraphs

The other day we studied how to write an introductory paragraph for the independent essay question on the TOEFL exam. Today, let’s move on to the body paragraphs. As you recall, we had the following question, and we wrote the following introductory paragraph:

Some people prefer living in a big city. Others may prefer to live in the countryside. Which area would you prefer to live in? Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.


Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

Now it is time to write a few paragraphs to explain our opinion. Each paragraph should begin with a statement of one of our reasons, and contain at least two sentences that support that reason. Here is an example:

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

In the above paragraph, I started with one of my reasons for preferring life in the countryside, clean air. I then gave three examples to support my idea that the air quality is better in the countryside than it is in a city. This is then the first body paragraph. Here is the essay so far:

Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

There should be two more paragraphs in this essay to support my other two opinions that the countryside is quieter than a city, and is less crowded than a city. Next time, we will look at those paragraphs, and the concluding paragraph. Thanks for studying today!

How about studying English with me? I am available for private English lessons in New York, and online via Skype. Also, check out my newest book & audio podcasts, 109 Phrasal Verbs