In my last post, I stated the first reason why students need to take practice TOEFL tests: Students need to become comfortable taking the test. In this post, I’ll give reason #2. Please emphasize these reasons to make sure your students take their practice tests when assigned, and when they do take them, to do so seriously.
(I had one student who would always do his practice tests at midnight or later–I could see the time stamp on his score report. He then wondered why his performance was improving ever so slowly.)
This starts with students taking an initial practice test before they begin their actual instruction with you. The results of the initial test will establish a baseline of the student’s skills, and it should also reveal, through the error patterns, the weaknesses of the student.
Ideally, from that point on, you as a teacher will primarily target the weaknesses of that student. (No use stressing vocabulary if the student is already getting 95% of all vocabulary questions correct.) Of course, this is easy to do with private tutorials, but increasingly harder to do as the number of students in your class grows.
In short, practice tests must be used as diagnostic tools to track how well the student is progressing–and more specifically, how well you are addressing his or her weaknesses.
In my next post, I’ll give the final reason why students need to take practice tests.
Until next time,
Ed, founder of ScoreNexus