Best Free Resources For TOEFL Preparation

best free resources for toefl preparationThere’s always a lot of stress and pressure involved when taking the TOEFL. For starters, you’re going to be taking an examination in a relatively new language.

Sure, it’s one that you’ve been studying for some time (likely at least a few months, if not a few years). But there’s still always something disorienting about knowing ahead of time that you’re going to be tested in a language you may not have been reading, speaking, or listening to your whole life.

Secondly, you know that you will have to hit a particular score to pass the test – and if you don’t, you’re going to be out a considerable amount of money.

Failing this test is going to setback your goals and ambitions, send you back to your study, and prepare to take the examination all over again, and then you might have even more doubt in the back of your mind.

Thankfully though, with a bit of extra TOEFL Preparation, you’ll be able to wipe away a lot of that stress and pressure completely.

Below, we run through some of the most valuable free resources for TOEFL preparation you’ll want to take advantage of in the lead-up to your examination date.

These resources are widely regarded as the best of the best, resources anyone and everyone should have access to, and resources that will significantly give a lot of “inside information” to simplify the TOEFL exam itself.

The TOEFL is an exam that tests your English proficiency, recognized by only 11,000 universities globally. Over 35 million people have taken the TOEFL for academia and immigration across 150 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, the U.K., and across Europe and Asia.

Before we can look at the free resources for TOEFL Preparation, we need to understand what components make up the overall exam. Let’s jump right in and take a look.

Girl reading the oxford English dictionary

Professional development takes different approaches. It includes all career activities aimed at making employees better suited for their current position and the positions they are aspiring to reach. It involves the most important things it takes to sharpen the tools in your toolbox as an ambitious career person. 

What are the 4 components of the TOEFL

The 4 components of the TOEFL exam are; Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Mastering these elements will give you the best overall score and put you in the best position in your English language journey. 

Check out the 4 topics below for more in-depth information.

Breakdown of the Best Free Resources for TOEFL Preparation

The ETS TOEFL Website

It should come as no surprise that the ETS TOEFL website would be full of TOEFL preparation resources you can use to better prepare for their examination.

Please spend some time digging into this site, looking specifically into the resources they make available to Test Takers all over the world.

You’ll find a lot of TOEFL preparation resources aimed at helping you study and prepare for this examination. But you’ll also find lots of question-and-answer details from people like you that were worried about this test, too. That’s where the real “inside information” about prepping for this exam is located.

Those are the kinds of details you won’t find anywhere else!

ETS – TOEFL Test Prep: The Insider’s Guide

You’ll also want to be sure that you sign up for the free TOEFL Test Preparation course provided by ETS too.

This course is a six-week-long program made up of different modules that are self-paced (most spend between 2 to 4 hours a week studying) and covers everything you need to know about taking the TOEFL exam.

You’ll learn how to improve your language skills, how to navigate the four individual sections of the TOEFL course, and how the scoring is broken down.

Along the way, you’ll also get actionable tips and tricks about how to leverage your TOEFL score to accomplish the goals you set for yourself in the world of employment or education, how to manage better the actual logistics of taking the test, and how to register for your TOEFL exam, too.

You’ll have a hard time finding more valuable help than these free resources provided directly from the same organization that conducts the TOEFL exam in the first place!


Girl doing TOEFL preparation on laptop

An incredibly popular learning & exam prep platform for those looking to excel when taking the TOEFL examination, Magoosh offers some of the best free (and paid) training and prep courses around.

Their Guide to the TOEFL IBT e-book, vocabulary test flashcards, Practice Questions for the TOEFL PDF, and even their (almost) full-length TOEFL practice examination are available 100% free of charge with zero strings attached.

You can take advantage of a free trial offer of their premium TOEFL preparation products and video courses too. Their live tutor service is one of the best in the business, but it’s not free – though you might want to consider it all the same. 


The beauty of this free resource is that it is structured from top to bottom just like the actual TOEFL examination itself, giving you an opportunity to “dry run” through this exam as often – and as many times – as you like with no penalty. 

Definitely one of the best examples of TOEFL preparation around.

On top of the 11 different practice tests that this resource provides free of charge, you’ll also get 17 individual lessons to help you with your TOEFL prep, a vast and comprehensive vocabulary breakdown, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Your Local Library

Don’t sleep on your local library is a fantastic source for TOEFL preparation resources, either!

Not all libraries will be outfitted entirely to help with the TOEFL exam, but most are going to do everything in their power to track down and get you the resources you need to succeed.

 You might also want to consider reaching out via email to major US libraries (like the New York Public Library) or the libraries of major colleges and universities to see if they can point you in the right direction, too.

 You may be surprised at the amount of otherwise costly TOEFL resources they can help you gain access to, all at no out-of-pocket cost for you!

More Amazing Resources to Study Before the TOEFL Test

There are other TOEFL preparation resources you will want to use to help you study and prepare for your exam, resources that are a little “unorthodox“.


YouTube is not just a platform for funny cat videos and “time-killing-content” any longer.

No, YouTube is quickly establishing itself as a modern-day version of the library at Alexandria – a video resource filled top to bottom with user-created content that can help people learn almost anything and everything they are interested in.

There are many great videos available to help you with TOEFL preparation, (all of them just a quick YouTube search away). But you’ll also want to consider watching popular YouTube content in English to help you master this language, too!

Ted Talks

Ted Talks are another excellent resource for mastering the English language, especially if you are looking for more interesting, more engaging, and more intellectually stimulating content than you might have been able to find anywhere else.

There are some fantastic Ted Talks out there that can help to broaden your horizons, deepen your knowledge base, and expose you to new ideas and new perspectives, all while you improve your command of the English language at the same time


Discord Logo

Though there are no specific, permanent TOEFL Discord channels (yet), many folks are creating their own Discord channels to get together with other like-minded individuals to help one another prep for the TOEFL examination.

Jump on Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook and search for “TOEFL Discord.” You might be surprised at just how many open and welcoming communities you discover, filled to the brim with folks interested in helping everyone involved get a great score on the TOEFL.

Zoom and Teams

Think of these tools as the modern-day version of the letter-based “pen-pal” program that was wildly popular not all that long ago.

Reach out to native English speakers on social media, forums, Reddit, or anywhere else you can find them and see if they would be willing to jump on a Zoom or Teams call with you every now and again to help you with your English practice, and to help TOEFL preparation.

This is a great way to make new friends, meet new people from around the world, and develop the English language skills you’ll need to do well on the TOEFL. 

TOEFL Test Section Specific Tips and Tricks

Man looking out listening to music

The TOEFL examination is broken down into four major components

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening and
  • Speaking

Below we highlight a couple of strategies specific to these sections you’ll want to take advantage of when you are preparing for this exam

Reading Tips

  • The Reading section of this test is where you are most likely to see more “academic” English language terms than anywhere else on the test. Really memorize those kinds of terms, and you’ll have a much easier time.
  • Do everything you can to master the art of “skim and scan” reading in the English language. This will be hugely valuable during the Reading portion of the test, as you’ll be able to move through it far more efficiently and with better accuracy – not to mention improve for attention. YouTube will be your best friend for finding skim and scan training resources.
  • Time management is hugely important here. This is the section of the test that many people get bogged down with and where most say they lose a lot of time. Do everything you can to “speed run” through this part of the test – without harming your score – and you’ll be in great shape.

Listening Tips

  • The Listening portion of the TOEFL exam will be broken into two different parts, the CONVERSATION and LECTURE sections. Be prepared for both.
  • Shorthand notes are going to be hugely valuable during both sections of this exam. Make sure that you keep notes legibly, using abbreviations and symbols to speed things up – but also ensure that you can read, retain, and analyze your messages quickly, or they won’t be of much use.
  • Zero in on “linking” words, the words that sum up or combine the conversation’s significant points and the lecture you are paying attention to. These will help anchor the rest of the conversation for you, making retention a lot easier.

Speaking Tips

  • As mentioned above, it’s not a bad idea to make friends on Zoom or Teams so that you can better practice actually speaking English with a native speaker that can provide you with real-time feedback. This is hugely beneficial, completely free, and has a bunch of other side benefits as well – like making new friends around the world!
  • Spend less time trying to perfect a native speaking accent and instead work on making sure that your sentence structure and the substance of what you are saying is correct. That extra work will pay off big time!

Writing Tips

  • Try to spend at least 30 to 40 minutes writing in English every day for at least 2 to 3 weeks in the lead-up to your TOEFL exam. Maybe take passages from a favorite book of yours and rewrite them in English, transcribe everything you hear on your favorite native English-speaking YouTube channels or podcasts, or send messages on social media to native English speakers and have them correct any mistakes you might make.
  • Shoot for at least 200 words in all of the written answers you provide on your TOEFL. It shows an absolute command of the English language. Just make sure that you’re not “stuffing” your answers and watering down your ability to communicate.

Closing Thoughts

Contemplating on a beach looking at the water

At the end of the day, the TOEFL exam will always be a little stressful – no matter how much you prepare.

This is, after all, an important and influential (not to mention expensive) exam that can have far-reaching implications regardless of whether or not you pass or fail.

If you commit to preparing for this exam, though, and give yourself plenty of time (at least 30 days) in advance to study up on your English language skills, you’ll find it’s a lot less stressful than you expect.

Take full advantage of all the free TOEFL preparation resources highlighted above to get ready for this test, and you’ll have all the confidence you need to succeed! 

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