3. Give yourself a safety net: No matter how much you prepare, some things still may come as a surprise when you first take the TOEFL. Earphones, for instance, can vary between testing centers, Zilkha says, and it's hard to know how noisy your test room will be.
If possible, Zilkha recommends that students consider scheduling multiple tests when they register for their first TOEFL exam. (There's no limit to how many times you can take the TOEFL, and students can wait to release their scores until they hit the minimum score requirement set by schools in which they're interested.)
"A lot of people say to schedule two tests in a row, like a week apart," Zilkha says. "The first time you're going there, you don't know what the place is like, what the real test is like, how you feel under testing conditions. But the second time around, you're pretty familiar with it. Generally, one of the scores reaches the [student's] goal."
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