What kind of test is the TOEFL? The Test of English as a Foreign Language assesses your English ability for entry of non-English native speakers into English-speaking universities. The TOEFL and IELTS test are the two top language tests for English in the world. If you’re wondering whether to take the TOEFL or the IELTS, this answer will help you decide: The TOEFL test is more common in the US, and for the UK the IELTS is the preferred format.
You can use your TOEFL to prove your English ability both for university and working abroad. Accoding to the Complete University Guide, you will need a different score depending on the course you want to take, and this tends to be higher for medicine and law, for example. You can find the profiles of top UK universities here, including information for foreign students.
There is a great number of practise tests online and the best way to get started is to get familiar with the format of the exam: How many days does it take, what exactly does it test, how much does it cost, where can I take the test and so on.
You can find a number of resources, practise questions and even whole practise exams online. ETS provides a good introduction here
The best courses to prepare the TOEFL test are those that are specifically built on this test. These will go through example course material and practise the exact skills you need in a supportive environment, and will even go through a practise exam with you, leaving you calm and collected when faced with the real one. The tutors on these courses will most likely have experience as TOEFL assessors, but ask about this before committing to a course.
A good way to start is by taking a free test online and get an objective assessment: What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you practise these? Who can help you practise? Noticing gaps in your own language skill is often difficult to notice.
Enrol in a TOEFL preparation course which specifically practises the skills you need to get a good mark. You can find TOEFL courses in language schools worldwide. This would give you access to experienced teachers who can assist you in bridging those gaps in your English.
Prepare! Reading, writing, listening and speaking are all part of the test. Use online resources to practise and work on speaking whenever you can.
Work on your study skills. Time is at a premium during the exam so make sure that you have practised skim reading, identifying and prioritising the key points of a task to leave you more time to elaborate on your answers.