NoteFull's Student of the Month for March 2017 back to top
[Rouba is pictured above]
Rouba B. completed her Pharmacy Studies in Syria, then moved to the United States in 2005. Up until that point in her life, her familiarity with the English limited was extremely limited. Her mother tongue was Arabic, and her second language was French. She had taken a short 2-month course on English in college, but that was it.
"I started studying for the TOEFL in 2008, but just by myself. I had a book that I used to guide me. I got a 22 in Speaking and a 21 in Writing. I thought, oh wow I only need 4 more points for the Speaking, this is not going to take long!"
Like most of you stuck in that 21-23 range for Speaking scores, Rouba would come to realize that the jump to 26 required a lot of work. After that first test Rouba began searching for new sources of TOEFL education. She watched Youtube videos offered by people who claimed to be experts, and took the test eleven or twelve more times!
"I was never able to get that score of 26 for Speaking. I tried so many strategies. I took private classes with tutors on Skype. I attended classes at a state college in New Jersey that focused specifically on the TOEFL. It cost $1500 for 2 hours per week of classes, for 6 weeks, and they were not very professional. So, afterwards I was stuck at 23."
At the same time, Rouba's Reading and Listening scores were inconsistent over the course of these numerous tests. Sometimes she was able to hit her scores in these areas, others she wouldn't. Finally, in 2013 Rouba stopped studying. Her FPGEE (successfully passed in 2007) had expired the year before, and she needed a break.
In 2016, Rouba began to take the steps that would ultimately lead to her success. First she passed her FPGEE pharamcy test in the spring, and she had already begun volunteering at a nearby pharmacy during the morning hours. She places a lot of significance on this experience:
"You have to understand that I was very shy when it came to expressing myself in English. I had a real lack of confidence. But then slowly, through all these conversations with customers, I began to notice that I was getting better and better."
Rouba also began to check out online forums that international pharmacists contributed to, to talk about their TOEFL experiences. One trend she noticed was that something called "NoteFull" seemed to be very popular with her peers. She signed up for the Free TOEFL emails from NoteFull, and found the strategies easy to pick and implement.
In October 2016, Rouba took a chance and registered for the Complete TOEFL Mastery + Tutoring + Review program. She needed more help, more feedback than she could get from the free lessons. She studied the program and then took the TOEFL in November, reaching her goal scores in all sections except for Speaking, where she hit 24. Moving forward, she decided she was ready for tutoring to find out what areas she needed focus on for the Speaking.
"I had a session with Mathew and then a session with Nayyer in early January. They helped me to work on stragies, like being specific with my examples in my responses to Speaking Questions 1 and 2, and also what to focus on for each Speaking response. Also, how to develop my examples in the Independent Writing essay. I felt much less nervous afterwards."
That confidence carried over to her exam on January 14th, 2017, when Rouba achieved her goal scores for all 4 sections of the TOEFL! This represents a major step in her path towards becoming a licensed pharamist in the United States, filling her with happiness and relief. Her words of advice for all of you still studying: practice speaking English as much as you can in your everyday lives, develop your confidence on the test day, and adopt NoteFull strategies and have faith in them!
Reading: 25, Listening: 24, Speaking: 26, Writing: 24
Do you have the courage and determination to conquer the TOEFL? I bet you do. If you're missing the right tools for the job, let us know and we can work together to create a personal study plan so that you too can earn your dream score and be done with the TOEFL! You can always contact us at StudentHelp@notefull.com if you have any questions or need help figuring out your next step forward.
If Rouba's story or any of our previous success stories have inspired you, why not share your story and let it inspire others? If you have something to celebrate, let us know!
How to Become the Next Student of the Month back to top
If you think that you have what it takes to become NoteFull's next Student of the Month, please send us an email with your story of success to SuccessStories@NoteFull.com.
We look forward to receiving your success story. Whether you're working with an ESL or TOEFL system or through our Free TOEFL Course, we have seen your commitment to greatness and look forward to rewarding you for your hard work next month!
As Student of the Month, you will be interviewed by NoteFull and profiled on this page.
This is a great opportunity for you to inspire others with your story or just brag about your success. And just as you're reading this now, know that your story will continue to inspire others towards success for years to come.
Also, every Student of the Month receives a coveted NoteFull t-shirt! Wear it with pride when you get it because you deserve it.