Reading Tips for a Maximum TOEFL iBT Score!

Listen to this post:  Reading Tips for a Maximum TOEFL iBT Score

Before you spend a large sum of money at an ETS testing center to take the TOEFL iBT, you should consider what level of reading proficiency will be needed to get a high score.

“What do I need to do during the reading section of the TOEFL iBT?”
1. I can understand English vocabulary and grammar when reading.

2. When reading academic texts in English, I can understand the most important points.

3. I can understand the relative importance of ideas when reading an academic text.

4. I can organize or outline the important ideas and concepts in academic texts.

5. When reading academic texts in English, I can remember major ideas.

6. I can understand how the ideas in an English text relate to each other.

7. When reading English, I can understand charts and graphs in academic texts.

8. I can quickly find information that I am looking for in academic texts in English.

9. When reading academic texts in English, I can understand them well enough to answer questions about them later.

10. When reading a text in English, I am able to figure out the meaning of words I do not know by using the context and my background knowledge.

Don’t panic if you feel less than competent in one, some, or all of these reading competencies. Here are some suggestions to help you demonstrate a strong command of reading proficiency.

“How do I improve my TOEFL iBT reading skills?”

To score high on the TOEFL iBT Reading section, you need to improve your ability to understand university-level texts and reading passages for three main purposes: to find information, for basic comprehension, and to learn.

First, frequently reading academic texts in natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and business provides excellent preparation for TOEFL iBT Reading. The Internet is a great resource for these materials; also, in libraries, you can check out books, magazines, and journals that are academic in style. Therefore, ETS suggests that the more academic the reading material is, the more it will prepare you.

Second, to improve your reading-for-basic comprehension TOEFL iBT Reading skills, ETS suggests the following:

1. Through an extensive system of using flash-cards, increase your vocabulary abilities.

2. Rather than carefully reading each word and sentence, practice skimming-the process of looking over a passage quickly to get a general feeling of the main ideas.

3. Increase your ability to skim quickly and to identify the major points of a passage.

4. Once you have skimmed a passage, read it more slowly and write down the main ideas, major points, and important facts.

5. Choose some unfamiliar words in the passage and try to identify the meanings by using the context.

6. Underline the pronouns used (he, him, they, them, it, etc.) and identify which nouns they refer to.

7. Practice making inferences or drawing conclusions based on what is implied in the passage.

Third. to improve your reading-to-find information TOEFL iBT Reading skills, ETS suggests the following:

1. Scan the passage to find and highlight important facts (dates, numbers, terms) and information.

2. Practice scanning frequently so that you can increase your reading rate and fluency.

Fourth, to improve your reading-to-learn TOEFL iBT Reading skills, ETS suggests the following:

1. Identify the passage as fitting into a writing genre: classification, cause-effect, compare-contrast, problem-solution, description, narration, etc.

2. Practice organizing a reading passage by doing the following-

Distinguish between the major and minor points by creating an outline of a passage.

If the passage describes the order of a process or is a narration, create an outline of the steps in the process or narration.

If the passage categorizes information, create a chart and place the information into the correct category. On the TOEFL iBT, you will be provided with a chart with possible answer choices, and you will be required to fill in the chart with the correct choices.

If you follow these suggestions for an extended period of time, you will be very surprised at how strong your reading skills will become.

Good luck!

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16 thoughts on “Reading Tips for a Maximum TOEFL iBT Score!”

  1. Khan,

    I will include a link where you can go to see some sample materials from my Online TOEFL Course so that you can try before you buy:

    Scroll down the page until you see the topic “Lessons.” The first link will give you an example of one of my writing lessons, and the second link will give you an example of one of my speaking lessons.

    Thank you for your comments!


  2. i want to say that all of this stuff are just marketing. there is noting that can do with helping us. if you are really helping us just put at least what your materials are, and put some of those stuffs claiming to be the tips for a high score for us to see and judge whether they are beneficial or not.
    if they are we will immediately subscribe to your web and we will buy it.
    how come we should believe that you are refunding our money if we didn’t like them and that is after a month, there is no guarantee for money . please don’t advertise if you are helping put some examples of your tips for us to put them into practice to see whether they are improving us or not

    sincerely khan

  3. hi michael i took toefl so many times but i found i m getting low score just cause of my slow reading and understanding. so i really need help to improve my reading stretegy

  4. Pingback: TOEFL iBT Reading Passages: It Is Not About Reading! :Better TOEFL® Scores

  5. Well. thank you very much for your unique response, I was amazed by your way of answering my question. What you have said is really helpful which unlocks many skills that I can teach for my students, however, some students are not serious enough to do all what you have suggested. I once tried to teach them other skills on listening and writing by giving them a movie (Kung Fu Panda) and I asked them to write down a summary of the movie with their own words (which was not translated or subtitled). you shocked me with the fact that I can find ITP tests on the web!! students would pay a fortune to get the exam by any mean possible.

  6. Dear Moderator,

    I have found your information useful, although I was looking for some details on the ITP TOEFL test. If you have any tips how to get through reading module I will be so thankful. I am a university teacher who teaches ITP TOEFL skills for undergraduate student level in the Middle East.

  7. Mohamed,

    Congratulations on getting your diploma! You will find that passing the TOEFL iBT is a lot easier than getting a four year degree. I have no doubt that you will be able to make your dreams come true.


  8. Pingback: Better TOEFL® Scores » Blog Archive » If you want to take the TOEFL iBT, then you should read this explanation.

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