If you've already taken the SAT this year, it's time to start preparing for the TOEFL! Unless you scored a 600 or higher on the reading section of the SAT, you'll be required to take an exam to prove you speak English (either the TOEFL or the IELTS). Be sure to check the TOEFL waiver requirements of the universities you're applying to...requirements vary!
If you've decided to take the TOEFL, even though the IELTS is easier and it's easier to get a test date in Dubai, you need to do a little bit of preparation so you can get the best score possible (and don't freak out on test day).
How to Prepare for the TOEFL
Here are our recommendations for how SAT test takers should prepare for the TOEFL:
Tests to Start Prepping with Now
Here are a few resources available on the web to get your TOEFL preparation started:
You can do a full length test's worth of practice on this site. Keep in mind that the format DOES NOT follow the actual exam. On the reading section, there should be 13 (not 10) questions and each passage with questions ends with a table or classification question. On the listening section, there will be 2 academic lectures and 1 campus conversation, not 4 lectures and 3 conversations.
ETS Quick Prep
Here's yet another great tool from ETS that includes real retired TOEFL test questions. Use volumes 3 and 4 because you need the audio for the listening and speaking. Between the two volumes, you'll get 6 listening practice sets, 6 speaking practice sets, and 1 writing practice set.
Official ETS Sample Test Questions
Ok, this isn't a full test, but these are sample questions from the makers of the TOEFL. They offer the best wording and insight into test because they are old retired questions. Do them after you complete a full length test.
TOEFL iBT Sampler
Another great ETS resource to download and use.
Practice Tests Free (Download)
A so-so download that isn't a full length practice test but can get you used to the TOEFL interface. (There real TOEFL takes about 4 hours NOT 55 minutes.) You can also download this application from download.com.
155 TOEFL Independent Writing Topics
This site provides a complete list of all the possible TOEFL independent writing topics (essay #2 of the writing section). Be sure to read over it so you understand the different styles of questions, write a few essays in 30 minutes to get the feel of writing under timed conditions, and outline a bunch to stimulate your creativity. Just remember, the independent writing task is a different essay from the SAT essay. The focus should be on reasons, rather than examples, to support your argument. You can also use all personal examples if you like.
Update: We have published 185 Official TOEFL iBT Writing Topics here on our site!