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TOEFL Practice Test: A TOEFL Sample Test from Magoosh

So you want extra TOEFL test practice before your TOEFL test date? Maybe a TOEFL practice test or two? You may think that ETS—the company that makes the TOEFL—would provide some sort of free TOEFL test practice online. After all, the ETS has two free GRE “powerprep” tests and four free SATs online (although the SAT is administered by the College Board, ETS still makes the test). But alas, that’s not the case for TOEFL test practice. A free official TOEFL practice test does not exist! But fear not, because there are many more free TOEFL practice test resources out there!
 
We’ve hunted TOEFL sample tests and compiled a list of where you can find the best practice. Familiarizing yourself with what the TOEFL test looks like is key! And TOEFL sample tests are the best way to do this. Click on a link in the navigation table below to jump directly to the Magoosh TOEFL sample test or any other part of this post, or keep scrolling down for all information regarding TOEFL practice tests!


TOEFL practice test

The Value of a Good TOEFL Practice Test

A good TOEFL practice test will feature questions in the exact style you’ll encounter them on test day. It should have clear answers, and hopefully great explanations for the answers, too. Scoring should be clear and directions to convert your score into the 1-30 scale for each section should be easy to follow. Overall, you want your TOEFL sample test to provide the most authentic exam experience possible.

It really is important to take a TOEFL sample test or two before your test day. This will help you get used to moving from section to section, and will help you learn to switch gears from reading to listening to speaking to writing.

 

Why should I take a TOEFL practice test?

Why not! Practice tests are a great way to discover your skills and weaknesses, and understand where you make mistakes. Are you a spelling bee champ, but lack speaking skills? Can you ace the essay but need to improve your reading comprehension? A TOEFL test practice will tell you your strengths and weakenesses.

 

When should I take a practice test?

That depends. Are you preparing for a TOEFL that’s two weeks away or two months away? Have you already taken a test or are you just starting to study?

DThe best way to track your progress is to take a TOEFL practice test at the beginning of your prep period to assess your skill level, then to track your progress with 1 or 2 practice tests during your TOEFL prep. At the end of your TOEFL prep, assess where you are (measured against your goal score), with one last practice test before test day. Then, refine whatever skills need a last-minute touch-up.

 

Where can I find TOEFL practice tests?

You now know why you should take a TOEFL practice test and when to take a TOEFL practice test but do you know where to find a good TOEFL iBT practice test? There seem to be many floating around the internet, but you’ll want to use only trusted, high-quality resources in order to really improve your score.

 
TOEFL sample tests

Free TOEFL Practice Tests

Check out our collection of free TOEFL practice tests! Skip down to our review of a certain TOEFL sample test by clicking a link from the navigation bar below, or continue scrolling down to read our reviews of all of them.

Magoosh’s Free TOEFL Practice Test

It can be hard to find quality materials online, especially if you want a free sample test. That’s why we’re proud to start this list with one of the best free TOEFL practice tests out there: Magoosh’s TOEFL Sample Test!
 
In this PDF, we’ve made an abbreviated version of a TOEFL sample test. As you know, the TOEFL is formatted in four sections, each of which tests one language skill—reading, listening, speaking, and writing. In this PDF, you’ll find a shortened version of each section.
 
A full-length TOEFL iBT test takes about 4 hours. This free sample test is shorter; it will take about 2 hours to complete, because it is near half of a full TOEFL test.

View or Download our free sample test here!

How to Use The Magoosh TOEFL Sample Test: Before each set of questions, we’ve provided directions for that section–be sure to read them! The best way to use this PDF is to first answer the questions, and then check those answers with the answer key at the end. There are also links to explanation videos for some questions, in case an answer is confusing.

These practice questions came from the Magoosh TOEFL product. If you like what you see here, be sure to sign up for a free trial. 🙂  
 
How to Score Your Magoosh TOEFL Sample Test: At the end of this PDF, we’ve included an answer key. To estimate your score, you’ll need to add up the points you’ve earned in each section (this will be your raw score). Then, you’ll find a conversion chart that will estimate what score you’d receive on a real TOEFL (on a scale from 0-30). For the Speaking and Writing sections, we’ve included instructions to help you grade your responses.
magoosh's toefl sample test

 

ETS’s Interactive TOEFL Sample Test

The Interactive Sampler is a great resource for free TOEFL test practice…if you use Windows, that is. If you have a Mac, this program won’t work for you as it’s currently Windows-only. The software is created to simulate to a real TOEFL, and is almost a full test, including:

  • Three Reading tasks (equal to one whole reading section)
  • Two Listening tasks (equal to ⅓ of a section)
  • Three Speaking tasks (½ of a section)
  • Two Writing tasks (one whole section)

In addition to the content listed above, there are also sample responses for the speaking and writing questions—great additional help.

 

Magoosh Free TOEFL Practice Questions

Like the TOEFL iBT Practice Test Questions listed below, Magoosh’s Free TOEFL Practice Questions come in PDF form. However, if you use this question set per the instructions, you can still get a very good feel for the test, even without audio or software.

This PDF comes with detailed instructions before each set. At the end, there are in-depth explanations for every question and answer. We’ve done all we can to pack tons of useful information into this PDF. Sections include:

  • Reading Section Questions
  • Listening Section Questions
  • Speaking Section Questions
  • Writing Section Questions

With these instructions and answer explanations, we take the basic format of the TOEFL iBT Test questions described below, and then bring that format to a higher, more TOEFL-like level.

 

TOEFL iBT Test Questions

With no audio recordings, no software, and no answer explanations, the TOEFL iBT Test Questions PDF is the least helpful set of TOEFL prep questions. And—since it’s just a PDF—you won’t get the same experience as if you were to use prep software or even an app.
 
Included in iBT Test Questions, you’ll find you’ll find:

  • One Reading task (⅓ of a section)
  • Three Listening tasks (½ of a section)
  • Six Speaking tasks (one whole section)
  • Two Writing tasks (one whole section)

That gives you one of every type of question that’s on the TOEFL, although it’s not a very test-like experience. If you want to mimic a real practice test for free, try the Magoosh TOEFL sample test listed above instead.

 

ETS Quick Prep: The Big, Free Official TOEFL Sample Test

There are four more PDFs similar to the “Test Questions” set that ETS calls “TOEFL Quick Prep.” But this time, there’s audio! Well, there is audio for two of the PDFs. Each of the four PDFs is almost perfectly a half of a test:

  • One Reading task (⅓)
  • Three Listening tasks (½)
  • Three Speaking tasks (½)
  • One Writing task (½)
  • BONUS: Magoosh has created additional unofficial audio for TOEFL Quick Prep Volume 1 and TOEFL Quick Prep Volume 2. This audio covers all of the lectures in the first two PDFs.

If you do volumes three and four, which both have audio, you almost do a full practice test, minus one Reading task. You can add in a Reading task from either volume one or two and get a full-length test. But there is still one big difference between Quick Prep and a real TOEFL practice test: there is no software to show you the real look and feel of the test. That means you don’t have a timer for any of the TOEFL section. And in Listening, you are also able to look at questions during a lecture (not possible on the real TOEFL). Don’t get me wrong– Quick Prep is very useful. But with these questions, you simply don’t have the same experience and feeling that you’d have on a full TOEFL exam.
 
So if you’re new to the TOEFL, don’t start with Quick Prep. Instead, start with a shorter practice test from the Interactive Sampler so that you can get a feel for the software and do some light warmup practice. Then, if you want to try a full, four-hour test, you can combine the Quick Prep material to create one. (Again, keep in mind the differences between Quick Prep and real TOEFL software, of course!)

 

The Official TOEFL Online Course

ETS sponsors a free official online TOEFL prep class that comes with an almost complete set of practice TOEFL questions. The course, TOEFL Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide, is hosted on the EdX website.
 
There are a few disadvantages to the test materials in this course. The most obvious downside is that you have to register for the class, wait for the class’s start date, and follow a course schedule. After the class starts, the practice materials aren’t released all at once. You get your Reading section in week 2, Listening in week 3, speaking in week 4, and Writing in week 5. The class is offered several times a year, but the timing may or may not fit with your TOEFL prep.
 
You also don’t get any test-like software through the EdX program, although the course does include videos that give you a look at real TOEFL software.
 
Still, this is a very good official practice test in many ways. You get complete sections for Reading, Speaking and Listening. You do only get half of a TOEFL Listening section. But there is one of each of the three kinds of TOEFL Listening audio tracks (conversation, lecture, and class discussion). So you get a real feel for TOEFL Listening, even without the complete set of 6 tracks. Another advantage to this free, almost-full TOEFL test is that it’s taken from TOEFL Practice Online (TPO). Normally, TPO is quite expensive! (See our entry on TPO later in this article.)

 

Paid Practice Tests

Magoosh Online TOEFL Preparation

Not only does Magoosh TOEFL prep offer practice tests, but it also packs a lot of extra perks into its product. Video explanations, top TOEFL strategies, and sample answers are just a few of the supplementary materials included in the Magoosh TOEFL prep. Use it with Magoosh’s free TOEFL products—like the free sample test and practice questions PDF—to take your TOEFL prep to the next level. Each practice test is easy-to-follow, with a clean design so you won’t get lost in the software!

 

The Official Guide to the TOEFL

Although it may lack skill-building materials and the amount of practice materials it contains, ETS’s Official Guide to the TOEFL is the most accurate-to-the-test guidebook out there. After all, it’s written by the same company that makes the test!
 
The book includes three full-length tests and a CD of test software, so you can take the tests authentically. The first test is a little older, and isn’t a perfect representation of the current TOEFL iBT. Still, only small details are different; the first test is still extremely similar, and is good practice. The second and third tests are almost exactly the same as current iBT tests. The software is also very similar to what you will see on test day. 

 

Official TOEFL iBT Test (Volumes 1 & 2)

The tests in the Official Guide aren’t the only ones available for cheap. There are five more full-length TOEFL tests in a two-volume set called Official TOEFL iBT Tests.
 
There is one small disadvantage to these tests: if you buy the 1st edition of Official TOEFL iBT Tests Vol. 1, the exams are only on paper, with CD audio tracks; you don’t get computer software. Similar to Quick Prep, you can’t get a perfect practice test experience from this older edition of Official TOEFL iBT Tests.
 
However, the 2nd edition of Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1 comes with a CD that’s very similar to the CD for the Official Guide. It has the five practice tests from this book, all on the same software as the Official Guide. And again, that software is good, but not perfect. Volume 2 is pretty much the same as volume 1 (2nd ed.) in structure and design, but the questions are different. Since the questions in this second volume are newly released, they’re more similar in content to the current TOEFL itself.

 

TOEFL Practice Online (TPO) Test

Every year, ETS sells a new set of past TOEFL tests online. These tests are called the TOEFL Practice Online (TPO) tests. Each TPO test is basically a full-length TOEFL on your home computer (Windows only). They’re the best practice tests you can buy, and they give you a score, unlike many of the options above. But there are very big downsides: 

  • They’re $45 each. You can buy both volumes of Official TOEFL iBT Tests, getting TEN full tests instead of one for a similar price.
  • You can’t take them twice. After you finish a test, it’s done.
  • Despite the price, Speaking and Writing are only computer-graded. The Speaking grader is terrible, and the scoring software for Writing could be far better. You cannot trust its score.

I don’t recommend taking a TPO unless all of these are true of you, personally:

  • You have never taken the real TOEFL before (with official scores) or a TPO before.
  • You have enough money that the price is comfortable for you.
  • You become very stressed during tests like the TOEFL, and it usually hurts your score.

In other words, the TPO tests can give you practice with test anxiety, because it’s very similar to the real test. But for the most part, they’re not worthwhile because the tests in ETS books are better priced.

This post was updated on 3/16/2017, with help and information from David Recine and Lucas Fink.

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