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TOEFL Tip #114: Understand the Logic Behind TOEFL Reading Questions

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on August 13, 2011

Today’s post is the second in our series about the results of Strictly English’s research on the TOEFL exam, conducted this summer. Today’s post focuses on the Reading section. Be sure to check out our post on the Speaking section.

Our research this summer confirms the approach that Strictly English has taken to the Reading section for some time: reading the entire passage slowly and thoroughly is not the best use of your time. Instead, you need to understand the logic behind the questions, and read the passage strategically.

Our researcher was an American and a native speaker of English. He took a recent TOEFL and did not read ANY of the Reading passages, except to answer the Insertion question, which demands that you read the paragraph into which you’ll insert the new sentence. Even for the Insertion Question, our researcher read only the relevant paragraph, not the entire passage. For all the other questions, he only looked at the questions. Before the test, our researcher expected that by ignoring the passage, he would score around a 17-22, but much to his surprise, he scored a 26!

This proves that the passage is truly a distraction. If you know the logic behind how standardized tests ask Reading questions, and if you know how to take the information from one question and apply it to another question, then you can get a high score with very minimal reading.

We are NOT advocating that non-native speakers of English should skip the Reading passages and go straight to the questions. Our researcher has over 18 years of TOEFL experience behind him, unlike most test takers who have been studying for only a few months by the time they take the test. But if a professional can get a 26 by NOT reading the passages, then you should be able to get the same score if you READ the passage *strategically*. Want to learn those strategies? Contact us today.


Categories: Reading,TOEFL Preparation

3 comments so far. Leave a comment.

  1. StrictlyEnglish | Blog » Vary Your Vocabulary

    wrote on August 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    [...] Today’s post focuses on the Writing section. Be sure to check out our posts on the Speaking, Reading, and Listening [...]

  2. StrictlyEnglish | Blog » TOEFL Tip #139: The Year In Review

    wrote on January 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    [...] posts are about the four sections of the TOEFL exam. In particular, a four part series on speaking, reading, listening, and writing discussed Strictly English’s recent research and experience on the TOEFL. [...]

  3. StrictlyEnglish | Blog » TOEFL Tip #115: Listen Carefully

    wrote on February 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

    [...] Today’s post focuses on the Listening section. Be sure to check out our posts on the Speaking and Reading [...]

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