TOEFL, like IELTS, is an English proficiency test used mostly by institutions in the United States. The major goal of the TOEFL is to determine whether you can attend a foreign university where English is the primary language.
Unlike IELTS, the TOEFL solely assesses your English proficiency for academic purposes. If you plan to take the TOEFL, getting a decent prep book or taking an online course is the first step toward studying at an overseas university.
There are hundreds of books and courses on the market that claim to deliver flawless outcomes, but not all of them are of equal quality. This is why I’ve compiled a list of the top TOEFL books and other resources available online.
6th Edition of The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test
This comprehensive handbook, created by ETS, the TOEFL’s creators, assists students in combining their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to demonstrate their English competence on the TOEFL.
Hundreds of practice questions and sample essays that are closely linked with those found on the test are available for students to review. Four full-length practice tests (both in the book and online) are included, as well as detailed explanations for each exam section.
TOEFL iBT Prep Plus by Kaplan
The TOEFL guide from Kaplan helps students improve their listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills in English. Four complete practice exams that closely resemble the real exam, as well as more than 450 example questions with answer explanations, are included in the book.
Students can obtain access to online materials such as self-paced video tutorials from TOEFL specialists by purchasing this book.
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The 7th Edition of Barron’s Essential Words for the TOEFL
Barron’s “Essential Words for the TOEFL,” which focuses on vocabulary, helps test takers prepare for the enormous number of words and phrases they’ll encounter on the TOEFL. 500 must-know general TOEFL vocabulary words are defined and illustrated in this book.
It also defines essential “purpose” terms included in the writing and speaking components of the exam (such as “discuss,” “define,” and “for example”).
Volume 1 of the Official TOEFL iBT Tests, 4th Edition
This resource, written by the company that creates and administers the exam, includes recently withdrawn test forms, allowing students real-world TOEFL writing, listening, reading, and speaking practice.
Five full-length TOEFL tests (in the book and online), authentic TOEFL essay prompts, and sample responses for the speaking and writing parts are all included in this book.
TOEFL Preparation Book by Test Prep Books
Test Prep Books’ top-rated TOEFL book lays out proven tactics for acing the TOEFL’s reading, speaking, writing, and listening sections.
Students can test their knowledge with a range of practice questions before checking their work with the full answer explanations provided in the book.
TOEFL Preparation Book by Mometrix
This TOEFL prep book, written by Mometrix, teaches students how to do well on the reading, listening, speaking, and writing components of the exam. To assist in identifying deficiencies, students can examine high-quality practice questions, watch video lectures covering a variety of key subjects, and read extensive answer explanations.
This comprehensive guide also includes subject-specific tips for passing each of the TOEFL’s four sections.
TOEFL iBT Prep from The Princeton Review
This high-quality TOEFL prep book includes practice drills for each of the exam’s four sections in addition to presenting established test-taking tactics. Students can brush up on basic grammar, expand their vocabulary, and learn how to write an effective English essay.
It also offers a full-length simulated practice exam so students can become familiar with the TOEFL’s format and pace.
Kaplan’s TOEFL Pocket Vocabulary
The first book on our list is a pocket vocabulary book that contains the most common 600 words that you may face on the TOEFL. It is not a comprehensive TOEFL study book. There are also 420 idioms and practice questions included.
In a flashcard-like page design, there are over 500 words and 400 idioms. It includes definitions, parts of speech, and sample sentences for each word to assist you in understanding its meanings in context. The content focuses on higher-level terminology and concepts relating to university life in the United States. Practice exercises allow you to put your knowledge to the test.
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Online Preparation with Magoosh
Magoosh TOEFL Prep is an online course that includes hundreds of practice questions and extensive video lectures to help you master your English skills. Their online preparation courses are highly regarded and have received largely positive feedback. Their TOEFL preparation includes over a hundred video courses that cover every area of the TOEFL exam.
How to Prepare for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Develop your note-taking skills:
You only get one chance to listen to audio clips on the TOEFL. Then you’ll have to respond to questions, talk, or write about the topic you heard about. Because you won’t be able to replay the audio, you’ll need to improve your note-taking skills. You can practice taking notes in English or in your native language. It’s generally better if you do a little bit of both. The idea is to learn to take notes in real time so that you don’t miss anything the speaker says. Experiment with a range of audio snippets of varying lengths and levels of complexity, then listen to the tape again to check if your notes are accurate. Pay attention to the layout of your notes and the legibility of your handwriting, which may appear to be minor details. Being able to comfortably take notes and document all pertinent information in real time will be extremely beneficial not only on the TOEFL test, but also in your future studies.
Take some practice exams:
When studying for the TOEFL, you nearly usually have a target score in mind. You can only tell if you’re getting close to your TOEFL goal by taking practice tests during your TOEFL preparation session. Practice exams will also help you obtain a sense of the test setting, question kinds, and time limits that you’ll confront on test day. You can practice for the TOEFL in a variety of methods, including utilizing our free EF SETtest to track your progress. I recently published an article on the five most popular TOEFL preparation test websites.
Every day, read:
Reading helps even native English speakers expand their vocabularies. The more you read, the more concepts and words you will encounter. The more carefully you read, the better your reading comprehension skills will get. To broaden your range of things with which you are familiar in English, read widely and carefully. Because you never know what subjects will be covered on the TOEFL exam, it’s ideal to have a wide range of topics under your belt.
Always listen to Podcasts
Whether you prefer the BBC or NPR, humor or news, there is plenty of English-language talk radio available online. You can improve your listening comprehension by listening to native English speakers speak English at their natural speed. You can also improve your speaking skills by listening to parts of the podcast and trying to imitate the speaker’s pronunciation. Because there aren’t the same context indicators as with a video, interpreting a recording is more difficult. As a result, podcasts are a better way to practice listening comprehension than watching English-language movies or television shows.
Learn to type with your hands:
The writing component of the exam requires you to type your answers on a computer using a QWERTY keyboard that you are unfamiliar with. You won’t have much time left to produce a good essay if you spend all of your time fighting with the keyboard. Although it appears to be a basic talent, many people fail to prepare for it.
What Distinguishes the TOEFL from Other Exams?
A transparent scoring system
The TOEFL’s fair scoring on the speaking exam is one feature that distinguishes it from other exams. In an interview-style conversation, other speaking exams are normally rated by a single examiner.
When taking the TOEFL, though, you’ll hear recorded questions and respond by speaking through a microphone. Your comments will be graded by up to six different raters. This unbiased scoring system is preferred by many exam takers.
Duration of the test
The TOEFL Speaking section is always the third section of the exam and lasts around 20 minutes. The Speaking component of some tests may be held on a different day. The TOEFL is a wonderful alternative if you wish to take the entire exam in one session.
MCQs (Multiple-Choice Questions)
The question format of the Reading and Listening parts of the TOEFL is another feature that distinguishes it. The majority of TOEFL questions are multiple-choice, unlike other tests that require you to create your own answers. This implies you won’t have to come up with your own solutions. Instead, you’ll pick an answer from a list of possibilities.
Option to Write From Home
Unlike other English proficiency examinations, the TOEFL can be taken at home on a computer. This means you can take the test in the privacy and comfort of your own home, while you will be monitored online by a human proctor.
Why Should You Take the TOEFL Exam?
English is the international language of communication. The ability to confidently express yourself in English opens up a world of opportunities. In today’s technological world, it allows you to connect with more individuals than ever before.
It is also easier to travel if you speak English. It won’t take long to discover someone who speaks English if you travel to a place where you don’t speak the language.
Knowing English also allows you to access more information. The majority of the internet is in English, not to mention the numerous English-language television shows, films, and books.
The most popular motivations for taking the TOEFL test are study, work, and immigration.
The Advantages of Taking the TOEFL
Because of its comprehensive nature, the TOEFL is an excellent test to take. It enables you to demonstrate your English abilities to admissions officers and potential employers at a precise time. The unbiased scoring system ensures that your English abilities are accurately and precisely documented.
A Certificate That Is Widely Recognized
Another advantage of the TOEFL is that it is one of the most widely accepted English-language proficiency examinations in the world. With the TOEFL under your belt, you can be confident that your scores will be recognized and accepted as proof of your English fluency by the university of your choice* or your future employment.
Improve Your English Proficiency
Preparing for the TOEFL will significantly improve your English abilities! Taking the TOEFL costs money, time, and effort. Having said that, it’s a good idea to start planning ahead of time. Official test preparation materials are available on ETS’s website.
On their website, you can practice with free resources as well as purchase more things. While you want your increased English abilities to show up in your TOEFL results, they will also benefit you in other aspects of your life.
Acquire a Better Understanding of Academic English
Academic literature and language may make you feel overwhelmed. Preparing for the TOEFL will assist you in coming to terms with some parts of academic life that may seem inaccessible. You will feel more at ease in an academic setting as you add new words and terms to your vocabulary on a regular basis.
Encouragement to Study More
Have you been struggling to stay motivated lately? When you should be studying, do you find yourself checking your phone?
Knowing you’ll be taking the TOEFL shortly will help you stay motivated. You will be able to better organize your time and stay focused if you have a clear goal in mind.
Enhance your resume
Having your TOEFL results on your resume is always a nice thing, whether or not you’ll be seeking a new job soon. It demonstrates your dedication to both learning English and achieving success in your chosen field. Future employers will undoubtedly regard you as more professional and credible. Keep in mind that TOEFL scores are only valid for two years.
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