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Posted on August 12 2020

Train focused - What all to expect in TOEFL reading test

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
Online TOEFL Coaching

So, you are preparing for the TOEFL exam. An important part of this exam is the Reading section. Now, reading sounds to be a normal and simple activity. But when it comes to TOEFL, the questions you will need to attend will be surely challenging if you don’t prepare for it the right way.

The TOEFL test is designed to systematically assess your ability in different areas of the English language, of which reading is a significant part. While reading tasks are given, they will make you employ your ability to listen, understand, and respond appropriately.

To score high marks in the TOEFL exam, you need to know how to approach and train yourself for each specific task. Here, we discuss what you should focus on while practicing for different reading tasks so that you can do your best to perfect the tasks given.

Questions on basic information

There will be a passage given and tasks are based on the factual information made available in the passage. What is tested is your ability to locate the key information in the passage and respond to the questions given in terms of facts or vocabulary.

Factual information

These questions target facts or statements explicitly present in the given passage. You have to find out the right information that becomes the answer to the question asked.

Negative factual information

This is similar to the Factual Information question, with the difference that the answer given will be the statement that is not true.

Vocabulary information

The questions of this type want you to understand certain vocabulary in the context of the passage/paragraph given. An example is understanding the meaning of a word in the context of the paragraph given.

Questions on inference

You will be given a paragraph of which you have to find out the general meaning and figure out the information from the one stated explicitly.


The task for you in this type of question is that you must understand the idea or argument implied in the passage but not stated as such in it. This is a test of your analytic ability; the ability to find out the meaning from what is not apparent.

Rhetoric purpose

You must answer the questions of this type by reasoning and say “why” rather than “what” or “how”. For this, you will have to understand the way in which the author of the passage presents information.


Your task for this type of question is to rightly identify the relations between sentences. This will help with the overall understanding of the test. For example, you may be given a highlighted pronoun which you must find what it refers to.

Sentence simplification

This type of question tests your ability to summarize and generalize the information given. In the questions given, you will be asked to choose the answer sentence that summarizes the passage best.

Insert text

This task is demanding as it tests your reading comprehension to the most. You will be required to fit in a new sentence into an existing paragraph where it should fit in best. Upon insertion of the new sentence, the paragraph will retain its original sense and meaning and maintain the grammatical and logical flow.

Questions on reading to learn

In this section of reading tasks, you are required to work with the whole passage to get to the right answers. Your abilities gauged are assessing given information, understanding its purpose, and differentiating major points from the minor points in the passage.

Prose summary

In this task, you are required to identify the major arguments in the passage. Then, paying attention to the whole idea and argument of the passage, you need to pick 3 answers among the ones given that best represent the major ideas of the passage.

Fill in a table

Here, your ability to organize information is measured. You will be given an incomplete table that you must fill with the right answer choices at the right places in the table.

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