Meet NoteFull's Student of the Month for September 2013! back to top
NoteFull would like to introduce its next Student of the Month, Lizbet Aquino, from Cuba! Lizbet had been preparing for the TOEFL for 5 years and took the exam a total of 30 times before hitting her goal scores. She is a foreign pharmacist and this meant she had to keep working hard until she hit the challenging FPGEC licensure requirements of R21, L18, S26, W24.
At the beginning, Lizbet's first TOEFL scores were R19, L13, S18, and W20. She explained to us that initially, when she first got those scores, she didn't think that passing the TOEFL would be too hard because she had been able to communicate comfortably and smoothly in her daily life. However, after taking the test again and then repeatedly, without significant improvement, she realized that she had to dedicate more time to prepare for the TOEFL and focus on all sections diligently.
Lizbet's Study Plan:
So, in 2011, Lizbet registered for the 12-step Speaking + Tutoring + Review system from NoteFull. In addition, she registered for the Complete TOEFL Mastery upgrade. With these two systems, she began studying approximately 35 to 40 hours per week, including weekends. She stated that, "there was no way to take time off during the weekends because then I was losing track."
How she improved her reading score: In the Reading section she focused on a mastery of NoteFull's activities to improve her reading speed, the strategies for each question type, and a strict focus on time management. In addition, she worked on her comprehension by reading National Geographic articles every day for about 45 minutes.
How Lizbet shot up her listening score: Here, Lizbet had difficulties with note-taking. She was able to improve this skill by applying the Subject-Verb-Object strategy that is explained in detail in Complete TOEFL Mastery. She worked on this relentlessly--overall she worked for 1-2 hours on this skill per day. In addition, she worked on her comprehension by watching TV in English for about 2 hours each week.
How she finally overcame the speaking section: In the Speaking section, Lizbet had to work very hard on a number of skills. To keep track of everything, she made a checklist for each question where she wrote every single detail, tip, and strategy to take into consideration when answering each of them. She practiced speaking every day for several hours. In addition to strategy practice and mastery, Lizbet stated that tutoring sessions and reviews were a great help because they were a great way to find out about her precise strengths and weaknesses. She also views the tutoring session as a source of motivation. She said, "they encouraged me every time to continue on this hard mission of studying for the TOEFL. Sometimes I was very frustrated without energy to study, but talking with my teachers from Notefull (Lauren and Joseph) gave me back the power and recovery to keep strong and to smile because the success was right at the corner." She also told us that the four reviews she received from Megan were very helpful for her because they were "almost like a tutoring session" and they "described every single detail" of her speech.
How Lizbet succeed in writing: She was unable to reach the 400 words in the independent task, but she stated that thanks to NoteFull's structure strategies for each paragraph, she finally got used to it and at the end it was a lot easier. Her reviews from Megan also helped her keep her content detailed and on-topic. She worked on writing strategy and practice every other day.
She worked on all of these strategies until she succeeded. In July we received a message from Lizbet stating that her hard work had paid off. Her final scores were Reading: 23, Listening: 23, Speaking: 26, and Writing: 27!
When she finally passed the TOEFL she told us that she almost couldn't believe it. But, because of her success with the TOEFL, she now feels stronger and more capable to continue studying for her licensure test (NAPLEX). Lizbet's final words that she'd like to share with students who are still struggling: "I strongly recommend to other students to don’t give up because even if the mountain looks very hard to climb, don’t worry because NoteFull is there for you, to give you the most exact way of how to do it, and you will feel as successful as I am now."
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.