It is useful to prepare for each section of the TOEFL exam by using practice tests as well as various other complementary study materials, geared specifically for the TOEFL (rather than generic English as a foreign language material). This will familiarize you with the specific exam style so that, on test day, you will not have any stress related to the format of the questions in front of you. In this article, we will be looking at the practice tests and study materials for TOEFL Reading.
Generally, you can find a lot of practice tests for the exam as a whole, some scored and some not. You can focus on the Reading section specifically of these practice tests, or look for section-specific practice questions only.
ETS (who run the test) offer a number of materials including free sample questions and practice tests as well as tips about the test in general and some other programs:
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TOEFL Reading Practice Exams
1. Free interactive sampler with past TOEFL questions
These questions can be downloaded from https://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/prepare/toefl_interactive_sampler .
You can practice with these TOEFL Reading study material as many times as you like and they are useful to show you the format of the reading passages and questions which follow them, without worrying about the whole section set-up.
2. Free Set of Test Questions (Practice Test – as PDF)
ETS also offer a full set of test questions, i.e. a practice test, but in PDF format, downloadable from https://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/prepare/test_questions.
This is also useful to understand the content and format of the test, but it will not help practice in a timed environment and also on a computer, as you will have to take the test itself.
3. TOEFL Practice Online – Complete Practice Tests
These are full-length tests with past exam questions, for all the sections, and give you the experience of taking the real TOEFL iBT test. This is most likely the best tool for recreating the test atmosphere, the timed aspect, and also the overall test format.
This is not a free resource, you will have to purchase the tests from https://v2.ereg.ets.org/ereg/public/testPrep/viewtestPreparation?_p=TEL.
4. TOEFL Practice Online Reading and Listening Test
This is a complete Listening and Reading Test only, from ETS, replicating the test you would take for reading specifically (as well as listening). This is a great practice tool for TOEFL Reading as, once again, it comes directly from the organisers of the TOEFL so you will be sure to practice with test content very similar to what you will encounter on test day.
5. E-books and Online Preparation Courses
Also on the official test preparation website, you can purchase e-books with past tests to practice with, or sign up for a paid preparation course. These resources will cover all the test content and will help you get more in-depth practice and knowledge of the test as a whole.
In addition to these official practice tools, you may also find a lot of material and practice tests specifically for TOEFL Reading, by searching online. Some of the best and most useful options are:
6. Exam English – 8 free Reading Practice Tests
Once you have become familiar with the test format, these 8 online practice tests are quick and easy to use. You will be presented with a reading paragraph just like on the official TOEFL exam, followed by questions with multiple choice answers. Whether you have answered correctly or not will be displayed as soon as you make a selection, so it is worth taking some time before clicking on any answer in order to get the best practice out of this format. You will not get any background information on why your answer is right or wrong, however, so this is a limitation of these TOEFL Reading practice tests.
7. Bestmytest.com – Free Reading Test with Answers and Information about the Reading Question Types
On this page, you have access to a few resources which are really useful: firstly, you can take a full sample reading test which replicates a full-length TOEFL exam (i.e. all sections). Once you work through the first section (typically Reading), before continuing to the following sections and eventually getting your results, you will need to create an account on the website with a 7-day free trial offered to begin with. This is useful as you may use the entirety of the practice material in 7 days, or otherwise pay for continuing to use the material afterwards.
You can check what other sample questions there are, and the ones you would have to pay for (or get free for the first 7 days) will have a lock icon next to them.
You can also register your actual test date and get personalized progress reports and analytics once you have created an account.
8. Tstprep.com – free complete practice test and reading practice materials
Here, you can sign up to download a free TOEFL Reading practice test, which you can then use in your own time. Doing this will sign you up to the website’s newsletter. Once you fill in your email address, you also get access to 100 free reading practice questions put together from 9 different reading question types.
If you like practicing in this way, you can also purchase 400 more questions from the website.
You can also contact a local TOEFL iBT Resource Centre for general information about the test as well as preparation information.
All in all, you can find even more resources by searching online and there are an equal number of free and paid materials available for TOEFL Reading. The key is to look to replicate the short paragraph style of the TOEFL test, the style of questions and make sure to time yourself as well when practicing.
Of course, you will need to build vocabulary and practice with any type of reading material beyond test-taking, so ensure you read newspapers, online articles, books and more so you are familiar with a range of reading content before test day. This will help ensure you are reading quickly and efficiently, and having then the experience of a few practice tests will put your mind at ease and increase confidence that you can sit the test successfully.
I hope that this article on TOEFL Reading practice exams was helpful. If you are interested, visit the TOEFL Category!