NoteFull's Student of the Month for February 2017 back to top
[Bahman is pictured above]
Bahman D. first took the TOEFL exam in 2013. Coming from Iran and being a pharmacist, he initially felt good seeing his Speaking score showing 22/30, and knowing that he only needed 4 more points for his goal score of 26.
"I thought my English was decent, to be honest. I thought that if I got 22 the first time, it wouldn't take long to get a few more points up to 26. No big deal."
However, as Bahman came to realize, moving from a score of 3/4 to 4/4 for any Speaking question on the TOEFL, can prove to be a difficult task. Over the course of the next 12 months, he studied on his own, but repeated attempts to pass the exam only moved his score up to 23, and no higher. Then, he came up with brave plan!
"I decided at that point that I needed to put myself in a position where I could practice my English as much as possible. Even though I knew I was going to be uncomfortable at first, I had to find a job where I spoke English throughout the day."
So Bahman found work as a customer service representative, speaking to patients all day. And these weren't easy people to deal with! Many were unsatisfied about their treatment, or upset about their health conditions. Knowing that he had to competently address their concerns forced Bahman to work on improving his English.
He also joined Toastmasters, a national organization that provides its participants with opportunities to speak in public, with other members giving feedback afterwards. This, coupled with his new job, resulted in more comfort and familiarity when Speaking!
Now, by early 2016 Bahman had discovered NoteFull and the free resources available, and was using it to structure his Speaking responses. Thirsty for more detailed information, he registered for our 6-Step Speaking + Tutoring + Review program. However, Bahman decided to hold off on the tutoring until he was confident that he had mastered the information in Steps 1 to 3.
By June, Bahman was ready for tutoring, so over the course of several weeks during the summer Bahman attended 4 tutoring sessions with Nayyer, one of our TOEFL tutors. Nayyer was able to listen to a few responses and immediately identify what the issues were, and what kinds of homework would eliminate these kinds of mistakes. Now that Bahman knew what to work on during the time that he studied on his own, he could really focus in on improving key areas holding him back!
"At that point it was late July and I was ready for the TOEFL. Then, in the middle of writing my exam, there was an electricity outage! They lost power and had to cancel the exam! This was so frustrating. And then to make matters worse, a couple of weeks later I went to take the exam but there was a problem with the computers so again it was cancelled!"
As you can imagine, the psychological blow of having two cancelled exams was a hard pill to swallow for Bahman. When he did up finally end up taking the exam, he again scored 23 on the Speaking. It was a real low point for him, but he was determined that it would not be the end of the road.
As Nayyer was no longer tutoring on week-ends, Bahman began working with Joseph during tutoring. They continued to build on the knowledge that Bahman had gained from the program, along with specific feedback on areas to improve. Nearing the end of December, Bahman felt ready once again for the exam.
"This time around, I decided to imagine that I was speaking to a friend, instead of an ETS rater. I wanted to sound natural and confident, that's what I think they were looking for."
On January 8, 2017, Bahman carried that confidence with him into the exam room, and he nailed the 26 score that he had long been looking for! His words of advice for all of you out there still studying: never give up, practice speaking English as much as you can every day, and on the test day imagine that you're speaking with a friend, rather than an ETS grader.
Reading: 29, Listening: 25, Speaking: 26, Writing: 25
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 Bahman'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.