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

TOEFL Reading Test Structure

Listening is the workshop which levers us to learn a language. Human Brain is a master in listening, aping, and then absorbing, to produce the product it had listened to. Also language is the hub of communication. And communication is the first need to develop our ideas and meet our needs. That’s why brain ties up with the language as a primary step for communication. Everyone can speak their native language with ease because they have been learning it from the time they were born. But when it comes to a foreign language like English, massive listening and reading is a must so that non-native speakers can speak English as a native English speaker. TOEFL is projected towards measuring the quality of English of non-native English speakers. There comes the need of acute reading and listening skills.

The reason for the designing the reading test structure is apparent from the facts presented so far. This section in TOEFL test also serves multiple purposes like testing the speed, level of understanding, etc. The detail on TOEFL reading test structure is elaborated below to give a clear picture of what does this section contains.

Complete TOEFL Reading Test Structure

Reading section in iBT (Internet based TOEFL) consists of 3-5 passages. The time allotted for this section ranges from 60 to 100 minutes. Each passage is followed by 12 to 14 questions. The length of each paragraph is approximately 700 words. There are certain set of skills required for reading test structure. They are:

  • Speed and Accuracy - The information will be given through some key facts in the passage. The passage should be read and analyzed to identify the information hidden in the key facts, providing that it should be done in a fast pace.
  • Basic Understanding – Logical reasoning is a must to understand the basic facts and details, references esp. the pronoun references, main ideas, illations (inference) and the purpose or substance of the passage.
  • Relating the Cause and Ideas – After basic understanding of substance in the passage, there should be a comparison of key facts. Only when you understand the key facts shall you comprehend the cause of the passage. Then only can you construct an appropriate argument, which would help to relate key facts, and ideas. So it becomes easier to trace, how those ideas serve the purpose of the passage.
  • Infer from the author’s view point – The concluding statements may not be given in the passage. They will be implied or expressed indirectly in between the passages. Therefore the conclusion should be inferred from the author’s point of view.

After reading the passage students are asked to answer the questions related to the passage. Those questions are of the types given below:

  • Main Idea Questions, Key Facts Questions, and Paraphrase Questions - It gives the main idea or the central idea of a paragraph. The overall picture or idea of the passage is the content of main idea questions.
  • Reference Questions (pronoun reference questions) and Structure Questions - In this type of question students will be asked to insert a new sentence that would suit the main purpose of the passage. The rule of this question is to find a suitable position in the passage to insert the new sentence.
  • Except/Least questions (looking for facts that do not support the passage) and Reading to learn questions - In this category important idea should be selected and categorized.
  • Inference questions – This is the place where students have to find the conclusion that is expressed indirectly, anywhere in the passage. This could be done only when a student observes the passage from the author’s point of view.

These is the reading structure that is applicable for both PBT (Paper based TOEFL) and iBT (Internet Based TOEFL) too. The only difference between an iBT and PBT reading section is the timing. A student is given 55 minutes to complete PBT reading test.

Reading is an art and it can be fun when it is done in any form like reading books, reading a newspaper etc. The beauty of this art is apparent only when it is followed with heart and soul. When it is given a focus, the art of reading becomes not only a fun, but also turns into a skill which includes rise of logical thoughts, ideas, and your point of view towards them etc. By the time a student goes through the TOEFL reading structure, his reading skills would have improved.

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