TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Questions 1-3: Her Road to a 28 In Speaking!

So, I decided to chop up a coaching session with my student who had recently gotten a 28 on the speaking section of TOEFL. My editing isn’t the best, but in this video, you’re going to hear a tremendous amount of feedback, as well as her answers to everything and those “moments of clarity.” She invested in 8 hours of coaching and got the mark of 28, and this is coaching session #3 so hear how I break everything down!

TOEFL iBT | Integrated Essay | The 40/60 Rule

We’re back with an amazing TOEFL iBT Membership Sneak Peek. In today’s episode, I have a wonderful Venezuelan dentist who submitted her Integrated task, and I’m here to help her in putting the structure together. So, because she had received a 17 in her writing, being the lowest of all bands, I was a bit nervous to see her writing. However, after seeing it, I know exactly why she received a low score, and it’s because she didn’t use the 40/60 rule. Tune in!

TOEFL iBT | Reading | 3 Strategies for Answering ‘Sentence Insertion Questions’

Oh, we’re back! I’m excited about this one because it’s been a long time coming! In this episode, I’ll be teaching you how to answer Sentence Insertion Questions, and if you want the full breakdown, my TOEFL iBT Membership is FREE FOR TWO DAYS! Take advantage of it and check out the other awesome things you have available! Remember to watch my video, too!

Webinar June 19th!

WELCOME, ALL!

Oh, so many of you asked, I’ve delivered. 

In the first-ever TOEFL Speaking Webinar, you guys will learn all the tips and techniques for establishing yourself as a great speaker in question 1. 

Because TOEFL Speaking question 1 is one of the most difficult (especially in developing ideas), it’s crucial to understand the HOW TO, and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting in this phenomenal webinar!

We’ll be covering agre//disagree, preferential questions, and much more — you’ll also have the ability to practice with me, speak, and I’ll be giving you live feedback.  The goal is to have around 5 students for the webinar so that we can have maximum speaking time for each student. This webinar will be a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum 1.5 hours — and don’t worry! After the webinar, you’ll have it for your lifetime!  

Not able to make it? That’s ok! You’ll be able to purchase the webinar after, too! 

In saying that, if you’re interested in other speaking questions, reading (such as the videos I’ve uploaded), listening or writing webinars, let me know!

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TOEFL iBT | Speaking Q3 | 1 on 1 Coaching | Negativity Bias: Amazing Note-taking!

Here it is! No more excuses about “I can’t take notes.” This one is going to help you in more ways than one because my wonderful Moroccan student was able to, with handwriting, jot down a massive amount of notes and categorize them. Let’s dive into it!

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Hope Diamond

We’re back with another! I told everyone that I would be taking care of them! Ha! I’m the go-to blog for all your TOEFL iTP needs (podcasts and YouTube, too). So, in saying that, here’s a great read for you!

TOEFL iTP Structure Course (priced at $57). Or, you can buy the Written Expression (now $27) and get the Structure Course for just $30! Inquire today!

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Perhaps better known than the Cullinan Diamond is the Hope Diamond, a valuable and rare blue gem with a background of more than 300 years as a world traveler. The 112-carat blue stone that later became the Hope Diamond was mined in India sometime before the middle of the seventeenth century and was first known to be owned by Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife. From India, the celebrated blue stone has changed hands often, moving from location to location in distant corners of the world.

In the middle of the seventeenth century, a trader from France named Jean Baptiste Tavernier acquired the large blue diamond, which was rumored to have been illegally removed from a temple. Tavernier returned to France with the blue gem, where the stone was purchased by the Sun King, Louis XIV. Louis XIV had it cut down from 112 to 67 carats to make its shape symmetrical and to maximize its sparkle. The newly cut diamond, still huge by any standards, was passed down through the royal family of France until it arrived in the hands of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. During the French Revolution, Louis XVI and his wife met their fate on the guillotine in 1793, and the big blue diamond disappeared from public sight.

The diamond somehow managed to get from France to England, where banker Henry Hope purchased it from a gem dealer early in the nineteenth century. The huge bluestone was cut into a 45.5-carat oval, and at his point, it took on the name by which it is known today. The diamond stayed in the Hope family for around a century, when deep indebtedness brought on by a serious gambling habit on the part of one of Henry Hope’s heirs forced the sale of the diamond.

From England, the Hope Diamond may have made its way into the hands of the Sultan of Turkey; whatever route it took to get there, it eventually went on to the United States when American Evelyn Walsh McLean purchased it in 1911. Mrs. McLean certainly enjoyed showing the diamond off; guests in her home were sometimes astounded to notice the huge stone embellishing the neck of Mrs. McLean’s Great Dane as the huge pet trotted around the grounds of her Washington, D.C. home. The Hope Diamond later became the property of jeweler Harry Winston, who presented the stunning 45.5-carat piece to the Smithsonian in 1958. The Hope Diamond is now taking a well-earned rest following its rigorous travel itinerary and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it had been since 1958.

LONGMAN
  1. The paragraph preceding the passage most likely discussed
  • Why gems are considered valuable
  • How the Hope Diamond was mined
  • A diamond other than the Hope Diamond
  • Methods for mining diamonds
  • The main idea of this passage is that the Hope Diamond
  • Came from India
  • Has moved around a lot
  • Has been cut several times
  • Now resides in the Smithsonian
  • The pronoun “it” in line 8 refers to
  • Its shape
  • The newly cut diamond
  • The royal family
  • The French revolution
  • It can be inferred from the passage that the author is not certain
  • Who bought the Hope Diamond in England
  • Who sold the Hope Diamond in England
  • How the Hope Diamond went from France to England
  • How big the Hope Diamond was in the nineteenth century
  • A “dealer” in line 12 is most likely a
  • Card player
  • Miner
  • Cutter
  • Businessman
  • It can be determined from the passage that Henry Hope most likely had how many carats cut off the Hope Diamond?
  • 21.5
  • 45.5
  • 66.5
  • 67
  • According to the passage, Mrs. McLean
  • Donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian
  • Let her dog wear the Hope Diamond
  • Purchased the Hope Diamond from the French
  • Had the Hope Diamond cut to its present size of 45.5 carats
  • Which country is NOT mentioned in the passage as a place where the Hope Diamond spent some time?
  • India
  • France
  • England
  • Denmark
  • Where in the Passage does the author describe what happened to the royal French owners of the diamond?
  • Lines 7-8
  • Lines 10-11
  • Lines 12-14
  • Lines 15-16

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Answers on next page!

TOEFL iBT Membership Sneak Peek | Speaking Evaluations | Questions 2: Sculpture

We’re back with another phenomenal speaking evaluation! So, for those of you that don’t know, if you subscribe to my TOEFL iBT Membership (two-day free trial), you will get four speaking evaluations FOR FREE (priced at $4 per evaluation) and this is how I would break it down and give you feedback. These could be very useful for a lot of you out there, so here’s a 10-minute video/podcast for you. Remember, you get two free days and you can submit two free essays for review! Take advantage of this!

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TOEFL iBT | Course Membership Breakdown

In today’s podcast, I’m going to show you the systematic approach to my TOEFL Course! Starting with the writing, you will follow the steps to glory in developing your writing, speaking, reading and listening. With a two-day trial period, the question is now “when are you going to start?” Two free evaluations with a video response and breakdown are awaiting you! So let’s get to it!

TOEFL iTP | Course Sneak Peek | Structure | Items Involving Verb Problems

We’re here with a sneak peek! I was going back and forth with a student who had followed me on IG and he/she was having difficulties with prepositions and verbs in general. From the past participle, passive verbs, verbs to be, relative pronouns, etc. All of it was very confusing, so I decided to share/do a video for the public (and this video will be one of the 23 lessons on my TOEFL iTP course) so you guys can not only see what’s in the course but also improve in the #1 area. Here we go! Also, the answers, if you would like to try to answer them, are on my IG Stories.

The answer choices for this type of problem are all or almost all different forms of the same verb. From the context of the sentence stem, you’ll have to decide which form works best in the sentence. Distractors are generally incorrect for one of these reasons:

  • The “verb” is not really a verb.

Used alone, an infinitive, a gerund, or participle cannot be a main verb.

  • The verb is active but should be passive, or it is passive but should be active.

If the subject of the sentence performs the action, the verb must be in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence performs the action, the verb must be in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence receives the action, the verb must be in the passive.

The architect designed the building.

(active verb)

The building was designed by the architect.

(passive verb)

  • The verb does not agree with its subject.

Singular subjects require singular verbs; plural subjects require plural verbs.

  • The verb is not in the right tense.

According to the time words or ideas in the sentence, the appropriate tense must be used.

  • An unnecessary element comes before the verb.

Personal pronouns (he, she, it), relative pronouns (who, which, that, and so on), or conjunctions (and, but, and so on) may be used unnecessarily before verbs in some sentences.

Sample Items

Before the late eighteenth century, most textiles _______ at home.

  1. Produced
  2. Was produced
  3. Producing
  4. Were produced

Choice D is the best answer. A can be considered either an active verb in the past tense or a past participle; both are incorrect. An active verb is incorrect because a passive verb is needed; a past participle is incorrect because a past participle cannot serve as a main verb. B is incorrect because the plural subject textiles requires a plural verb, were. C is incorrect because, by itself, an –ing form can never be a main verb.

Exercise

  1. R.M. Bartlett of Philadelphia __________ the first private business college in the United States in 1843.
  1. Founding
  2. Founded
  3. Was founded
  4. Founds
  • In 1989 the space probe Voyager 2 _________ by the planet Neptune.
  1. Fly
  2. Having flown
  3. Flying
  4. Flew
  • A cup full of stagnant water may _____ millions of microorganisms.
  1. Contains
  2. To contain
  3. Contain
  4. Containing
  • Computers and new methods of communication ______ revolutionized the modern office.
  1. Have
  2. To have
  3. That have
  4. Has
  • Sarah Knight ________ a fascinating account of a journey she made from Boston to New York in 1704.
  1. Written
  2. Write
  3. Wrote
  4. Writing
  • All animals ______ on other animals or plants.
  1. Feed
  2. Feeds
  3. Fed
  4. Feeding
  • Chromium ________ in the manufacture of stainless steel.
  1. Using
  2. Is used
  3. Uses
  4. Is using
  • The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ________ the first air conditioning system for trains in 1931.
  1. Has installed
  2. Installed
  3. To have installed
  4. Installing
  • Porous rocks such as chalk and sandstone allow water _______ through them.
  1. Soaks
  2. Is soaked
  3. To soak
  4. Can soak
  1. By 1790, rice ______ an important crop in the South.
  1. Being
  2. Has been
  3. Was
  4. Was being
  1. Wavers are social birds that _______ complex nests housing hundreds of families.
  1. Build
  2. Are built
  3. Are building
  4. Built
  1. The American dancer Maria Tallchief first ______ prominent in Europe.
  1. To become
  2. Become
  3. Has become
  4. Became

TOEFL iTP Course

Podcast

YouTube

TOEFL iBT | TOEFL Membership Sneak Peek | Speaking Evaluation: S4 | Snow Avalanche

Welcome to an ultimate sneak peek! Now, keep in mind that if you sign up with my TOEFL membership, which is $50 a month (link down below), you get four of these types of evaluations FOR FREE! For any additional add-ons, it’s just 4$ per…but you’re going to see how great this is and how beneficial it could be for you.

In saying that, enjoy this speaking question 4 featuring one of my favorite Filipina students!

Podcast

TOEFL iTP | Written Expression | Because & Because of; Although; During or When/While

We’re back with another Written Expression! IN today’s blog/podcast, which will be a relatively short one, we’ll be talking about the confusion of the expressions below.

Certain expressions, such as because are adverb clause markers and are used only before clauses. Other expressions, such as because of, are prepositions and are used before noun phrases or pronouns.

Adverb Clause Markers: Because, although, when, while

Prepositions: because of, despite, in spite of, during

Sample Items

Because migration to the suburbs, the population of many large American cities declined between 1950 and 1960.

Before a noun phrase (migration), the preposition of must be used.

Despite most people consider the tomato a vegetable, botanists classify it as a fruit.

Before a full clause, (most people consider the tomato a vegetable), the adverb marker although must be used.

Podcast

Instagram Story Questions

  1. Although/despite cats cannot see in complete darkness, their eyes are much more sensitive to light than humans’ eyes.
  2. Because/because of cheese is essentially a concentrated form of milk, it contains the same nutrients as milk.
  3. Because/because of its acute sense of smell, the bloodhound is often used in tracking.