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The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (Fourth Edition) Book Review

Nobody makes a practice question like the people who make the test, right? There are hundreds of places you can find practice TOEFL questions, and hundreds of them will be poorly made. There’s a much smaller number—only a handful of, really—of places you can look for well made practice. But there’s only one place you can get official practice, and that’s from ETS.

So, in a way, this review is over before it begins. This book has the most accurate-to-the-test practice questions, period. Well, that’s the main attraction, but to be honest, the Official Guide is actually very lacking in many areas. Let’s break down the most important part of any TOEFL prep book and see how good the Official Guide really is:

 

Included Practice Material

While it may have the best practice TOEFL questions, The Official Guide to the TOEFL offers a middling amount of material, really. There are three full practice tests, which is great. Those alone make about 12 hours of practice material. But outside of those practice tests, the examples are a bit sparse. For some reason, the authors included a good amount of reading samples—there are five additional passages outside of the practice tests—but very little speaking practice, and no audio for any examples outside of the practice tests. Since the speaking, listening, and writing sections all rely heavily on audio recordings, this cripples the material outside of the practice tests.

What’s more, there are no skill-building exercises in the book, such as brainstorming practice, identifying grammar errors, or any of the many other helpful exercises you’ll find in other books. There is a “writer’s handbook” at the end, but it simply lists common English mistakes (in an apparently random order) and does not offer any practice exercises for these small lessons. The lack of skill-building material is a huge flaw.

The included CD is a great resource. On it, there are three practice tests in a format that’s very similar (but not completely identical) to the real test. But there’s one problem: these are the same three tests that are in the book on paper. So this doesn’t add much value.

 

Explanations

This is one of the most important parts of any test preparation book. If you get a question wrong while practicing, you have to know why you got it wrong. The Official Guide doesn’t really provide this for reading and listening questions.

Yes, there are explanations, but they’re really not helpful. There are no explanations for why wrong answers are actually wrong, only brief descriptions of why the correct answers are correct. And usually, this reads similar to “A is correct because A is correct.” Well, thanks, ETS! That’s very insightful!

The best part of the explanations is the examples of high- and low-level speaking responses. These are real responses from real test takers, and there are a total of 36 of them—one high and one low from each speaking task on each test, with comments from the grader. Similarly, there are many examples of essays; there’s a sample of each score (1-6) of each essay in easy practice test, along with grader comments. Again, that’s 36 sample essays with comments. This actually is very helpful.

 

Test Strategy and Advice

Maybe ETS wants people to believe that there are no strategies for increasing your score on the TOEFL. This would be good for them: if that was true, then the test would only measure your English abilities, rather than your test-taking abilities. That would explain why there is such minimal strategy in the book. But fortunately for us, there are strategies that can help you to improve your TOEFL scores. Only ETS doesn’t really address them.

The only real specific advice on how to approach specific question types is in the descriptions of each type, and it’s mostly limited to the obvious advice. There are no practice exercises for learning these strategies. This is another big issue.

Meanwhile, many TOEFL books have the opposite problem from the Official Guide. That is, they try to convince you that the test is all strategy. It’s not. The most important way to raise your score is simply to get more English experience. So I have to agree with the Official Guide’s writers on this point: you have to practice your English outside of doing bookwork and test practice to get a higher TOEFL score. The book does a good job of stressing this fact.

But it becomes a bit repetitive when you see the same advice for the third time. Yes, joining an English club to get speaking practice is a good idea. Is it a revolutionary thought? Not really. Does it help me to see that advice more than once? I probably already knew it anyway, so no.

 

Writing Style

The writing is generally clear and concrete, which is great. It’s not especially exciting, but that’s okay. It would be nice if there was less focus on the dry, factual information and more focus on the test taker’s experience, but this is not a huge problem.

It’s great that some of the more difficult vocabulary words in the book are defined in footnotes, but this book does include many descriptions and explanations which are not written for non-native speakers. It would be helpful if those non-practice text sections (such as explanations) were very clear and easy to read. If you are already scoring above 80 on the TOEFL, this shouldn’t be a problem. But for the lower levels of TOEFL takers, the English level of the writing might be too difficult.

 

Report Card:

Authenticity of practice material: A+

Amount of practice material: B-

Quality of explanations: C+

Skill building material: F

Test strategy and advice: C

Writing style: B

 

The Final Word:

The Official Guide to the TOEFL test is the best source for realistic practice tests. It is helpful for students who are unfamiliar with the test but do not expect to need a lot of preparation. If you already know the test, and you need to build your English skills and test-taking skills, this book is not for you.

 

About the Author

Lucas is an SAT and TOEFL expert at Magoosh and has been teaching standardized test preparation since 2008, including the SAT, ACT and TOEFL. He lived in Prague for two years yet speaks better Japanese than he does Czech. Follow him on Google+!

60 Responses to The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (Fourth Edition) Book Review

  1. Amit December 3, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Lucas

    Great review! Keep it up.

    I am starting to prepare for TOEFL. I need help selecting my sources of books for the preparation. I would appreciate if you can advise me which book/books are the best for the purpose.

    Thanks
    Amit

    • Lucas
      Lucas December 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Amit,

      Good question! I’m still working through various TOEFL books to write reviews of them all and choose the best, but as of now I’d recommend Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test. Many of the practice questions aren’t—reading especially can be a bit different from the real test—but the skill-building exercises are generally helpful and the there’s a lot of material. If you only need to become familiar with the test, though, the official guide may be the only thing you need.

      • Amit December 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        Dear Lucas

        Thanks a ton for the recommendation.

        I find that the latest edition of the Cambridge Preparation for TOEFL is 4th, published in 2006. In your opinion, is the book still good for conforming to and being useful for the latest test pattern? I am not sure whether the test has witnessed any change in content, ways of testing etc. since 2006.

        Amit

        • Lucas
          Lucas December 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

          Hi Amit,

          You’re welcome, of course! There’s been no change to the TOEFL since 2006 (standardized tests rarely change), so the Cambridge Preparation is still a valuable resource. Happy studying!

          Lucas

          • Amit December 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

            Thanks once again for the clarification Lucas! I appreciate your advice.

      • Mário César February 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

        Hi Lucas,
        I just bought the Barron’s book for intensive everyday practice and the Official Guide CD-ROM to do the full tests on the weekends and get familiar with TOEFL structure. Is this a good approach?
        Thank you in advance!

        • Lucas
          Lucas February 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

          Well, I don’t have a very high opinion of Barron’s TOEFL iBT. Your general study schedule is a good idea. Taking official, full length practice tests regularly is definitely important, and the Official Guide is a good resource for that. Make sure you’re aware of the problems with Barron’s, though; don’t believe everything in the book. You can still get good practice from it, but trust the official guide on the difficulty and details of the real test.

  2. ALEXHOU January 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    For me I think the CD attached to the book has one good improvements: they improved the user interface of OG(offical guide), which is quite confusing in the last version. But the method of time-counting is a little different in the Listening section: in OG 4th, there are 60 minutes for the whole listening section. But in TPO there are only 10 minutes for students to answer questions in one section.
    Plus there are some revisions in the Listening section. They removed math from Physical Science section. They also made a more clear explanation towards the Gist-Purpose Questions.

    • Lucas
      Lucas January 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Awesome! Thanks for filling in some details on the change between editions. The timer for the listening section in the OG software isn’t like the real test, it’s true. The TPO gives a more accurate test experience.

  3. aleksander January 18, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    Hello Lucas.Really helpful and interesting your analysis.I think that only i few students tend to tell such truths on reviews.

    Anyway, I want a big favor from your side.Can you send me a link to download the entire CD of ETS 4th Edition brcause i have lost them and doing the 4 full tests from the book is a bit annoying.

    Thank you pal!

    • Lucas
      Lucas January 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      I’m glad that you’ve like the reviews, Aleksander! I can’t provide a copy of the CD, though, since it’s copyrighted material. To simply copy it and put it online would be piracy. I understand what you mean about using the paper tests, though—it’s definitely different from taking a computer test—so I sympathize! I’m really sorry I can’t be of more help with that.

  4. Julia January 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi,
    You said that format of the practice test is very similar to the real test. I would like to know if this is true. Did you talk to anybody who recently took a test? Do you think that integrated writing task is in the same format? usually three very clear points in the reading and three points (agree or opose) in the lecture. Should I expect something different? and what this could be? Thank you so much!
    Julia

    • Lucas
      Lucas January 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      Hi Julia,

      Yes, I do know somebody who took the test recently: me. :-) That format is true of almost all TOEFL integrated writing tasks, yes. The reading makes three points, and the lecture opposes those three points (usually in a different order). Sometimes–very occasionally–the lecture agrees with the reading, and very, very rarely, there is a cause-effect relationship or something else a little bit different (the reading describes three steps to a phenomenon and the lecture gives a specific example which illustrates those three steps, for example).

      The content of the Official Guide (and anything else from ETS) is the most reliable source for realistic practice. The only important exception in this book is the first practice test, which is older and has one conversation in the listening that’s slightly different from more recent TOEFL tests. Generally, if you see it in the Official Guide, you can expect to see something similar on your test.

      • Julia February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

        Thank you so much! My exam is in 5 days and I am super streesed!

        • Lucas
          Lucas February 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

          You’re welcome, and good luck on test day!

  5. Kshitiz March 5, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Hi !
    Thank You! For Your Awesome Post!
    I have ETS-TOEFL OG 3rd Edition.
    I was wondering if 4th edition is different from 3rd edition?
    Do I need to buy the 4th edition?
    Thank You!

    • Lucas
      Lucas March 10, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Good question! There are just a couple of changes between the 3rd and 4th edition:

      1) There’s one more practice test in the 4th edition (this is important to know!).
      2) The CD in the 3rd edition doesn’t work on Macs.
      3) The “writer’s handbook” isn’t in the 3rd edition. (It’s not very helpful anyway.)

      So the 3rd edition is definitely okay to use, although the 4th edition is better because of the extra practice test. When you use both tests in the 3rd edition, if you need more, I recommend the book of 5 Official TOEFLs (with the red cover).

      • Kshitiz March 19, 2014 at 7:47 am #

        Thank You!

      • vinay August 2, 2014 at 6:30 am #

        Can we download the practice test from internet??
        If yes, let me know the links pls..

        Or Cambridge guide tests are enough??

        • Lucas
          Lucas August 11, 2014 at 11:33 am #

          The Cambridge guide is good, but for a practice test that’s close to the real thing, we definitely recommend the official guide. Whether the Cambridge book is “enough” depends entirely on where you start from, what you need, and how much time and energy you can put into your studies. Just remember that while the practice tests may be decent practice, there are some reading and listening questions which have flaws, and you shouldn’t consider the score of the practice test to be what you’ll get on the real thing—official tests are better for that.

          Unfortunately, there are no free official practice tests for download—at least not yet! I do hope ETS releases full practice TOEFLs at some point.

  6. Natasha Rakó March 25, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Hola Lucas!

    What an awesome review and of course your self experience!

    Actually im starting to prepare for Proficiency test.,(later on definetly TOEFL) and i saw in other pages really good reviews about CAMBRIDGE PREPARATION TOEFL fourth edition and decided to study from there wich i think it will help me alot. I would appreciate if you can advise me about how to improve doing essays since is my Achilles heel ?

    Thank you!

    Natasha

    • Lucas
      Lucas March 25, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Hi, Natasha!

      You’re referring to the CPE when you say “Proficiency Test,” right? I should mention that the CPE is very different from the TOEFL both in structure and content, so a TOEFL book such as Cambridge TOEFL might not be the best choice when preparing for the CPE. I haven’t taught the CPE before, personally (only CAE, FCE, and PET), so I’m afraid I don’t have any recommendations for the CPE, but if you are going to take the TOEFL later, Cambridge TOEFL is a good choice for that. :-)

      As for improving your essays, there are really two very important things: read a lot and write a lot. Reading is very important to improve your writing—it helps you learn new vocabulary, learn new grammar structures, improve spelling, and reinforce grammar you already know. But if you don’t also write regularly, it’s easier to forget those things you learn while reading. You need to use the things you learn, imitate what you read in your own writing, to make long-term improvement. For the TOEFL, it’s best if you read academic texts. The science and technology sections of advanced English news sources are great, challenging practice.

      And here’s an exercise that’s really helpful for the TOEFL, specifically. After you read an English article, if you can, sit down and write a summary of what you just read. You don’t need to include your opinion or any other information, just a few hundred words of your own—not copying—that explains what you learned from the text. That gives you opportunity to both learn and practice natural English, plus use the types of words and phrases you’ll need on the TOEFL to reference a reading and lecture.

  7. Vivian March 31, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Hello Lucas! I am planning to take TOEFL test this coming May 10. I am weak in English Vocabulary and grammar. What is your best recommendation for a month preparation. I am shopping around, I will start to study tomorrow April 1.( I hope that don’t get fooled of choosing guide book !) . Based on your review,should I get Official Guide to the Toefl Test 4th edition?
    Notice that it is only a month preparation , I would appreciate your advice of the best approach to get the required score. I need Official TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper test), 213 (computer test).

    • Lucas
      Lucas March 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi Vivian,

      First, be sure about which test you’re taking! The PBT (paper-based test) is very rare, depending on your country, and the CBT (computer-based test) is gone; most students take the IBT (internet-based test). That score is from 0 to 120, and it’s a very different test from the PBT. If you’re going to take the PBT, don’t buy the official guide! That book is only for the IBT.

      If you’re going to take the IBT, then you might like to follow [the study schedule Kate wrote](http://magoosh.com/toefl/2013/one-month-toefl-study-schedule/). That schedule is one month long and only requires the official guide. :-) Then, if you have more time to study or need more material, either the Complete Guide by Bruce Rogers or The Cambridge Guide to the TOEFL are great books for more detailed strategy and skill practice, not just descriptions of the test and practice questions.

      Again, though, those are for the IBT.

      Lucas

  8. Brandon April 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    Hello Lucas,

    what is the best book to prepare for toefl PBT?

    I have learned from Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test: The Paper Test. But it doesn’t help much. Because the practices in that book are easier than the real test. For example, the conversation in Listening Section is much slower, the questions in Structure is easier. I got 600 in practice, but only 430 in real test.

    Would you mind telling me the recommended books that are better for practicing to the TOEFL PBT test?
    Thanks

    • Lucas
      Lucas April 23, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Brandon,

      That’s a really good question, and I’m sorry but I don’t have a definite answer! My experience is limited to the iBT, unfortunately, because that test is much more common in the countries where I’ve taught. I do know that the Complete Guide to the iBT is a good book, and Bruce Rogers, the author, has also written a guide to the PBT. That would be the first one I’d look at, but I haven’t actually used it, so I can’t recommend it with any certainty!

      I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck in your search for PBT materials! If you do find good resources, I’d love to hear what you find, so I can recommend it to students in the future. :-)

      Lucas

  9. Basil April 29, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    A really great review
    would please kindly address the key differences between the 4th and 3rd editions of this guide, as the only one I can purchase is the third ( I’m in Syria ).
    thanks for your efforts

    • Lucas
      Lucas April 29, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      Glad you liked it! That’s a good question about the differences between the 3rd and 4th editions. The user “Kshitiz” asked the same question on this page, so you can find my answer there. :-) Happy studying, and good luck!

  10. coprofiker May 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi Lucas… I am from Middle East and I am getting ready for TOEFL exam. Some people in my immediate vicinity says that current TOEFL exams are in the same level of hardness with Cambridge Preparation. But as far as I could understand from your words Official Guide is the closest source to the real exam. So I reached the conclusion that It is the rightest thing to get ourselves accustomed to the level of Official Guide. If you clarify this point, I will appreciate it…
    Thanks for your articles by the way…

    • Lucas
      Lucas May 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Hi there,

      You’re right that the best source learn about the difficulty level of the test is the official guide (and the book of 5 official practice tests, too). Cambridge is a bit different from the real test. It’s close, but some questions aren’t very well written and on average the reading comprehension is a little bit harder, in my experience. Start with official material, and then if you need to do a lot of studying, preparation, and skill building move on to other, non-official books/lessons. :-)

      Lucas

  11. sara May 31, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Hi, Lucas…

    About the 2nd edition of the oficial guide of TOEFL?
    Do you believe is it still possible to study with it?
    Aditionally, I´m planning to buy the Cambridge book to complement.
    Thanks!

    • Lucas
      Lucas June 2, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      The 2nd edition is not quite the same as the later editions, because is doesn’t have practice tests. The practice tests are the most valuable part of the Official Guide, so I don’t really recommend the 2nd edition. Nonetheless, the description of the test in the 2nd edition guide is the same as 3rd and 4th editions. The main difference is just the practice tests.

  12. Niki June 5, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Hello Lucas!!

    In my first attempt for ibt i secured 24 in speaking but i need 26 . By any means i have to secure 26 in speaking , and other section in need total 89 . Could you please guide me : Which book should i use? what could be the preparation tricks + tips + strategies. ??

    Looking forward for your prompt response.

    Thank You.

    • Lucas
      Lucas June 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Niki,

      Well, I’m not sure if I can explain all preparation tips and strategies in just this one comment. :-) The most important thing for the speaking task is knowing exactly what your response will be like. It’s much easier to focus on your vocabulary and pronunciation if you are used to the format of the questions and your answers. That means studying each speaking task carefully to know what you need to do and then practicing it again and again.

      As for the best books, I recommend official material, of course, as well as either the Cambridge guide or Bruce Rogers’s Complete Guide. For speaking, the Complete Guide is probably a better choice.

      Good luck in your studies!

      Lucas

  13. A.V.Aravind June 23, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    What is the difference between the Official TOEFL Guide and Official Toefl Ibt Vol.1 W/cd 1st edition…. very confused

    • Lucas
      Lucas June 23, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Happy to clarify!

      The Official TOEFL Guide (with the blue cover) is mostly a description of the test. It comes with three practice tests at the back of the book. It also comes with a CD-rom that includes those same practice tests to use on the computer. There are a few different editions of this book. The current edition is the fourth edition. Earlier additions have fewer practice tests.

      Official TOEFL iBT Tests (with the red cover) is a book of only practice tests. There is no description of the TOEFL. This book does not include computer-based tests on a CD. Instead, the CD that comes with it only includes audio. There is only one edition of the red book of tests.

  14. meenu June 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    can you please suggest the best book to start learning for toefl? i would like a book with best skill building section…

    • Lucas
      Lucas June 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      The best skill-building book that I know of is Cambridge Preparation. You need the CDs to make full use, though, and they can be expensive. For a cheaper option, the Complete Guide is pretty good, and you can get the listening material for that book for free online from the publisher’s website.

  15. Anwar August 6, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Can you please provide a review on the Cliff’s TOEFL?

    • Lucas
      Lucas August 11, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Hi Anwar,

      I don’t know Cliff’s, but it looks like the only TOEFL books they have are for the PBT (paper-based test) and the CBT (computer-based test). The CBT doesn’t exist anymore, so no book about that is a good purchase for the current test, the iBT (internet based-test). A book about the PBT would be helpful if you’re going to take the PBT, but most students take the iBT. It depends on where you live, mostly. But assuming you’re going to take the iBT, I don’t recommend one of these older books about the old tests.

  16. Abhishek August 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    I have the TOEFL ibt cambridge material, will it be sufficient for my test prep. which is in a week’s time. or do I need to buy any other material.

  17. Kasun August 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Hello Lucas,

    First, your review is impressive. For my iBT TOEFL preparations I bought DELTA’s Key to TOEFL iBT. Is that a good one to work on?

    • Lucas
      Lucas August 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Kasun,

      I haven’t used Delta much, to be honest—I’ve only seen a practice test or two of theirs, and it was a few years ago. I plan on reviewing that book, but it might not be for a few months.

      From what I remember and have heard, it is relatively good material (better than Barron’s or Princeton, I imagine), but that could be wrong. I don’t want to mislead you! But I’d love it if you let us know your experience with the book. :-)

  18. Purvi August 25, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Hey Lucas,
    i have read almost all reviews i don’t know if have skipped some and asking you the same question again but if i am opting for IBT than books for CBT can really help me in preparing? i mean can i use it as an option to strengthen my preparation?

    • Lucas
      Lucas August 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Purvi,

      Books on the CBT might help a little bit, but there are many differences between the tests, so I don’t recommend using just a CBT book to study for the iBT. Here are some of the major differences:

      – no speaking section on the CBT
      – CBT includes a grammar section that’s not on the iBT
      – CBT listenings are very different from (and much shorter than) iBT listening
      – no integrated essay on the CBT
      – CBT reading is shorter and includes some different types of questions

      Basically, no section of the CBT is the same as a section on the iBT, unfortunately. So practice CBT material might be good English practice in general, but if you’re studying for the iBT, you will need some iBT-specific material to teach you that test.

  19. ZOLOO August 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    hi
    i am wondering that is there any real TOEFL test program. computer checks mistakes and see time ?

    • Lucas
      Lucas September 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      The CD that comes with the Official guide is close to the real thing, but it’s not exactly the same. Meanwhile, Cambridge Preparation comes with a CD that has 7 practice tests on software that’s more similar to a real test. The best software and material are ETS’s TOEFL practice online tests, but they’re expensive: $45 per test and you can only take the test once.

  20. ANIL Nepal September 1, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    Hi Lucas,

    I am going to take a TOEFL test at the end of this month. I am preparing from Princeton Cracking the TOEFL iBT 2015 . I am o.k. with reading and listening sections. But, had a problem with a wriitng and speaking sections. How can I improve my skills in these sections? Besides, the book I am following is a good choice or should I have to read another one?
    How can I make an effective preparation as I have 3 weeks time to take test?

    • Lucas
      Lucas September 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi Anil,

      Improving writing and speaking involves a lot of practice following specific structures. For both parts, it helps to know the exact structure of your answer before you start. Learn the exact format of each speaking question and the two types of essays, then practice working with those formats.

      It can be very helpful to record your answers when speaking and listen to them again, making notes about what you should do better. Then, repeat the same questions with clearer, fuller answers. The same basic thing can help for essays. After writing a practice essay, return to it a day or two later. Read through and edit your essay. Then try writing the same essay again, from the start, but better.

      There are many other ways to improve, too—these are just a few suggestions! Generally, your goal is to learn the exact format of the test and your answers. Princeton can help a bit, but they don’t have great advice on that. I’d use that book for the “core concepts” section, mostly. If you buy another book, I’d highly recommend the book of Official iBT Tests for extra practice material. Between that and the core concepts part of Princeton, you will have a good amount of material. If you wanted even better strategy advice, you would have to get another, more expensive book (either Cambridge or The Complete Guide by Bruce Rogers). Of course, I also recommend following our blog for study and strategy advice. :-)

  21. Mina September 3, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    I have had the Barron’s 10th edition(2002-2003) and because I have lost the CD ,I wanted to go for buying the 14th edition along with Audios and Cdies,reading your comments I realised that Barron’s is not taking that much attention compared to what is being regadrded here ,,,are the listening tasks of 14th edition diffrent from 10th ?do you recommend going for the cd of 10th edition or the 14 th edition completely?

    • Lucas
      Lucas September 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      You’ll need a different book, I’m afraid. Barron’s 10th edition is from before the IBT (internet-based test) was released. It is about a different type of TOEFL (the CBT, or computer-based test) that doesn’t exist any more. You won’t be able to study for the IBT with a CBT book.

      So if you want to use Barron’s, you will need to buy a newer edition. I don’t really recommend Barron’s, by the way—but it sounds like you already read my review of their IBT book and know my opinion.

  22. ahmad September 10, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Hi how i can get the book can anybody help !

    • Lucas
      Lucas September 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      You can buy the book online from the official website or from amazon.com. You could probably find it in any very large bookstore with a section for English language books, too! It’s a popular book. :-)

  23. Gunjan October 3, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Hi Lucas,

    I am an IT Professional. I am targeting for TOFELiBT 2015 and I don’t want to go for any coaching classes. Could you please suggest me some good material for me for step wise preparation of each sections? My English is average.

    • Lucas
      Lucas October 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      Check out the rest of our book reviews to learn what’s good and bad about each book!

      http://magoosh.com/toefl/toefl-book-reviews/

      There are also a couple of comments on that page that you might find helpful. :-)

  24. jose garcia December 3, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    Hello 1st of all I want to thank you for your website it is really helpfull.

    About the official guide to the toefl test fourth edition I would like to know if for the listening section they have audio track because the book is only text, so how should I supose to do the listening excercices in the book if it is all about text?

    thank you

    • Lucas
      Lucas December 8, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Don’t worry! The book comes with a CD that has the audio on it. :-)

      • Chandrashekhar December 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

        Hi Lucas,

        Just finished with my GMAT …thanks to Magoosh .. and will need to start preparation for TOEFL soon. Can you please appraise / advice on the below question
        1. One month window – what is the best resource other than OG
        2. Any schedule to follow
        3. Unlike GMAT, does TOEFL tests other abilities other than English ??
        4. Any strategies in general to crack the test….

        thanks,

        • Lucas
          Lucas December 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

          I’m glad we helped you with the GMAT, and I’m happy to help a bit with your TOEFL questions!

          1) Official material is the best way to learn the format of the test, which is the best way to improve in a short time. Check out the official book of five practice tests for more official exposure.

          2) We have a one-month schedule using Magoosh TOEFL! Even if you don’t use Magoosh TOEFL, it’s a great place to start to create your own daily schedule using official and other material.

          3) Not exactly. Some skills are very helpful (e.g. note-taking), but the goal of the TOEFL is to test your English communication skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

          4) That’s a tough question. There’s no silver bullet to a higher score! For the most part, the TOEFL tests your English ability and exposure. But when studying, the most important thing is that you learn the exact format of the test, see what causes you trouble, and the best ways to answer each type of question.


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