Learn about the Types of Questions for this Section | TOEFL Reading Tips
Everything you need to know about the TOEFL reading section!
The TOEFL reading section includes the most reading of the entire exam and has the largest variation of vocabulary. As well as that, there will be a lot of questions for you to answer based on what you have read. Unsurprisingly enough students can feel intimidated by the TOEFL reading section for this reason.
However, TOEFL reading is the most straightforward section of the entire exam, being well prepared will make it a lot easier for you to get a good grade in this section. I will try to guide you here on how to best prepare for the TOEFL reading section and the type of question you will face on the test and also the ways in which you can answer them. We will also discuss Reading Techniques and give some tips in order to try to help get the best grade possible on the exam.
TOEFL reading section is first up on the test, and the overall goal of this section is to test your comprehension of university level texts and passages. There is a designated 60-80 minute time length for you to answer questions based on three to four passages.
You may be wondering why there is a differentiation in the time length and that is due to the fact that some tests will include experimental questions while you may not get any experimental questions on your reading you may get them on your listening. You will have experimental no way of knowing which is which so there is no point to even take the experimental questions into your consideration.
Every passage on the TOEFL reading section has roughly 700 words and each passage is followed by 12-14 questions. Every passage is at a university level and will all cover different topics.
TOEFL Reading Question Types
There are three different types of questions covered in the TOEFL reading passages. Now we are going to discuss the three different types of questions so you have nothing to worry about and on the test day, you will be well prepared.
Standard Multiple Choice
You are likely to have come across this style of question as it is a very common question type. Every question will have four answers and you will have to select one which you think is correct. This style of question is a very common question type on the TOEFL exam as a whole and is one in which you should be able to thrive on. These questions can ask you about the passage in general, specific sentences or phrases in the passage, or what a particular word that was used means.
Tips for Answering
• Read all the answers. Of course, this may come across as very obvious but when your in the middle of taking a test you may not be thinking so clearly and something that at first glance seem correct but perhaps you did read it properly. There will be answers that are very close to the correct answer that are there to fool you, so reading all answers is very important so you don’t get fooled.
• Search for Evidence. All answers can be proven from the passage so even if you are stuck and not sure about the answer then try your best to search in the passage.
Inserting a Sentence
Every passage will have one Inserting a Sentence question. These questions will include a paragraph from the passage and will require you to add a sentence to it. You will have one sentence and then you will have four spaces in the paragraph and you must insert the sentence where you think it fits best.
Tips for Answering
• Choose carefully. Try by inserting the sentence into all spaces and see which one makes sense also if inserting into one of the spaces perhaps it will change the meaning of the whole paragraph. The questions are designed to be tricky so that’s why I say be careful and do not choose merely because it sounds OK because probably it will be able to sound good in a number of spaces but they can’t all be right.
Reading To Learn
Reading to Learn the style of questioning is one that is less common. This style of question requires you to organize the main points into either a chart or a summary. Each passage will include at least one of these questions. Every question is worth one point but the Reading to Learn questions are worth two to three points, so well worth preparing well for these questions.
Tips for Answering
• Practice. As we mentioned before this is an uncommon style of questioning which you may not have seen to much, so, for this reason, you should try to practice a lot to be fully prepared for this question type.
• Beware of minor facts. When you are asked for the main ideas/facts from the passage you should be able to differentiate between what is a main point and a minor point. If it is not a main point which is what is required don’t include it.
• Skim the passage before answering. You should skim over the passage to try and get the main points and ideas that were made.
• Double check. Maybe a bit obvious but always needed and effective as you may spot your own mistake, so be sure to double check before moving on.
TOEFL Study Techniques
1. Try taking practice exams. By doing the practice of TOEFL reading will help strengthen your critical reading skills and familiarise yourself with the typical questions on the TOEFL reading section and on the test in general.
2. Read academic texts. Read university-level textbooks, this will help you. Reading a few passages per day will be quiet achievable and beneficial.
3. Build your vocabulary. The TOEFL reading section will require test takers to have a strong vocabulary as it is the one section that has the most words you will come across and also you could be asked to give a meaning of a word. So building an extensive vocabulary is going to be important.
This is a challenging section, one that needs good preparation. Don’t forget to pace yourself while doing the exam as it’s easy to become overwhelmed with having to comprehend so much information and English in a short space of time. Taking practice exams will give you confidence and assure you while taking the test along with the other study techniques we have added.