Pro tips and Strategies for the Reading Section of TOEFL iBT


The TOEFL reading is an important part of the first implementation. Depending on the completion of the reading part, the results of the remaining parts will change.

However, there are many people who are not good at the TOEFL reading part, which has academic words and is only long sentences.

Therefore, in this article, we will introduce the details of the TOEFL iBT reading part, points to solve, and a collection of recommended problems.

What is the outline of the TOEFL iBT reading problem?

TOEFL iBT Reading is the first part of the TOEFL iBT test.

The purpose is to measure the skills of reading English materials that are necessary for living in an English-speaking university or graduate school.

There are three passages of about 700 words, and 10 questions are asked for each passage. Since the time limit is 54 to 72 minutes, you can solve about 45 questions in about 1 hour.

Most of the texts are similar to those found in English-speaking university textbooks.

Even if you are not familiar with the topic of passages, if you have sufficient reading skills, you can get the correct answer just by reading the contents.

In rare cases, four passages may be asked, but in this case one of the four is a dummy passage and has nothing to do with scoring.

However, dummy passages cannot be identified, so all passages must be addressed with all one's might.

What are the points and tips for solving the TOEFL iBT reading problem?

In order to get a high score on the TOEFL iBT reading question, you need to improve your English, know the points and tips, and be able to answer strategically.

Below are some tips for solving TOEFL iBT reading problems.

Let's aim for 1 minute per question for answering time

The number of reading questions and the time limit will vary depending on the number of times you take the test.

However, in order to proceed with the answer with a margin, it is ideal to solve each question in 1 minute. At the very least, be aware of your daily learning so that you can solve each question in 1 minute and 20 seconds.

The failure in the reading part is that the question cannot be solved until the end due to a mistake in time allocation. In TOEFL iBT reading, if you spend a lot of time on one question, you will not be in time.

In the reading part, it is important to solve to the end, so it is recommended that you aim to answer one question in one minute on a daily basis.

Read the question sentence before the text

For the reading part of TOEFL, it is more efficient to read the question sentence before the text. By reading the question sentence first, you can get an overview of the text and the points to read carefully.

For example, if the title of the passage is "The Rise of Teotihuacán", then the keyword turns out to be Teotihuacán.

If you read the question sentence based on this, you can get a rough overview of the text.

In addition, TOEFL iBT Reading has the following problem instructions.

・ In paragraph 1, ~ In paragraph
1 ~
・ The word “word” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:
What can be inferred from paragraph 3 about ~?
What can you infer about from paragraph 3?
・ According to According to paragraph 4, ~
paragraph 4,

As you can see, there are many problems where the question sentence dictates the paragraph to read.

You can solve the problem speedily by checking the "paragraph to be read" and "specific word (proper noun, instructed word, etc.)" written in the question sentence and starting to read the text.

Skip difficult problems and solve them later

In TOEFL iBT reading, you need to solve problems at a good tempo.

If you spend more than two minutes on a difficult problem, you will not be able to solve it to the end. As a result, the problem that should have been solved becomes incorrect.

Skip problems that take more than 1 minute and 30 seconds and move on to the next one. You can maximize your score by solving the unsolved problems once you have solved them to the end.

Let's solve all the dummy problems with all our strength without being aware of it

I told you that the TOEFL iBT reading includes dummy questions that are not related to the score. However, it is not recommended to be aware of the dummy problem.

There is a good chance that the passage that I thought was a dummy problem and solved it was not actually a dummy. It is almost impossible to identify a dummy problem with 100% certainty, so it is dangerous to solve it with all your might.

Let's do our best to answer all the questions without being aware of the dummy problem.

Don't lose your concentration

The TOEFL iBT test is characterized by a long 3 hours throughout.

There is only a 10-minute break between each section, so the key to achieving your goal is how to stay focused and take the exam.

As for the reading part, the test time is 60 to 80 minutes, which is very long. If you don't practice regularly, it will be difficult to read English for 60 minutes while maintaining high concentration.

To keep your concentration, it is effective to solve the past questions once or twice a week in the same format as the actual one.

Getting a good night's sleep the day before the exam will also help you stay focused.

What study method is required for TOEFL iBT reading measures?

TOEFL iBT readings have themes that appear in English-speaking university textbooks, and each passage tends to have a large volume.

Based on these characteristics, we will introduce the study methods required for TOEFL iBT reading measures.

Learn academic words

Word learning is essential for developing reading skills. The more words you know, the smoother you will be able to read English.

At TOEFL, academic English words that are unfamiliar to many people will be given. No matter how high your reading skills are, it is difficult to answer quickly without knowing academic English words.

Word learning can improve your listening and writing skills as well as your reading skills. If there is little input of academic English words, the goal cannot be achieved.

As with the entire TOEFL, learning English is the highest priority. About 15 minutes is enough every day, so let's learn words with a TOEFL-specific vocabulary book.

Let's read extensively after training your reading ability by reading carefully

Careful reading and extensive reading are effective for developing reading skills. Careful reading is a learning method to read one sentence carefully, and extensive reading is a learning method to read many English sentences.

It is recommended that you first develop basic reading skills by reading carefully, and then proceed to extensive reading. Below, we will introduce the benefits and effective methods of careful reading and extensive reading.

Benefits of perusal and effective methods

Careful reading is a learning method of "quality over quantity" that carefully reads one English sentence. The advantage of perusing is that you can understand the structure of the sentence.

Careful reading reveals the part of speech of the sentence and clarifies the breaks in the sentence.

If you read it carefully, you will be able to understand the sentence structure of English sentences, and you will be able to read more sentences, and you will get advantages such as faster reading speed.

Follow the steps below to read carefully.

1. Choose a reference book for TOEFL reading
2. Read English carefully without worrying about time
3. Mark English sentences and words that you did not understand with markers
4. Find out the meaning of the part you did not understand after reading everything, and clarify the part of speech
5. Reread the same sentence
6. If there is something you do not understand even if you read it again, repeat the same process again

Extensive reading benefits and effective ways

The advantage of extensive reading is that you can build an English brain.

The English brain is a skill that allows you to understand English in English without going through Japanese. Extensive reading reads a lot of different types of English sentences, so you will see the same syntax and words repeatedly.

At first, it is difficult to understand English as it is, but as you continue to read extensively, you will gradually become able to understand it as it is.

As a result, you will be able to read English sentences at a good tempo, and you can expect an improvement in reading speed.

Extensive reading is also ideal for word learning due to the nature of reading various English sentences. By writing down and memorizing unknown words at any time, you can take TOEFL reading measures more effectively.

Let's solve the problem collection when you have vocabulary and reading comprehension

Achieving the target score in the TOEFL reading part requires not only pure reading ability but also familiarity with the problem. Once you have a certain level of vocabulary and reading comprehension, let's practice with the workbook.

We recommend that you have a collection of questions that specializes in TOEFL reading. If you have a reference book that specializes in TOEFL, you will be able to grasp the tendency and characteristics of questions and acquire reading techniques.

The point in using the problem book is to input all the words you do not know.

The TOEFL reference book is based on the actual test content. Therefore, words that are not directly related to the answer may be asked in this exam.

If you solve the problem book repeatedly and input all the unknown words, you will be able to maximize the effect of the problem book.

TOEFL iBT Reading What are the characteristics and countermeasures of each problem?

The types of TOEFL iBT reading questions are not defined on the official website, but can be roughly divided into 10 types.

By knowing the characteristics of each problem, you will be able to take appropriate measures and improve your score.

Below, we will introduce the features and countermeasures of the 10 TOEFL reading parts.

Content matching problem

A content match question is a question that selects options that match the content described in the paragraph. You will be asked in the following format.

- According to paragraph 1, which of the following is true of ~? According to paragraph 1, which of the following is true
・ Which of the following is mentioned in paragraph 2 as ~?
Which of the following is mentioned as ... in paragraph 2?

To deal with the content matching problem, first read the question and understand the paragraph to be read and the content being asked.

In most cases, the "~" part contains a proper noun, so all you have to do is find the proper noun in the paragraph of interest and compare it with your choices.

Content mismatch problem

The content mismatch problem is a question that selects an option that "does not match" the content described in the paragraph. You will be asked in the following format.

Which of the following is NOT mentioned in paragraph 2 as ~?
Which of the following options is not mentioned in paragraph 2?

The countermeasures for the content mismatch problem are almost the same as the match problem. Find the keyword in the specified paragraph and compare it with your choices. Erase the matching choices one by one and pick the ones that don't match.

Inference problem

An inference problem is a problem of choosing an option that can be inferred from the content, although it is not specified in the text. You will be asked in the following format.

・ What can be inferred from paragraph 3 about ~?
Which options can you infer about ~ from paragraph 3?

In addition to infer, words such as imply and suggest may be used.

The important thing in solving inference problems is to choose options that can be logically derived. You need to find a rationale, such as "You can choose option B because the passage says A."

Intention problem

The intent problem is the question of choosing an option that suits the intent of the author of the passage and the purpose of the paragraph. You will be asked in the following format.

・ In paragraph 5, the author discusses “A,” in order to: In paragraph 5, the author discusses A, but for any of the following purposes:
・ Why does the author mention “A” in paragraph 5?
Why did I mention A in paragraph 5?

To deal with the intention problem, first read the options. After that, carefully read before and after the keywords and sentences asked in the question, and select the option that has a logical relationship.

Vocabulary problem

Vocabulary questions are the type of question in which you choose the right choice for the meaning of a particular vocabulary. You will be asked in the following format.

・ The word “A” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to: The closest meaning of the word “A” in paragraph 1 is:

If you have learned enough words, you can get the correct answer just by looking at the options without reading the paragraph.

If you don't know the meaning of a word, you must read before and after the questioned word in the specified paragraph to guess the meaning.

A common pattern is the format asked by A and B. In this pattern, A and B have similar meanings because there is an and. It is also possible to infer from that.

It's a low-difficulty question, so you can say that you definitely want to answer it correctly.

Demonstrative problem

Demonstrative questions are the question of choosing the right choices for what a demonstrative, such as it or they, points to. Basically, if you read one or two sentences before the pronoun appears, you can find out what the demonstrative points to.

Pronouns are paraphrases of nouns that have already appeared, so it is unlikely that you will find the answer even if you read the sentences after the pronoun.

Paraphrase problem

The paraphrase question is the question of choosing the right choice as a paraphrase of the text highlighted in the passage. The questions will be given in the following format.

· Which of the following best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence?
· Which option is the right expression for the important information in the highlighted sentence?

In the paraphrase problem, the elimination method is effective because the incorrect answer option clearly says the wrong answer.

Let's verify one by one from the top and derive the correct answer.

Insertion problem

The insertion problem is the problem of inserting a specified sentence into a paragraph so that it flows naturally. The questions will be given in the following format.

In paragraph 1 of the passage, there is a missing sentence. The paragraph is repeated below and shows four letters (A, B, C, and D) that indicate where the following sentence could be added. There is no sentence. Below is a paragraph 1 that includes the ABCD options.

・ Sentence
paragraph 1

Where would the sentence best fit?
Where should I put the sentence?

The point of solving the insertion problem is to first identify the keywords (proprietary nouns, the + nouns, etc.) in the sentence to be inserted.

There is a high possibility that the correct answer will be before and after the sentence containing the keyword. If you read the sentence that you actually inserted and it is a natural flow, there is no problem.

Summary problem

A summary question is a question of choosing three options that properly summarize the content of the text. It is a scoring system with 2 points for 3 correct answers and 1 point for 2 correct answers.

Since summary questions are given with high probability, be aware of the flow of passages and important points from the stage of solving other questions.

And a valid solution to a summary problem is to read the first sentence of each paragraph.

English has the property of starting with a conclusion. So the first sentence of each paragraph is an important conclusion that the author wants to convey.

After reading the first sentence of the paragraph and getting a complete picture of the passage, look at the options and check the details accordingly. With this strategy, you should be able to come up with the correct answer without spending a lot of time.

Table completion problem

The table completion problem is the problem of putting the appropriate choices in a categorized table.

There are 5 correct answers in all. 3 points will be given for all correct answers, 2 points for 4 correct answers, and 1 point for 3 correct answers.

Since the table completion problem also needs to get a complete picture of the passage, it is effective to solve it in the same way as the summary problem.

5 Recommended Questions for TOEFL iBT Reading Measures

To prepare for reading TOEFL iBT, you need to practice many times using the question book.

Below, we will introduce 5 recommended problem collections for TOEFL iBT reading measures, so please refer to them.

A collection of 18 long-sentence questions that are ideal for extensive reading

" TOEFL iBT® TEST Reading Essence " is a collection of reading questions published by the Z-kai editorial department.

The number of long sentences recorded is 18 selections in total. It contains passages on various topics, making it ideal for extensive reading learning. A major feature is that each question has a guideline for answering time.

In the TOEFL reading part, I told you that you need the ability to solve problems quickly and accurately. If you use this collection of questions, you will be able to solve it while being aware of the time, so you will acquire reading skills that you can utilize in production.

At the end of the book, there are two mock test-style confirmation tests, and it is a nice point that the explanations are also polite. This is a collection of questions recommended for those who have some reading skills and want to improve the speed and accuracy of reading.

Recommended level Intermediate to advanced
author Z-kai editorial department
the publisher Z-kai
Price (tax included) 2,640 yen

Completely capture 10 patterns that frequently appear in reading

" TOEFL ITP Test Reading Question Strategy (TOEFL Test Daisenryaku Series-Reading Question Strategy) " is a collection of questions that you can learn 10 patterns that frequently appear in the reading section.

By knowing the strategy for each pattern, you will be able to derive the correct answer by applying the solution method in this test as well. In addition, you can effectively strengthen your reading skills by discovering your strengths and weaknesses.

It comes with 3 mock exams in the reading section, so you can firmly establish the 10 patterns learned in this book through 3 mock exams.

The overall difficulty level is relatively low, so it is recommended for beginners to intermediates. Especially, beginners who want to get used to the problem while taking measures for the TOEFL reading part will find it useful.

Recommended level beginner
author Obunsha
the publisher Obunsha
Price (tax included) 2,200 yen

Learn the knowledge of TOEFL frequent topics!

" TOEFL ITP (R) Test Reading Speed Master " is a collection of 300 carefully selected questions.

The author, Takashi Kanbe, is a TOEFL specialist who publishes "TOEFL® Test English Words 3800" and "Complete Strategy! TOEFL ITP® Test". In this book, TOEFL specialists explain in detail the answering techniques for each question pattern.

Since the mock test of 300 questions for 6 times is recorded, it is a feature that you can measure the degree of knowledge retention and practice to keep the concentration of the reading part.

In addition, since the important words of the mock exam are summarized in a list format, it is possible to perform reading and word learning at the same time. All passages, questions, and choices have Japanese translations, so even beginners can work with peace of mind.

The difficulty level of the overall questions is high, so this is a collection of questions recommended for intermediate and above.

Recommended level Intermediate to advanced
author Kanbe Takashi
the publisher J Research Publishing
Price (tax included) 1,650 yen

Learn the grammar required for TOEFL and improve your reading skills!

" TOEFL iBT Test Required English Grammar 50 " is a reference book that can lay the foundation for grammar to achieve high scores in TOEFL. Lack of grammar skills is one of the reasons why reading is sluggish.

This book explains the basic grammar that frequently appears in TOEFL in an easy-to-understand manner, so even beginners can finish it without difficulty. If you are working on vocabulary and reading, but your reading skills are not improving, we recommend that you work on grammar learning in this book.

If you use the example sentences for recitation that can be downloaded by voice, it is a nice point that you can effectively acquire important grammar by using the gap time.

Recommended level beginner
author Masaaki Ogura
the publisher Teyes Planning
Price (tax included) 2.640 yen

A collection of problems of the same quality as the actual production!

" ETS Official Guide TOEFL iBT " is a collection of official questions published by the management of TOEFL. In other words, it has a mock test at the same level as this test.

Once you have acquired some reading skills, it is recommended that you solve the official workbook many times. By repeating until you get the perfect score, you will be able to respond to the question patterns and improve your reading skills.

In addition, all the words contained in this book are important words that may be asked in this exam. It's a collection of official questions, and at the same time it's a good vocabulary, so enter words you don't understand.

The price is a little high, but the cost performance is high considering that you can use it many times and improve your overall skills.

Recommended level Beginner-advanced
author Educational Testing Service
the publisher MCGRAW-HILL; 5th Edition (2020/5/25)
Price (tax included) 6,710 yen