29 de Março de 2021 -

TOEFL PREP - Reading Section

por Felipe Dib


Hello, my friend! How's it going? I'm happy to see you here. This preparation will increase your resilience, my dear. I'm sure of it.

The first section of the TOEFL iBT®  test is the Reading section.

This section uses reading passages from university-level textbooks that introduce a topic. The passages may have been changed slightly to make them appropriate for testing purposes, but they are real academic materials.

Topics of the reading passages can vary, but you do not need to have any prior knowledge of the topics. Everything you need to know to answer the questions is in the passages, because the questions are testing your English skills, not your knowledge of the topic.

There are 3 or 4 reading passages of about 700 words each. For each passage, there are 12 to 14 multiple-choice questions.

Most questions have four choices and a single correct answer. Some questions ask you to select two or more correct answers from a larger group of choices.

You will have 60 to 80 minutes to complete the Reading section. During that time, you can return to previous questions to review or change your answers.

What's the best strategy to understand the texts of my TOEFL?

Good reading techniques will give you the best chance to do well on the TOEFL reading section. It's a good idea to begin by focusing on the big picture. What topic is going to be discussed in the passage? Before you begin to read, take a look at the title, and the illustration at the beginning of the passage. If there is one.

Then, for the text, you can use the technique called skimming. Take a glance at the first few sentences

of the first paragraph. These sentences form the introduction and usually give the reader an idea of

what is to come. Then take a look at the first sentence of each of the other paragraphs. These sentences often provide information about the main point, or points, in each paragraph. At this stage, you should have an impression of what the main topic of the passage is. As well as an understanding of some of the key ideas to be discussed. You should also have an impression about the author's intent. 

Is the author explaining a phenomenon, or presenting opposing points of view?

What is the main purpose of the text you're reading?

While you skim, pay attention to the structure, or organization of the passage. You may want to take notes in the form of an outline. Read the passage carefully, from beginning to end. As you read, you can fill in more of the outline. Such as the specific details that support some of the key ideas. Remember to just jot down phrases. The outline, or notes, are only meant to help you remember what you've read. You shouldn't spend a lot of time writing. Don't worry if you don't understand everything in the passage. It's not necessary to understand every detail.

What is important is that you understand the main idea being discussed.

It's also important to think about why the author has included pieces of information. Is a piece of information an example of a phenomenon?

A supporting detail for an argument? Or, perhaps the introduction of a new idea.

After reading through the passage, begin to look at the questions. Once you read each question, you can go back to the passage to look in a targeted way for the information you need to answer that question. This is called scanning. For instance, if a question asks about climate in the Middle Ages, then look for those words in the passage. After you've located them, re-read the phrases and sentences containing those words. You should be able to find the information you need to answer the question. Remember, that as you look at each question you'll be able to see the paragraph, or paragraphs, that the question refers to on one side of your computer screen. You will also be able to scroll through the entire passage. So, if you keep these things in mind, you should be able to move through all the questions for each reading passage at a reasonable pace. Just remember to answer all the questions the best you can.

TIPS from TOEFL writers:

There are several key skills that you’ll need to be successful in the Reading section. You should be able to: 

1.  Synthesize information presented in the text:

This means that you can read chunks of text and identify main ideas being expressed. You should be able to draw connections between individual sentences and paraphrase the information that is presented.

2.  Identify the author’s rhetorical purpose:

When you read a piece of information, you should be able to understand why the author has included it. Is it an example of a phenomenon, a supporting detail for an argument, or perhaps the introduction of a new idea? Understanding the structure of each paragraph and the whole passage is critical to understanding its contents. 

3.  Scan the text to find specific pieces of information:

In order to put together the big picture about what’s going on in a passage, you will also need to comprehend the little pieces that fit together to make that big picture. It is important to be able to quickly locate a sentence or portion of a paragraph that discusses a particular point. Once you’ve found that sentence, you can re-read it in order to understand exactly what is being expressed.

4.  Understand academic vocabulary used in the passage:

A newspaper or magazine article might use more everyday language—the sort of thing you hear in conversations and read in emails. But an academic text, regardless of the subject, contains certain vocabulary that is standard in academic discourse. This might be words related to presenting theories: "propose", "hypothesis", "scenario". Or it could be words that connect two sentences: "however", "in addition", "thus". A good reader should be familiar with this vocabulary.


What are the 7 kinds of questions from the Reading Section?

Factual Information questions:

Factual Information questions ask you to recognize information that is explicitly stated in the text. These may include facts such as major ideas, supporting details, or definitions. Negative factual information questions are similar, except that, instead of only one answer being true, three of the four answers are true, and you have to determine which one is false. Factual Information questions will have phrases like "According to the paragraph," or "Paragraph X answers which of the following?" in the question. For Negative Factual Information questions, look for the words "NOT" or "EXCEPT" in capital letters. Here are some tips for answering Factual and Negative Factual Information questions:

Number 1. Don't automatically select an answer just because it contains words or phrases from the paragraph.

Make sure you carefully evaluate each option to determine if it is correct.

2. For the Negative Factual Information questions, remember that you're looking for an answer that either isn't in the paragraph, or directly contradicts information in the paragraph.

Be careful when selecting your answer, because 3 of the 4 answer choices misstate information from the passage OR contradict information from the passage.

Here is a tip to help you improve your reading skills. Read news and magazine articles about various subjects

as often as you can, and practice taking notes. When deciding what to write down, ask yourself what pieces of information are important, or relevant or credible. Then write those down, but keep the notes short. That will help you remember important information in what you read.


What do the TOEFL writers say?

But to be successful on the TOEFL test, you need to read academic texts as part of your preparation strategy. At any university, you will encounter textbooks and articles on a wide variety of academic subjects. Including the social sciences, the arts, and physical and life sciences. Because these are the kinds of texts you'll be using in university courses. They're also the kinds of texts you'll see on the TOEFL test. So, today we're going to look at three key characteristics of academic texts. First, academic texts generally use formal language. Stylistically, there are probably very few contractions or abbreviations. In terms of vocabulary, the author may use specialized, or infrequently used words. And almost no idioms or slang expressions. Also, the author may use grammar that is not typical of everyday spoken language. Or, text written for non-academic purposes. Such as entertainment. Next, the material is presented in a logical and objective way, that is to say, without personal bias. Based on facts, not feelings. Whereas popular writing often exaggerates and appeals to emotions. Due to its objectivity, the tone may feel impersonal, rather than personal. A popular magazine article, on the other hand, may be written in a way that tries to appeal to your emotions. Maybe it tries to get you to care about whether a contract between a sports team and a particular player will be renewed, for example. Or, maybe it tries to make you upset that a certain celebrity wasn't chosen for a role in an upcoming movie. Textbooks and academic papers generally won't try to appeal to your emotions. Last, academic texts are conceptually complex. This means the ideas being presented in an academic text may not be straightforward ones. In other words, they may be nuanced, or multidimensional. Not simplistic. And the relationship among those ideas may also be complicated. There may be interconnected parts. These parts may be spread across the text. So the reader may need to draw connections between individual sentences or across paragraphs. Additionally, the reader may need to draw inferences, which means, the reader has to

read between the lines. This doesn't necessarily mean academic texts are difficult, it just means that they are not simplistic in their presentation of material. So, to review. Academic texts use formal language. They present ideas logically and objectively. And they are conceptually complex. When you practice reading in English, be sure you are reading quality academic texts. They will help you prepare for test day and beyond.

Hello, my friend!!! I told you... lol! You'll have longer classes, texts and quizzes here and I'm doing it on purpose. You need to be prepared for longer tasks. If you have any questions I'm here to serve you, my friend. You have my phone number, right? 

Keep it up and see you next class,

Felipe Dib.

1. Reading is the ___ section of TOEFL.

2. The Reading section uses ___ texts.

3. Texts used in the Reading section are ___.

4. TOEFL evaluates your ___.

5. You will have ___ to finish the Reading section.

6. ___ when you come to the text.

7. Before you begin to read, ___.

8. It's ___ to understand ___ of the texts when you take TOEFL.

9. Getting the general idea of a text is called ___.

10. Looking for details of a text is called ___.

11. The first tip from TOEFL writers is: ___.

12. ___ is not recommended for the Reading section.

13. Factual information questions ask you to recognise data that is ___.

14. You ___ automatically select an answer that contains words from the paragraph.

15. Read ___ as part of your preparation strategy.

16. Academic texts ___.

17. You ___ see idioms in academic texts.

18. A magazine article appeals to your ___, which is ___ of TOEFL texts.

19. When you "infer" you ___.

20. ___ is not used in academic texts.