TOEFL test starts first with the reading section. When you sit down in front of the computer in the test center after going through the turning on the computer and entering some personal information, you will be beginning with adjusting your microphone and will be asked to give some trial recordings to see if your microphone is working, then you will start with the reading section. Listening section starts right after this section.

There is a new update on this section. Test used to include 12-14 questions per one article but now we have 10 questions per article. This also means that we will now have less time to answer questions per one article which is 18 minutes. So it means that the test itself does not take so much time as it used to take.

TOEFL Reading Content

The content of the paragraphs are generally related with the scientific topics. Such as history, art, biology astrology and so on. However, the prior background information regarding to those topics are not necessary. The paragraphs are already self explanatory so even if you do not have any idea about what happened in the paleolithic era, which is also known as old stone age, you will be able to answer the questions since the articles are self-explanatory. It is also important to notice that the paragraphs are designed in a way that it has introduction, development and conclusion parts which is not explicitly highlighted but as usual this is how the paragraphs are designed.

TOEFL Reading Timing

Timing is vital concern in order to get a high mark on the reading section and also being able to answer all the questions that are on the test. There has been a new update on the exam which changed the reading section. Now we have 18 minutes per passage which used to be like 20 minutes and also we have 10 questions instead of 12-14. It means that the test is not lengthy anymore which will also help us to maintain or concentration throughout the exam.

It is important not to dwell on one question since the time is the main concern. It is also possible to jump between the questions but I do not recommend it since it is better to tackle the question once you are on that paragraph. This will cause some distraction and will effect your stress level during the test.

Check out this article on the TOEFL timing.

TOEFL Reading Question Types

The question types in the exam are in the following:

  • Detail
  • Vocabulary
  • Reference
  • Inference
  • Purpose
  • Paraphrase
  • Insert Text
  • Drag and drop 

TOEFL Reading Tips

Reading section is all about strategies and tactics. If you know the question type and the strategy that is relevant to that question type the rest is just to read what is on the paragraph finding the keywords and matching that keyword with what is on the choices. For that reason, it is important to notice that strategies and tactics are playing a crucial role on scoring high on this test.

Read the passage first and use skimming technique. Skimming is basically going through the paragraph by only reading the first couple of sentence and the last sentence of that paragraph so that you can obtain general idea about the topic which will help you answering the questions easily.

My recommendation is to skimming the whole paragraph before even seeing the first question in the exam. Exam starts with the paragraph and then by clicking next the question will appear. For that reason, it is important to note that skim through the first sentences of each paragraph within the conclusion sentence so that you will have an idea of what the general topic is.

Remember each question type has its own unique way to tackle it. I have already prepared series of videos showing the strategies to tackle each and every type of reading questions so I highly recommend you watching these Youtube videos that are available both on my channel and here on this website.

Check out ETS website for test scores