10 Easy TOEFL Reading Tips to Help You Prepare for the Exam

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Getting ready to take the TOEFL? Need some help on the TOEFL reading section?

TOEFL iBT has 3-5 texts. Most of these are around 700 words long. They are followed by 12-15 questions based on the text. There is 20 minutes allocated to each text/questions section.

Here are ten tips to help you prepare for the TOEFL reading test. These tips, tricks and strategies will help improve your overall TOEFL score.

1. You Need to Read for the TOEFL

The best way to prepare for the TOEFL reading exam is to read!

It might sound obvious, but the best way to practice for TOEFL reading test is to read as much as possible beforehand on as wide a variety of topics as possible.

Current affairs, health, sports, it doesn’t matter. Also, cover all the media in your reading materials like books, online texts, and magazines.

This is really a great long term strategy. If you think you might take the TOEFL someday, start reading in English a little bit every day, right now!

2. Keep a Vocabulary Notebook

As you read to study for the TOEFL, keep a notebook and a dictionary by your side. Every time you discover a new word, write write it in your notebook to study later.

This will help you develop a strong vocabulary that should be a great help to you when you sit TOEFL’s reading test.

3. Practice Past Tests

You need to always remember that TOEFL is a standardized test. This means it always follows the same format. Take TOEFL reading practice tests to help prepare. You’ll be much more comfortable with the test this way.

 4. Practice Staying Within The Time Limit

When you take practice tests, set a timer so that you can be sure you’re doing each part within the 20 minutes you normally get during the test. Remember that in TOEFL iBT the software will cut you off when you reach the time limit so it is critical you learn to work within it.

The first few times, you may not able to do this, but with practice it should become easy.

5. Learn to Skim

In English, skimming involves reading a passage quickly and understanding a text by extracting the important details at a glance. This is a crucial skill for the TOEFL reading test. Practice doing this with passages as you get closer to taking the exam.

6. Practice Summarizing

Never presume you know the meaning of a text while you are reading it. Always stop at the end of each paragraph and try to summarize what you have just read (even if it have to whisper it to yourself).

7. Highlight (if you need to)

Highlighting important data like vocabulary, dates and places might help you relax and order your thoughts. Go ahead and do this while you are reading if it helps.

8. Learn To Guess Unfamiliar Words

When you are faced with a new word what do you do? Panic? Consult a dictionary? Neither of these responses will help you in your exam. Learn to guess the meaning of new words from the context of a passage or the words and paragraphs which surround it. Reading will help with this.

9. Learn To Pick Out Pronouns

When you speak, you know there is a big difference between the pronouns he, she and it. It is the same when you are reading. Learn to pay attention to the pronouns in a text so you know to whom or what it is referring, especially if there are multiple characters in the text. This could be the difference between you answering a question correctly and incorrectly.

10. Relax

In order to really capture the meaning of a text, you need to be relaxed so that you can focus on it completely. If you are very nervous you might miss important, and maybe obvious, points. Develop relaxation techniques like deep breathing during the test or even a yoga session before it! Whatever keeps you calm and works for you should not be ignored.

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