TOEFL is not fair!

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

To whine is to complain, usually in an annoying high pitched tone.

We all whine sometimes.


TOEFL students have a reason to whine a lot.


Some common TOEFL whines include:

“Why do I have to read this passage about art when I’m studying business?”

“There’s not enough time!”

“On the IELTS, we talk to a real person. We don’t have to speak into a microphone!”

“It’s not fair!”

“I couldn't understand this lecture even if it were in my own language.”


My dear whiners, I listen to a lot of your whining. It’s valid. It really is. I understand. The struggle is real. If you'd like to hear more about why I think the TOEFL isn't fair, click here.


However, does whining about TOEFL actually increase our score? Probably not. We could go on for hours about how unfair the test is, but would it help you get to your goal? No.


My challenge to you is first uncover what the whining is about. What is underneath the whining? Is it anger? Is it sadness? Is it frustration? Is it being afraid because you don’t know what you want to study yet or what your career ‘should’ be? Is it being afraid that this might be the biggest challenge on your way to making all your dreams come true?


Once you’ve found the emotion behind the whining, let it go! Kick, scream, punch!

Please don’t punch someone, punch the air!


Express all of your feelings. Dance, jump around, yell! Keep going until it’s all out.


Now, you’re ready to study for the TOEFL. Our emotions are energy! They are energy states that move through us. When the energy gets stuck that’s when we whine. That’s when we feel depressed. That’s when we feel as though our situation is hopeless.


Instead, liberate the energy! Notice how you’ll feel lighter, more energetic and more alive. Your body and your mind will have space to actually focus on the TOEFL! Once you feel the power of your own roar, there's nothing that can stop you, not even a test!



I once had a TOEFL class full of whiners. I listened to so many complaints that I turned into a whiner too! I whined to my neighbor, also a teacher, about the whining of my students. She decided to make me a sign. It read: No Whining! She teaches Kindergarten. She told me the sign was a good solution in her classroom of five year olds. If she heard someone whine, all she needed to do was point to the sign and all the students would shout out “No Whining!” and the whining stopped.



I thought I’d hang it in my classroom so I could point to it and all my TOEFL students would shout, “No Whining!”


Instead, I hung it in my bedroom. I look at it every morning as I go out the door and I see it every evening before I sleep. It’s my own personal reminder to ROAR, not whine!




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