TOEFL Reading - Questions types in the TOEFL test

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,296 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited May 2016 in TOEFL Test

What question types will you see on the TOEFL Reading test?

The TOEFL test is a test of university-level reading skills. In order to prepare for the test, you need to read a wide variety of texts: book chapters, articles from specialized websites, lecture notes, etc. 


A word is selected from the text, and you are asked to choose a synonym from a list of words.

Study TOEFL vocabulary words

Identify a detail from the text. "According to the author", or "according to the text".

Read very carefully and practice identifying the details in a text

Understand the author's purpose. "Why does the author choose __________," or "why does the author say _______?"

Question the author as you are reading.
Negative Factual Information

This type of question is usually worded, "All of the following are correct EXCEPT", or "Which one is NOT" .

Compare the possible answers with the information in the text.
Essential Information

This will be a sentence highlighted in the text. You will be asked to choose a sentence that has almost the same meaning.

Be able to paraphrase, that is, use other words to express the same idea

This question highlights a pronoun in the text and asks for its reference (antecedent).

Be able to trace pronouns back to the noun they refer to.

You need to draw a logical conclusion based on an idea in the text. It is often worded, 'The text suggests that", or "It can be inferred that".

Understand the text and in particular the other meanings that the text might have
Insert a Sentence This is a new type of question for the computer-based text. You will see a sentence and four places in the text where the sentence might go. You need to click on the box to insert the sentence. Look for a logical progression. What is the subject of the sentence, and where does it fit in the paragraph?
Complete the Summary This is also new to the computer-based text. You will drag and drop 3 correct summary sentences onto a blank area for the summary. The incorrect answers will have mistakes in details or in general not summarize the text. Focus on sentences which say the same thing as the text, but in different words.
Complete the Table

This is a computer-based "drag and drop" type of question, where you will have to complete a table with information provided for you. There will be between one and three correct answers, and between three and seven incorrect answers.

Match carefully the sentences to the questions in the table.

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