Online training for TOEFL® Reading

TOEFL Reading – Online Training

Objective

The TOEFL reading section measures your ability to readunderstand and analyse academic texts. It is one of the four part that decompose the TOEFL tets. 

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Structure

The TOEFL reading section is composed of 3 or 5 excerpts of about 700 words. You will have to answer between 12 and 15 questions per excerpt. You will have 20 minutes to read the first text and answer the questions for it. You will then have 40 minutes to read and answer the questions of the second and third texts. The same applies to the fourth and fifth texts if they appear in the exam.

TOEFL Reading – Chronology

For the TOEFL reading exam, you will have to complete 2 or 3 exercises. You won’t know whether you will be asked to complete a third exercise before finishing the second one. Either way, all the exercises are mandatory.

·         Exercise 1 (20min): 1 text of about 700 words

·         Exercise 2 (40 min): 2 texts of about 700 words each

·         Exercise 3 (40 min): 2 texts of about 700 words each

TOEFL Reading – Themes and Topics

The texts usually address common themes and topics in the academic world: science, history, social sciences, art, etc.

Types of questions

We estimate that there are roughly 10 different types of questions in the TOEFL reading. They are usually presented as multiple choice questions, each worth 1 point. Nevertheless, some questions may be worth 2 to 3 points (this will be specified in the instructions).This is particularly the case for “table” questions.

Table of the different types of questions :

Type of question Example Type of answer Objective Comments / Tips
Vocabulary The word X is closest meaning to:

…………………………………………..

MC (multiple choice) Identifying a name, adjective, verb or adverb Here, the goal is not to test you on complex words.

Tips: if you do not know a word: 

– look for clues in the paragraph

– use a process of elimination

Reference Look at the word “it” in paragraph 2, what does it refer to?

…………………………………………..

MC Finding the antecedent of a pronoun (the word, proposition or phrase which refers to the pronoun). Tip: analyse the pronoun’s characteristics in order to find its antecedent:

– the gender

– the number

– the type

Rhetorical structure In paragraph 6, the author discusses “the thriving obsidian? operation” in order to:

…………………………………………..

MC Understanding how the author has structured their text in order to communicate his or her ideas. There are 2 possible types of questions in the exam:

1. Why did the author use this rhetorical structure (to give an example, to justify an idea…)?

2. How did the author use this rhetorical structure (with an example, by comparing,…)?

Paraphrase Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlight sentence in paragraph 4?

…………………………………………..

MC Paraphrasing the selected proposition, i.e. choosing the phrase whose meaning is closest to that of the proposition. Be careful: a common trap is to suggest partial paraphrases, which only adress a minor idea of the whole sentence.

Tip: use a process of elimination so that you don’t select a partial paraphrase too quickly.

Coherence In paragraph 1 of the passage, there is a missing sentence. The paragraph is repeated below and shows four letters (A, B, C and D) that indicate where the following sentence could be added. Where would the sentence best fit?

…………………………………………..

MC Putting a proposition in the right place in a paragraph You will have 4 different options to reach a coherent paragraph

Tips:

– Look carefully at logical connecting words

– Test all the options before making your choice.

Fact/Details According to paragraph 1, which of the following sentence about Richard Branson is true?

.…………………………………………..

MC Understanding all the details from a text excerpt Sometimes, 2 answers must be selected. In this case, this will be specified in the instructions.

Tip: do not deduct or guess the answer. It must be explicitly stated in the text.

Negative questions (not/except) In paragraph 1, each of the following is mentioned as a feature of the city of London except:

.…………………………………………..

MC Finding information that is not mentioned in the text. Unlike the questions about facts or details, the answer to this type of question is not the text.

Tip: proceed by eliminating all the answers which appear in the text, and therefore by eliminating the wrong answers.

Deduction What can be inferred from paragraph 3 about the development of London?

.…………………………………………..

MC Deducting a proposition that is not explicitly stated from the text No extraordinary answer is expected. The deduction needs to be logical according to the content of the paragraph

Tip: if the answer is not immediately clear, then proceed by elimination

Fill-in tables Directions: 5 of answers below are used in the passage to illustrate what differs and what is the same in East Germany and West Germany. Please select the appropriate phrases from the answer choices and match them to the correct Town parts (West or East Berlin). Be careful, 2 of answer choices will not be used.

This question is worth three points. Answer choices:

…………………………………………..

Table Divinding some of the propositions into 2 different categories There is often an uneven number of propositions. 2 of them need to be eliminated. The others need to be place in the right category.

Tip: You can see the numbers of propositions to put each category according to their sizes. This question is worth more than 1 point. The exact number of points will be specified in the instructions.

Synthetic sentences Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Please complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth two points. Table Identifying 3 or 5 propositions that best synthesize the text. Tip: be careful not to mistake some details for propositions summarizing the text. This is the main trap of this type of question.

This question is worth more than 1 point. Its exact value will be specified in the instructions.

Online Training for TOEFL Reading 

Being fluent and showing great understanding of spoken English is not sufficient to succeed in the TOEFL reading section of the exam.

Global Exam provides the best solutions to optimize your preparation to the TOEFL reading section. Try our free TOEFL sample test and TOEFL online formation, register to our adapted offers and improve your TOEFL score.

See also our solution for TOEFL listening, TOEFL speaking and TOEFL writing.

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