Introduction to TOEFL iBT Reading Section
TOEFL iBT is a standardized test to measure English language efficiency. It consists of four sections. TOEFL iBT exam is scored on a scale of 0-120 points with each section scaled from 0-30. 120 is a perfect score to get. The cost for the TOEFL iBT examination is $170. TOEFL scores are valid for the span of 2 years. TOEFL is accepted in more than 10,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries. Students or others who wish to move abroad for studying or job prospects must give this test in order to boost English skills and build a powerful resume. In this article, we will discuss about the TOEFL iBT Reading section.
As we all know, there are four important modules in the TOEFL iBT examination. They are:-
- TOEFL iBT Reading Section
- TOEFL iBT Listening Section
- TOEFL iBT Speaking Section
- TOEFL iBT Writing Section
So, Reading comes as a first and the foremost module for the candidate that is appearing for the test.
Note that the order of the modules is fixed for years and would never change.
Module 2: Reading Section
Let’s have detailed guidelines for this section:
Reading Section in TOEFL iBT is of 60-90 minutes duration. This section emphasizes the students’ ability to understand and analyze the given situations and written texts on the topics like science, fiction, arts and other academic discussions as well. It is specifically designed to test the student’s ability to comprehend the academic reading material. Each passage consists of about 700 words.
Overview of the test:
Reading section mainly consists of academic passages, the kinds that are found in the university textbooks. There is no particular field of study. It randomly contains all the fields of study in the exam.
TOEFL iBT Reading section usually consists of 3 passages. Students are required to answer 12-14 questions for each passage. They will focus on either one of the following tasks:
- Define a word (for vocabulary)
- Identify an idea or argument (testing understanding)
- Find a false statement (testing comprehension overall)
Note that each passage is timed separately and you don’t need to answer the questions in the specific order.
There are a total of 10 types of reading questions in 4 different kinds of formats for the TOEFL iBT reading module.
Format 1: Multiple Choice Questions
This is the most common type of format. Students are given 4 options out of which 1 is the correct alternative. Students will have to do at least 3 of each vocabulary and detail type per passage.
This category of the format itself contains 7 types of questions.
Question Type: Vocabulary
In this type, the students are asked to identify a word or a phrase that is closest in the meaning to which of the options. The students need to understand the meaning of the word as it is used in the passage.
The word ______ in the passage is closest in the meaning to?
Question Type: Detail
Detail type questions ask the students to identify the information stated directly in the passage. This information is only given once per passage.
According to the paragraph 2, why did the DETAIL do______?
Question Type: Purpose
This question requires the student to understand why a particular detail or idea is being used in the passage. These questions will focus on the logical connections between certain sentences or paragraphs.
The author uses _________as an example of…
Question Type: Negative Factual Information
Negative factual questions are easy to identify because they either contain “EXCEPT” or “NOT”. Here the students have to choose the wrong option, the option which does not read the detail in the passage.
The following are the examples of trees, EXCEPT:
Question Type: Essential Information
In this section, a certain portion of the passage is highlighted. Students have to choose an alternative which is equal to or means the same as the highlighted sentence. It will be a simple choice but will convey a lot of information.
Which of these best express the information in the highlighted sentence?
Question Type: Reference
In this section, usually a pronoun is highlighted and the students are required to answer who it refers to.
The word it in the passage refers to?
Question Type: Inference
Students are required to find the indirect meaning from the text which is not directly stated.
What can be inferred from paragraph 1?
Note that all the multiple choice questions are worth one point each.
Format 2: Insert a Sentence
Question Type: Insert a Sentence
In this section, students are required to decide where a new sentence fits the best into the passage. The passage should make complete sense after inserting that new sentence.
Format 3: Complete the Summary
Question Type: Complete the Summary
In this section, students will be given 6 answer options out of which 3 must be selected such that they represent major ideas and relevant information from the passage.
Each question of this format is worth 2 points.
Format 4: Complete the table
Question Type: Complete the table
Students have to select each option which belongs to a particular category from the given options. Note that each option can be used only once. To get this question right, one must be able to compare and contrast the concepts, understand relationships and put major ideas in their proper context.
Tips to prepare for TOEFL iBT Reading Section:
Following are some key points which students should keep in mind while appearing for the TOEFL iBT reading section:
- Practice reading different types of English newspapers, magazines etc. read books with a variety of genres to brush up your English language.
- Expand your vocabulary by practising and using unfamiliar words in your sentence.
- Learn to recognize different organizational styles in order to determine the structure of the article.
- Try summarizing the passage in order to understand the flow of the passage in your own words.
- Try and read the entire passage quickly because you will get to re-read a particular paragraph in the paragraph-specific questions.
- If you see any highlighted word, point the mouse cursor onto it and you’ll see its definition.
To know more about the TOEFL IBT exam, please read our article about “TOEFL iBT”