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Archive | Reading Comprehension

Identifying the Main Ideas in TOEFL Reading Passages

A lot of reading well—especially for the TOEFL—is recognizing the most important ideas and distinguishing them from less important ideas. In this post, I’ll give you some tips to help you recognize main ideas in reading passages.   Look at the beginning and/or end. When you write an essay, you necessarily repeat yourself. Some people […]

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TOEFL Reading Question Type – Categorization

The categorization questions are somewhat similar to the prose summary questions. Both of them test your ability to identify important ideas of a passage, and both involve putting those ideas into a table. But while prose summary questions only require you to choose the main ideas, categorization questions will have you choose which of several sub-headings […]

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TOEFL Reading Question Type – Vocabulary in Context

Vocabulary questions are multiple-choice and always have a single correct answer.  In the original excerpt, all of the words that you’ll have to define later are highlighted. This helps you find the words quickly and see the context easily. The wording of vocabulary questions is almost always “The word ‘_____’ in the passage is closest […]

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TOEFL Reading Question Type – Prose Summary

Text Summary questions will make you grateful for the time you’ve spent outlining readings and essays (if you haven’t done that, it’s a good idea!). To answer a Text Summary question, you’ll have to read and understand the entire passage and be able to distinguish between major and minor ideas. After you read the passage, […]

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TOEFL Reading Question Type Overview

ETS recognizes ten different types of reading questions on the TOEFL. They divide these ten types into three broad categories according to the kind of skill the question is designed to test. Let’s take a look at each of these categories.   Basic Information Skills Questions Basic information questions are probably pretty similar to what […]

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The Topics You’ll See in TOEFL Reading Passages

The reading passages on the TOEFL can come from almost any subject that first-year university students could take a course in. Here’s a list of some of the possible subjects: Social Sciences Psychology Sociology Anthropology   Professional and Pre-Professional Disciplines Marketing Public Relations Architecture   Hard Sciences Physics Astronomy Chemistry Biology Geology Meteorology   Humanities History Art Art […]

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Meet the TOEFL Reading Section

The reading section is designed to test how well you understand and interpret college-level academic writing similar to that found in introductory textbooks. The reading section of the TOEFL will probably be more difficult than most other tests you’ve taken, because not only is the language very advanced, but the texts are also about very specific topics […]

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