Success in the TOEFL exam after preparing at Kings
19 August, 2015
One thing, that is really special about Kings, which is also the reason why I wanted to go to Kings Boston rather than another city, is living on a campus with American students. That provides the opportunity to get to know a few locals and speak to native speakers.
Jonas Brahms from Germany recently spent three months at Kings Boston, where he prepared for his TOEFL. We caught up with him to find out about his experience learning with us, and the results of his TOEFL test.
Hi Jonas. What course did you take at Kings and how long did you study for?
In my time at Kings, 3 months all in all (12 weeks), I took two different courses. Because I came to Kings with the goal of taking the TOEFL test, I took the TOEFL preparation course with the teacher Barry for 2 months. After the TOEFL test was done at this point, I could easily change to the "normal" English class, so I came to Level 8 with Tici, where I stayed the last month. This course made more sense for me after the test.
What was your main reason for taking the TOEFL test?
There were two main reasons, why I wanted to take the TOEFL test. Firstly, I'm pretty interested in doing a year, or at least a semester, abroad while studying and the TOEFL test is an international well recognized test of English and especially in the United States necessary for most of the universities.
Secondly, there are a many universities in Germany and Europe where you get extra credits for your application if you have a good TOEFL score, so you get accepted way easier and actually it helped me a lot to get accepted at the university Im going to study now.
What was your final score, and was it what you had hoped to achieve?
Since I needed at least 100 points to get extra credits for my application at the university, this was the goal, I set for myself. Fortunately I got 103 points, so I was really happy with my score.
Do you feel you made good progress at Kings Boston?
I think the progress I made at Kings, especially in the TOEFL class and in the aspect of preparing and taking the test, was awesome. Before I came to Boston, I didn't know a lot about the TOEFL test, all the different parts (reading, listening, speaking and writing) and the different types of questions in these parts. This knowledge about the test, how it's made up and how the questions look like, which is a main part of the training in the TOEFL class, helps a lot and probably pushed my score significantly. Another point, which was quite important for me is, that I hadn't read a lot of English books or texts before, so my speaking was pretty decent before, but I had some problems with the reading. Especially the every-day-training on the reading improved my English and consequently my TOEFL score a lot.
What skills do you think you improved most during your time with us?
There are so many skills, I improved during my time at Kings, but I think, the skills I improved the most besides the English knowledge are living together on a campus with many people always for a long time and especially dealing with people from many different countries all over the world. There are students from so many countries, you can’t even count them (we tried once ;)), hence they all have different cultures, languages and so on, but nevertheless, despite these differences it is possible to become very good friends with them, doesn't matter where the other student is from. Furthermore, this variety, when you come into the cafeteria and see so many different faces, that's just incredibly awesome and I suppose, there are not many places having this.
How did you find the teaching and classes at Kings?
I think the best thing about the Kings teaching and classes is the relationship between the teachers and the students. The Kings staff are somewhere between friends and teachers, which is the best way in my view to manage the teaching. I had the opportunity to visit two totally different classes, the TOEFL class and level 8. The TOEFL class helped me a lot and prepares the students in my opinion perfectly for the test. Level 8 was more about speaking and understanding complex things combined with fun, games and creativity.
Had you been to Boston before and what did you like most about the city?
I hadn't been to Boston before I came to Kings and Boston is for me a beautiful city, which is cultural a mix of America and Europe, since it was the first city of the United States with a gorgeous skyline and located at the coast, which is really valuable for the city. I had the chance during my stay in Boston to visit a few other cities, including New York, Boston is my favorite city in the east, because compared to other cities it is very safe and not too big, so for me it has a perfect size. Even though there are not as many famous sights as in other cities as New York or Washington, there are so many things to do in Boston, almost every day, which makes it such a beautiful city.
Would you recommend Kings to other people from your home country?
I would definitely recommend Kings to my friends or other people from my home country. One thing, that is really special about Kings, which is also the reason why I wanted to go to Kings Boston rather than another city, is living on a campus with American students, since the PMC college is on the same campus. That provides the opportunity to get to know a few locals and speak to native speakers. Obviously I don't have the comparison to other language schools, but the time in Boston at Kings and the experience will always stay positively in my mind and if somebody asked me, I would recommend Kings Boston.