6 Best Tips for TOEFL Reading Section

5 minute read
Tips for TOEFL Reading Section
Tips for TOEFL Reading Section

While preparing for the TOEFL Exam preparation tips for the TOEFL reading section help candidates to score well in this English proficiency test. The reading test of TOEFL assesses candidates’ reading skills and how well they can understand the provided information in an academic setting.


Recently, as a part of some major changes in the TOEFL exam pattern, the TOEFL reading section has also undergone some changes. TOEFL will now be conducted within a duration of 1 hour 56 minutes. The changes in the reading section are beneficial for the candidates and will affect the preparation strategy. Read more to know the changes and tips to ace the reading section in detail.

TOEFL Reading Section

The TOEFL Reading section used to consist of three to four passages in the English language. Candidates were required to answer 10 questions for each passage. The time limit for this entire section was between 53 to 72 minutes.

Now, this section will only have 2 comprehension passages and each passage will be followed by 10 questions each. The duration to complete this section is 35 minutes. These changes will be applicable from the 26th of July 2023.

The TOEFL Reading section includes passages from university-level textbooks, which are generally used as introductions to different topics. These passages include the answer to all the questions asked in the test. In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips and strategies to improve your score in the TOEFL Reading section.

6 Tips for TOEFL Reading

Candidates preparing for the TOEFL Exam conducted by the Education Testing Service (ETS) must ensure that they work on improving their English reading, speaking, listening and writing sections for an overall improvement in their score. Candidates need to build comprehensive strategies and practice consistently if they want to improve their performance in the TOEFL Reading section. Below we have listed some of the best tips and strategies which will help you with your TOEFL Reading section preparation.

Also Read: The Ultimate TOEFL Vocabulary List

Familiarize Yourself With the Test Format

Getting familiar with the test format will help you to understand the TOEFL Reading section structure. This section of the TOEFL consists of several passages followed by multiple-choice questions.  The TOEFL Reading section includes 2 passages, with an average length of 700 words, and sometimes consisting of specialised vocabulary, which reflects the academic content. 

These passages cover subjects like Biology, History, Social Science, etc. and are generally designed to it accessible for candidates belonging to different disciplines. The questions asked in this section assess candidates’ comprehension skills.

Improve Your Vocabulary

Expand your vocabulary by reading extensively in English. Focus on academic texts, newspapers, magazines, and online articles. Note down unfamiliar words and learn their meanings and usage. This will enhance your comprehension skills. Candidates are suggested to build extensive English reading habits from magazines, academic articles, newspapers and blogs on social media.

The TOEFL Reading section primarily features academic passages and prioritizes reading materials related to academic subjects. This will help you familiarize yourself with the vocabulary commonly used in academic writing.

Enhance Your Reading Speed

Practising reading quickly and efficiently without sacrificing comprehension. Conversing 2 passages in 35 minutes is no easy task as you will also have to answer questions given in the test. Before diving into the details written in the passages, candidates should quickly skim through the sentences and understand the main objective of the passage and the way it is given.

Pay attention to headings, subheadings, and topic sentences. Try not to subvocalize the sentences silently, as this might slow down your reading speed. Try to avoid the temptation of going back and rereading sentences or paragraphs unless absolutely necessary. Trust your initial understanding, highlight the keywords and phrases, and keep moving forward.

Also Read: How to Prepare for TOEFL Online?

Develop Skimming and Scanning Techniques

Skimming is the ability to quickly go through the passages and identify the main idea, topic sentences and major supporting details. Scanning is searching for specific information, such as names, dates, or statistics. Mastering these techniques will save you time during the exam. 

Try to focus on the first and last sentences of each paragraph as they often contain the main idea or topic sentence, and scan the passage for keywords and phrases that are relevant to the main topic or questions, search for figures like numbers, diagrams or any visual aids in the passage. These will help you in remembering important details and you can understand the key points more easily.

Practice Active Reading

Practising active reading is a vital strategy for improving comprehension and engagement with the texts written in the TOEFL Reading section. Candidates must engage actively with the passages by highlighting and writing the keywords or points, summarising the paragraphs and framing sentences.

Candidates need to preview the texts while preparing for the exam, set a purpose of why they are reading the passage or texts, jot down key ideas and important details or any question that can come up, and visualize the content.

Must Read: IELTS vs TOEFL: What Are the Differences?

Attempt Practice Tests

Giving practice tests on a regular basis will improve your overall performance in the TOEFL Reading section. Candidates must practice tests under timed conditions to experience the actual TOEFL Reading exam. This will help them in analysing their performance, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement, wherever possible.


Who conducts the TOEFL exam?

The TOEFL exam is conducted by the Education Testing Service, which is the world’s largest private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization.

How to score more in the TOEFL Reading section?

The TOEFL Reading section requires candidates to cover all the passages within the given time. So candidates must develop the habit of reading English tests with sufficient speed and understanding the sentence structure in a single try. It’s very important that they familiarize themselves with the structure of this section, and work on their vocabulary.

What is the duration of the TOEFL Reading section?

TOEFL reading has a time duration of 54 to 72 minutes, where candidates have to give their responses to all the questions.

Practising these tips consistently will provide you with exposure to the various academic texts asked in the TOEFL Reading section. Develop a systematic study plan and follow these strategies to enhance your TOEFL Reading score.

Candidates who want to prepare for TOEFL or any other language proficiency test, can Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college.

Fulfil your dreams of studying abroad with Leverage Edu, to get a free counselling session, reach us at 1800572130

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *