TOEFL Reading Comprehension Examination

The Reading section of the TOEFL examination measures the ability of test takers understand (Comprehend) higher-level academic texts and passes. In English-speaking academic environments students are expected to read and understand information from textbooks and other types of academic material. There are three main purposes for academic reading.

  • Reading for specific information
  • Basic comprehension (Reading for gist)
  • Intensive reading

The TOEFL iBT test includes three basic categories of academic texts: Exposition, Argumentation, and Historical biographical and event narrative. You do not need any special background knowledge to correctly answer the questions in the Reading section; all the information needed to answer the questions is contained in the passes. Before receiving questions on that passe you must read it through or scroll to the end of each passe.

You will be tested on three-five passes, each of approximately 700 words, with 12-14 questions per passe. You must complete this section of the test in 60-100 minutes.

Time is a Factor

If you were able to complete the Reading section at your own pace, things would be much easier, but in this case time is a little tight so you really have to make haste. To be able to do that, work your way into practicing your scanning and skimming reading skills first reading passes followed by a few (or no) questions and spending as long as you want for each passe.

Consider this practice as free reading with your mind on gist at first and then looking for specific information. Through the following link you will be able to find a large volume of reading material.

When doing a practice test:

  • Scan the passe and find the sentence(s) for each question. If it is an overall comprehension question leave it last.
  • First answer the questions that are easier, but be careful if the answer seems too obvious, as there are often trick questions.
  • Work by eliminating the clearly wrong answers.
  • Whatever you do, pick an answer for all the questions, even if you are not certain.

Here are some extra links to help you with your practice:


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