TOEFL Reading Preparation: Question Types, Tips, Score, Books, Study Plan

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    Are you planning to take the TOEFL test soon? If yes, you must try to improve your TOEFL Reading score by practicing high-quality TOEFL IBT reading materials to achieve a good TOEFL score because TOEFL reading is a mainstream section. 

    TOEFL reading section includes three to four reading passages, with each having 12-14 questions. The total time allocated to each section varies from 54 to 72minutes (18 minutes to read a passage and answer 10 questions). Scaled sectional scoring will be measured from 0 to 30. 

    Best ways to improve TOEFL reading score, start taking out excerpts from passages. ETS has many practice papers available online for test-takers. 

    Check    TOEFL Reading Practice Papers

    Practice with Official TOEFL Reading Materials

    The best and the most effective way to get TOEFL reading practice is to use real passages from real tests. Check ETS’s official free online practice test for this.

    Also, the test-takers can refer to the book- Official TOEFL IBT Tests which include a total of 15 more official TOEFL reading passages. This is one of the best materials that can help the test-takers to ace the exam.

    Strategize Your Learning

    Knowing and understanding new words can help during TOEFL reading preparation. In the reading passage, you may find many new words. If you are familiar with reading different passages, you will not feel uncomfortable even after finding unknown words during the exam. 

    During your learning, look for synonyms, antonym, and usages of each new word you find and use that word daily in sentence and paragraph. 

    Understand The Central Idea Of The Passage

    Try to identify the main ideas in a TOEFL Reading passage which can help you guess at the meaning of difficult words and phrases in each paragraph’s supporting details. Also, it can help you to answer the summary-type question. 

    Check   Types of TOEFL Reading Questions

    Balance reading and answering

    Reading the whole passage at the beginning is not a smart idea as it will drain much time. Also, you may not pay attention to the right details required for each question as you haven’t look at the questions earlier. 

    So, adopt a different and time-saving approach for this by reading the first line of each paragraph. You can have a look at the questions first and answer the vocabulary-type question first. Then, start reading the passage for answers. 

    Alternatively, you can skim the passage for main ideas before reading the questions and looking for the answers or you may read the passage paragraph by paragraph, and then answer the questions for each paragraph after reading.

    Stay Aware Of Your Speed

    You need to very time-conscious and don’t forget that you don’t spend more than 18 minutes on each passage and question set. Try not to spend more than one minute to complete each question, so that you can go back and recheck your answers.

    Check    TOEFL Preparation Books

    TOEFL Reading Tips to Answer the Questions

    In the exam, there will be different types of questions including multiple-choice, inserting a sentence, fill a table, vocabulary, and others. TOEFL reading tips will help in answering these:

    • Read every single answer option carefully before answering.
    • For Inserting a Sentence, read the passage and each option provided and decide which option suits best. Decide with logic. 
    • In Reading to Learn question, the candidates are expected to organize the main points of a passage in a summary or chart. Be logical here as well and read all the options completely to understand the correct option. 
    • Look for evidence in the passage because every right answer will be supported by evidence in the passage, even if it’s not immediately obvious. 
    • In case you are not sure which answer is correct or in case the options are much similar, you can go back and skim the passage for clues.

    Answer The Easy Questions First

    During the TOEFL iBT test, you will encounter a mixture of question types - some significantly harder than others, some are comparatively easy. Remember that you have only 18 minutes for each text and you should keep few minutes aside to revise your answers. 

    Answer the question that directs to any specific Paragraph or sentence. Answer the question which only asks your vocabulary knowledge. These questions are relatively easy to solve and once you are done with it, you can spend another minute or two on those harder ones. 

    Read more

    Make sure you go through practice tests, read academic texts or passage from any high-quality reading materials like newspapers, journals, and magazines to strengthen your vocabulary. Make reading, listening, speaking, and writing in English a daily habit. 

    Check   TOEFL Study Plan

    During Exam

    On the day of the test, remember to stay confident, and rather than getting stuck on one question and wasting time, move to the next question that looks more familiar!! Stay calm and focus only on the reading passage keeping all the distractions and disturbances aside during the exam.

    Most of the test-takers find the TOEFL Reading section is the easiest and some others found it as most difficult and challenging due to the unknown words in the passage. In case you want to be the first type and secure a higher overall score in TOEFL, you have to practice and strengthen the Reading section to secure above 25 here.

    Best of luck!!

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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