The Best TOEFL Books of 2021 | TOEFL Book Reviews

Best TOEFL books - image and TOEFL book reviews by Magoosh

When you’re shopping for TOEFL books, it can be hard to know which are high-quality and which you should walk away (if not run away) from! That’s why I’ve put together this list of TOEFL book reviews: the best TOEFL books of 2021. Here, you’ll see exactly why some books stand out from the crowd—and learn what to avoid when searching for good TOEFL prep for Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.


 

Best TOEFL Books: Table of Contents


 

Magoosh TOEFL Books and Prep

Though Magoosh has not published a hard-copy TOEFL book (which helps keep our TOEFL prep accessible and low-cost) we go one better by offering tons of free eBook PDFs that you can take on the go. Here are just a few—you can browse the rest in our full list of TOEFL eBooks and PDFs!

And if you are an interactive learner (I think most people are), then I’d recommend taking a look at the Magoosh TOEFL free trial.

TOEFL back to top button - Magoosh


 

Official TOEFL Books from ETS

ETS itself makes three official TOEFL prep books that I highly recommend. These official practice materials will always be the ones most accurate to the real exam. If possible, you’ll want to get the most recent editions of each book, the ones released in 2020; these are the only editions thus far that are consistent with the 2019 updates to the test format. The practice tests in these books do have many of the same questions as the practice tests in earlier editions, but the questions and sections have now been reformatted in important ways. So, let’s take a closer look at each book.

Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.


 

The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, 6th Edition

The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test - TOEFL Book Reviews

There are three good things about the TOEFL Official Guide:

  1. It has the most accurate description of what you see on the TOEFL iBT
  2. The practice sets at the ends of the chapters
  3. The four practice tests, which come with downloadable software and audio files (these can be taken in-book or through the software)
  4. Sample Speaking and Writing responses, with scorer commentary.

But none of it is perfect, oddly. For more details of the pros and cons of this book, read my full review of the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test.


 

Official TOEFL iBT Tests, Volume 2, Third Edition

the best TOEFL Books of 2020

The three official TOEFL books are all very close to each other in ranking, but the best of the three for cheap, authentic practice tests is this book. And this book really does focus just on practice tests. There are no extra practice questions, and no supplemental chapters that give extra information about the tests. To learn more about why the official practice tests here are even better than the official prep in the other two ETS TOEFL books, check out my full review of Official TOEFL iBT Tests, Volume 2, Third Edition.


 

Official TOEFL iBT Tests, Volume 1, 4th Edition

the best TOEFL Books of 2016

Before there was a Volume 2 of these tests, there obviously had to be Official TOEFL iBT Tests, Vol. 1, 4th Edition. The book still has the same practice tests as before, but the tests have been shortened and reformatted to match the updated TOEFL that was rolled out in 2019. While this book is very similar in quality to the second volume, there are a few important differences that are worth considering. Learn more by reading my full review of this first volume of Official TOEFL iBT Practice tests.

TOEFL back to top button - Magoosh


 

Other Unofficial TOEFL Prep (besides Magoosh)

Yes, official TOEFL prep materials are a must-have for any serious student. But there’s a lot of really helpful prep to be found beyond ETS, and even beyond Magoosh. Here are three TOEFL books from other publishers that just might be a good addition to your test prep bookshelf.

Barron’s TOEFL iBT, With 8 Online Practice Tests

The ugly truth is that really good unofficial TOEFL prep materials are hard to find. But Barron’s does a really great job as an unofficial resource. This Barron’s book is by far their most comprehensive. In the full review of Barron’s TOEFL iBT, David gives a detailed description of Barron’s offerings, and some pros and cons to help you decide if the book is right for you.

Barron’s Essential Words for the TOEFL

Barron’s does it again! To see if this recommended vocabulary resource is truly right for you, read David’s full review of Barron’s Essential Words for the TOEFL.

400 Must-Have Words for the TOEFL Test

This book is from McGraw Hill. As a publishing company, McGraw Hill puts out the official TOEFL books; as an educational company, they also make and publish unofficial TOEFL resources of their own. How good is this unofficial resource from the publisher of the official books? Read this review to find out.

One Non-TOEFL Prep Book: The ELT Grammar Book

While the ELT Grammar book is billed as a teacher’s resource, TOEFL teachers and students alike may find it useful. To read more about this book and see if it can help you in your TOEFL prep and English studies, see David’s full review of the book.

Bonus: TOEFL Practice Test

Try Magoosh’s free TOEFL Practice Test for high-quality practice! The printable PDF features questions written by the same TOEFL Experts who wrote the content for Magoosh’s premium TOEFL product. That means that, if you like the practice questions, you know where to find more just like them (hint: in Magoosh TOEFL Prep)!

Happy reading!

Psst...Need more TOEFL practice? Start your FREE TRIAL today.

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45 Responses to The Best TOEFL Books of 2021 | TOEFL Book Reviews

  1. frangk taylor May 25, 2017 at 11:29 pm #

    I am looking for material to teach the toefl primary and junior testl

  2. Maria June 26, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    Hi
    Im looking for materials to teach toefl at university students during their bachelor degree…. I mean along three academic years.
    Thank you Maria

    • David Recine
      David Recine June 27, 2017 at 7:48 am #

      Hi Maria,

      As Lucas mentioned, the best TOEFL book for teachers are Oxford Preparation for the TOEFL iBT Exam and NorthStar Building Skills for the TOEFL iBT. (I’ve personally used both of these books with undergrad university students, and found them to be quite classroom friendly.)

      I also strongly recommend including the TOEFL Official Guide and other official TOEFL books and materials from ETS, including the free-of-charge, web-hosted, and very student-friendly TOEFL Quick Prep. Hope this helps!

    • akif hasan November 26, 2017 at 4:26 am #

      can you help me to solve it please, akif .

      • Yoga R October 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm #

        Hi,
        Is the ets TOEFL ibt mock tests scored on writing and speaking?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 3, 2020 at 11:51 am #

          The practice tests from ETS do not score your personal writing and speaking submissions, but they provide sample responses and guidelines to help you score your own answers.

    • Pushpendra Singh sengar December 4, 2017 at 6:30 am #

      Hey ma’am can u tell me one thing that how to start the preparation of TOEFL for getting the selection in the best universities

  3. Hazem August 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi,

    I am not sure if that’s the write place to write my comment. But since your website comes second to ETS regarding TOEFL preparation material, I strongly recommend that you also include the “bad” material as a warning.

    I recently bought the “Speaking Series” of ETS. It includes only speaking questions with a software to give you an estimate score. Unfortunately, I found that ALL its questions are copied from the (now outdated) Official Guide and the Free Sampler. Maybe it’s the same with their “Writing” and “Listening” series but I can’t confirm as I haven’t bought them. My advice to test takers who already bought the book is not to buy any additional the separate sections. They are just the same content so they’re loosing their money.

    I’m not very sure about your policy on including links to other pages, but just in case, here is what I am talking about:
    http://toeflpractice.ets.org/cart.aspx?program=TFP

  4. Marie May 27, 2018 at 9:59 am #

    Hi Locus 🙂
    Thank you so much for your useful videos. I got 28 on the Reading section by the help of you and my overall score is 101.
    Thank you so much again and wish you all the best moving forward.
    By the way, you are really smart :))

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 29, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

      So glad we could help, Marie. 🙂

  5. Nima June 15, 2018 at 9:59 am #

    Hi,

    Thanks, for your wonderful article! I will attend in TOFEL exam next year. I need some self-studying textbooks and workbooks for grammar and vocabulary. What would you think of these books: The ELT grammar book, OXFORD English grammar course?
    Could you please help me to choose some good books for vocabulary? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find “vocabulary and grammar for TOFEL test”.

    Thanks!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 15, 2018 at 11:36 am #

      Hi Nima,

      I don’t have personal experience with these books, and we don’t have any official recommendations about them, so I’m not sure how helpful my response will be for you! It seems like the ELT book is more geared towards teachers, so you may want to consider if that is the best option. Books from Oxford University Press are generally very good, but you may want to do some research and find some reviews before choosing which one to purchase.

      We have some free resources here on our website that might help you out! Our free Magoosh English Grammar lessons will discuss all of the most important elements of English grammar and usage. We recommend it for students from all backgrounds! We also have free Vocabulary flashcards that will help you learn words that are commonly found on the TOEFL. Our blog also has a lot of great information, including many posts on grammar and vocabulary that will be useful as you prepare for the TOEFL. I hope these suggestions help!

      • Nima June 15, 2018 at 11:32 pm #

        Thank you so much for your help!

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

          You’re welcome 🙂

  6. Kenji Asahina June 28, 2018 at 2:29 am #

    Hello dear! 28th June, 2018

    I am Kenji Asahina from Japan.
    I would like to you cooperation, please. And then I want find out the textbooks of toefl as below.
    If it exist the five woefl textbook as below. Could you tell me these price, postal fee and your details.
    These textbook hardly have been obtained to the world of u.s domestic bookstore and back number since last 15,16 years ago.
    I must need these five textbooks that your coordination ask to about thing, please.
    Please, I am waiting to your response to your answer by e-mail.
    I will think the payments of postal money order with these textbooks at my send the textbooks fee from Japan.

    ——- five woefl textbook———
    ・BARRON’S How to prepare for the TOEFL with CD-ROM:Test of English As a Foreign Language 10th edition [Paperback] STUDENTS #1 CHOICE
    ・ARCO TOEFL Grammar Workbook: Everything You Need to Score High(3rd ed)
    ・BARRON’S HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE TOEFL ESSAY 2ND EDITION[Paperback]
    ・Grammar Workbook for the TOEFL Exam 4TH EDITION : Intensive, targeted practice you need to raise your scores
    ・BARRON’S The Leader in Test Preparation Practice Exercises for the TOEFL WITH AUDIO CD’S 6TH EDITION

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

      Hello Kenji,

      We do not sell these books or send them to students! This blog post is just meant to help students decide which books to buy in order to prepare for the TOEFL test. You will see links to many of these books on Amazon.com, and you can buy many books there. I recommend that you search for a seller in your area 🙂 Good luck!

  7. Aurelie July 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

    Hello,

    I’ve been living in the US for the past 10 years and I decided to go back to school and get a B.S. I need to pass the TOEFL as a pre req for university admissions in the next month or so.

    I was wondering what would be your recommendations?

    Sincerely,

    A.

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 10, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

      Hi Aurelie,

      In your case, I would definitely recommend the official ETS TOEFL books above all others. These books are not necessarily the best when it comes to English learning strategies or boosting overall English proficiency. What they are focused on is how to fully master and understand the test and its format. And you really could do well focusing primarily on test skills and not English skills. After 10 years in America, you no doubt have a very strong foundation of English ability. The ETS books will help you channel your existing English skills in test-specific ways. 🙂

  8. Philip Rossen July 13, 2018 at 8:33 am #

    Hello Aurelie,

    I recommend that you try to find a language partner. There exists many places, where you can introduce yourself and needs. I needed help to prepare for my exam in German. I found a language partner from Germany. He was a few years younger than me, but it was no problem. He taught me German in a few weeks. You can try to do the same thing. Otherwise, the books above will definitely help you. Reading books is a great exercise or watching English movies without subtitles.

  9. Manzura July 25, 2018 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi,

    Can you recommend a TOELF preparation book for the revised PBT version of it? Now, I know it’s quite a new version, and google was not helpful about it. Does it even exist yet?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 29, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Manzura,

      TOEFL PBT books of any sort– good or bad– are pretty rare. But then, I’m sure you’ve already figured that out. The good news is that there is one TOEFL PBT prep book I can definitely recommend: The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test (PBT Edition). This is not actually an official guide, but it’s still very good. The book is written by Bruce Rogers, the same author who wrote The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Tests (iBT edition). His iBT is loved by many teachers and students, and it got a favorable book review from Lucas, Magoosh’s lead TOEFL expert.

      These “Complete Guide” books aren’t perfect though. So I also recommend carefully reading Lucas’s review so that you know what to expect– good and bad– if you buy the PBT complete guide.

      Above all, it’s important to look at official questions for the exam, ones made by ETS. So if you haven’t done so already, go through the small sampling of revised TOEFL PBT questions on the official TOEFL website. It’s a shame ETS doesn’t offer more, but that small collection is still worth reviewing.

  10. waziem September 6, 2018 at 12:55 am #

    i love this book may i have one

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm #

      Which book were you talking about, Waziem? 🙂

  11. Smita Kumar November 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi Magoosh,

    Thank you very much. Your website truly was helpful into clear understanding of TOEFL.
    I want my daughter to appear for this exam as I want her to do her Masters in English Literature outside India.
    She finishes her Bachelors in English in April 2019.
    Will there be any changes in the study material by then? When should she start studying to appear for exam to go for Masters course in September 2019?
    Thanks again and God bless you and your team.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Smita,

      Thanks for reaching out to Magoosh! It’s a longer process, and it’s good that you and your daughter are already thinking about this! Keep in mind that if your daughter applies for school in 2019, she will start school in 2020. The applications for 2019 admissions are due in Dec 2018-Jan 2019, so she probably does not have time to take all of the exams and apply for admissions for Sep 2019. I would recommend that your daughter start researching to see which schools she wants to apply to. Then, she can start studying at the beginning of 2019 in order to take the TOEFL by May or June. That will give her plenty of time to study for the GRE and apply for schools in 2019 for a September 2020 start date 🙂

      • Muhadisa August 23, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

        Hi
        I wanted to ask i want to prepare for toefl exams how many books do i need to prepare for the exams n which one is the best for someone who’s mother tongue is not english but i know how to read speak n write english not 100% correct but to aa average level

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 7, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

          Hi Muhadisa! You can see in our study plans (for example, the one-month plan: https://magoosh.com/toefl/2017/one-month-toefl-study-schedule/) that we recommend the Official Guide 4th edition and the Magoosh course. That should be enough for your prep. The other books that we list in our book reviews guide are great if you need additional material 🙂

  12. Melissa Ag November 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

    Terrific and helpful reviews, thanks! You don’t mention this text: Delta’s Key to the TOEFL iBT®: Complete Skill Practice. Is that because it’s designed for classroom use, or is there another reason? Thanks!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 19, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

      Hi Melissa,

      We actually do have a review of Delta’s Key to the IBT! It didn’t make it into our list of top resources, but you an read the full review above 🙂

  13. RRRAA December 27, 2018 at 8:31 am #

    Hi, i did reading practice test on Barrons TOEFL IBT , but it came to me so hard , is Barrons exam format ( i mean difficulty level ) or hard?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi there,

      You can see our full review of Barron’s books here: https://magoosh.com/toefl/2014/barrons-toefl-ibt-book-review/

      Barron’s is generally a good source for practice materials, but there are some parts of it, particularly in the listening section, that aren’t quite what you will see on test day. The listening section in particular will include recordings that are more complicated than what you will find on the TOEFL. If you read through that review, you’ll get a better sense of the pros and cons of Barrons!

  14. Mark Christiansen April 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

    I’d be interested in your opinion of the Longman book. I’ve heard good things but never used it:

    Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL iBT Test with Answer Key,
    by Deborah Phillips
    3rd Edition, Pearson, 2015

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm #

      Although we don’t include it in our main review post here, Mark, we do have a full book review of the Longman TOEFL Prep Course, Mark! And we’ve given it a mostly good review, with some criticisms, as you’ll see when you click the link. Since Lucas has a lot of good things to say about this book, I’ll talk to our blog editor about adding in Longman Prep to this main post. 🙂

  15. shravan April 28, 2019 at 4:15 am #

    hi, there is a problem with the listening section of the TOEFL test and the with the tests given in the DVD which comes along with the official material. In the TOEFL test, only 10 minutes is allotted for answering the questions of each set of 3 listening sets whereas the test in the DVD gives the entire 60 minutes for the whole listening section at the very beginning.

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm #

      That is a good point. The TOEFL OG’s software doesn’t quite match up to the real exam. It’s still a rough approximation of the time limits you’ll deal with, but it is a strange and frustrating inconsistency, to be sure!

  16. Ramswell September 3, 2019 at 6:07 am #

    I would like to get a book for training TOEFL test

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 7, 2019 at 8:18 pm #

      Hi Ramswell! The ETS Official Guide 4th Edition is probably the best bet 🙂

  17. Jama lhamo December 9, 2019 at 12:13 am #

    Is there any new guide book of toefl ibt

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 20, 2019 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Jama,

      What do you mean by ‘new guide book’? Many of these books have new editions released every year, but generally the information in the books is very similar from year to year.

  18. Kaveh March 31, 2020 at 3:45 am #

    Hello Dear All
    I have 12 months to get my TOEFL 100+ score, But as brief I have no skill ( Reading, Speaking, Listening, Writing) NO SKILL AT ALL.

    How Can I get my desire score?
    What materials?
    What you tube channel?
    ?
    ?
    ?
    Do you recommend to read and follow?
    Thank you all.

  19. Mohammad October 21, 2020 at 12:02 am #

    i need to the some of useful Toefl sourses, please Email me.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Mohammad, I’m afraid I don’t understand what you are looking for. If you’re looking for more information about our Magoosh TOEFL program, send us an email at help@magoosh.com and we’d be happy to provide you with more information 🙂


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