TOEFL preparation - Books and study materials
Updated on Jun 18, 2016 - 8:57 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das

TOEFL study materials -
Recognised by over 9000 colleges, universities and organisations, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the most popular tests conducted to evaluate a candidate’s English language proficiency. Taken across 130 test centres in the world, TOEFL is a highly competitive test of English proficiency since it facilitates admission at some of the most well-known universities in the world. “Universities generally tend to have a threshold that they expect their applicants to meet. The top universities generally tend to have their threshold scores around 100,” says Santhosh Chelikavada, an undergraduate engineering student at the New York University who scored 113 out of 120 to win a TOEFL scholarship.


Given such high demand, your TOEFL preparation strategy becomes a vital factor that impacts your TOEFL score. To guide test takers through the right TOEFL preparation strategy, Careers360 brings some of the important TOEFL study materials that TOEFL candidates should study from.

The TOEFL test pattern has four sections, namely, listening, reading, speaking and writing which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete. The break-up of the four sections is given below:


Time Limit





60–80 minutes

36–56 questions

Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.



60–90 minutes

34–51 questions

Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, answer questions.



20 minutes

6 tasks

Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.



50 minutes

2 tasks

Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.


Find below TOEFL study materials for preparation:

ETS: The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the conducting authority of TOEFL, brings out the most comprehensive guides for TOEFL preparation. Interestingly, ETS produces both online and offline TOEFL study materials for aspirants to prepare from any format they are comfortable with.  The most popular material in ETS’s kitty is the Official guide to TOEFL, which is in its fourth edition. The TOEFL preparation guide includes details on all the sections along with sample texts written by previous test takers. It also has practice tests with answer keys. Besides the complete Official Guide, ETS also brings out the Official TOEFL IBT tests with Audio files. Here are the TOEFL study materials from ETS to study from:

  • Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, Fourth Edition

  • Official TOEFL iBT Tests with Audio, Volume 1

  • TOEFL Practice Online

Kaplan: Kaplan, which is known for its TOEFL study materials, produces one of the most sought after study guides for TOEFL. The TOEFL iBT Premier is one among its premier series for study abroad exams. The latest edition consists of 3 practice tests guiding you with the most important language skills to ace the test. What more? The test pack consists of over 450 practice questions. Here are two of the best TOEFL study materials from Kaplan to study from:

  • Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier 2016-2017 with 4 Practice Tests

  • Kaplan TOEFL Vocabulary Prep

Cambridge: Cambridge known for its emphasis on the English language is one of the leading publishers of TOEFL study materials. The biggest advantage of the Cambridge preparation for TOEFL is that it consists of a wide variety of skill- building exercises and comprehensive tips on improving one’s grammar and vocabulary. In fact, the guide even offers step-by-step exercises on writing full length essays. Best part is that the package includes a CD which has 7 full-length tests for TOEFL aspirants.

Oxford: Your TOEFL preparation would be incomplete withoutthe Oxford Preparation Course for the TOEFL iBT Exam. The TOEFL study material by Oxford offers a very comprehensive guide carrying detailed instructions on each section and how to attempt them. Besides, it has a huge sample list for all the sections. Apart from the Official guide, the Oxford book can be very good for aspirants who want to be introduced to the test.


Barron’s: With over 1000 practice tests, it doesn’t get better for TOEFL aspirants than the Barron’s Practice Exercises for the TOEFL. An added advantage of the TOEFL study materials by Barron's is that these help students for both the paper-based and internet-based tests. The Barron’s guide to TOEFL has eight practice tests to help students prepare for the TOEFL test. Best part is besides giving instructions on all the sections Barron’s guide also instructs aspirants on the essay section. The test package also includes samples essays on topics which are common in TOEFL.

  • Barron's TOEFL iBT with Audio CDs and CD-ROM

  • Barron's TOEFL iBT Superpack, 2nd Edition

  • Writing for the TOEFL iBT with MP3 CD, 5th Edition

  • Essential Words for the TOEFL

TOEFL preparation- Online and practice sets: There are many TOEFL study materials available online that students can use besides books. In fact, you have the option of downloading pdfs on the various topics. You can even take mock tests online to check your time-management skills. You can either download the materials or buy online preparation kits.  Besides that, you can also refer to IELTS preparation sample papers.

Download TOEFL Sample Papers for free!


Also read:

TOEFL topper interview: Santhosh Chelikavada shares his preparation strategy

TOEFL Preparation Tips

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Questions related to TOEFL

Showing 165 out of 165 Questions

can you please inform me how to apply for IELTS and TOEFL exams

Charvi Nayyar 7th Feb, 2020

hello aspirant

you can register for IELTS exam in the following way:

1. you can register online and pay the fees by credit card (Log on to and Select the option "Register for IELTS" and fill the necessary information).

2.  register in person at idp branch and pay the fees there. identical to the first option.

3. register by courier and pay test fee by demand draft.

you can register for TOEFL exam by online means and or by email or by phone. you can also register in person at a toefl resource center. you will be basically required to visit and create an online profile and then pay the exam fees.

hope this helps


Dear Sir/Mam, I want to do MS in UK in January 2021. Do i have to give both IELTS and TOEFL exams or either? I dont know when and how to start preparation. please Help. Thanks

Mayank Chowdhary 2nd Feb, 2020

Giving either of them is ok actually. And for preparations then if you plan to shift in 2021 try to give the exam in around November 2020 if possible and to start it's preparations, as per me it's a 3 months regular studies required to crack the same. So you can start in around July/August to be well prepared to give the exam.

Either the IELTS or the TOEFL is required as part of your application to an English-speaking university and will demonstrate if you will be able to understand the course material.

The IELTS and TOEFL exams are two of the most accepted English proficiency exams around the world. However, both of these tests are different in their structure, approach, and teaching criteria. This means that you need to understand how the two differ before selecting which test to study for and ultimately take.

Thank you.


Dear Sir/Mam, I want to do MS in UK. But cost of study is Expensive. Does scoring good in IELTS and TOEFL helps to reduce the amount of cost ? what else option do i get in order to get admission in UK in minimum cost ? Please Help Me !!

Harshit sethi 1st Feb, 2020

All the foreign Universities offer a scholarship which is on the basis of meriat and need basis . You should try to look for it and inform the competent authority about it . They would help you in every way . They also offers 100 % scholarship to merit and need basis students.

This would help you to study abroad.


What is purpose of toefl exam???

Khusji 14th Jan, 2020


The purpose of the TOEFL iBT test is to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English. TOEFL iBT scores are primarily used as a measure of the ability of international students to use English in an academic environment.



how much does it cost overall to study PhD biochemistry at mit uk. and wat should be my GRE and TOEFL/ IELTS scores ?

Ameya Narendra Parkar 13th Jan, 2020
Dear Aishwarya,
I would like to tell you that PhD in biology is available at MIT, in that you can choose your research area as biochemistry.
PhDs are usually full funded but if theres any tuition fee present then your PI can only tell you about that.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Minimum score required: 6.5
Electronic scores send to: MIT Graduate Admissions

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Minimum score required: 90 (iBT) 577 (PBT)
  • Institute code: 3514
  • Department code: 35

I hope this information helps you

all the best

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