TOEFL reading practice

Updated on: Sep 11, 2023

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standard assessment taken by international students to determine their level of proficiency in the English language. The TOEFL exam assesses a person’s level of English fluency by determining their strength in fundamental language skills. It is a renowned exam accepted by more than 11,500 educational institutions in over 160 countries. 

The TOEFL exam pattern consists of four sections that hold equal importance in determining the candidate’s level of proficiency in English. Here’s everything you need to know about TOEFL reading practice.

TOEFL reading practice: An overview

TOEFL full formTest of English as a Foreign Language
Conducted byEducational Testing Services (ETS)
No. of questions in the TOEFL reading section30-40
Duration (in minutes)54-72
Total score30

Also read: TOEFL vs IELTS

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TOEFL reading practice: Key Highlights

  • The TOEFL reading section consists of 30 to 40 questions, which you are required to complete in 54 to 72 minutes.
  • This section consists of 3-4 passages to test your reading skills and evaluates how you understand the meaning of the text and deliver the correct answer. 
  • The passages involve topics based on everyday issues, usually from university-level books.
  • The passages are from subjects like humanities, science, social science, business, and marketing, among others.
  • The TOEFL reading practice marks range from 0-30.

TOEFL reading practice: Questions to expect

The best TOEFL reading practice is to understand the syllabus. This, in turn, will help you solve the tasks effectively. These questions analyse and determine the candidate’s ability to read and understand the concept. While attending the TOEFL reading section, you can expect these question formats. 

  • Factual information
  • Negative factual information
  • Inference
  • Rhetorical
  • Vocabulary
  • Insert text
  • Sentence explanation
  • Prose summary

TOEFL reading practice syllabus

TOEFL reading section questionsDescription
Factual informationYou should identify the accurate information from the options, like the underlying idea, facts, and definitions. 
Negative factual informationYou must identify the incorrect fact or information from the four options in the negative factual information questions.
InferenceThe interference questions require you to find the ambiguous statement from the passage.
RhetoricalRhetorical questions require you to read the passage and determine the purpose of the statement.
VocabularyBased on the passage, you should provide the most appropriate meaning of particular words.
Insert textThese questions test your ability to logically place ideas without compromising on the grammatical elements in the passage.
Sentence explanationYou should choose the sentence that best explains the statement given in a simpler form.
Prose summaryYou should analyse the passage's main idea and summarise the information.

TOEFL reading practice questions

Here are some of the best TOEFL reading practice questions for you to get an idea of what to expect during the exam.

Factual information

  • According to paragraph 1, which of the following statement is true?
  • According to paragraph 5, what is the idea of X?
  • Paragraph 4 says which of the following statements about Z?

Negative factual information

  • According to paragraph 3, which of the following statements is not true about the building?
  • All the statements in paragraph 2 are true except.
  • Which of the following is not mentioned in paragraph 5?


  • Which of the following statements is likely to be true about X?
  • Which of the following can be inferred about the person?
  • What is implied about Y in paragraph 3?


  • Why did X say it in paragraph 2?
  • Why did the narrator mention Z in the first paragraph?
  • Mention the appropriate reason why Y went to the city.


  • Choose the closest meaning to word X in paragraph 1.
  • The phrase Z in paragraph 3 means.
  • What is the closest meaning to the word Y in paragraph 2?

Insert text

  • Check the four sentences marked (A), (B), (C), and (D) and choose where the sentence would fit best in the passage.

Sentence explanation

  • Which of the following conveys the information in the highlighted phrase?
  • Choose the option that provides the meaning of the highlighted sentence.

Prose summary

  • An introductory sentence for a brief summary is provided below. Complete the summary by choosing from the below options that best express the underlying meaning of the passage.

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Best tips to prepare for TOEFL reading

The TOEFL reading practice might look challenging, but you can ace the exam with ample practice. Here are some useful tips to help prepare for the TOEFL exam:

  • Familiarise yourself with the exam format. This will help you analyse and understand the various sections present in the TOEFL exam.
  • Prepare a study plan and track your progress with each study session.
  • Make use of the TOEFL study material. Different practice materials and study guides help you understand the question format and prepare you for the exam.
  • Read different sources like newspapers, magazines, and books every day. It will help you improve your reading skills, including your pace, skimming ability, and others.
  • Take mock tests and keep track of the progress. Make sure to analyse your mistakes and work on rectifying them.
  • Improve your vocabulary.

Also read: Best books for TOEFL exam preparation

Frequently asked questions

How do I practice reading for TOEFL?

Here are some ways to practice reading for the TOEFL exam.

  • Read newspapers, magazines, and books to improve your reading skills. This would enhance your pace, skimming ability, and others.
  • Take mock tests and work on your mistakes and rectify them.
  • Improve your vocabulary.

What is the reading format for TOEFL?

The TOEFL reading section consists of three to four passages with 30 to 40 questions in total to test your reading skills in English. You are required to complete the reading section in 54 to 72 minutes.

How many questions are in the TOEFL reading section?

There are 30 to 40 questions in total in the TOEFL reading section.

How many times can you take the TOEFL test?

You can retake the TOEFL exam as many times as you want. Candidates appear for the TOEFL exam to improve their scores. Remember that you can take the exam once every 12 days, as you can register for the exam within the mentioned time frame.