The TOEFL [ˈtoʊfəl] (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) is one of the internationally acknowledged and well-reputed systems for checking people’s proficiency in English.
The TOEFL can be taken for various reasons, for example, if a person lives in a country where education is not provided in English and wants to enter a university where English is the main language of instruction, most likely, this person will be required to demonstrate that his/her level of English is sufficient to be able to study at this university. The TOEFL or the IELTS (academic, see the post above) are, probably, most typical tests in this case. Depending on a university and a faculty, the language requirements vary (it is always best to contact the department that you are applying to in order to get the latest information).
In order to facilitated the process of testing, the TOEFL is offered not only in a written form, but also in electronically, through the Internet. The latter option is known as the iBT (internet-based test). Regardless of the type of the test, however, people are required to come to a specially equipped place. In other words, the TOEFL cannot be taken at home, even if this is the iBT version.
The challenge concerning taking the TOEFL is not limited to understanding of the language, but also has to do with cultural issues or understanding of the context of the situation which is offered as a part of the listening part. Therefore, often even those people who have quite a high proficiency in the language may have difficulties in taking the TOEFL. In order to overcome these difficulties, I recommend to practice as much as possible by doing training TOEFL exercises (in my opinion, listening is one of the most difficult aspects) as well as to have a good book to help cope with the potential difficulties.
In this post, I would like to recommend a book for preparation for the TOEFL. The book that I am posting below was helpful to me when I was taking the test.
This is 2008 edition (the one that I was using), now there are later editions available, however, I have not worked with them. As for this edition, I should note that I have tried different literature on TOEFL preparation, but this book was most helpful to me. I hope that this book may help students who prepare for the TOEFL and instructors who help students to prepare.
Pierce, D., Kinsell, S., & Coggshall, V. (2008). Cracking the TOEFL iBT (updated by Vanessa Coggshall). New York: Random House: Princeton Review.