TOEFL Reading Questions
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Looking for some TOEFL reading practice?

Look no further.

Below you will find 100 free TOEFL reading practice questions, organized based on question type.

There are 9 different question types for you to practice:

  • Vocabulary Questions
  • Author’s Purpose Questions
  • Inference Questions
  • Paraphrasing Questions
  • Sentance Insertion Questions
  • Detail Questions
  • Negative Detail Questions
  • Pronoun Referent Questions
  • Summary Questions

More Practice

If you prefer a good ole PDF to test and practice your reading skills for TOEFL iBT, we’ve got that too – 100 TOEFL Reading Practice Questions – PDF

Easy to download.

Open from any device.

No Internet connection needed.

What You Need to Know
About the TOEFL Reading

The TOEFL Reading is tough.

In the TOEFL iBT Reading section you have 60 minutes to:

  • Read three academic texts, totaling around 2100 words
  • Understand how to answer 10 different types of questions
  • Answer approximately 42 questions in total

And, unfortunately, the TOEFL Reading practice available online is either out-of-date or unreliable.

These are just a few of the reasons why we have designed our own TOEFL Reading Practice Questions that you can access for free right here.

Here’s just one example:

 Human Anatomy

Human anatomy is the scientific study of the body’s structures. Some of these structures are very small and can only be observed and analyzed with the assistance of a microscope.Other larger structures can readily be seen, manipulated, measured, and weighed. The word “anatomy” comes from a Greek root that means “to cut apart.” Human anatomy was first studied by observing the exterior of the body and observing the wounds of soldiers and other injuries. Later, physicians were allowed to dissect bodies of the dead to augment their knowledge. When a body is dissected, its structures are cut apart in order to observe their physical attributes and their relationships to one another. Dissection is still used in medical schools, anatomy courses, and in pathology labs.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.5

1. The word augment is closest in meaning to

a. Prove
b. Increase
c. Validate
d. Spread

But wait…

Do you notice something strange about this TOEFL Reading practice?

It’s short! Usually a TOEFL iBT Reading passage is 700 words, but this is just 100 words.

And there’s only one question after the passage (usually there are around 14).

This unique approach to practicing the TOEFL Reading section is designed to help you improve your reading skills and speed.

But if you want to know how to use these TOEFL Reading practice questions to improve your reading score, here are five easy steps to follow.

Step 1: How to Improve Your Score
TOEFL Reading Practice

If you’re like most students, then you want to practice in a way that looks exactly like the test. You want to read a 700-word passage and answer 14 questions in less than 20 minutes.

This will NOT help you improve your reading score.

Practicing for the test and replicating the conditions will help you prepare for the format of the TOEFL, but it will not help you increase your reading comprehension or English fluency.

Improvement comes when you reflect on your answers and identify why you did something wrong.

Practice alone is not enough to help you improve, you must also reflect.

When you do a single reading passage and answer 14 questions about it, you are reflecting on the entire experience, a 20-minute reading passage, instead of a single question. When you use our short reading passages, you get more immediate feedback on your responses. This, in turn, will help you quickly identify the question types and passage topics you struggle with.

Besides providing you with more specific and immediate feedback, here are a few more benefits of using short passages to practice:

  1. More exposure to various topics
  2. Study in short intervals of less than five minutes
  3. Learn more vocabulary in less time
  4. Build your reading skills
  5. Master question and answer strategy

Once you dive in and start to answer the questions you will find these short passages to be the exact answer you have been looking for to help you improve your TOEFL Reading skills.

Step 2: Don’t Forget to Review
the TOEFL Reading Section Structure

These short TOEFL reading comprehansion passages are just like the TOEFL, only shorter. It’s still important for you, however, to get a clear understanding of exactly what to expect from the TOEFL Reading section on test day.

Here are some of the most important points:

  • Read three academic passages of 700 words
  • Take 20 minutes per passage, 60 minutes in total
  • Answer approximately 14 questions per passage

There is no way to predict what kind of passages you will receive in your TOEFL test, but here are some of the more popular topics: Biology, History, Geology, Psychology, Environmental, Science, Ecology, Astronomy, Education, Art, Archeology.

If you want to sink your teeth into a full TOEFL iBT Reading section, you can check out our free and complete TOEFL Test.

Now, you might be confused by all of the question types in the TOEFL Reading practice test PDF…

…and you’re not alone!

There are ten question types and some have strange names like rhetorical purpose and pronoun referent questions.

But don’t worry. 

In the chart below, all of the question types have been laid out and separated based on frequency, common lexical structure, and the time it should take you to answer each.

There is a table here. Please rotate your phone to landscape in order to see it.
The Reading Section Question Types
Question TypeFrequency (per section)Time to AnswerQuestion Phrasing
1. vocabulary10-1260 seconds“The word _________ in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to…
2. detail10-1290 seconds“According to paragraph 4, what….” “Which of the following…” “It is stated in paragraph 4 that…”
3. negative detail4-6120 seconds“All of the following are mentioned in paragraph 3 EXCEPT…” “Which of the following is NOT mentioned....”
4. inference3-590 seconds“What can be inferred from paragraph 5 about…” “Paragraph 5 implies that…” “Paragraph 5 suggests…”
5. Author's purpose3-590 seconds“In paragraph 6, the author discusses ________ in order to…” “Why does the author mention…”
6. paraphrasing3120 seconds“Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in paragraph 4?”
7. sentence insertion3120 seconds“In paragraph 2 there is a missing sentence. Where would the sentence best fit?”
8. pronoun referent0-260 seconds“The word _________ in paragraph 1 refers to…”
9. summary1-3150 seconds“An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage.
10. organization0-1150 seconds“Complete the table below to summarize information about _________ in the passage. Match the appropriate statements to _________”

Step 3: Set the Timer
learn to Increase Your Speed

If you have done some TOEFL reading practice tests already, then you know that time management is an issue for the reading section. Few people can read the entire passage and answer all of the questions in a given passage in less than 20 minutes.

It takes skill to read a question, understand the meaning, identify the key words, and find that information in the passage in less than two minutes. Even if you understand the question and know where to look, it may still be challenging to identify which information is essential to help you answer the question.

When you work through these short passages, you can answer based on question type. Each passage will be followed by a single and predictable question.

But I can’t emphasize this enough…

…be sure to challenge yourself by setting a timer. And keep in mind that some TOEFL questions take longer than others.

For example, in the case of vocabulary questions, give yourself only 60 seconds to answer. However, if you are working on detail questions, set the timer for 90 seconds. (refer to the chart above for each question type’s timing) 

Human Anatomy

Human anatomy is the scientific study of the body’s structures. Some of these structures are very small and can only be observed and analyzed with the assistance of a microscope.Other larger structures can readily be seen, manipulated, measured, and weighed. The word “anatomy” comes from a Greek root that means “to cut apart.” Human anatomy was first studied by observing the exterior of the body and observing the wounds of soldiers and other injuries. Later, physicians were allowed to dissect bodies of the dead to augment their knowledge. When a body is dissected, its structures are cut apart in order to observe their physical attributes and their relationships to one another. Dissection is still used in medical schools, anatomy courses, and in pathology labs.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.5

 

1. Which of the following is true about human anatomy?

a. The word “anatomy” is derived from a French root that means “cut”
b. The observation of soldiers’ wounds were originally used to study human anatomy
c. Human and animal bodies were dissected in labs to understand human anatomy
d. The smaller structures of the human body need to be observed with a telescope

****Scroll all the way down if you want to check the answers.

This exercise is challenging, but, over time, you will get used to the time restrictions and it will get easier. You will start to improve the speed and accuracy of your answers, which will improve your performance on complete TOEFL iBT Reading practice passages.

If you would like to know more about TOEFL Reading strategy for each question type, we have a course for that. You can check out out our complete TOEFL Reading Mastery Course.

Step 4: Review Your Answers
this is why your reading never gets better

Think of your favorite professional athlete.

Now imagine the incredible amount of work they endured to become one of the best at their sport.

Of course they practiced, but, more importantly, they watched the game film.

After the game, most professional athletes sit in a room and watch their performance. In American football, players spend dozens of hours every week watching their past performance because they understand that improvement comes through the study of past performance.

Improvement comes through the study of past performance.

Your TOEFL test is a performance of your English ability. Use the information you get from practicing your reading comprehension skills to understand your personal strengths and weaknesses. After you know what your problem is — for example you have trouble answering inference questions – map out a course of action that will help you improve.

Most students only practice. Sure, everyone checks their answers, but only for a score, not to gain a deeper understanding of why they were wrong and how they can improve in the future.

Here are some questions to ask yourself after you have answered a question wrong:

  • Did I misread the passage or the question?
  • Was there difficult vocabulary that I didn’t understand? Is this word part of the Academic Word List?
  • Is there a particular question type I struggle to answer? What’s the answer and how do I fix it?
  • What can I do to ensure I don’t make the same mistake again?

In the ELT world (English Language Teaching), this is referred to as reflective practice. It’s popular in many other fields, like medicine and management, but it has also become an important component of improving teacher performance.

Failing to review your answers is just one of many mistakes students make when preparing for the reading section of the TOEFL. You can check out the five most common TOEFL Reading mistakes and how to avoid them below.

Step 5: Improve Your Vocabulary
These are the words You Need to Know

Now at this point you:

1. Understand why these short reading passages are so helpful
2. Reviewed the overall structure of the TOEFL Reading section
3. Know how important it is to set a timer and develop your time management skills
4. Are ready to not only practice the questions, but review the answers

It’s now time to work on the most critical component of your TOEFL Reading score: your vocabulary.

Simply put, if you don’t understand the words, you can’t understand the passage.

If you are not getting the score you want in the reading section, then you must invest the necessary time and energy into studying vocabulary. Now, there are thousands of words in the English language, so it’s hard to know which are important.

There are a lot of vocabulary lists, but this is the only one you need for the TOEFL Reading:

The Ultimate TOEFL Vocabulary List

Originally developed in 2001 by Averil Coxhead, a distinguished linguist and researcher, she found that there were certain words that consistently show up throughout academic texts, regardless of the topic.

These 570 words are the most important you need to know for the TOEFL Reading.

Unlike other TOEFL vocabulary lists, this one has been academically researched and verified by working professionals in the English Language Teaching Community. 

If you know these 570 words, it will have a dramatic impact on your TOEFL reading score.

In Conclusion
Start practicing

Enough talking…

You’re here to practice!These are an excerpt from our TOEFL Reading Practice Pack: 500 Questions and Answers.

Nearly unlimited TOEFL practice specifically designed to build your skills.

But if you are just ready to sink your teeth into some free practice: Here are the first 100 Reading Practice Questions

Answer key for the question listed in this article

Human Anatomy

1. B (vocabulary)

B is correct because increase is closest in meaning to augment. Spread is similar in that it means to make something larger, but spread implies that something grows outward, while augment, in this situation, implies an increase.

2. B (detail)

B is correct because the other 3 options are all untrue – they each contain at least a word that changes its original meaning. The passage states “Human anatomy was first studied by observing the exterior of the body and observing the wounds of soldiers…”. While the words “human anatomy” are mentioned a few times, the answer can be found by searching for other keywords like “soldiers’” and “wounds”.

30 Comments

  1. kiana khosravani

    Hi, dear Josh; thanks for these helpful and useful tips and courses for the TOEFL. I wonder if you can give some tips for categorizing table questions in the reading part which I am weak at solving them.

    Reply
  2. Selin

    Thank you for all the helpful information and tactics Josh. I’ve been watching your videos and taking notes from it. I used to find studying and preparing for TOEFL very boring and but thanks to your entertaining and useful way of teaching I’m not that scared of it anymore 🙂 Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Wow, what a compliment Selin and thank you so much for your kind words. It really makes this whole effort worth it. I really do appreciate it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Abu Noor

    Hi Mr. Josh

    I took the test before and I scored 88. I need to get 100 to be admitted to my favorite school. Mostly, I struggle in the reading section. I scored 19 which is low for 100. I found your reading passages are very helpful and promoting. What other advice can you give me to improve my score?

    Thanks a lot

    Reply
  4. Lil

    Hi Josh, this is extremely helpful, thanks a lot. I especially like the fact that it is free…lol. I must say that could be a big barrier for those of us who are unable to afford more than the test’s fee. This will be a big help for a lot of students around the world but a lot of students still don’t know about it, perhaps something should be done about that. Cheers!

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Hi Lil and thank you for leaving such a nice comment. Of course, I would love to spread the word around more about our site. If you have any ideas, please let me know 🙂

      Reply
      • iram

        please let me know how to identify key words in detail and inference questions?

        Reply
  5. aravind

    congratulation …… Your sense of humor and you spontaneity makes you unique.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Ha, thanks for the compliment. Much appreciated 🙂

      Reply
  6. zuhal

    Thanks a lot I have find your tips very useful.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      That’s great news Zuhal! Please spread the word 🙂

      Reply
  7. becko

    You are a great teacher. What you have done is so helpful to a lot of students, therefore, I thank you.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thank you so much for your kind words Becko. It means A LOT 🙂

      Reply
  8. Fethi

    I ve just discovered your page and got a few files and looking forward to using it with my sts. Hope we ll enjoy and get more tactics.
    Thanks Josh.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Fethi. Hope you find this information helpful!

      Reply
      • Daniel madit

        Hi Mr Josh, I am a student who have done tofel exams twice but failed to reach the university required criteria and mostly i do fail reading and listening sections. Can you please advise me the best way to study and get prepared for another test and hopefully i pass?
        Please help me also with the best practising materials as of the above,
        I will really appreciate your help.
        Many thanks and wait to hearing from you.
        Daniel,

        Reply
  9. Mohammed Kasha

    You are such an amazing teacher. Thanks you in advanced for your advice. I have a problem in writing, Can you help me?

    Reply
  10. Joyce Ihenetu

    This is awesome. I have never found such an elaborated free online practice. It is very unique. Thanks very much for such generosity to help us

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thank you Joyce for your kind words!

      And please, spread the word 🙂

      We are a new site and can use some attention.

      Let me know if there is any other way we can help.

      Reply
  11. Alla

    Hello Josh) Thank you for your great work! Can I ask you to resubscribe my email? I am retaking the TOEFL in a month and want to practice with your materials. Thank you)

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Hi Alla! Sure thing. I’ll add you now. Thanks for your trust! Let me know if there is any other way I can help.

      Reply
  12. Farida

    Thank you for the opportunity to practice before the test day! It’s really helpful!

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thanks for the comment Farida! Let me know if there’s any other way we can help.

      Reply
      • Dora Seyram Doe

        I got myself glean to your texts as though it was the exams i was taking. I like your honesty on letting your readers know that, “TOEFL is a difficult one but with constant practice, one can be ready to take the exams with no fear”
        Reading and listening with you is never boring, well, to me . You make understanding what information you want to send across way easy to grasp. Nice.
        I hope to practice more as advised in other to take my exams in June.

        Reply
        • Josh MacPherson

          Dora thanks for leaving such a nice comment! I know the TOEFL can be pretty dry, so I try to make the material as engaging as possible for students. And you are right, hard work over time leads to improvement. Thanks again for your support 🙂

          Reply

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