The Challenges and Strategies of Teachers in Teaching TOEFL and IELTS Test Preparation

  • Delvia Roza Universitas Islam Riau
Keywords: teachers, challenges, strategies


High-stake English proficiency tests, such as TOEFL and IELTS, open up opportunities for the people in Indonesia to study in reputable universities, both local and abroad. Since Indonesian learners are non-native English speakers, some institutions help them to overcome the problems they have with the tests. Related to these issues, the teachers may face some challenges in teaching the students who want to reach their target scores. For that reason, this study was conducted to find out: 1) teacher challenges in teaching the TOEFL and IELTS tests, and 2) teacher strategies in motivating the students. The location of the study was in an English educational institution in Pekanbaru. The participants were 10 teachers who had taught these tests preparation for more than two years. The method used was a qualitative approach with face-to-face interviews as the data collection instrument. It was found that the challenges of the teachers in teaching the tests were 1) students’ high expectations, 2) lack of effort from students, 3) study time limitations, 4) teachers’ experience, 5) issues with high school students, and 6) the number of students in a class. It was also found that the teachers’ strategies in motivating the students were 1) students’ awareness of the opportunities of passing the tests, 2) fun learning, 3) telling stories of people who are successful through passing the tests, and 4) reminding the students why they joined the class, spending much money, time and energy on these tests. All in all, though teachers faced some challenges in teaching IELTS and TOEFL tests, they also had strategies to overcome them.


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Author Biography

Delvia Roza, Universitas Islam Riau



Delvia Roza



Place, Date of Birth

Pekanbaru, July 20, 1985

Current Education

Master of Science in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), the Queen’s University Belfast, UK


Jalan Demokrasi Gg. Bijkasana RT 002/004, Kel. Labuh Baru Barat, Pekanbaru

Phone number

+62812 7650 3595

Email /


Jl. Jondul, Pekanbaru

Position: English Teacher

Period: February 2007 – May 2007

Remarks: Teaching English conversation for the kindegarten and elementary school students.

Language Training Institution (LTI) Pekanbaru

Jl. A. Yani 132 B, Pekanbaru


Position: Receptionist

Period: May 2007 – August 2007

Remarks: Customer Service, Administrator

Language Training Institution (LTI) Pekanbaru


Jl. A. Yani 132 B, Pekanbaru


-     English teacher / instructor / trainer

-          Translator

-          Test supervisor

Period: August 2007 – August 2016


  • Teaching TOEFL for the students of SMP & SMA (August 2007 – 2010)
  • Teaching TOEFL in SMAN 1 Pekanbaru (May 2007- Now)
  • Teaching TOEFL in SMP Cendana Pekanbaru (February 2011-May 2011)
  • Teaching TOEFL in STIKES Payung Negeri Pekanbaru (22 August 2013 - 5 September 2013)
  • Teaching TOEIC in SMK Hasanah Pekanbaru (July 2008 – December 2010)
  • Teaching English conversation in BPHPS Kuok, Kampar, Riau (May 2008 – July 2008)
  • Teaching English conversation in Schlumberger, Muara Fajar, Pekanbaru (April 2009 – Juli 2009 & April 2011 – juli 2011)
  • Supervising TOEFL-ITP
  • Supervising TOEFL & TOEIC at some schools and companies
  • Translating some journals, papers, theses, etc.

Kursus Pembina Nusantara (KPN) Pekanbaru


Jl. Hasanuddin, Pekanbaru

Position: English Teacher

Period: December 2009 – June 2010

Remarks: Teaching English conversation for adults and children, interacting with native speakers, and teaching bahasa Indonesia for expatriates.

Pusat Bahasa UIN SUSQA Pekanbaru /

Language Center of UIN SUSQA Pekanbaru


Jl. KHA. Dahlan, Pekanbaru

Position: English Lecturer

Period: December 2009 – June 2010

Remarks: Teaching Basic to Intermediate English to the UIN SUSQA students as a graduation requirement of undergraduate program.

SMP & SMA Al-Azhar Syifa Budi 2 Pekanbaru


Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Pekanbaru

Position: English Teacher & Home Teacher

Period: June 2009 – August 2009

Remarks: teaching English to the students of SMP & SMA Al-Azhar Syifa Budi 2 Pekanbaru and a home teacher of an SMA class as well.

Begins Education Consultant


Jl. Kuantan 2, Pekanbaru

Position: IELTS, conversation & TOEFL Teacher

Period: September 2010 – Now

Remarks: Teaching IELTS, TOEFL and English conversation for the students who want to continue to study overseas.

SMA Al-Ittihad Pekanbaru


Jl. Paus, Rumbai

Position: TOEFL teacher

Period: December 2011 – May 2012

Remarks: Teaching TOEFL for the twelfth graders of SMA Al-Ittihad Pekanbaru as an extracurricular activity.

Private English Teacher

Period: January 2010-now

Remarks: has been teaching TOEFL for:

  • Some Chevron staff
  • Some Chevron staff’s children for preparing Scholastic Awards and Universities requirements
  • Doctors (General Practitioners) & Specialists in RSUD Arifin Achmad Pekanbaru
  • Some staff of BPS Provinsi Riau

Balai Penelitian Teknologi Serat Tanaman Hutan (BPTSTH), Kuok

Project International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) PD 710/13

Position: Project Secretary/Finance

Period: January 2015 – January 2016

Remarks: Responsible for financial report / cashflow, administration, making report, translating papers or journals, etc.

Universitas Islam Riau

Position: Part time Lecturer

Period: January 2018

Remarks: Teaching English for Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Teacher’s Training and Education.


2016 – 2017                            MSc. TESOL of Queen’s University Belfast (Master Degree)


2003 – 2008                           English Teachers’ Training & Education (FKIP) Universitas Islam Riau (Undergraduate degree)


2000 – 2003                            SMUN 2 Pekanbaru (Senior High School)


1997 – 2000                            SLTPN 3 Pekanbaru (Junior High School)


1991 - 1997                             SDN 025 Pekanbaru (Primary School)


August 20, 26, 27, 2000




Training of Health of Teenagers Reproduction and HIV/AIDS for SMU/SMK students of Pekanbaru from World Population Foundation, The Netherland and National Education Department of Riau Province and Pekanbaru City.

2002 – 2003


English Pilot Project for SMU/SMK students of Pekanbaru.


Committee member of workshop “Improving Appreciation and Awareness on the Importance of High-Value Local Woods of Sumatra” in Balai Diklat Kehutanan (The Center of Forestry Education and Training), Pekanbaru.


Indonesia Traditional Dance Performer in the Global Agent Conference held by the Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

July 24-27, 2017

Participants of Indonesian Scholars International Convention (ISIC) International Symposium 2017 in the University of Warwick, UK

Indonesia traditional dance performer of ISIC 2017 University of Warwick, UK.

October 28, 2017

Presenter of Seminar of LPDP Scholarship at FMIPA University of Riau.

December 23, 2017

Keynote Speaker of Seminar Sosialisasi LPDP at STAIN Bengkalis

April 13, 2018

Keynote Speaker of Seminar Sosialisasi LPDP at STIKES Payung Negeri

April 19, 2018

Inspirator of Riau, Massive Action Welcoming Alumni LPDP 2018




Kelompok Siswa Peduli HIV/AIDS – Group of Students Care of HIV/AIDS

Peer Educator

English Student Association (ESA)


English Department Students Community


Ikatan Keluarga Anak Rokan Hilir (IKA ROHIL) Pekanbaru


Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia (PPI) Belfast - Indonesian Student Association in Belfast

Member of Secretarial Division

Indonesian Traditional Dancer

Mata Garuda Riau (Association of LPDP Awardee Alumni in Riau Province)

Board Member

Persatuan Dharma Wanita Balai Litbang Kehutanan Kuok

Member / Division of Education


-          Top 3 of Pilot Project students of SMUN 2 Pekanbaru

-          1st place in the Band Festival Danau Buatan 2001

-          4th place in Malay song festival 2002

-          Awardee of Bengkalis Regency Scholarship 2004 – 2007

-          Jury of speech in 2008

-          Finalist of Dara Pekanbaru 2010

-          Judge of Drama and and Speech in SMAYAFA Santa Maria Pekanbaru 2013

-          LPDP Awardee PK 49 Batch III 2015

-          Judge of Spelling Bee Competition at Indonesian Creative School, Pekanbaru 2016

-          Committee member of ArtIndonesia in Belfast, UK 2017

-          Inspirator Riau Massive Action Welcoming Alumni LPDP 2018


Karang Taruna / Youth Organization of RW 4 in Kelurahan Kedung Sari/ Kedung Sari Subdistrict

Remaja Mesjid / Teenage group of Mosque Baitul Izzah Kelurahan/Subdistrict Kedung Sari


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How to Cite
Roza, D. (2019). The Challenges and Strategies of Teachers in Teaching TOEFL and IELTS Test Preparation. J-SHMIC : Journal of English for Academic, 6(2), 1-13.
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