This video provides you with useful tips and techniques to improve your reading comprehension for the TOEFL test. Here are the most important points to take into consideration:

Improve speed

The first thing you have to realise is that you have to set yourself a goal to improve your reading speed. Every TOEFL passage is around 700 words and for each one you will have about 20 minutes to complete both reading and answering the questions. This means you have to look for texts with a similar length. A good practice is to measure your timing.

Determine the main idea and supporting ideas

Next, you will have to determine the main idea of the passage. This is one of the most important points of the section. After that, divide the passage into paragraphs and determine the main ideas of each paragraph separately. Finally, for each paragraph’s main idea, assign the contributing supporting ideas. This will help you create a clear structure of the text and better understand its meaning.


The best sources for your preparation are obviously academic textbooks. They provide you with the most accurate reading material for the TOEFL examination.

Another good source might be scientific magazines with advanced vocabulary.

IBD exercises and paper based tests are also very good sources.

It might be smart to also consider other test materials, such as IELTS or Cambridge First Certificate. If you want to make it a bit harder for yourself, use GRE or GMAT sources.

The last and not best recommendation would be novels and newspapers. If you lack other options, these could be applicable, but as they do not contain the same language used in TOEFL, you are not advised to use them. However, they could be of good use for improving your speed and vocabulary.

Start early and practice every day

The most important thing is to read every day! Start 3 or 4 months prior to the test day and don’t focus on just reading because then you will be neglecting the other three sections. Read texts that are entertaining for you, but also materials which are harder to understand. At the end of the day, the exam is fixed and you cannot choose your own passages.