toefl preparation books

TOP 10 TOEFL BOOKS 2016-2017 Review

TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language. This is the test of your English language skill at international level. The score of the test is recognized by many universities as part of admission procedure into their courses across US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. the test is conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service).

There are two formats for the test

  1. TOEFL iBT i.e. internet Based Test
  2. TOEFL PBT i.e. Paper-Based Test

The test consists of four sections : Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing

Based on the above sections we would review below some of the books that have been researched upon and are found to be highly appreciated by students as preparatory guide for TOEFL.

1. The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

This book is published by ETS. As the name suggests this is the official guide to TOEFL. It includes authentic TOEFL questions and sample tests. It also includes three previously administered practice tests with answers and explanations. Recent set of tests are available in the Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 2, published in 2016 by ETS. The real questions give new test takers the knowledge of what is expected in the test. The last section of the book “Writer’s Handbook,” explains principles of basic English language. Though this is the best guide and more authentic, but it should be complemented with other guides as well.


2. Barron’s TOEFL iBT Superpack

This is a set of Barron’s TOEFL iBT book, 10 audio CDs consisting of practice test questions, a CD-ROM with the book’s practice TOEFL tests, a TOEFL test with automatic scoring, and a section of Essential Words for the TOEFL to enhance your word power. The USP of this set is Barron’s TOEFL iBT The book gives a comprehensive and clear guidance to help you get acquainted with the basics of the TOEFL. It will also help you in preparing all the four sections of the test.The guide includes 7 practice tests with elaborate notes and explanations. There is a section which explains the key academic skills like, note taking and synthesizing, necessary to succeed in the test. The book provides access to video lessons as well. This book is very Dynamic and highly recommended.


3. Speaking and Writing Strategies for TOEFL iBT

As the name suggests the book concentrates on speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL. Since the book concentrates on two main sections it is by all means best at least in these two sections. The idea is to crack the test by scoring most marks in these two sections. The book deploys strategies to limit errors during the test and revision techniques to optimize your score. It has strategic approach in argument mapping which in turn helps improving writing skills. The guide uses various techniques on improving scoring for the test in various speaking and writing questions. To sum up this is a very clever and smart manual.


4. TOEFL iBT High Score System

The guide has easy to follow instructions about how to solve each question in the TOEFL. In the essay section, the author teaches the better ways of drafting an introduction and then following it up with a supporting opinion. The speaking section provides a general strategy as to how to structure your answers thus helping the students overcome this fearful section of the test. Lastly, an explanation is provided regarding how the questions should be analyzed and answered to affect the TOEFL scoring. Though the book gives an in depth knowledge of TOEFL it should be supplemented by other guides.


5. Practice Exercises for the TOEFL

This guide mainly concentrates on practicing for the TOEFL. The book comes with a MP3 CD-ROM offering over 1,000 practice exercises. It also includes explanations for all the four sections of TOEFL. It acts as a dual preparation for the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL ITP (Institutional TOEFL Program). This guide includes one each of TOEFL iBT practice test and ITP practice test. Both has answer evaluation score sheet. A section covers frequently used vocabulary in the TOEFL and skill-building practice patterns as incentives in the book. Due to its exhaustive questions and answers, it will help you boos your stamina for the TOEFL.


6. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL

Cambridge University Press is a leading publisher with a commendable TOEFL book in the market. It allows accessing online TOEFL practice tests. Along with different skill-building exercises and progress checks the book is designed to help improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and test study skills. It contains four practice tests. The online tests are simulations for the real TOEFL iBT’s and even generate a score. A CD ROM is provided as help for the listening skills. The collection of exercises, practice questions, and full-length practice tests gives you a rigor required to crack the test. Difficulty of intermediate to high difficulty level assures you comfort while taking the test.


7. Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier 2016-2017

The book is known for its language, grammar exercises and explanations. It includes sections on test-taking strategies and study tips. The book provides access to video tutorials as well. An outline of the various types of questions that may be encountered in each section of the exam are given in the guide. The question analysis is done and suitable strategies are discussed to improve your TOEFL score. A lot of practice material is included in the hard copy of the guide. Four full-length model tests with answers and explanations are provided through the online part of the guide. The online section also helps TOEFL iBT interface. A CD-ROM is also provided which is exclusive for the listening section. This book is more complete as it has tried to provide all round help in all the sections of the TOEFL.


8. Cracking the TOEFL 2016-2017 Edition

The book boast in-depth grammar reviews, practice exercises with answers and explanations. It stresses upon strategic advice on mastering the format of the test through the four different sections of the TOEFL. You will find easy to understand techniques to tackle the questions and convert them into high scores. It comes with a full-length iBT practice test. Also, audio exercises are incorporated in an audio CD. Even the guide provides access to streaming files online. The book is very good but a supplementary guide is advisable.


9. 400 Must-Have Words for the TOEFL

This classic McGraw Hill book targets intermediate-level students working upon to build up their vocabulary. This is not a full-fledged TOEFL guide but is exhaustive to build your vocabulary. Keeping with its name the book boasts of a strong collection of 400 target words for TOEFL. The words are categorized into eight types (Nature, Science, Mind and Body, etc.) and subcategories. Keeping with the times it comes with an app with flashcard-style vocabulary quizzes. Very effective to hone your word skills.


10. Essential Words for the TOEFL

This is another Barron’s book designed to supplement classical TOEFL books. It contains a list of about 500 essential words with definitions. An overview of the TOEFL’s important sections and formats features, tips to expand your vocabulary and use of flash cards are discussed in the book. Relevant practice tests help students evaluate their development.



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