It’s way easier to get 26 when you actually know what it means.
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But really quickly, let me tell the “giant secret.”
(It took me from 2010 to 2012 to draw this conclusion from the patterns in my students’ speaking scores. Since then, I’ve seen so many results from students that prove my understanding is accurate — and I’ve been developing programs that actually increase students’ level of English.)
I’ve told this “giant secret” to students when they take private lessons with me, and in my Score Analysis consultation. When I tell people this, I can hear the light-bulb switch on in their head. Their confusion just evaporates. Suddenly, they get it. Suddenly, they understand why they have been stuck at 23-24 for so long.
You get a 26+ when you sound like a native-speaker at TOEFL iBT.
You get 23-24 when you make any of a wide variety of errors in grammar, accent, vocabulary or test strategy, or if you have trouble thinking quickly.
At this time, there is no score of 25. It’s all or nothing, darling!
There. I put it in bold for you. That’s the difference. That’s the secret. That’s why top-tier MBA, PhD, LLM and other educational programs prefer applicants who get speaking 26. That’s why the healthcare groups like National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) want pharmacists to get speaking scores of 26+.
Your accent, your grammar, your fluency, your vocabulary — all those things need to be at “nearly-native-speaker level.” That’s when you will get 26+.
Is this valuable for you? If yes, register with the green button below to come to my free TOEFL speaking strategy class.
How to Want to Sound Like a Native-Speaker of English
It’s normal for people to get angry at the whole “TOEFL Speaking 26” requirement thing, but… People who stay angry don’t make improvements. If you’ve studied biology, you know that negative emotions release chemicals in your brain change your brain chemistry. Then it is harder to learn or change. Positivity and happiness make it easier to learn.
You have to change your mind and decide why your life and career will improve if you sound like a native-speaker in English.Look, I know how tough this is. I lived in Turkey for 6 years. People treated me differently every day because I did not sound like a native-speaker of Turkish. They heard my grammar, vocabulary and accent mistakes and normally, people stopped listening to me because they had already decided that I wasn’t a trustworthy source of information.
There were times I needed to talk with the police, with lawyers and landlords, and deal with emergencies. (One time, my upstairs neighbor’s apartment flooded. There wasn’t any preparation time! There was just water — suddenly running out of the light fixtures in my ceiling in every room! It was terrifying. I forgot the word for “flood” and it took so long to get help because no one could understand my incoherent sentences.)
Your ability so speak English quickly and accurately (even under stress) is a way for you to protect yourself, your family and friends, and the people who you work with. TOEFL speaking should be the least of your worries.
Bad things happen in real life. What if you thought of iBT as a place to practice dealing with your stress and sounding like a native-speaker?
When you sound like a native speaker, people trust you more. You can get a job more easily. You can give a presentation more easily. You can deal with emergencies in English more effectively.
Ready for more advice like that? Register for my free video class about TOEFL Speaking Strategy.
You’ll love and benefit so much from the other topics I discuss.
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