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.
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.
The TOEFL iBT® Reading section is designed to assess how well you can read and understand the kind of materials used in an academic environment. It includes 3 or 4 reading passages, each approximately 700 words long, with 10 questions per passage. You have 54 to 72 minutes to answer all the questions in the section.
Reading passages are excerpts from university-level textbooks that would be used in introductions to a discipline or topic. The passages cover a variety of different subjects. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the topic of a passage. All the information you need to answer the questions will be included in the passage. There is a glossary feature available to define words not commonly used, if you need it.
Breakdown of the Best Free Resources for TOEFL Preparation
The ETS TOEFL Website
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!
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.
Your Local Library
More Amazing Resources to Study Before the TOEFL Test
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 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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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!
Hey, I’m Kris Taylor. I’m a Learning and Development professional currently in the healthcare field, with over 8 years of experience in the area of corporate education. I have created numerous instructional content for various corporate projects including eLearning, in-person facilitation, and virtual training across a wide variety of learning interventions and sectors. On Taughtup, I discuss topics ranging from how to succeed through K-12 to college all the way to instructional design tips for L&D designers.