The TOEFL vocabulary is in every section of the exam. It helps you in reading, listening, speaking and writing. However, there are only explicit vocabulary questions in the Reading section. So, what kind of vocabulary is good for the TOEFL? You can study phrasal verbs for general English improvement, for example. But, since the TOEFL is academic, you should be studying academic vocabulary. Not all parts of the exam are academic - some are conversational. Nevertheless, the academic vocabulary is mostly important. Now, let’s examine some words that are not vocabulary question words. Rather they are words that appear in common questions:

#1. Infer

To infer means to get the meaning from something, even though it was not said exactly specifically. For example, your mom bakes cookies, you eat a cookie and you say that the cookies are salty. You didn’t say they were bad, just salty. However, cookies are not supposed to be salty. So you are implying that these cookies are not very good. And you mother might infer that you think the cookies are not good.

Check out: TOEFL Vocabulary – Disagreement Verbs (Video)

#2. Essential

You will definitely see this word in your test. It means “important”. It is so important that if you don’t know it there will be a problem. It is indispensable – you need it. It is an integral part of something that is bigger.

#3. Cast

This word has many definitions. As a verb it means “to throw”, to hurl something in the distance. For example, the sun casts light. On the TOEFL though, you are going to see a question that says you should choose which points from a lecture cast doubt on the points in the text. It is metaphorical, not a literal usage of the word, but it suggests something, in this context, that renders something dubious or “throws” something into doubt.