Toefl reading tips

5 Toefl Reading Tips : How to improve TOEFL Reading

Choosing to take the TOEFL test is the first step that you take in your pursuit of Higher Education or Immigration to an English speaking country. The different tests and application procedures make the whole process overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have previous background information regarding all this. In such cases, students are often found to be confused and depressed during their last days of toefl preparation. So, I have come up with a quick post with some useful toefl reading tips to help you crack toefl from the word Go.  Follow the below tips while preparing for TOEFL and you will start feeling better about your preparation and will even score more on your mock tests. The following toefl reading tips are guaranteed to improve your TOEFL reading Score :

Toefl Reading  tips


Tip 1: Know what you’re going to face!

I always advice my students to know beforehand, what kind of questions they are going to face on the test day. This applies to TOEFL reading section as well. The TOEFL reading section is often the first or second section on the test and thus starting it off well also gives you the confidence to excel at other sections. Here is a quick post that I wrote about a month ago on the TOEFL Reading section format, which will help you to follow the subsequent toefl tips better. Have a look at the format and come back to read further!


Tip 2: It IS possible to finish the section in time

People often complain about the lack of time they feel while solving toefl reading questions. The first two mock tests that I gave, also made me feel the same, but then I revisited my strategy and how I approached the reading section. Surprisingly, I discovered that tackling tough reading questions with effective time-planning is the key to crack toefl reading. There would be 1-2 tricky questions on your toefl reading test, but what matters is how much time you take to identify them and mark them to come back later have ponder over it. Identifying time-consuming questions and marking them for re-visit is the single most important time saving TOEFL reading strategy. The level of confidence on the day also plays a major part in the way you mark these questions.

Tip 3: Skimming

Moving through a passage’s surface (First couple of lines and the closing line of each paragraph), is one of the ways to capture the importance and use of the paragraph in the context of the whole passage. The more you practice this, the less time you will take to solve the difficult questions. A good way to practice this toefl reading tip would be to paraphrase news paper editorial article and try to summarize each paragraph in two lines without missing its importance and context with the whole passage.

Tip 4: Identify negations, breaks and transitions

It is often noticed that people tend to ignore or overlook the words that negate an arguement in one of the paragraph, using single words like “instead, contrary to, inspite of”. Sometimes, people also miss breaks in the flow, typically caused due to the missing sentence type question (no 5 in the toefl reading format) and this doesn’t help in further questions where they have to fit in a new sentence or find the piece of information that contradicts the arguments. Such questions in tend consume a lot of time and at-last students tend to blindly guess from the options due to time shortage.

Making these mistakes can cause you to lose about 2-5 easy points that you could have avoided answering wrongly. So go fast, but go vigilant is the motto!


Tip 5: Contextual Vocabulary is the key

Some of the most simple toefl questions test the test-taker’s vocabulary with its usage in context. So while it is not necessary to learn 3000 fancy words, it is very necessary to know the context of the 500 that you already know the meaning of!


Following above 5 toefl reading tips while preparing and analysing your mock scores should significantly help you crack toefl on the D-day!


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