TOEFL iBT

Sample Questions


Reading

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. The President during the American Civil War, Lincoln unified a divided nation. While he had non-political beginnings, Lincoln has become one of the most important presidents that the U.S. has ever had. As a child, his family relocated quite a bit and he lost his mother very early in life. Although Lincoln had very little formal education, he was a voracious reader and, with quite a bit of self-discipline, taught himself law. As a lawyer, Lincoln was known to be a formidable courtroom opponent, and when he moved to politics, his oratory skills continued to serve him well. He served as a local and then state official before being elected President in 1860. 

It was his election that initiated the Southern states' secession from the Northern states, thus beginning the American Civil War. For almost his entire first term, the U.S. was at war. It was during this time that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, a decree that freed the slaves of the Southern states and one of the most important documents in United States history. He also delivered the Gettysburg Address, a speech that has become the most quoted speech in U.S. history. In this speech, Lincoln reiterated the principles of freedom and liberty on which America was founded. Lincoln won a second term as President but was shot and killed one short year later. His legacy as a man with strong convictions, who believed in justice for all, has made Lincoln one of the most respected and beloved presidents in U.S. history. 

1. The word voracious could best be replaced by

A. Greedy
B. Eager
C. Forceful
D. Reluctant

2. According to the passage, what is true about Abraham Lincoln?

A. Lincoln held public office before being elected president
B. Lincoln grew up in a poor family
C. His family lived in the same town while Lincoln was growing up
D. Lincoln is remembered most for his work as a lawyer
 
3. Why does the author mention the Emancipation Proclamation?

A. To show how important this speech was
B. To proclaim that the slaves were freed
C. To give an example of Lincoln’s historical significance
D. To show that Lincoln is often quoted

4. Select three statements that best express the most important ideas of the passage.

A. Lincoln did not finish his second term as President.
B. Lincoln was responsible for rhetoric intended to end the war.
C. Lincoln is best remembered for his efforts to reunite his country.
D. Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.
E. Lincoln did not attend college.
F. Lincoln was mostly self-educated.

Answers: 1.B, 2.A, 3.C, 4.B-C-F

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the reading questions are like. For more detailed information or for more practice tests, download The Complete TOEFL iBT app!

Listening

[PLAY BUTTON R(22)]

1. Why does the student go to see her professor? 

A. She doesn’t understand the exam topic
B. She wants to reschedule a future test
C. She wants to reschedule a test she missed
D. She wants to discuss her research topic

2. When will the make-up exam take place?

A. the 17th 
B. the 7th
C. the 27th 
D. the 20th 

3. What is the professor’s attitude toward the woman’s situation? 

A. Diffident
B. Unconcerned
C. Considerate
D. Doubtful

4. What can be inferred about the professor? 

A. He doesn’t understand the woman’s reason for missing the exam
B. He isn’t normally very helpful with students
C. He expects the woman to do extra work
D. He will not be there to give her the make-up test

Answers: 1.B, 2.A, 3.C, 4.D

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the listening questions are like. For more detailed information or for more practice tests, download The Complete TOEFL iBT app!

Speaking

Describe the best vacation you have ever taken, explaining what you did and why it was so enjoyable.  Use specific reasons and examples to support your response.

Do you prefer to travel in your free time, or do you like to stay in one place in order to relax during your free time?  Use specific reasons and examples to support your response.

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the speaking questions are like. For more detailed information or for more practice tests, download The Complete TOEFL iBT app!

Writing

Some people prefer to plan activities for their free time very carefully. Others choose not to make any plans at all for their free time. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the writing questions are like. For more detailed information or for more practice tests, download The Complete TOEFL iBT app!


Test Prep Strategies


Reading

  • Read for the questions! As you only have a limited amount of time, make sure that all the time you spend reading will directly contribute to an increase in your score.
  • Analyze the question carefully! Don't assume that you understood what the question asked after only taking a quick look at it. The writers of the test know that students do this, so they sometimes put words in the question that change it completely, such as EXCEPT or NOT.
  • Only use the text! When presented a passage about a topic they know well, many students have a tendency to use their own knowledge of the topic to answer questions. Do not do this! The text may contradict what you know or leave out things that you know, and this will directly affect your performance.
  • Study vocabulary! In order to understand both the question and the passage, it is essential that you know the words. Download the TOEFL & SAT Vocabulary app for guidance.
  • Don't spend too long on any one question! There may be easier ones after it that require less time.
  • Always guess! There is no penalty for wrong answers, so make sure you always select one of the answer choices.
  • Take practice tests! There is no better way to get prepared. Being as familiar with the exam as possible will boost your confidence. Take as many practice tests as you can.
  • Remember, there is only 1 answer choice that is 100% correct. The other 3 answer choices are 100% WRONG!

Listening

  • Listen to talks in English and take notes! In school, at home, on the subway, no matter where you are, listening to talks in English and taking notes will help you increase your score.
  • Be an active listener! When you get involved in the topic, you will feel in control of the material, and this boosts your confidence.
  • Keep listening when you hear a word you don't know! While it is tempting to become discouraged when you don't understand something you hear, the writers of the test don't expect you to know every word in English; rather, they want to find out if you can use the context to understand key words.
  • Analyze the question! Just like on the reading section, the writers of the test know that many students assume they understand what the question is asking and therefore don't think about it carefully. The writers of the test will use this to their advantage, so don't let them!
  • Form an answer in your mind before you look at the answer options! Many students make the mistake of looking at the answer choices before carefully considering what the question is really asking. This is a huge mistake! There may be several answer choices that include information you heard, but that does not mean they actually answer the question.
  • Remember, there is only 1 answer choice that is 100% correct. The other 3 answer choices are 100% WRONG!

Speaking

  • Know the criteria the evaluators are using when they score your speaking responses! There are three criteria that the evaluators consider when scoring your responses: delivery, language use, and topic development. Delivery is a measure of how fluidly you speak. Language use is a measure of how effectively you use grammar, vocabulary, and complex sentence structures. Topic development is a measure of how fully you explain your ideas.
  • Practice! Many students find it strange, but the best way to prepare for the speaking section is to practice with yourself. Record your speaking responses on your telephone or digital recorder, and then evaluate them according to the criteria above. If you're unsatisfied with your performance, or if you notice a “bad habit,” record the same response again and again until you are fully satisfied. This will help you transform those bad habits into good habits!
  • Answer the question being asked! While this may sound obvious, one of the main reasons students lose points on the speaking section is because they discuss things that were not asked about in the question. Always analyze the question carefully!
  • Fake it till you make it! Even if you're not the world's most confident speaker, make it sound like you are! Evaluators always give confident speakers more points than unconfident speakers.
  • Use every second you are given! In total, you will only speak for 5 minutes and 30 seconds during the speaking section, and this is all the evaluators have to determine your proficiency in spoken English. Every second is an opportunity to show them just how comfortable, confident, and fluent you are!

Writing

  • Analyze the question! By far the most common reason students lose points on the writing section is because they don't directly answer the question being asked. Spend 1 minute analyzing the question. Believe us, it is time well spent!
  • Write an outline! While many students worry that taking the time to write an outline will not leave them enough time to finish the essay, experience has shown that spending 3 to 4 minutes planning the essay beforehand actually helps students finish faster.
  • Make your argument as airtight as possible! Consider how someone arguing with you about the topic might respond to your reasons and address that in your essay.
  • Use examples to show your idea is true! The best way to support your argument is by showing that it's valid. Remember, however, that examples should be specific cases from history, literature, current events, or your own life.
  • Show off! Think of the writing section as your opporunity to show the evaluators just how well you know English. Have some complex sentence structures and vocabulary ready to use before you take the test.
  • Review your work! After you finish your essay, always check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Don't give them any reason to take points away from you!