I’ve been getting a lot of questions about TOEFL Junior prep materials from teachers. Even a few younger students have asked me about this.
TOEFL Junior certainly doesn’t have as much test prep support as the iBT itself. But TOEFL Junior prep materials are out there. Today, I’ll give you a roundup of the TOEFL Junior prep I’ve been able to find.
The Official Guide to the TOEFL Junior (Yes, this exists… well, kind of.)
ETS actually has put together an official guide to the TOEFL Junior, in a format comparable to that of the TOEFL iBT Official Guide. Currently, ETS lists the TOEFL Junior OG as “coming soon” on their website. However, two earlier editions of the TOEFL Junior Official Guide were released in Korea and China.
The Korean version of ETS’s official TOEFL Junior Book is now out of print. However, at the time of this writing, there are a few used copies of it available on Amazon. While the explanatory text is likely in Korean (I haven’t seen this version for myself), the practice materials for this OG will, of course, be in English. So this guide, currently priced at around $40 USD on Amazon.com, may be a worthwhile purchase. For an individual student, this is the same cost as two brand-new official TOEFL iBT books. And for a teacher or school director, $40 may be a small price to pay, especially if limited portions of the book are xeroxed and used as handouts and worksheets for TOEFL Junior preppers.
The version of the TOEFL Junior OG that was released in China is also out-of-print. The last time I checked, the used Chinese TOEFL Junior Official Guide for sale on Amazon was unreasonably expensive (around $250 USD).
The Amazon prices for the Chinese and Korean official TOEFL Junior books are not necessarily the price you’d have to pay. If you can read Korean or Chinese, or if you know someone that can, I would encourage you to look at bookseller websites based in Korea and China. Used copies just might be available at a much cheaper price in their home countries.
The Official Website for the TOEFL Junior
As you look for reliable, authentic TOEFL Junior prep material, be sure to check out ETS’s official TOEFL Junior prep website. This site includes links to free PDFs of TOEFL Junior practice questions. It’s especially worth noting that ETS’s online TOEFL Junior Listening questions come complete with audio. Moreover, you can order official TOEFL junior practice tests on the site. And as an added bonus, there’s an external link to Lexile’s online catalogue of chidlrne’s books written at the TOEFL Junior level.
Unofficial TOEFL Junior Prep Materials
Beyond official TOEFL Junior materials from ETS, there are a lot of third-party TOEFL prep books out there. The most numerous and most affordable ones are published in Chinese (again, with English language practice materials). Here are some listings on Amazon. Note that a number of these Chinese editions can be previewed online and can be downloaded for a few dollars in eBook form.
I’ve only been able to find one unofficial TOEFL Junior prep book that is 100% in English. It’s called “Pass Your TOEFL Junior Workbook” and it advertises itself as “the first TOEFL Junior workbook in Western Hemisphere.” As of this writing, Amazon.com lists “Pass Your TOEFL Junior” at pretty high prices and it doesn’t appear that the book is in print right now.
I’m not too familiar with these third-party TOEFL Junior books. What I can tell you is that the biggest potential pitfall of any third-party test prep book is inauthenticity. There’s always a chance these books won’t be true to the actual TOEFL Junior exam.
If you’re only interested in TOEFL Junior prep materials as an easy “starter curriculum” for eventual real TOEFL prep, authenticity may not be an issue. However, if you or your students need to pass the TOEFL Junior itself, you should carefully compare any third-party materials to “real” TOEFL Junior prep from ETS.