A few weeks ago I found out that ETS had recently released a pretty important book. Although the book Official TOEFL iBT Tests Vol. 1 isn’t new, it is the cheapest way to get a lot of high-quality practice material—five full official practice tests for less than the price of one TPO test. But in the past, this book has had a large flaw: it is only on paper. The CD that came with the 1st edition of this book was only for audio. There was no option to take the practice tests on the computer, like a real TOEFL iBT. For that, you had to use the Official Guide or possibly even a TPO.
First Edition vs. Second Edition
But the new edition of Official TOEFL iBT Tests is different. This second edition has a CD with computer software, so you can take all five tests on the computer. I should mention that the software isn’t perfect, though. It’s the same software that comes with the Official Guide. In both, there are small ways in which the software is different from the software you will see on test day, including:
- A different timer for listening. It counts down while you listen, but it shouldn’t.
- You can’t see a list of all reading questions. You can only click “next” or “previous”
- The speaking section is not recorded.
Nonetheless, this CD is great to use for both full-length mock tests and as a resource for individual texts, recordings, and questions to practice with. At the moment, it’s the best book available for that, because the material is so similar to what you will see on test day.
Volume One vs. Volume Two
There is one confusing detail. This video and blog post is about the second edition of volume one. Very soon (in December), ETS will release another important book: volume two. I expect that volume two will be the exact same format as volume one, but it will have new content—five practice tests with completely different texts, recordings, and questions. So if you already have volume one, don’t buy the new edition—but soon, you can buy the second volume, with five completely new tests!