The TOEFL iBT Reading section includes 3 to 5 reading passages, each approximately 700 words long. There are 12 to 14 questions per passage.
You have from 60 to 100 minutes to answer all questions in the section.
TOEFL iBT Reading Passages
TOEFL iBT reading passages are excerpts from college-level textbooks that would be used in introductions to a discipline or topic. The excerpts are changed as little as possible because the goal of the TOEFL iBT is to assess how well students can read the kind of writing that is used in an academic environment.
The passages will cover a variety of different subjects. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the topic of a passage. All the information needed to answer the questions will be in the passage. All TOEFL passages are classified into three basic categories based on author purpose: (1) Exposition, (2) Argumentation, and(3) Historical.
Often passages will present information about the topic from more than one perspective or point of view. This is something you should note as you read because usually you will be asked at least one question that allows you to show that you have understood the general organization of the passage. Common types of organization you should be able to recognize are
TOEFL iBT passages are approximately 700 words long, but the passages used may vary somewhat in length. Some passages may be slightly longer than 700 words, and some may be slightly shorter.
TOEFL iBT Reading questions cover Basic Information skills, Inferencing skills,and Reading to Learn skills. There are 10 question types. The following chart summarizes the categories and types of TOEFL iBT Reading questions.
TOEFL Reading Question Types
Basic Information and Inferencing questions (11 to 13 questions per set)
1. Factual Information questions (3 to 6 questions per set)
2. Negative Factual Information questions (0 to 2 questions per set)
3. Inference questions (0 to 2 questions per set)
4. Rhetorical Purpose questions (0 to 2 questions per set)
5. Vocabulary questions (3 to 5 questions per set)
6. Reference questions (0 to 2 questions per set)
7. Sentence Simplification questions (0 to 1 question per set)
8. Insert Text question (0 to 1 question per set)
Reading to Learn questions (1 per set)
9. Prose Summary
10. Fill in a Table
The following sections will explain each of these question types. You’ll find out how to recognize each type, and you’ll see examples of each type with explanations. You’ll also find tips that can help you answer each TOEFL Reading Question type.