The contents of this page gives a complete structure of TOEFL reading syllabus. Every section of TOEFL reading syllabus is elaborated in detail in this page.

TOEFL Reading Syllabus

Reading syllabus in TOEFL is integrated for the primary purpose of improving the reading skills of a student. Many colleges and universities in native English speaking countries, assigns the students, with reading task, who are in their post secondary year. Moreover time management is important to provide correct responses and for reading without any lapse in pronunciation and grammar. TOEFL Reading syllabus is based on the format of reading section test paper, which is applicable for both internet based and paper based reading test. Detailed information on TOEFL reading syllabus is elaborated below.

Complete TOEFL Reading Syllabus

The total time for paper based TOEFL reading test is 55 minutes while it is 60 to 100 minutes for internet based reading test. So reading syllabus is structured in such a way that a student would find it easier to manage time in both the formats. Reading syllabus is divided into following parts:

  • There are 3 to 5 passages on academic topics
  • Each passage is followed by 12 to 14 questions

This is how the structure of reading syllabus is divided. The length of each passage will be 700 words. Practicing the passages on academic topics becomes easier not only with reading skills, but it serves main purposes like:

  • Basic Understanding - Basic understanding is where a student should locate the purpose and main idea of a passage. The purpose and main idea could be identified from introductory passage. This is a must to find the other aspects in a text.
  • Speed and Accuracy - Important details and key facts should be located in a very short period in order to answer all the questions. Speed and accuracy is necessary to find the key facts.
  • Learning from Reading - Once the main idea, key facts and relevant details are located, the cause of the events or records is identified to organize those events in a chronological order.
  • Pronoun Reference - There are some pronouns which would be highlighted in a passage. Here the task is to identify the nouns referred by the highlighted pronouns.
  • Author’s Point of View (Inference) - The conclusions in the passage is not expressed directly. Not necessarily every passage should have a conclusion in the end. Some of the passages imply or give conclusions in an indirect manner. These types of implications could also be found in the body of a passage. Inference i.e. passage should be read from the author’s point of view.

How do these purposes serve the topic of the passage and the questions in reading syllabus?

These purposes or skills become important while answering the questions. The scores in reading test depend on the responses of a student for a question. And the questions are based on the purposes mentioned above. These questions are of the following types.

  • Main Idea Questions, Key Facts (Specifics), Paraphrase Questions - These types of questions requires answers which would give what’s the central idea of a passage. Then the main purpose should be rewritten in one’s own words (paraphrasing).
  • Reference Questions (Pronoun Reference) and Structure Questions - These types of questions would ask a student to locate the best position in a passage, where a new sentence (relevant) could be inserted.
  • Except Questions (Unsupported Facts) and Read to Learn Questions - Answers to these questions should categorize important ideas in a passage.
  • Inference Questions -  Answers to these questions needs a student to find the implications from an author’s point of view.

From the detailed information on TOEFL reading syllabus given above one thing is obvious. It is not necessary for a student to understand each and every minute detail given in the passage, but students are measured on their ability to identify the hints, and to organize their ideas with minimum lapse in their handling of language.

More in TOEFL

  • Identification Documents for TOEFL Registration

    TOEFL tests the proficiency of a person in Standard English. Please go through the details on the identification documents for TOEFL registration.

  • TOEFL Reading Test Structure

    The contents of this page expatiates the details in TOEFL reading and test structure. Read on for more details on the same.


    TOEFL FAQs gives answers for commonly asked questions that are concerned with TOEFL test structure, fee structure, scoring range, TOEFL syllabus and other information on TOEFL. It may be defined as an aspect to widen your knowledge base about TOEFL.

  • TOEFL Writing Test Structure

    The purpose of writing section in TOEFL is to test the ability of a student to write Standard English in an academic environment. The tasks in TOEFL writing test structure is elaborated in this page.

  • TOEFL Speaking Test Structure

    This page presents the facts about TOEFL Speaking Test Structure. This information will be obliging for the test takers who want to know everything about the speaking section TOEFL.

  • Internet Based TOEFL Vs Paper Based TOEFL

    This article highlights the differences between internet Based TOEFL Vs Paper based TOEFL. Read on to know the differences between the available formats of the test.

  • TOEFL Preparation Books and Material

    The article below gives a detailed list of TOEFL Preparation Books. Having proper study materials is very important for preparation. Read on to know the best study materials and guides available for TOEFL.

  • TOEFL Strategies for Listening Section

    This page contains information and tips on TOEFL strategies for listening section. Each strategy in listening section is detailed, to show how to answer each question within the given time.

  • Checklist and Test Day Essentials For TOEFL

    This article portrays the checklist of test day essentials for TOEFL. The importance of having a checklist is explained in a detailed manner along with the key points. Read on to know the easy tips for the test day.

  • TOEFL General Tips

    This article elucidates some of the most successful TOEFL general tips for preparing for the exam. These tips are handy and very necessary for succeeding in the test. Check out the various tips in this page to crack TOEFL.

  • TOEFL Strategies For Speaking Section

    This article states the important TOEFL Strategies For Speaking Section. Read on to know the detailed information on various tips and strategies useful for speaking section in TOEFL.

  • TOEFL Advantages

    This article describes the TOEFL advantages. It is very important to know the benefits of the test before you plan to take it. Read below to know the key points on how TOEFL can be advantageous.

  • Paper Based TOEFL

    TOEFL is a test for English as a foreign language. It is offered in paper based format only in few test centers. Read on for more to know the steps to register for paper based TOEFL and to score in the test.

  • How To Prepare For TOEFL

    TOEFL aims at measuring the ability of non native English speakers who desire to study in English speaking countries. Here are some guidelines and easy tips on how to prepare for TOEFL. Read on to know more about TOEFL preparation.

  • Next Generation TOEFL

    The purpose of next generation TOEFL is to show its evolutionary history and to provide tips on how to prepare for the next generation TOEFL which is nothing but internet based TOEFL (iBT) test. Further details are expatiated in this page.

  • TOEFL Speaking Syllabus

    This page contains the complete information on TOEFL speaking syllabus. Browse through the article to know the different sections in the speaking section of TOEFL.

  • TOEFL Writing Syllabus

    The contents of this page contains detailed information on the structure of TOEFL writing syllabus. Read on more to know each and every section in TOEFL writing syllabus.

  • TOEFL Listening Syllabus

    The main purpose of TOEFL listening syllabus is to help candidates in their preparation for listening test. The complete details in each part of the test are given in detail in this article.

  • Internet Based TOEFL

    This page describes the key points about internet based TOEFL. Read on to know about the facts of internet based TOEFL which is preferred by millions of candidates vying for studies abroad.

  • Top Institutions And Programs That Accept TOEFL Scores

    This article highlights on who accepts TOEFL score. TOEFL is an international level test and it is important to know the best top list of universities that accept TOEFL score. Read on to know the details.

  • TOEFL Reading Practice Questions

    Practice questions in reading section proposes to provide tips for those who take up the test, and to get familiar with the types of questions and how to answer them within the given time. Read on for more details on TOEFL Practice Questions.

  • TOEFL Listening Practice Questions

    Listening skills are important to take up TOEFL tests. TOEFL listening practice questions provides tips on how to understand the subject matter and a detailed picture on the types of listening questions in TOEFL.

  • How To Score High in TOEFL

    This page explores few important key points on how to score high in TOEFL/ Test of English as a Foreign Language.

  • Eligibility Criteria for Disabled TOEFL Test Takers

    This article provides detailsed information on eligibility criteria for disabled TOEFL Test Takers. Read on to know the key points and provisions made for disabled test takers in TOEFL.

  • Identification Proof for TOEFL Test Takers with Disabilities

    This article elaborates on the important identification proof for TOEFL test takers with disabilities. Browse through the article to know the detailed information on the documents required for TOEFL test takers with disabilities.

  • TOEFL Reading Sample Questions

    The objective of TOEFL reading sample questions is to provide an idea on the types of questions in the reading section of the test. Along with the questions there are also directions on how to answer which are also elaborated in this article.

  • TOEFL Writing Sample Questions

    This article consists of sample questions for TOEFL Writing section and it also provides tips on how to answer these questions. For more details on TOEFL writing sample questions check over this page.

  • TOEFL Listening Sample Questions

    TOEFL listening sample questions will help in providing a real time experience in listening test section. The main purpose of this document is to give guidelines on how to answer all the questions in listening section.