TOEFL Reading Practice

This blog post will include links for TOEFL reading practice. As you know, the reading section of the TOEFL exam can be challenging. The TOEFL reading passages are around 800 words. These texts are conceptually dense and contain many unfamiliar words. In addition, you will also have to read short TOEFL reading passages. These passages will appear on the speaking and writing sections of the exam.  To get ready for these challenging TOEFL reading passages, you will need some tools and skills in your TOEFL journey.

TOEFL reading practice

Extensive reading practice

You can make all the excuses in the world for a lower TOEFL reading score:

  • I got the long version of the test.
  • I was not feeling well.
  • Someone was distracting me during the test.
  • The TOEFL test does not measure my true reading abilities.
  • The TOEFL is an unfair test and does not want me to study in the US.

However, if you haven’t been reading extensively, you will not be satisfied with your score.

  • Set time aside for 45 minutes every day for distraction-free reading. Turn all electronic appliances off, including your smart phone during this reading time.
  • Choose magazines, books, or newspapers that you have an interest in reading. Do NOT use this valuable time to read TOEFL reading passages.  Do not take TOEFL-level reading practice tests during this time. Your authentic reading materials should be written for adult native English speakers.
  • As you read, set aside about 15 minutes of you reading time daily to interact with the reading passages. First, take notes on the main and most important details of a passage. Second, use your notes to write a 150 summary of what you have read. Third, orally give a 60-second summary using your notes.


Without having a base of 1500-2000 vocabulary words, you will not be able to increase your reading comprehension abilities. Nor will you be able to accurately and completely paraphrase and summarize reading passages during the speaking and writing sections of the exam.

Having a TOEFL PDF, which you can instantly access right now, will give you an A-Z college list of words that you can begin studying immediately. Follow all the instructions on this web page for how you should learn these words. Beware of the following false assumptions that many students (and some teachers!) make about learning vocabulary:

  • I do need to study vocabulary. I can learn all the vocabulary I need simply by taking TOEFL reading practice tests.
  • I can learn all the vocabulary I need simply by using a fun app on my smartphone.
  • 500 essential words are all I need to prepare for the TOEFL exam.
  • I do not need to make my own vocabulary flash cards when I study vocabulary.
  • I can study vocabulary without having to reading extensively every day for 45 minutes.
  • Vocabulary study is easy and does not take much time and effort.

Paraphrasing practice

When you paraphrase, you need to use your own vocabulary and grammar.  Moreover, you are re-explaining a sentence in roughly the same number of words. You will  have a paraphrase question on the reading section of the exam. In addition, you will need to paraphrase reading and listening passages. These passages will appear on speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL exam. Therefore, the following links will help you to improve your paraphrasing abilities:

Speed reading practice

As you build your vocabulary, your reading speed will naturally improve. Furthermore, setting time daily to read extensively every day for 45 minutes will improve your reading speed. Nevertheless, you should make a conscious effort to pinpoint what your reading speed is. Then make a goal to improve your reading speed to at least 300 words per minute with 60% to 80% comprehension.

  • Learn, by clicking here, why my Online TOEFL Course includes 70 speed reading practice tests from 0 – 350  words per minute.
  • Speed Reading Practice Tests: Take several speed reading practice tests from 100 – 400 words per minute. In addition, you will complete specific test questions so that you can accurately measure your reading speed plus  comprehension.

Reading skills and strategies

Knowing the reading question types and the strategies will help you to improve your reading score. The following links will give you extensive practice with TOEFL reading skills and strategies.

Many students spend too much time watching videos and reading lessons about reading skills and strategies. Without adequate vocabulary, extensive practice reading for 45 minutes daily, and a reading speed of 300+ words per minute, learning reading skills and strategies will NOT help you to significantly improve your TOEFL reading abilities.

TOEFL-level reading practice tests

Answer the following questions as accurately as you can:

  1.  Have you been reading magazines, newspapers, and books for 45 minutes each day? Have you been doing this  reading activity for at least 2.5 months?
  2.  Can you concentrate when you read for at least 45 minutes without checking your smartphone or any other electronic device?
  3.  Do you have mastery of at least 1,500 college-level words?
  4.  Can you read at a minimum for at least 300 words per minute with 60% comprehension?

If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then you are ready to begin completing TOEFL-level reading practice tests to measure your comprehension. I have a partner web site that offers section-specific and full-length TOEFL practice tests, as you can find here.

Additional TOEFL Services

If you are on a tight budget and do not want to enroll in an expensive English language program for 25 hours of instruction each week, I have several services to help you improve your English. These TOEFL services will help you reach your desired TOEFL score. These paid-for-services will help you to improve subtotal reading, listening, speaking, and writing scores:

TOEFL Speaking and Writing Feedback Service: I recommend this self-study service if you have already met your reading and listening subtotal score requirements. Also, this service is appropriate if you are within 2-3 points of your desired speaking or writing subtotal score requirements.

Online TOEFL Courses: Choose among 1-Month, 3-Month, 6-Month, and 12-Month TOEFL self-study courses based on your specific needs and current TOEFL level.

TOEFL Private Lessons: Purchase up to 10 TOEFL private 1-hour lessons at a time so that you can meet face-to- face online with a qualified tutor with more than 31 years of TOEFL teaching experience.  Choose this option if you do not like self-study TOEFL courses and if you prefer to meet with a TOEFL mentor using Skype.

May the next TOEFL exam you take be your last!

Michael Buckhoff,

Teaching Experience



1 thought on “TOEFL Reading Practice”

  1. Pingback: TOEFLE Reading – Most Useful Links for Exams

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