Resources for Getting The Highest Score

Getting ready for the TOEFL test takes a lot of effort. Even if you’re taking lessons with a teacher, you need to go an extra mile to expand your knowledge and be ready for any topic. Don’t waste time on TV shows or books that won’t really help with your prep since the TOEFL focuses on English used in higher education and academic settings. We’ve put together a detailed list of what you should actually read and watch.

What should you start with

To prepare for the TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language), you can read and watch various resources that will help you improve your English language skills. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Official TOEFL Preparation Materials: Start by reviewing the official TOEFL preparation materials provided by ETS (Educational Testing Service), the organization that administers the exam. These materials include books, practice tests, and online resources specifically designed to familiarize you with the exam format and types of questions.
  2. English Language Learning Websites: Utilize online platforms that offer comprehensive TOEFL preparation materials, such as:
    • Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers free TOEFL preparation materials, including video lessons, practice questions, and sample tests.
    • Magoosh TOEFL Blog: Magoosh is a popular online test preparation platform that provides valuable resources, study plans, tips, and strategies for TOEFL preparation. Their blog is a great source of information.
    • Exam English: Exam English provides free TOEFL practice tests that simulate the real exam. It’s a useful resource for gaining familiarity with the test format and time management.
  3. English Language Learning YouTube Channels: Engaging with educational YouTube channels can be a helpful way to improve your language skills. Some recommended channels include:
    • Learn English with Emma: Emma offers practical tips and lessons to improve your English language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
    • EnglishLessons4U: EnglishLessons4U provides a wide range of English lessons, including TOEFL-specific content such as speaking and writing tips.
    • TED-Ed: TED-Ed offers animated educational videos on various topics, which can enhance your listening comprehension and expose you to different speaking styles.
  4. English Language Learning Books: Reading English books, especially those targeted at learners, can help improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension. Consider books such as:
    • “Official Guide to the TOEFL Test” by ETS: This guide is specifically designed to familiarize you with the TOEFL exam format and provides practice questions.

“Barron’s TOEFL iBT” by Pamela Sharpe: Barron’s is a popular series of TOEFL preparation books that offer comprehensive content, practice tests, and study tips.

What else should you read?

During the exam, you’ll have to read three to four academic texts and answer questions. So, when practicing, go for specific themes and texts around 700 words long. Let’s check out the recommendations from a legit source:

Alright, let’s break down this concept of ‘various subject areas.’ You need to regularly, or even better, every day, read articles on different topics that can be discussed at college.

Check out fresh articles about culture and science on the National Geographic website or on American museum websites like The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dive into psychology with the American Psychologist journal.

To expand your vocab and stay updated on politics, international relations, finance, economics, business news, as well as science and culture, read The Economist and The New York Times. By the way, The New York Times has a useful section on Climate and Environment.

For some reads on “Archaeology and History,” head over to the Smithsonian Magazine website.

What else should you listen to?

The Listening section includes lectures on Art, Life Science, Physical Science, and Social Science. Allocate at least an hour every day to listen to English texts. Focus on listening since it’s different from what you’ll face in the exam. During the test, you’ll have to handle 41-57 minutes of info solely through your ears. Pick from the following list of materials to listen to:

You’ll find loads of topics on TED Radio Hour and VOA Learning English (the podcast comes with transcripts). Fearlessly choose a podcast on a topic from the list above and enjoy listening.

Tune in to discussions about space exploration on Are We There Yet.

If you want a podcast with exercises to test your comprehension, transcripts, and vocab explanations, check out the EnglishClub Podcasts website.

What else should you watch?

Take a little brain break while still exploring academic topics by watching videos with images and subtitles on YouTube.

Look for educational videos on academic topics on the Smithsonian Magazine channel.

TED talks offer many captivating speeches. Remember to pick videos that are similar in length to the lectures in the test, around three to five minutes. To find such videos, explore the TED in 3 minutes and TED-ed sections.

Watch videos with different accents: North American, British, New Zealand, Australian, and others you might come across while studying abroad (other accents are extremely rare in the exam).”

Note: The adaptation aims to reflect a more American English style while maintaining the essence of the original text.