TOEFL Vocabulary PDF

On this web page, you can access a TOEFL vocabulary pdf containing 1,700 college-level words.  Learning the words on this list has many advantages:

  • Improved recognition of academic words in TOEFL reading passages
  • Enhanced listening comprehension of TOEFL passages
  • Expanded range and control of vocabulary usage during the speaking and writing sections
  • Higher overall TOEFL score

TOEFL Vocabulary PDF

How did I compile this TOEFL vocabulary PDF?

Ten years ago, I began putting together a list of vocabulary words that international students could study so that they could improve their TOEFL score. In addition, having access to this TOEFL vocabulary PDF would make these students (and you right now!) more functional in their reading, listening, speaking, and writing practice in academic, professional, and personal situations.

To put together this list, I consulted college textbooks from disciplines such as the following:

As I went through these academic passages, I wrote down words into Microsoft word.  In addition, I sorted the words from A-Z. The process took about three weeks.  At the end of the three weeks, I found out that the vocabulary list stopped growing at about 1,700 college-level words. In other words, the textbooks in various disciplines required a vocabulary base of about 1,700 words.  After my list of 1700 words stopped increasing, the various textbooks simply recycled the words I had already written down. Therefore, I was able to conclude that these 1,700 college-level words were sufficient for students needing to get a high TOEFL score. Also, knowing these words was sufficient for students needing to study at English-speaking universities.

How do I learn the words in this TOEFL vocabulary PDF?

Begin today to learn these TOEFL vocabulary words.

Learning these vocabulary words takes time.  First, you should purchase 1,700 4 x 6 inch notecards.  Second, write every word onto its own notecard.  Put the word in large letters and one side of the card. Then put the definition, sample sentence, parts of speech information, synonyms,  and antonyms on the other side of the note-card. If you take 5 minutes to prepare each note-card, then you can guess it will take you about 8,500 minutes or 141 hours of labor to do this. Keep in mind that, as you put the words onto notecards, you are already beginning to put these words into your long-term memory. Furthermore, learning and using these words will not only help you score high on the TOEFL but also make you more functional as a speaker, writer, reader, and listener of English.

Once you have these words onto 1,700 notecards, you should begin studying the flash cards and separate the flash cards into three stacks:

  • Words you already know and use
  • Vocabulary words you have never seen or used
  • Vocabularies you are somewhat familiar with but do not use

In your study, you should cycle through the three stacks of cards, focusing mostly on the unfamiliar vocabulary stack. However, you should be reviewing every now and then the other two stacks of words as well.  Your goal in your vocabulary study is to be able to create an original sentence for each word without having to look at the example sentence on the note-card. Of course, each time you study the vocabulary words, try to create another original sentence.  Using these words in sentences dramatically increases the likelihood that you will use these words in your TOEFL speaking and writing. In addition, using these college-level words will help you to recognize them in TOEFL reading and listening passages.  Simply put, studying and creating sentences for each word will put these words into your long-term memory.

When do I study these TOEFL vocabulary words?

Having your vocabulary note-cards arranged into stacks makes it convenient. Here are some ideas of when you can study these words:

  • Going to the toilet: The average person spends about one hour and forty-two minutes on the toilet each week. Use this time to study your vocabulary words.
  • Amusement parks such as Disneyland: Average wait times at rides are about 30 minutes. Many visitors try to go on at least 6-7 rides in a day at the park. That amounts to more than 3+ hours waiting in lines. Therefore, while you wait, take a stack of notecards from your backpack and study your words.
  • Governmental institutions such as the Department of Motor Vehicles:  Need to get a driving license in the US?  Well, you will be waiting in line for about an hour before someone helps you. Use this frustratingly huge waste of time at least to study your vocabulary cards.
  • Hospital visits: Just to get a regular checkup at the doctor may cause you a wait time of 15-60 minutes, which is an ideal time to study your vocabulary.
  • Lyfts or Ubers:  Waiting for your Uber or Lyft takes time. Moreover, you eat up more time as your travel in the Uber to your destination. Use this time to study your vocabulary.  Similarly, use your airplane travel time to study your vocabulary.
  • Auto repairs: Going to get your car serviced?  You could be waiting several hours before the mechanics finish servicing/repairing your car. Why not study your vocabulary words while you wait?

Whether you sitting on the pot doing your business or sitting at the auto repair shop waiting for your car’s oil change, use this valuable time to study your vocabulary note cards. Think ahead of things that you will be doing that require waiting. Have your notecards in hand during these opportunities.

Download your TOEFL vocabulary list right now.

I included the link to my legendary 261 page 1,700 TOEFL vocabulary list. This list has been downloaded millions and millions of times.  The students who diligently learned the words on this list scored high than 100 on the TOEFL iBT:

Additional vocabulary resources

Additional vocabulary resources will support you in your TOEFL journey as you fight hard to improve your academic English:

  • More strategies and tips for learning the TOEFL vocabulary pdf
  • Tips and tricks for guessing the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Practice improving your vocabulary for reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections
  • Idioms practice videos to help you improve your speaking proficiency

Go to my TOEFL Vocabulary Resources: CLICK HERE

Good luck in your TOEFL journey!

Michael Buckhoff,

4 thoughts on “TOEFL Vocabulary PDF”

  1. Pingback: TOEFL Bank of Practice Questions - Better TOEFL Scores Blog

  2. Pingback: How to Improve your TOEFL Concentration - Better TOEFL Scores Blog

  3. Hi,
    Where can I find the college Textbook’s topics you listed in that video? Do you have the PDF?
    Is it shareable?

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