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How Do I Choose the Best TOEFL® Book?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Feb 08, 2024
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When preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL®), you might consider finding an effective TOEFL® book that can help you study and prepare for the test. You should consider what resources are available from Education Testing Service® (ETS®), since these can be helpful and may be free of charge. It can also be helpful to ensure you find a book that includes digital media as well, especially if you are planning on taking the Internet-based test (iBT) version of the TOEFL®. In general, the best TOEFL® book for you should provide you not only with suggestions on test-taking, but with practice questions written in the same format as the test itself.

The TOEFL® is a test administered to students who are non-native English speakers and are interested in attending a college or university in an English-speaking country such as the US or UK. This test is designed to provide the tester with questions that utilize language equivalent to that used in college classrooms for lectures and exams, and the use of a TOEFL® book for studying is quite common. You might consider a TOEFL® book available from ETS® itself, the company that develops and administers the TOEFL®. While this may not be the best book for you, such books often use the same format as the test itself and some resources from ETS® may be available for free.

You should look for a TOEFL® book that also includes digital media, either through a download or on a disc provided with the book. This is especially important if you are going to take the iBT version of the TOEFL®, as you will use a computer and keyboard during the test. It is best to practice taking a test in the same format as the actual test you will take, and digital versions of TOEFL® preparation materials best emulate the TOEFL iBT®.

The material covered in a TOEFL® book should also properly prepare you for the test itself. It can be best to find a TOEFL® book that provides suggestions and tips for taking the test, as well as practice questions and even full practice exams. These books often use questions taken directly from tests administered in previous years, or are based off of such questions. You should also use a standard “QWERTY” style keyboard when practicing any digital test questions, as this is the type of keyboard used at TOEFL® testing centers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Vertighost — On Nov 21, 2014

It's also important to make sure information in the books is current. I'd strongly suggest not relying on one book, no matter how much you like it. The questions in one book might actuallyh be too easy, and when you go to take the test, you'll be stressed by the difficulty. I'd also suggest focusing only on those parts of the books that you have the most trouble with. It's impossible to remember everything, and it can be overwhelming, so if there's something that you find particularly tough, it's wise to work on it. Besides books, you can easily find a lot of free samples online.

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