Rich preparation programme for the TOEFL iBT test
The TOEFL iBT itself is an international test allowing students to demonstrate, and receive verification of, their English language abilities in order to provide evidence to academic institutions and potential employers. The test results can also be used to support visa applications in some countries. As such, passing the test can be very important to students who wish to demonstrate that they can use the English language to a reasonable level. The test itself consists of reading, listening, speaking and writing sections, and this app aims to provide familiarity, language content and vocabulary preparation to assist in each of these areas. There is no speaking section within the app, although each of the other sections will help improve skills in this area.
The app itself is free, although to get the most out of the test preparation on offer, in app purchases provide opportunities to purchase more test preparation content, with options to suit a range of budgets. Upon opening the app, users are faced with four main choices - vocabulary flash cards, articles to practise reading skills, audio content for listening practice and writing exercises. An on-screen tutorial gives brief hints on using the app the first time each section is opened.
The vocabulary builder starts with ten vocabulary flash cards and adds more content over time, with the user receiving iOS notifications when new words are available and need practising. This helps to ensure that regular and frequent practice takes place in the run up to the test. The level of the vocabulary is well-pitched compared to the expectations of the TOEFL iBT test. There is also an option for users to add their own vocabulary word flash cards, which is very useful for adding in words you come across elsewhere.
The reading section is rich with academic articles on a wide variety of topics. Again, the level of these is good in terms of test practice, although there are no levels to work through, so this is very much designed for the last stretch of consolidation before the actual test, rather than a progressive scheme to develop skills gradually. Each article consists of a block of test and some timed multiple choice questions, and is intentionally designed to contain the same question types as the actual test, making it useful not just for language practice but also for valuable test preparation.
The listening section again mimics the test style and question types well, giving students a chance to prepare for both the test content and structure at the same time. Once the user has spent enough hours with this app they should find that there are no surprises on their actual test. After listening to the spoken content, taking on screen notes if they wish, students are presented with a variety of question styles indicative of what will appear on the TOEFL iBT test itself. There seemed to be a slight glitch here with one of the question types that did not give any options for answering, but mostly this section of the app functioned well.
The writing section gives the student a random topic that they can compose an in depth response to. This again seemed to be suffering from a bug, as upon entering the text box, the content frames went blank and despite using the on-screen keyboard, the words did not appear on screen. As such, it is hard to evaluate the usefulness of this section of the app.
As well as the main sections of content, this app contains other useful tools, such as a tips section with invaluable advice for preparing for and sitting the TOEFL iBT, the ability to look up words in context both within a dictionary/thesaurus (although again, this did not always load properly on screen) and recent usage on Twitter and an analytics section that records progress over time and helpfully breaks down areas in which mistakes have been made.
Overall, this app is rich with content and features designed to rigorously prepare students for the TOEFL iBT, and mostly this works well. The few bugs within the app make it somewhat frustrating to use, especially wen the price of additional content is quite high. Support for the app seemed lacking as well, with the website link from iTunes returning an error and so no opportunity to contact the developer in this way.
From the Developer
TOEFL IBT application gives intermediate to high-intermediate students all the tools they need to succeed on the TOEFL® iBT. Moreover, TOEFL iBT is the best tool for improving your vocabulary over all covered areas of TOEFL Test with clearly and distinctly explained meaning. With this application, you can quickly accustom with multiple choice test, one of the most types in the TOEFL test. The interactive application provides more practice and simulates the actual test environment.
- Smart push-notification system, which helps you to memorize the most commonly tested vocabulary words on the TOEFL exams.
- All words have audio and definition of English meaning. Moreover, you can check the recent twitter samples of using the word and translate it to 6 languages (Russian, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish).
- Articles adapted for TOEFL exam's Reading Section.
- Listening Section