Ricardo, NoteFull's Student of the Month for January 2014 back to top
NoteFull is pleased to introduce January's Student of the Month: Ricardo dos Santos Neves from Portugal!
Ricardo is currently preparing to apply for his Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He's excited to share his story with you. He hopes it will help motivate future NoteFull students and TOEFL test takers reach their goals, too.
Ricardo is currently working full-time in the high-stress environment of investment banking, and when he started completing the MBA application steps, he found it to be pretty challenging to focus on his studies and reach his TOEFL requirements. Ricardo's goals were to reach, at least, a 110 on the TOEFL. With a score this high, he'd be eligible for admittance into his dream MBA programs in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Ricardo took his first exam on the 16th of November. His plan was to simply take 3 practice tests using the TOEFL Official Guide. However, in the beginning, he was really worried about the speaking section. Without any guidance or feedback, he wasn't sure if he was on the right track. He tried to use the practice test that ETS provides, but he only earned a 24 with their "SpeechRater" system. He needed something more.
What helped give Ricardo the extra edge?
Ricardo began to search for TOEFL exam strategies just before his exam and chanced upon NoteFull's strategy videos on YouTube. His immediate impression was that NoteFull's Free TOEFL content and videos were engaging and that the strategies were simplified and easy to follow. He says he remembers thinking:
"Those strategies can actually work".
So from that point on, he began memorizing and mastering the templates for both writing and speaking. However, on his first test attempt, he says that he did not feel like he was psychologically ready for all TOEFL sections. The Reading section was pretty stressful and this anxiety had an impact on the way we performed on the rest of the exam. Although his first TOEFL score was very good--he received a 100!--he knew he needed to continue with NoteFull's strategies in order to reach his goals.
However, after about one month of using NoteFull's Free Content he felt more strong attacking each question. Furthermore, NoteFull's videos helped him improve his overall motivation and confidence to succeed. This December, he earned the following scores:
R:28; L:28; S:29; W:26. Final TOEFL score of 111!
His preparation using NoteFull's strategies, guidance, and templates provided him with the push he needed in order to boost his score from a 100 to a 111! With his current, amazing score, he'll be able to apply for the most exclusive MBA programs across the planet like London Business School and Wharton. He explained:
"my TOEFL score gave me motivation and endurance to finish with great enthusiasm my applications until the end of the year. I feel now much more motivated to retake my GMAT exam too".
Ricardo's advice for you future test-takers
"The path to success is a lot of effort and strategic planning and also resilience by never giving up. If you have a busy life you must have a thorough plan that will be your guide every day and will help you manage everything. So, as a mentor of mine used to say: 'Failing to plan is planning to fail'. You have to have a goal, every day you must aim to do something. With the TOEFL is pretty much the same. Assess which are your weaknesses and strengths and plan to spend the most time you can in your weak areas. In the end and with a lot of effort the results will surely show up".
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 you're 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.