The TOEFL reading section’s format is as shown below:
There could be three different types of questions that come in the TOEFL reading section. They are,
1. Multiple choice questions,
2. Questions that must be answered by clicking on a word, sentence or paragraph.
3. Questions where sentences should be inserted into the correct position in a paragraph.
In the test, there will be around 4-5 passages that around 300-400 words each. Each passage will be followed by 10-15 questions. For preparing and doing the reading comprehension section well, there are some books that one can use for study. One is the Reading and Vocabulary Workbook for the TOEFL exam by Elizabeth Davy and Karen Davy, published by ARCO. Another good book for the reading section is the Reading for the TOEFL Test by Milanda Broukal, published by Peterson’s guides. Another effective book by Milanda Broukal is the Peterson’s TOEFL Reading Flash.
Merely preparing from these books is not enough, one has to improve one’s reading abilities too. You can read academic texts like university books, science magazines and journals etc to improve your understanding of the complicated passages. You have train yourself for spotting information, basic understanding and learning the important parts of the passage.
The passages that appear in the exam will be of the topics related to sciences, social science, arts, literature, business, etc. You can practice reading these types of articles during your preparation. They can found in magazines, on the internet or in some books that you can find in a library.
There are some tips that are suggested by ETS to improve one’s reading skills, they are:
1. Try increasing your vocabulary, as it will be useful for all sections of the TOEFL exam. For this, using flash cards is the best method.
2. Instead of reading each and every word thoroughly, practice skimming the passages to get a main idea of each paragraph.
3. Try to increase your reading speed while skimming. This will save time for you, which you can use while answering questions.
4. After skimming each paragraph, write down the main idea of each paragraph so you can refer to it later while answering questions. This is another time saving tactic.
5. Write down words that you are not familiar with and try to identify meanings by understanding the context.
6. For every passage you practice with, write a title and a conclusion. These type of questions may sometimes be asked.
7. Keep a note of the important facts that you see in the passage, like dates or numbers.
8. Practice skimming every passage, so you will become very familiar with the exercise during the actual exam.
Using all these tips along with regular and effective practicing for the reading section will make you a pro and remember, it is not difficult to score a 30 out of 30 in this section.