Meet Irma - a nurse who got a speaking score of 28!

She's originally from Barcelona, Spain and she now lives in the USA with her husband.  She's an experienced nurse and she'd worked in Spain for over 20 years but she needed to do TOEFL to work as a nurse in the USA.

Her target scores were speaking 26, with an overall total score of 83.  

She started lessons after she had been self-studying for just over a year. She'd attempted TOEFL 5 times by herself and her speaking score was stuck at 23-24.

She decided to get help to get to S26.

This is Irma's story, told in her own words.

How Jane Helped

So I learned a lot of things from you but it's true you showed me how to be spontaneous instead of following the templates and I think that's the thing that saved me.

You were so patient with me and you never gave up. And maybe you repeated to me that I don't have to put the double subject like a million times, however you have always been very steady so you transmitted calm and quietness to me.

Something that I really appreciated was that you took my recordings seriously stopping all the time and rephrasing or rewriting to make sure you understood whatever I was telling you and making it easier for me to understand my mistakes.

Then the ideas of the flashcards and you're a very organized person. You put my homework in Dropbox every week - not just do the official homework but 'Please Irma, repeat this sentence 5 times at least or work on that'.

You understood my weak points and you took them very seriously from the beginning and yes, you have been my salvation because I was trying to do it by myself but I needed a professional hand.

"You did the exam, so you know completely how it is inside the exam. Teaching English is one thing, teaching for the TOEFL exam is completely another thing.

So everyone should make sure the person who is going to teach them English is familiar with all the questions of TOEFL."

Ready for lessons?

The Exam

At the beginning I had to run and get my glasses because I left them in the car!

All the way through, I wasn't nervous and I was paying attention. I started the speaking section happy and I said, 'I'm not going to be nervous and I'm going to do my best."


Receiving the results

I saw it was there and i didn't want to look because I know that it defines my day and it's very frustrating when I don't pass.

So I opened it and I had to put on my glasses because I didn't want to miss that it was 28. You know 23 looks like 28 with the glare of the screen and everything.

And when I saw it, I have to be honest with you, I cried because it has been so long. Don't forget that it was my 7th attempt.

When I came home from work, my friends were there. My husband had contacted them and we celebrated my birthday and my TOEFL so, yes, it was good.

Advice for future students

I wish I had taken lessons with you earlier.

It's important to have professional help. I had other people who were helping me before but they are not as you are.

First of all, you did the exam so you know completely how it is inside the exam because you got 120. But you made it and not everybody is able to help.

So teaching English is one thing, teaching for the TOEFL exam is completely another thing. So everyone should make sure the person who is going to teach them English is familiar with all the questions of the TOEFL.

And then another thing. The people who are thinking 'I need 26 and I scored 24 and I'm almost there', it's completely false because these 2 points mean excellence and to get the excellence, I think you need professional help.

So, in that case, I would 100% recommend you.

I say that because before meeting you, my highest speaking score was 24 and in 9 months you have helped me get those 2 points. I speak English every day with my work and my husband and I'm living here in the US, not in Spain, but the problem is getting past 24. It's like using 'it is' and not just 'is'. These kinds of things make the difference.

So yes it's the details. And you are a very serious person but very easy-going - very flexible and very friendly as well.

So it has been very nice this suffering with you. It's been less suffering so my cross has been a bit lighter because of you and I will be grateful for ever.

The next steps

I have a job now and it's also my self-esteem. I struggled but now I've done it. I can hold my head up. I have that belief.

The next step is to study for my nursing exam. I have to refresh a lot of concepts but I'm happy because it's my profession. And I have 2 years to do it or I have to take TOEFL again.

And I don't want to take my TOEFL again, so....

"It has been a long path but lessons with you have been worth it because you took our lesson hour seriously. You understood my weak points and you totally believed in me from the beginning."