Test of English as a Foreign Language
TOEFL iBT Reading Section
Academic Reading Skills
The reading section measures your ability to understand university-level academic texts and passages. In many academic settings around the world, students are expected to read and understand information from textbooks and other academic materials written in English. The following are three purposes for academic reading:
Reading to find information
Reading to learn
Reading section format
The TOEFL iBT uses reading passages from university-level textbooks that introduce a discipline or topic. The excerpts are changed as little as possible so the TOEFL iBT can measure how well students can read academic material.
The passages cover a variety of different subjects. You should not be concerned if you are unfamiliar with a topic. The passage contains all the information needed to answer the questions.
All passage are Classified into three basic categories:
Often, passages present information about the topic from more than one perspective or point of view. This is something you should note as you read. Usually, you are asked one question that allows you to demonstrate that you understood the general organization of the passage. Common organization types that you should be able to recognize are:
You must read through or scroll to the end of each passage before receiving questions on that passage. Once the questions appear, the passage appears on the right side of the computer screen. The questions are on the left.
You do not need any special background knowledge to answer the questions in the Reading section correctly, but the definition of difficult words or phrases in the passage may be provided. If you click on the word, a definition appears in the lower left part of the screen.
The 60 to 100 minutes allotted for this section include time for reading the passage and answering the questions.
Reading Question Formats
There are three question formats in the Reading section:
Reading to learn questions
These questions test your ability to recognize how the passage is organized and understand the relationships among facts and ideas in different parts of the passage.
You are asked to sort information and place the text options provided into a category chart or summary. The summary questions are worth up to 2 points each. The chart questions are worth up to 3 points if there are five options presented and up to 4 points if there are seven options presented. Partial credit is given in this question format.
Questions in this category are in multiple-choice format. They test your ability to select the answer choice that most accurately paraphrases a sentence from the passage.
You can click on some special purpose words and phrases in the reading passages to view a definition or explanation of the term.
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