Five Summary Tips for a Higher TOEFL iBT Score

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During the TOEFL iBT, you will be heavily tested on your ability to summarize reading and listening passages. For example, the listening and reading sections will ask you main idea and detail questions. The speaking section will require you to orally summarize the gist and details of listening and reading passages. Finally, the writing section will stipulate that you write accurate summaries of reading and listening passages. Before you take the TOEFL iBT, ask yourself five questions:

1. “What Is a Summary?”

  • Summarizing presents only the main ideas of TOEFL iBT listening and reading passages, without the details and examples.
  • It is made up of words supplied by the writer.

2. “What Is the Purpose of a Summary?”

  • Summary allows you to condense large amounts of writing from a source into your own speech or writing.
  • Summaries should provide balanced coverage of a source and should avoid any hint of agreement or disagreement.

3. “How a Summary Should be Done?”

  • Notice the title (these often state the main idea)
  • Read the essay once, quickly, for meaning and to identify confusing words.
  • Read the essay again, understanding key ideas and writing down notes and questions in the margins.
  • Identify the author’s thesis or main point. Identify the points the author offers in support of the main point. Be careful to distinguish between the most and least important points; your summary should include only the most important ones.
  • To help you understand what the author thinks is important, notice which ideas get the most coverage. Which are explained most fully? Read with special care the topic sentence of each paragraph and the first and last paragraphs of the work.
  • Remember that some ideas may be implied, not directly written

4. “What Should a Summary Include?”

  • The author, title, and source of the original`
  • The main idea or thesis of the original in your own words
  • The most important supporting ideas or points of the original in your own words

5. “What Should a Summary Not Include?”

  • Specific facts or statistics
  • Specific details, examples
  • Your opinion of the text

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6 thoughts on “Five Summary Tips for a Higher TOEFL iBT Score”

  1. Thank you very much for your help. Quick thing though: please get rid of the beackground. These parallel lines make it so exhausting and even painfull to read the text in front that I’m starting to think that you are doing this to test how far someone can go in design and still have traffic on the page.

    Keep it up

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