Studying for the TOEFL can become very expensive, especially when you’re simultaneously studying for other standardized tests. Luckily, there are many excellent free TOEFL resources online.
Here is a list of the best materials to help you with TOEFL prep. Enjoy, and good luck!
Free Online TOEFL Materials
1. Magoosh – If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably already familiar with Magoosh’s free resources for TOEFL students, like our Guide to the TOEFL iBT ebook, our vocabulary flashcards, our Practice Questions PDF, our TOEFL email course, our full-length TOEFL practice test set, and our downloadable and printable TOEFL Vocabulary PDF. Our TOEFL experts also read and review the most popular TOEFL books so you don’t waste time and money on sub-par materials. You can also sign up for a free trial of Magoosh’s TOEFL prep product!
2. Podcasts – Listening to educational podcasts from respected universities can help you become accustomed to hearing native English speakers discuss topics using formal, academic language. This is especially good preparation for the TOEFL listening section, but is also a great way to improve your vocabulary and general comprehension. Try these free educational podcasts – the ones from Oxford University look particularly helpful.
You can even listen to Podcasts on the go.
3. TED.com – TED hosts a huge library of video lectures by brilliant and inspiring people. Listening to TED Talks on a range of topics will help improve your listening comprehension while teaching you fascinating things about life, science, technology, and current events. You can also read short TED Books to improve your reading comprehension skills. (This type of learning is actually really fun. Add it to your daily routine.)
4. Documentaries – Watching television, movies, and YouTube is a useful way to practice English, but watching documentaries will help you learn how real people speak in a non-stylized way. Plus, the topics covered in documentaries are closer to the types of things you’ll read and hear about on the TOEFL. Watch free documentaries online here.
5. Purdue OWL – Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides free writing guides and resources, a grammar blog, and has tutors to answer your brief writing questions. It’s a great resource as you practice TOEFL writing.
6. ETS Resources – The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has lot of TOEFL-specific resources for students. To name a few:
- Quick Prep: A practice tool with real TOEFL iBT test questions from past tests, including transcripts (and, in some cases, actual audio files) from the listening portions of the test.
- Sample Questions: Interactive TOEFL iBT sample questions to help you get used to the structure and format of the TOEFL.
- TOEFL Talks: In-person seminars and online webinars where ETS representatives teach students about the TOEFL exam, registration, and preparation.
- TOEFL TV: YouTube videos explaining the format of the TOEFL, giving tips for studying for the TOEFL, and providing information about studying abroad.
- TOEFL Planner: This PDF guide explains the logistics of taking the TOEFL. It talks about each individual section of the test, plus explains TOEFL scoring and score reports.
7. The Learning Network – The New York Times’ Learning Network posts educational and education-related articles each day. The articles utilize advanced vocabulary and sentence structures, and are an excellent example of the types of formal writing that you’ll encounter on the TOEFL. Reading these articles is not only intellectually stimulating, but also offers great English practice.
8. Word Dynamo – Play the Word Dynamo Challenge game to quiz yourself on basic (elementary through high school level) vocabulary.
9. Read Online – Reading in English is the best way to learn new vocabulary and prepare for the TOEFL reading section. Improving your reading comprehension requires practice, but not all reading material is created equal. Reading The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, and other reliable publications online will provide better practice than reading random blogs by strangers who might not be using perfect grammar or advanced vocabulary.
10. Arts & Letters Daily – The aldaily site, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, contains lists of articles of note, essays, opinion pieces, and books on all sorts of topics. These lists are updated daily, and offer a rich assortment of academic reading materials with which you can practice your English reading comprehension skills.
11. Magoosh TOEFL Blog – Surprised!? The Magoosh TOEFL Blog is a great free resource. We post new TOEFL-related tips and strategies each week, and we have plenty of free resources coming in the near future. Check back throughout your TOEFL prep!