TOEFL Reading Test- Preparation Tips, Question Analysis and Overview (Updated 2019)

Piyush Bhartiya
Modified on 2017-12-29 in Study Abroad
Read time: 6 mins

Source: NoteFull TOEFL Mastery

TOEFL Reading Test is a part of the TOEFL examination for the test of English language and it is an essential requirement to take admission in the countries where students have to prove your fluency in English if the student is not from a country where English is the first language. In the test, you will come across the perfect English reading and a wide variety of vocab words. And on the top of it, you will need to face the huge number of answers about what you have read. Students feel intimidated by the reading section in TOEFL. They should know the proper ways to crack the reading section of the exam. Read here for resources to crack TOEFL/GMAT/GRE.

Sign Up to study abroad today

We have come up with a guide to learn exactly what types of questions you’ll see this section and how to answer them.

TOEFL Reading Test- Overview

TOEFL reading section is all about emphasizing the reading skills. Reading is the first section of the TOEFL exam which is designed to test the applicant’s ability to understand university-level academic texts and passages. Then after the reading exam, the applicant has just 60-80 minutes to answer questions based on three to four passages. The questions consist of wide variety of questions, so try not to worry about it too much and save time. The TOEFL reading passages consist of 700 words and will be followed by about 12-14 questions. The applicant should prepare from university-level textbooks that introduce a topic or discipline.

TOEFL Reading Test- Question Analysis

The applicant needs to tackle the questions of three different types related to the TOEFL Reading passages. Let’s discuss and dig into the detailing regarding each question type with an official sample and response tips.

1. Standard Multiple Choice

Each question consists of four answer choices, where only one of which is correct. There aren’t any many types of questions in the TOEFL Reading passage but you will find the same question pattern that always had a tricky side.

Tips for Answering

Read every answer choice: As every question has been asked in the same manner, you will be provided the options to each question. So whichever option looks best for you will be the reason to move forward to the next question.

Every correct answer is supported by the evidence in a long passage: So no need to search for the correct answer outside the passage else look for evidence in the same. It’s absolutely fine if you read the passage again and again and invest a bit time to know more.

2. Inserting a Sentence

Each passage consists of one inserting a sentence question. For these, you need to refer the paragraph from the passage, as well as a sentence that is to be added to it. You need to insert the sentence in four different places, and your exam is to choose the spot where the sentence fits best.

Tips for Answering

Briefly, read the entire paragraph with the new sentence inserted into the marked place. These questions are designed tricky and would be the answers which you will sound the best but they are actually not. By considering each placement option carefully, you’ll reduce the chance of answering incorrectly.

3. Reading to Learn

Now this section is a little be familiar to you only if you are a voracious reader. These questions ask you to organize the main points from the passage in a summary format.

Tips for Answering

  1. These questions are believed to be a bit confusing if you aren’t familiar enough with it. So be aware to practice them while you’re studying.
  2. There’s no reason to afraid to skim the passage again if you need help answering these questions. Go for brainstorming main ideas and key points that were made.
  3. Always double-check your answer to make sure it seems logical before moving on to the next question.

Free IELTS Mock Test

TOEFL Reading Test-Tips for Test Day

Reading would be the very first section to complete on test day. So below are the four major tips to help you get your reading section smoothly:

1. Decide How You Want to Approach TOEFL Reading Passages

How should you approach the Reading passages? For most people, it’s best to start reading the passage right away since reading the questions first can eat up your time, and you’ll likely have to go back and skim the passage when answering questions anyway. However, this approach doesn’t work for everyone and, like taking notes, you should try the two methods on practice Reading sections to figure out which one works best for you.

2. Pace Yourself

If you managed to spend equal time on each passage by reading thoroughly, you will be having 20 mins to answer almost around 12-14 questions. So you will need to work on pace reading.

3. Don’t Get Stuck on One Question

If you’re not paying attention, you may not notice that several minutes have slipped by with you staying stuck on the same question. This can really end up hurting your score if you end up not having enough time to answer other questions, so it’s something you want to avoid.

4. Use Context Clues to Figure out the Meaning of a Word

Even though you have put your extraordinary efforts to prepare for expanding the vocabulary and memorize all the words, you will see some unfamiliar words you may not be sure about from the TOEFL reading. When this happens, see if you can use context clues to figure out what the word means.

To do this, reread the entire sentence or even paragraph the word occurs in. Then, try to substitute a similar word that keeps the meaning of the paragraph the same. Once you’ve done that, look at the answer choices again. Are any of them close to the replacement word you chose? If yes, there’s a good chance that answer choice is the right one.

Evaluate your profile to study at top universities abroad

The Key to tackle TOEFL Reading Test

Applicants find a bit challenging the reading section of the TOEFL, they have to read and analyze a lot of English language in a very short amount of time. Meanwhile studying the TOEFL, you also need to focus on attempting practice tests, read academic texts, strengthen your vocabulary, and taking notes while reading. Study using the stopwatch and be a game changer in minimum time.

Also, Check Out:

  1. TOEFL – Everything You need to know
  2. TOEFL Syllabus
  3. TOEFL Registration
  4. TOEFL Results and Scores
  5. TOEFL Dates
  6. TOEFL Test Centres
  7. TOEFL Practice Papers
  8. TOEFL Preparation Tips


study abroad

About the Author

Piyush BhartiyaPiyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

Comments (0)