TOEFL Exam Essentials and Sample Paper

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  1. The basic requirement to take the test is that you should possess a sound basic knowledge of English. If you do not have it, then its necessary that you take up English language courses before taking a TOEFL preparation course. TOEFL exam preparation materials are designed to prepare you for the test and not to polish your language skills.

  2. Start studying well before time of the exam. Do not have the attitude to start your studies a week before the exam.

  3. Whatever you learn, learn with perfection. Do not try to cover up all topics imperfectly. Thoroughly learning a small amount of information daily is better.

  4. Make a habit to watch a English movie or listen to a radio program in English. This will help you improve your listening comprehension skills. Keep on learning new vocabulary words. Even though these activities are not directly related to the TOEFL test, they will help you.

  5. Concentrate most on weak areas and keep polishing the areas which you are good at:

Sample Paper

Section 1: Listening Comprehension

Time-approximately 35 minutes

(including the reading of the directions for each part)

In the Listening Comprehension section of the TOEFL test, your listening skills are tested as to how you can listen to English conversations. On the basis of the conversation played, you are required to answer the questions asked as to what you have heard. However you are not supposed to take notes or write in your book at any time. Also do not turn the pages until you are told to do so.

Part a: Directions

In Part A a conversation between two people will be played on the basis of which one question will be asked. You will have to answer the question choosing the best answer of the four options given to you. However, the conversations and questions will not be repeated.

Listen to an example.

On the recording, you will hear:

(man) I think I'll have the jewellery changed.

(woman) They are a bit old.

(narrator) What does the women mean?

The question in your book/computer will read as:

  1. Sample Question

    1. She thinks every bit of change is important.

    2. She wants to wear them.

    3. She thinks they've been worn enough.

    4. She thinks they're in bad condition.

Part B: Directions

In B part, the conversations will be longer. There will be several questions which you will have to answer from the four options available. Remember the conversations and questions will not be repeated.

You are not supposed to take notes or write in your book.

Now we will begin Part B with the first conversation.

  1. Sample Question

    1. A well-known painting.

    2. A painting that artists favor.

    3. A popular painting among the public.

    4. The most valuable painting in the museum.

Part C: Directions

In this part of the test, you will hear several talks. There will be several questions which you will have to answer from the four options available. Remember the talks and questions will not be repeated.

Here is an example.

On the recording, you will hear:


(man) Listening to a talk about an artificial rock-climbing wall.

The largest artificial rock-climbing wall in the United States is thirty foot high and is located on the campus of Cornell University. This wall is made of natural rock that's embedded into concrete blocks, and is sculpted to imitate a variety of elements found on real cliffs. It was a host recently to the nation's largest intercollegiate rock-climbing event in which about one hundred students from fifteen universities. The competition was a two-day festival, sponsored by Cornell's Outdoor Education Department.

Now listen to a sample question.

(narrator) Why is Cornell a good place for climbing?

In your book, you will read:

  1. Sample Question

    1. The wall is designed with elements of real cliffs.

    2. The natural rocks are embedded into the cliffs.

    3. The sculpted concrete blocks are varied.

    4. The cliffs are challenging.

    The other sample question can be as follows.

  2. (narrator) What recently happened at Cornell University? In your book, you will read:

    1. A wall was constructed.

    2. A festival took place.

    3. An outdoor education course was offered.

    4. A variety of cliff elements were found.

Section 2: Structure and Written Expression

Time allotted will be 25 minutes.

(including the reading of the directions)

Structure: Directions

The Question number marked from 1 − 15 are incomplete sentences which you got to complete choosing from the four options given to you.

The example is as under

  1. Sample Question John Le Carre ____ for his novels concerning espionage.

    1. famous

    2. has fame

    3. is famous

    4. famed for

Written Expression: Directions

In question number 16 − 40 each sentence has four underlined words or phrases which have to be rearranged as per the options given so as to set the order of the sentence correct.

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Time allotted will be 55 minutes

(including the reading of the direction)


In the Reading Comprehension section, there will be several passages given to you and below them questions will be given which you need to answer out of the four options given to you.

Answer all questions about the information in a passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage.

This section is also included in the other sections of GMAT, GRE and UGC for further practice. The example for the passage is given under:

Read the following passage:

The Henry Ford Museum was founded in 1929 in Dearborn, Michigan, about 12 miles west of downtown Detroit. This museum, changed its display pattern compared to the way it used to display earlier, so as to show the changes brought about by the automobile industry. The example of evolution of roadside services contrasts a 1940s diner with a 1960s fast-food restaurant. The “Getting Away From It All” exhibit presents an assortment of recreational vehicles dating from Packard's 1916 camp truck to today's mobile home. Changes in roadside objects such as billboards can be seen along the museum's roadway, where 108 cars are lined up as if traveling. A car enthusiast should definately not overlook this museum.

  1. Sample Question 1 What is the passage mainly about?

    1. The evolution of roadside services

    2. Henry Ford's recreational vehicles

    3. The exhibits at the Henry Ford Museum

    4. A special exhibition for car enthusiasts

  2. Sample Question 2 The word “evolution” in line 3 is closest in meaning to

    1. change

    2. progress

    3. expansion

    4. improvement

Section 4: Test of Written English

Time allotted will be 30 minutes

(including the reading of the direction)


Few topics are given below. Do have a view on them as they might appear in your test. No option will be given in the test. You will have to write only on the topic that has been stated in your paper.

Sample Writing Topics

  • Necessity of wearing helmets in adventourous sport events. Give specific reasons for your answer supporting your point of view.
  • Neighbors are the people who live near us and are our first helpers. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbors? Specifically state various examples to justify your view.
  • We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Specifically state reasons along with various examples to justify your view.
  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should give the same amount of money to their students'sports activities as they give to their university libraries. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)