NOTE: Since I wrote the review below, the book was released. Here are some notes about what I expected and what we got:
- The practice tests are, in fact, the best, most recent official material. They are the same quality as tests in volume 1.
- The quality of software is the same as the CD that comes with the Official Guide, unfortunately. It’s SIMILAR to the real TOEFL software, but not exactly the same.
- Volume 1 was updated recently, with a second edition. That book also has computer tests, now, not only audio on the CD. So “volume 2” and “volume 1, 2nd edition” are equally good—they just have different material.
I’ve been waiting for this day for years! Well, the day hasn’t actually come yet, but Amazon says this book will be released on December 11th of this year, 2015. And that will be a great day for TOEFL students, because there will finally be a resource for recent, official TOEFL practice tests, in full length, on an inexpensive CD.
The book I’m talking about is Volume 2 of Official TOEFL iBT Tests
No more paying $45 for a single TPO test. Instead, you will be able to pay only $25 for a set of five full-length tests. The book itself is fine—helpful for teachers who want to make copies—but the really exciting part is that CD!
You might be a bit confused about why that CD is different from CDs in other official books:
(Notice that second book is “volume 1,” not the upcoming “volume 2”)
Well, there are two big differences:
- Volume 1 was audio only. There is no actual software to take the test on your computer. You have to take the test on paper, and use the CD just for listening. That’s unlike the actual TOEFL, which is internet-based.
- The Official Guide’s CD had old tests, and there were fewer. The first two practice tests in the official guide are many years old. There is only one test in that book that is exactly like the current TOEFL.
And there may be one third difference, but I’m not sure yet:
- Software like the real TOEFL. The CD in the Official Guide has some different software from what’s on the real TOEFL. It’s similar, but not exactly the same. The clock in the listening section, for example, isn’t quite right. And between every section, you have to choose the next section you will do. On the real TOEFL, it just continues and continues—you cannot choose.
If all three differences are right, then this will be the best source for TOEFL practice tests. We’ll have to wait a few more months before it is released, but until then, my hopes are high!
If you’d like to complement the official practice material with an online TOEFL preparation course, make sure to check out Magoosh TOEFL!