The Structure Simplified

by Mr. Agung
1.      Get a general sense of what the sentence is saying.
Understanding what message the writer wish to convey helps us recognize sentence components and their proper forms better.

2.      Identify the basic sentence components (subject-verb-complement).
No flaw is allowed at this stage, as we are English teachers after all.

3.      Make sure the main clause is correct.
This is where our flair for tenses takes hold.

4.      Work on the other clause(s).
Sometimes things got just a little complicated when it comes to complex sentences. It might require a certain level of analyses for words composition, such as subject-verb inversion, and different formats of emphasizing ideas.
5.      Mind the connectors (coordinate, subordinate, and the like).
It shouldn’t really be a problem, the right connector for the right noun (clause).

6.      Make the most of your hunch when you are stuck.
It is never a bad idea to read a lot and know different writing styles, even awkward writers do mind their grammar.

7.      Be tactful.
There is no point of pondering a sentence over and over again when you are lost. Move on to the next one and deal with this particular one when you are ready.

8.      Practice
Not all grammar points and sentence constructions are tested, there is always a thing called ‘most frequently asked’ problems. 

Reading Comprehension Trivia

The Real Deal

1.      Make sure you work on the easiest parts of each passage first. Things like finding the ‘synonym’ and ‘specific information in a particular line’ guarantees us points every now and then. Only then we can move on to the questions that require analysis such as finding the ‘main idea’ and or ‘topic’ and also ‘the proper topic for the subsequent paragraph’. But stick to one passage at a time, jumping from one passage to another drains our brain as it has to tap into our previous knowledge on the subject over and over again.

2.      Be knowledgeable, despite the fact that all answers to every question in the test are strictly factual to the information mentioned in a certain passage, trying to answer questions on a subject we know absolutely nothing about can be very distressful. Background knowledge helps us work more confidently and aids us in making the necessary analysis for each and every question we have to answer.


3.      Read a lot. It doesn’t have to be fictional works or text books that require us days to comprehend. Recent trends in mobile apps from news corporations enable us to learn scanning and skimming even better. Most of the news covered are in their short versions – a few paragraphs long, similar to those on the TOEFL test -  that only take us a minute or two to get the gist of them.  This is definitely a perfect reading practice regime.

4.      Most of us only have 90 minutes of utter concentration working on something. Hence, the last part of the TOEFL test requires us to extend that limit further. Make sure you have a great slumber the night before and is perfectly fit for the D-day. It is always a good idea to consume multivitamin and/or any supplement that boost your level of concentration. And one more thing, all appointments and chores should be fixed that day, remembering things that are left undone or needed further attention ruins everything.

The Other Side

5.      It is said that tests like TOEFL, GMAT and the like have certain racial tendencies toward the Whites. Get rid of this sentiment, as we learn their language, we have to learn their culture. It is perfectly alright to learn other cultures in religious teachings of all faiths. Racial sentiments bring us bad luck. L

6.      Make the sincerest prayer the night before. Divine intervention beats all odds. J

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