Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Best Books for Toefl Preparation

“How do I prepare for the TOEFL exam?”

This may be the first question you are asking yourself after you officially decide you are going to take the TOEFL. With all the resources and study materials, one would think that studying for the TOEFL would be fairly easy. Unfortunately for a lot of students, this is not the case: a lot get overwhelmed with the large selection of books, online resources, and practice tests. It’s understandable considering there is so much out there!

To help reduce the stress, we’ve put together a list of the best and most recommended study materials for the TOEFL. If we missed anything specific or you have a resource you would like to suggest, be sure to comment below. Happy studying!

TIP: Before looking into study materials, it’s probably best to get familiar with the test itself. If you want to know more about the TOEFL and the breakdown of the test, be sure to check out one of our past blog posts, ‘Getting to Know: TOEFL’.

1. TOEFL iBT: The Official ETS Study Guide
Educational Testing Service

The title says it all: this is the official guide to the TOEFL. It was written by the ETS (Educational Testing Service), which is the organization that administers the TOEFL, as well as a variety of other student tests. Considering this, it’s safe to say that you’ll be provided with test questions and examples that are as similar as possible to those found on the test. It contains a lot of test examples, which are great if you want to practice by pretending to take a real test in the comfort of your own home. Students have said that that it focuses mainly on the reading and listening sections. Unfortunately, this means that there is little focus on the writing and speaking elements, with only one or two sets of speaking/writing practice questions. Overall, a great resource!

2. Delta's Key to the TOEFL iBT: Advanced Skill Practice
Nancy Gallagher

This book is aimed towards English speakers of an intermediate to high level, giving advanced practice skills. The book comes with an audio CD containing over 9 hours of audio, to ensure the listening component of the test is mastered. It is also one of the less expensive options, considering it comes with the answer key, audio CD, and four full length practice tests all included.

3. The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test iBT Edition
Bruce Rogers

Readers agree that this is another great resource, as it gives an abundance of information and examples that are very similar to those found on the test. Apparently there is a lot of focus on developing the skills needed to take the test before actually giving example questions and practice tests, which is great and will surely benefit in the long run. The only downfall is the price. The book is a bit more expensive than the others, and there are also other resources that are recommended to be paired with the book (a CD, an answer key). However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra on achieving the best score possible, it is worth it according to reviews!
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