Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

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Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by Catria » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:47 pm

I am in the process of preparing for the TOEFL (since I'm unsure as to whether U Toronto or York requires the TOEFL, knowing McGill does not) but is it a good idea to use the GRE Verbal sample tests to prepare for the TOEFL?

Also, which is harder to write, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by johnhero2010 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:39 am

from an international student perspective whose native is not English at all:
TOEFL is the easiest exam, it just need practice and i can give u a site who guarantees very height scores(of curse it is not free), but i used the free materials on it and improved a lot
GRE verbal is something much much harder and require that u memory a lot of weird words and phrases ,study roots and etc.
also what i can summary is: the practice in studying the TOEFL is a well spent time bcz every thing u study contribute to ur score. On the other hand, in GRE Verbal, there is no guarantee that if u studied alot, u will answer well. It is rather a matter of linguistic skills and pretty much i can say, luck with the ease of questions.

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by Lavabug » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:44 am

(caveat: I have always been bilingual, but since my university is not in an English-speaking country I still need to take the TOEFL).

I took the TOEFL with no preparation 2 weeks ago and scored 107/120. Nearly full scores in all sections except reading(22/30) because I was not wary of the time constraints, this is IMO the hardest part of the exam if you're not familiar with the format (all 4 articles and 56 questions given to you for 1:20Hrs, and you can flip back and forth(I didn't know this until I got to the 2nd article).

The speaking part is what most people seem to have trouble with on the iBT since you're basically recording yourself, with the added distraction that there are other people in the room doing the same. Try to think/write down at least 2-3 complete sentences in the 20 seconds you get to "prepare" for each of the speaking sections, content does not matter. As long as you speak clearly and coherently with no grammar or pronunciation mistakes, you won't have a problem. I got nervous and was really brief in one of the speaking sections, I REALLY thought I screwed up but I ended up with a 29/30, so that leads me to believe they're looking for proper pronunciation and coherent statements, not content at all. I should warn you though, with my accent I have always passed for an American, which may have caused the grader to be more lenient, so take that with a grain of salt.

I have not studied much for the verbal gre, but from the exercises in my official prep book it does seem a bit challenging.

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by quizivex » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:06 pm

Catria wrote:is it a good idea to use the GRE Verbal sample tests to prepare for the TOEFL?
There is a ton of preparation material geared specifically towards the TOEFL. Therefore, I do not think it is worth using the GRE verbal prep material in addition. Since the main goal of the TOEFL is to test basic competence with English, I doubt there is such a strong emphasis on exotic vocabulary words that dominates the verbal GRE. Did anyone here ever have to know the definition of curmudgeon, vituperative or conflagration to answer a TOEFL question? Probably not, though I must note that I've never taken the TOEFL and never seen the test. Maybe someone else can discuss whether there is significant overlap or not.
Catria wrote:Also, which is harder to write, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?
Probably the GRE verbal because even native English speakers have a very difficult time with it.

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by Catria » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:18 pm

I don't think the TOEFL should be an issue for me. :D

My sister described her first university's English placement test (Laval University) as eerily similar to a mixture of past TOEFLs.

But is the TOEFL rife with reading comprehension questions? Because I had to face multiple passages of that sort in the GRE Verbal prep material.

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by iPHOENIX » Sun May 20, 2018 12:55 am

I took both of TOEFL iBT and GRE, and from my points of view, GRE is (much much) harder than TOEFL iBT in all sections, not only verbal-reading, but writing section as well. Lots of technical languages and requires test takers think clearlier and pay full attention to the situation they give in the GRE test. Even in the writing part, GRE needs you to understand COMMON LOGICAL FALLACIES for argument essay. Good luck!

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Re: Which is harder, TOEFL or GRE Verbal?

Post by LindaMerrill » Wed May 23, 2018 7:33 am

No way would a non native speaker be able to get a good result on TOEFL test. The test illustrates why non native speakers are intimidated by English. Instead of testing at an appropriate level, it subjects them to a test designed for the highest levels of English proficiency, which is frustrating and causes people to think they will never succeed. No one in Asia needs to speak at that level, and very few do, I can assure you after chatting at [deleted] forum.

For English learners in Asia, I find the ESL Podcast system to be quite good, and something that can take the place of paid classes. English classes tend to attract students who think they can sit there and the English will just drift into their brains and stick. There are many pitfalls in learning English in Asia, not the least of which is the general low quality of teachers (both local English teachers and native English speakers) as well as the focus on profit over quality in the schools. This article was quite right on one thing, which is that the humiliation, shyness and fear of mistakes is the greatest obstacle of all. Asians will sit in English class and chat in their native language with each other, missing the opportunity to use the language they are paying quite a lot of money to learn. We just have to get them past that fear, and in Asia, where "face" is so important, it is not easy.

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