Profesora Australiana CYNTHIA, especialista en obtener resultados altos en examenes IELTS, TOEFL, OET, GRE, GMAT, SAT, MCCEE, PRELIMINARY para aplicar a top ranking universities, residentados de salud y masters. Aqui sus ultimos 2016 estudiantes exitosos y resultados…..Chloe

Diego-Feb 2016, TOEFL 115p      Ismael-Apr 2016, IELTS 7.5p     Catherine-Jun 2016, GRE 690p      Dayana-May 2016, OET A

2         Ismael photo 2            CATHERINE          ONE dayana std 1.jpg


This entry was posted on June 10, 2016, in exams.

How important is Fluency to pass sucessfully the IELTS Speaking module – Que tan importante es la FLUIDEZ para pasar exitosamente el modulo de IELTS Speaking



I do have this question all over and over during my classes here in Peru, how important is fluency and speak fast to pass successfully with a high score the IELTS Speaking module?

I do answer with the same response all the time. Here in Peru is very important FLUENCY rather than other IELTS Centers around the world where the most important is PRONUNCIATION.  This makes a huge difference and it’s easy to understand because we’re in Peru, a Spanish speaking mother tongue country. Although test examiners at the Britanico are native English speakers, they’re very reasonably and sensitive with accent, pronunciation and intonation of Peruvian applicants. They’ve been living here for a long time, they understand our culture well. This is really a good news for advanced and well resourceful applicants. That’s why many Spanish background IELTS applicants from other South American countries, Canada and USA are coming frequently to Lima to sit their IELTS TEST.


However this is bad news for intermediate, basic, limited and false level applicants, because to master FLUENCY requires a developed level in grammar, vocabulary and communication. When one elaborates ideas, opinions, one can concentrate in fluency, not paying to much attention to other areas because one has developed self-confidence with the English language, important for all IELTS applicants in Lima.

Es importante seguir los siguientes consejos y tips para una entrevista exitosa, estar preparado y conseguir un puntaje alto en speaking IELTS personal interview here in Lima. Con apoyo de source

1. Express fully your opinion extending your answer appropriately, because you will be assessed on your ability to communicate everyday topics and ideas with natural spoken English to improve your fluently. So important for Lima’s IELTS Centre, our local reality.
Question:” How many languages do you speak?”
Answer: “I speak two languages. My first language is Chinese and I speak English too. I’ve been learning English since I was 10. I started learning it when I was in primary school.”
Practica tu mismo para lograr esto hablando con nativos de habla inglesa en tu trabajo, skype, exchange language program, circulo o caminando en miraflores. Por otro lado tambien lo puedes lograr escuchando frecuentemente ONLY ENGLISH (no subtitles) native speakers in movies, videos, podcasts, audios, specially focus in British and Australian intonation.


2. Give yourself time to think/repeat/reformulate the question. In parts 1 & 3 you are not given any thinking time: You’re supposed to start speaking immediately. This does not mean, however, that you need to start answering the question straight away. What you can do is start by repeating/reformulating/commenting on the question like this:
Question: “What did I enjoy doing as a child?
Answer: Let me see…”
Answer: “That’s not something I’ve thought about before. It’s an interesting question.’
This has several benefits. It is good communication. It allows you a little time to think. It should also make you answer the question and not the general topic.
Una tecnica interesante que he estado enseñando y ha sido muy util para muchos de mis estudiantes es hablar de FORMA NATURAL IN ENGLISH. This means SAY FAST familiar topics, previously practiced questions, prepared phrases, idioms, expressions and SAY SLOW complex questions to answer, not practiced topics, questions where your vocabulary is limited and ideas too. English speakers naturally use this technique when we take more time to EXPRESS CLEARLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION and SAY QUICK not so important information, repeated phrases or expressions. This will make your speaking seems naturally.


3. When speaking correct yourself immediately, this will show the examiner that you have control over the language. Listen to the grammar in the question. The best advice and simply answer copying the same tense, and grammar. One example in part 1. If you here a question in the past tense:
Question: “What sports did you play as a child?”
Answer: A good answer will use the past tense – the examiner will be listening for When I was a child I practice soccer all the time .
Speak about what you know and what you think. One of the best ways to impress an examiner is to talk personally about what you think and what you know. Examiners just HATE answers that they think are learnt.

4. Learn to use a range of functional vocabulary such as opinion language appropriate to your level, score you want to get and question. Para mejorar en este punto, debes practicar responder preguntas cotidianas con likes and dislikes ampliando tu respuesta con ejemplos, habitos, hobbies y experiencias.


5. Avoid Monotone FLAT SPANISH accent intonation as the way beginners talk when learning a new language. Even if you speak perfectly in English, a bland tone INTONATION without rhythm can make you sound less fluent than you really are. Practica diario frente al espejo añadiendo diferente rangos ALTOS y BAJOS TONOS a tu forma de hablar con fluidez usando vocabulario y temas interesantes. Otra forma es viendo o escuchando peliculas y programas de tv grabados ONLY ENGLISH (no subtitles) con native speakers donde puedas enfocarte en FRASES COMUNES DIARIAS e intonation TONOS que usan, pausando video e imitando inmediatamente no solo forma de hablar, gestos, intonation and tonos.


6. Don’t worry too much about using clever language VOCABULARY, think fluency. When we speak a language we don’t have much time to choose our words and that means that we often use far fewer words when we speak than when we write. If you spend too much time trying to think of words your fluency may suffer. While fluency and vocabulary technically carry the same weight in grading, it’s better to be fluent and fluid than to spend several seconds thinking of the best word. Your overall impression will be much stronger. Chances are that if you keep talking, your next chance to speak will yield a strong vocabulary word.
Another way to say more is just to add details. The more language you use the better, for example:
Question: When did you first start to learn English? The smart thing to do is give detail about when.
Answer: I first started to learn English when I was in primary school. We had around 4 classes a week with our form teacher and sometimes a native speaker came to help her out and talk to us in English. It was quite funny because we didn’t understand a word he said. At first I hated it because my teacher was very strict and forced us to write in English every day.

7. How to buy yourself Time. One technique is making a compliment about the nature of the question and achieve the same time-buying effect, for example:
Answer: “I’ve never considered that before, but it’s an interesting question.”
This is more natural and it will allow you to not, literally, take the words out of your examiner’s mouth.


8. Make eye contact. A large part of communication is non-verbal. You are marked by the examiner in the room and you should do everything you can to show that person that you are a good communicator. If you do not make eye contact with the examiner, s/he is probably going to be less impressed with your performance.


9. Do not relax too much – it’s not a conversation, this is an exam and you need to show the best side of your spoken English. If you relax too much, your English may suffer. You need to recognize that this is not a true dialogue between two people: it is more of an interview with one person speaking and the other listening.

10. Immediately before the exam – speak English. The problem for many applicants is not speaking English, rather it is moving from Spanish into English. The advice here is plain: Make certain arrangements during the same month, week or days before your exam to talk only or a lot English like with native friends, taking group classes or investing in a individual personal teacher, so you’ll feel more confident because you’re already speaking English before you go into your exam. Muchos de mis estudiantes me han comentado esto, especialmente los que por naturaleza son parcos o timidos, que tan solo con nuestras clases INDIVIDUALES frecuentes ONLY ENGLISH COMMUNICATION se han podido sentir completamente seguros y listos para su speaking interview. Esto complementado con mis tips, strategies and advice son la clave para una entrevista exitosa for a high score.

Bueno, espero que les ayude este articulo en su preparacion para el IELTS, please comenten que les parecio, valoro sus comentarios….Como siempre si desean tomar mi preparacion y cursos, escribanme a – 4224152 – Visiten One to One Peru en – FB: One to One International Cynthia

Peruano obtuvo 7.5 puntos en IELTS y 8 en reading, writing – Peruvian student got 7.5p in IELTS & 8 in reading, writing

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Le damos nuestras muchas felicitaciones a nuestro estudiante Peruano Ismael Quiroga en One to One International, que el pasado Marzo 2016 obtuvo en su examen de IELTS 7.5 puntos overall y 8 en Reading & Writing. FELICIDADES Ismael que se cumplan todos tus deseos!…Recordarles que el puntaje maximo en este examen es 9.

ISMAEL se preparo con nuestro programa PERSONAL INTENSIVO PARA IELTS por 6 meses, 4 veces por semana clases de 3 horas. Al inicio, nos contacto con la premisa de muchos estudiantes hoy en Peru. Habia terminado en una institucion muy reconocida todos sus ciclos, y le indicaron que ya estaba listo para presentar el ielts, lo cual hizo dejandolo totalmente frustado por haber obtenido un resultado realmente bajo, 4.5 overall para sus objetivos de viajar y estudiar un posgrado, 7 puntos en cada area. Para rapido subir su puntaje decidio probar clases personales con un profesor particular y maximizar sus esfuerzos, no malgastar mas su dinero. Es asi como Ismael nos contacto por primera vez.

Desde el inicio Ismael se preparo con la profesora australiana especialista en IELTS, Cynthia. Iniciando con un SCREENING TEST para determinar su nivel actual, puntos bajos y desarrollar plan de estudio personalde acuerdo a las necesidades particulares de cada estudiante. Rapidamente Cynthia pudo notar que tenia un nivel bueno pero bajo en reading & writing. Speaking era otra cosa, tenia un acento peruano fuerte y la tendencia a no hablar mucho. Lo que realmente la preocupo fue su LISTENING, solo obtuvo 3p con una notable dificultad para diferenciar acentos, desconcentrarse cuando tenia que escuchar, escribir y leer simultaneamente. Con este resultado, Cynthia se enfoco en Listening y Speaking primero para luego ir a Reading & Writing. Mientras que le daba a Ismael investigaciones, tareas, lecturas, audios, practicas y ensayos para que el mismo avanzara en reading &  writing. Sabiendo que en el idioma ingles, todas las habilidades estan interconectadas.

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Para Cynthia este perfil de estudiante no es nada fuera de lo comun, es mas bien regular. Lo que la ha preparado como profesora para afrontar los retos de este examen. Como ella comenta, “I have and I’m still a strict, sharp, detailed and clear teacher. These are some of my strengths, part of my successful methodology to guide, motivate and support students to quick , easy get a high score to apply to top rank universities and masters. I’m also very positive and patience in my comments, feedback, corrections and recommendations, so they can excel with a strong work ethic. My tuition is more than just classes, I prepare students for the hardship and competitive world abroad. As everyone knows in developed countries, people follow an strict code of conduct in their life, goals, and studies. If one faces up with an obstacle like obtaining a high score in an English exam, most certainly they would aggressively and constantly focus in conquering their goals no matter the time and effort. As the popular saying “No pain, No gain”. A big sacrifice for a short time to get big rewards.  It’s always better for a Peruvian student to change his or her mindset, conduct and habits now and become a world citizen than too late when he or she will be abroad”.

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Al tercer mes de clases, Ismael aun no contaba con el puntaje suficientes para 7p en cada modulo. Asi que a recomendacion de su profesora alargo su curso a 5 meses, antes decidio probar suerte denuevo y presentar su examen mas seguro, positivo y motivado. Dos semanas despues obtuvo un puntaje overall de 5.5p, en reading, writing 6p y speaking, listening 5.5p. Estaba muy alegre, ya estaba mas cerca a su objetivo.

Al quinto mes, denuevo Ismael se sentia listo para presentar su  IELTS, despues de obtener de forma constante en los mocks en clase 6.5p a 7p en cada area. Pero Cynthia le menciono que aun no era el tiempo ideal, seria mejor un mes mas para asegurar un puntaje alto en Listening, que siempre ha sido su punto bajo. Como Cynthia comenta, “I don’t have nothing against students who got 6p and 6.5p in all or some areas in IELTS, but they need 7p. So they take few classes and preparation time before submitting this exam again in a short time. I wish them luck, however in my point of view, 90% of them fail because what they don’t realize is the big gap in skills, abilities and level one needs to score 7p from 6p. It’s really huge, remember to get 6p in ielts, it means that one can only have 10 mistakes in each area. However to get 7p, one must maximum 5 mistakes in each area, which in listening and speaking takes a lot of practice and time improving pronunciation, fluency and vocabulary to be almost perfect. In Reading, one must be focus in getting perfect difficult questions like gap fill and true, false, not given. In Listening, one must focus in keep concentration and get correct answers in long lectures from section 4”

Al termino de los seis meses Ismael presento denuevo su IELTS, se inscribio y lo dio en Febrero 2016. Cuando fue a recojer sus resultados se sintio muy feliz y sorprendido, no lo podia creer, no solo habia obtenido el puntaje requerido para viajar, 7.5 overall tambien un alto puntaje en reading y writing, 8 puntos en cada uno y 7p en listening y speaking. Aqui adjuntamos preguntas que recuerda que vinieron en su examen.

Ignacio quest

Para terminar, algo importante de mencionar sobre One to One International es que tambien les brinda los siguientes servicios para estudiantes y personas que van a viajar al extranjero pronto. Contamos con profesores que han pasado por la misma experiencia de estudiar, vivir y trabajar en el extranjero, ellos incluyen muchos tips, consejos sobre sus propias experiencias en clases y tambien dictan cursos para profesionales de salud para los examenes OET, MCCEE, MCQ, PRELIMINAR. Cursos de preparacion para la vida, estudios, trabajo en el extranjero y de frances para TEFAQ, DELF. Ademas contamos con un asesor que tiene mucha experiencia en los siguientes procesos:

  • Traducciones oficiales en ingles y frances.
  • Legalizacion notarial de documentos para el extranjero.
  • Preparacion, analisis de documentos y formas para aplicar exitosamente sin demoras a Express Entry Canada, Mon Project Quebec y Skilled Select Australia.
  • Preparacion, analisis de documentos y formas para aplicar en corto tiempo a Express Pool Canada, EOI Quebec y EOI Pool Australia.
  • Traduccion y preparacion en ingles, frances de CVs para aumentar posibilidades de oferta de empleo.
  • Traduccion y elaboracion de Personal Statement para aplicar a universidades, becas.
  • Preparacion de documentacion y formatos para obtencion de homologacion, Licencia profesional, patrocinio de estado, Licencia profesional en salud de ADC, ADA, AMC.
  • Preparacion de documentacion y formatos para obtener Skilled Assessment Australia
  • Preparacion de documentacion y formatos para obtencion de permiso de trabajo.
  • Asesoria para seleccionar la mejor ciudad, pais, estado, programa, becas o universidad en el extranjero.
  • Asesoria para seleccionar la mejor universidad, residentado, hospital para profesionales de la salud.

Bueno, espero que este post les ayude en su preparacion, please comenten que les parecio, respondere a sus comentarios….Estamos terminando de editar VIDEO ENTREVISTA a Ismael que pronto colgaremos para su beneficio. Si estas interesado en nuestros cursos, materiales o servicios, escribanos a – 4224152 – Tambien pueden visitar One to One Peru en – FB: One to One International Chloe

TOEFL Speaking section is the shortest and most difficult – La seccion de Speaking TOEFL la mas corta y dificil para estudiantes

Though the TOEFL Speaking section is the shortest section in this test, many students struggle with it the most. Con los microfonos integrados en la computadora, el tiempo designado, el audifono, el salon full of people, el nerviosismo….todo te pone mucho mas estresado si no estas preparado. Luckily aqui te damos una descirpcion completa de todas las partes, reglas, condiciones, tipos de pregunta y requerimientos. Nunca hace falta una revision para estar 100% seguros antes de iniciar la preparacion mas importante, la parte oral. Abre INFOGRAFIA  haciendo clic aqui:

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toefl 4toefl 5toefl 6Una de las habilidades simultaneas a desarrollar mas dificiles en la seccion de Speaking TOEFL es tomar nota de forma concisa, simple, adecuada, balanceada e inteligente al mismo tiempo que escuchar y leer como en preguntas 3,4,5 y 6. Ademas estas notas tienen que ser faciles de entender, ordenadas por preguntas y sources para ser usadas rapidamente en el tiempo requerido, de forma que el estudiante solo se concentra en desarrollar estas, gramatica, coherencia, pronunciacion y fluidez. Como si los poor TOEFL students no tuvieran bastante con tratar de ordenar mentalmente y de forma rapida sus ideas recien escuchadas o escritas. Luckily, te adjuntamos dos PDF y videos turoriales en ingles que explican como usar esta tecnicas para rapidamente mejorar en tomar notas. Source        toefl 2Existen cuatro preguntas en el TOEFL speaking seccion donde es muy importante tomar adecuadas notas, ya que involucran gran cantidad de informacion que se debe escuchar y leer en un corto tiempo, maximo 6 minutos de forma simultanea.  Es importante practicar esta habilidad de tomar notas de forma continua y con mucha practica en reading y listening para que en el dia del examen, el estudiante pueda mantener su concentracion, enfoque y usar la memoria corta para mantener el  100% de atencion. De lo contrario, con solo un momento que pienses en algo diferente, perderas mucha informacion importante.  Taking notes helps you to stay focused on listening to the recording, to constantly think about the main ideas that you are hearing. Tambien te ayuda a recordar detalles, ideas principales, nombres, etc que si no tomas notas seria muy facil olvidarse.

Dos formatos para tomar notas que recomiendan en los siguientes VIDEOS abajo y  que yo personalmente uso con mis estudiantes, progresan rapido son “the column format” para preguntas 3 y 5 – the “Point-counterpoint format” para preguntas 4 y 6.

Bueno, espero que esta leccion sobre TAKING NOTES correctly for the TOEFL IBT Speaking section les guste. Most importantly, que les ayude en su preparacion, a tener mas paz mental, dominar sus miedos y sentirse preparados a expresarse oralmente por completo antes de su dia D, como dicen en Peru. Si esto aun no es suficiente, estan abiertos de contactarme para cualquier tutoria, clases o entrenamiento extra que requieran….Cynthia / Webmaster     chica-one2

Peruano obtuvo 115 puntos en TOEFL IBT – Peruvian student got 115 points in TOEFL IBT


LE damos nuestras mas calurosas felicitaciones a DIEGO PEREZ GUERRA, estudiante Peruano de One to One Peru, que el pasado Diciembre 2015 obtuvo en su examen de TOEFL IBT 115 puntos y 28/30, casi perfecto en Listening & Reading, muchas FELICIDADES!…Recordarles que el puntaje maximo en este examen es 120 y en cada secccion 30 puntos.

Gracias a la preserverancia, esfuerzo de DIEGO y la dedicacion, preparación personal intensiva por 4 meses, 4 veces por semana, 3 horas clases por nuestra coordinadora australiana Cynthia.  DIEGO es un estudiante de Medicina con 19 años que quiere estudiar Genetica en US, todas las universidades que escogio le piden 110 puntos en TOEFL y 2000 en SAT, ambos puntajes muy altos, que alguna vez DIEGO tuvo dudas si podia conseguir y como.

No estudia Genetica en Peru porque no hay investigacion ni desarrollo, ademas existen mas oportunidades en el extranjero. DIEGO comenta que perdemos mucho por no invertir en investigacion, los extranjeros vienen y se llevan animales, plantas, sustancias pero como el Peru no invierte en investigacion, ellos no estan obligados a desarrollarlo o declararlo aqui, lo hacen en sus paises. Luego lo patentan y crean medicinas que se venden en todo el mundo, siendo que en el Peru se inicio todo. Pero como nuestro gobierno no invierte nada en investigacion o genetica, se lo llevan y nos quitan mucho.

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DIEGO comenta que en su clase de medicina en una universidad en Lima, 40%  hablan bien ingles, el resto solo tiene nivel basico que es lo que solo piden para ingresar. Esto es un obstaculo para desarrollarte en medicina en Peru. Primero porque la mayoria de investigaciones, lecturas, etc estan en ingles y usar el traductor no es bueno, no se entiende, limitandolos mucho desde el inicio. Luego ya como medico tienes que manejar el ingles muy bien para enterarte de lo ultimo en investigaciones. Luego te enteras de oportunidades de intercambio, maestrias, posgrados, residentados en paises de habla inglesa, muchos ni siquiera lo piensan y se limitan mucho mas.

COMO PROFESORA con años de experiencia preparando para IELTS, TOEFL y otros examenes, es muy grato conocer y tener alumnos como DIEGO. It’s rarely like a delicatessen to find in Peru a dedicated, self-worker and self-driven student like DIEGO, who I had the privilege to meet and prepare for the TOEFL IBT & SAT. I trained him with individual classes in my INTENSIVE PROGRAM, 4 classes a week of 3 hours for 4 months. First, he undertook a screening test to evaluate his level, then we started with his TWO low sections with lots of theory, exercises, mock tests, audio homework, writing essays and quarterly progress evaluations, so he could see his progress and feel confident about himself.

At the beginning, I was skeptic about DIEGO, because I tend to ask a lot from my students. This is how I’m a very good TESOL teacher, but I must say that in Peru, most of my students don’t submit, continue or progress efficiently. They always have excuses for unfinished, not practice or not done at all exercises, tests, homework. Or they complain a lot, using the old time excuse about their busy working, daily routine or just quit.  I ended up lowering, fixing my methodology, expectations to their limitations knowing that this will fully affect their results. Makes them sloppy, lazy, not having the opportunity to conquer easily their goals and excel.


However DIEGO really surprise me. All the time, he was a dedicated, hardworking and reliable student who complete and submit all his homework, exercises, tests and transcripts. Few times when he couldn’t complete a task, he came to class very concern about it  but overall, he’s a really committed person. So, with him I was like a fish in the water.  I continue with my exigent and high level methodology section by section taking mock tests and personal evaluations proving himself that he was soon ready to take his exam, which he did on DEC 2015 getting an astonishing score. I wish him all the best in his new pursuits, because I know he’ll do well in whatever he decides because his strong determination and will. Personally as a teacher, I only wish to have more students like DIEGO, who I can pass my knowledge and advice to excel in life.

EN EL SIGUIENTE VIDEO entrevistamos a DIEGO que nos comenta como le fue en su examen. Nos da tips, consejos, estrategias que uso y que le funcionaron. Ademas para los que estan proximos a darlo, nos detalla seccion por seccion temas, preguntas que vinieron, como manejo su tiempo, stress, nerviosismo hasta el final. Que secciones fueron mas faciles y porque, cual fue la mas dificil y porque, una mirada a su plan de estudio. Recuerden que DIEGO no solo saco un puntaje global alto, el obtuvo casi un puntaje perfecto 28/30 (solo tuvo 2 errores) en Listening & Reading, muy interesante de escuchar sus comentarios, se los recomiendo, un poco largo pero muy instructivo.

  • READING,  tema sobre China y su historia como productor de cosas especiales y de calidad.
  • LISTENING,  audios con acento americano sobre estudiantes con problemas en sus estudios y amigos hablando como hacer para mudarse.
  • SPEAKING, preguntas 1 a 3 fueron simples, pero de la 4 a 6 nivel subio muy rapido preguntas fueron complicadas con lecturas largas.
  • WRITING, 2 temas, primero sobre airships & helicopters. Segundo sobre la cualidad mas importante para una amistad duradera.

Bueno, espero que este post y video les ayude en su preparacion, please comentenme que les parecio, respondere a todos sus comentarios!….Si estan interesados en mi curso de preparacion o materiales en venta propios, escribanme a – 4224152 – Tambien pueden visitar One to One Peru en – Cynthia


Taking good notes is one of the most important skills for success on the TOEFL (and for college) that won’t be directly tested.  El TOEFL que combina demostrar un gran dominio de tus habilidades simultaneas en lectura, tomar notas, escuchar y entender. Cada vez se hace mas necesario tomar notas correctamente y escrutinar, priorizar informacion requerida y no necesaria para aumentar el exito en cada pregunta en las secciones de speaking, reading, and writing. It’s not a bad idea to take notes on the reading section, but it will be absolutely critical in the listening, speaking and writing sections and integrated tasks, since many of these contain far more information than anyone could possibly remember in one sitting—unless you’re a genius.

Tip #1: Express ideas in few words

One huge error that people make when taking notes is being too careful. They write every word out completely, include small words like “the,” or even include full sentences. There is a clear problem with this approach: you simply don’t have enough time. But also, this can make it hard to find information later. Shorter notes are easier to search through. When you refer to them later, you’ll have no problem finding the information you need.

Tip #2: Use your own words (even in your own language)

It’s a bad idea in class, but when you’re in the middle of a test, no one cares whether you’re using exclusively English or not. If you can rephrase what you heard in fewer words in your own language, then do it! I’m not saying you should write entirely in your native language, but if you can express a thought faster, then that’s a good thing.

Tip #3: Keep moving

The speaker is going to be moving faster than you can write. If you think you are falling behind as you rush to write the last point that was made, it’s usually best to stop that thought in the middle and move on. It’s much easier to remember that partial thought later than to miss a portion of the lecture and have to figure out what the speaker’s talking about now and why.

Tip #4: Use symbols

Never write the word “circle” if you can simply draw a circle. Cause and effect can be shown with arrows. “Decrease,” “fall,” “short,” “cheap,” or even “worse” can all be shown with a down arrow. There are many, many other symbols, of course—use whatever you can think of that’s shorter than writing words!

Tip #5: Only note big ideas and key relationships

Your notes should be structural. In other words, you don’t want to include every detail that’s spoken. You want to hear every detail, of course, but you only have to write the big ideas that help you to remember the small ones. If you try to write everything, you will have trouble keeping pace, and you will not hear some information because you’re still writing the previous details. Make note of relationships between ideas like examples, comparisons, contrasts, and cause and effect. Note when the topic changes. But don’t write every name, date, and location you hear.

Tip #6: Practice, practice, practice!

Note-taking is a skill, and it needs to be practiced. Take notes from whatever media you have: a TV show, a TED talk, the book you’re reading, or even a conversation with a friend. Pay particular attention to listening and writing at the same time without getting behind in either.


When you compare conversations to lectures, there are a couple of advantages. Conversations are usually much shorter (just a few minutes long). The subject matter may be academic or non-academic, so you’re more likely to get a topic that you already know something about. And best of all, if you miss something one speaker says, the other speaker’s response will probably give you a clue as to what you missed. Whereas in lectures it’s important to understand as many words as possible, the conversations reward people who may not get every word, but who are good at interpreting implied information, idioms, and tone of  voice. On the other hand, you have very little time to figure out what’s going on, as the structure of a conversation moves very quickly and doesn’t usually return to a point made at the beginning. What’s more, the greater emphasis informal language requires you to know a different vocabulary set than the rest of the lectures and readings of the TOEFL require.


Taking notes on a conversation may seem very easy in comparison to your practice lectures, since it’s almost possible to write every detail. You may even be tempted to do just that, simply because you can. But as I said above, conversations are less about explicit content than implied content. If you’re writing furiously throughout the recording, you’ll miss important nuances that are bound to be in the questions. The notes below are on the practice recording found in ETS QuickPrep Volume 3. Listen to that conversation as you look through the notes below. Then try taking notes using each of these methods in turn, so you can choose and adapt one so it works best for you.

People: student, registrar

S. bring form–4 dip.

R. (checks PC). grad OK…?  warn on rec.

R. required—cred. need plan. Sent letters b4, don’t now.

S. met chair. prof said okay.

R. PC = reliable.

S. bas. courses. no int. chair: field work = int. clssmates for req.s. Him for xtra

R. But not int. course

S. No grad?

R. Don’t worry. tell chair talk to reg. Do soon. wait = can’t help.

Notice that there are few full words (and definitely no sentences!) in those notes. If they’re hard to understand then that’s good. Nobody needs to understand them except you, and you only need to understand them for a few minutes. In fact, I made the notes above long compared to what you might write during your actual TOEFL. Be sure you don’t spend the whole time writing. Remember that you need to listen enough to understand the bigger ideas and implications.

THE OTHER METHOD = The truth is that it’s pretty similar to what’s above. Only instead, of writing in one column, alternating between R. and S., you will write in two columns. On the left side will be one speaker, and on the right side will be the other. This helps you keep straight who said what without always including the speakers identity at the beginning of the line. Some test-takers have trouble doing the two column approach, though, and prefer to just keep it organized in one up-and-down column. That’s fine. But try both to find which is more efficient for you!


1) Take notes on what you don’t understand or didn’t know. Then, use that to write out your S.M.A.R.T. TOEFL study plan to hit your goal TOEFL score. Include exercises to improve your weaknesses and describe how you’ll study.

S: specific, M: measurable, A: actionable, R: results oriented, and T: time bound. 

2) About 20 to 30% of our students succeed with this TOEFL strategy however, need more help, practice, and guidance to earn their goal TOEFL score.  Remember that everyone takes notes differently, so you don’t have to have the exact same words in your notes as we do throughout this exercise, but your notes should be similar. With this method of taking notes, you’ll be focusing on writing the subject, verb, and object of key sentences. These notes will lead you to more correct answers on the listening section and better comprehension when you’re forced to guess. Without good notes, you will earn a lower, sometimes much lower.

Part 1 = Listen to the lecture and take notes by yourself naturally. Then, look at our notes and compare. How are they different? How are they similar? This is just to warm you up and give you a sense of where you are in your current ability.

Listen First – Audio Picture in part 1 = 

Compare Notes =   Notes6

Part 2 = Now, listen to our paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the transcript of the lecture and how to take notes on it effectively. Take your time. Listen to the lecture and our lessons over and over again if you need to. Rushing does not lead to improvement; it leads to stress and failure. And, this is where you’re going to be doing the most score improving work.


LISTEN – Audio Picture in part 2 = 


LISTEN – Audio Picture 2 in part 2 = 


LISTEN – Audio Picture 3 in part 2 = 

Part 3 = It’s time for an overview of how what you’ve learned translates into good note-taking ability. Listen to our explanation of our notes and the way to easily test if your note-taking is effective. Good luck! Know that if you make sure to apply this on your next TOEFL, you just improved your TOEFL score.

Notes 1

LISTEN – Audio Picture in part 3 =

Part 4 = This is the moment of truth. It’s time to put all of your knowledge to the test by listening to the lecture again and taking notes one more time. You should notice a difference in the way your brain now listens to the lecture. You should also notice that your notes are much closer to our example notes.

Listen First – Audio Picture in part 4 =

Compare Notes = Notes compare

Thanks to the following sources:   –  –


Cynthia Maldo

An ESL Teacher with a BA in Education & specialization in pre-school and Hispanic studies. Fluent English, Spanish. French intermediate. +10years teaching IELTS, OET, MCQ, MCCEE, WRITTEN, TOEFL examinations.

Hi there, my background is half Australian, half Hispanic. Since I remember at home, we were proud to be a bilingual family, English & Spanish. After high school, I went directly to study marketing just for 2 years. Then, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I took several courses about medicine, dentistry, etc. Then I swap to Tourism, I ended up graduating from Tourism Administration with major in international relations. I work as a Travel Adviser in Sydney for some 5 years. I enjoyed this time of my life working and traveling cheap a lot to Thailand, Malaysia, UK, USA, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Aruba, Bermudas, Jamaica, New Zealand and of course all over Australia many times by plane and road. Such a great experience been a citizen of the world.

While traveling to get by, I took several courses in TEFL teaching, typing course and migrant agent. I survive with money from the last two.After I came back to university and study an BA in Education with a major in young kids. Now I’m studying online my Master in Hispanic Studies to specialize in teaching Spanish language and culture. As soon as I finished my bachelor, I only had in my mind to travel to Peru for a Spanish Internship to master my speaking and written language. It took me some months to organize all, and in no time I was already living in Lima looking for a job.My teaching working experience in Peru is mainly in English, French & Spanish personal tuition.

I’ve got more than 10 years helping and inspiring professionals, students and kids. My specialties are Early-kids; I teach them since 2 years old to high school SAT preparation. To Adults; I’ve helped them to increase their fluency, develop conversational and listening skills, preparing them for job interviews, traveling and survival situations in business trips. To professionals; I’ve developed a unique methodology emphasizing in the Australian pronunciation and listening to facilitate their understanding of this peculiar accent to pass successfully their examinations; IELTS, OET, MCQ, WRITTEN, MCCEE, and TOEFL.

Because my previous background in medicine and dentistry in Australia, my main students have been doctors, odontologists, nurses, surgeons, radiologist, etc who want to study a residency, postgraduate or work in Australia or Canada. I offer them not just preparation courses, but also advice, tips in how to obtain their homologacion, license and apply to residencies, postgraduates and masters programs abroad.

At the moment, I’m a coordinator and the head teacher of One to One International, a Language School in Peru. If you need any help with your languages, here’s how to contact me, – Here I left their full details.

Love to hear your comments and specially people passionate about languages…..Cynthia M.


Email: – Web:

Any Enquiries to: (00511) 4224152 – FB: One to One International