TOEFL (formerly Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Official Guide to the TOEFL Test Reviews

from ETS

4.0 rating out of 5, based on 4 reviews
Advantages: official, updated. Disadvantages: some parts not challenging enough.
by on 7/27/2014 5:50 PM

Today I would like to go over one of the most basic resources that everyone who is preparing for the TOEFL must have ? The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test. So, without further ado let's delve into the specifics.

First of all, I want to point the fact that this guide is made by the ETS (the people in charge of organizing the exam) and is called "official "for a reason. This has a couple of benefits to us, the students. To begin with, the 3 tests on the CD that are provided with the book bare the closest resemblance to the original test. Therefore by doing this tests the students can understand what they can expect when they're taking the real exam and prepare accordingly.

Another big advantage of the Official Guide is that it's one of the most updated resources for the TOEFL. Some of the other resources that students use are from before year 2007 and sometimes there are little differences between the actual exam and the preparation tests. The Official Guide is revised every couple of years and it's the most up-to-date guide out there.

However, this particular resource has some drawbacks that I would like to address. Firstly, some of Readings and Listening are quite easy and do NOT always give an accurate picture of the difficulty of those components on the actual test. Despite what I had just said, don't worry about this too much since about only 1 of the 3 tests on the CD has this problem, in my opinion.

The other downside to this particular guide is that it doesn't provide a lot of practice for students who are already fluent in English and only need to practice the format of the exam. There are 3 practice tests included on the CD, which comes with the book, and I feel that 3 tests are nowhere near enough to get a high mark at the TOEFL. This has been addressed by students and teachers alike and the ETS have decided to offer an Official TOEFL iBT Tests with Audio. As you might expect you will have to pay for this resource as well.

Overall, I would say that the Official Guide to the TOEFL Test is a must-have for anyone who wants to prepare for the TOEFL. However, you yourself have to decide if you want to go the extra mile and get the Official TOEFL iBT Tests with Audio.

2 Was this review helpful?
Not very useful, except the TOEFL practice tests and a few other things.
by on 5/29/2014 10:34 PM

This book was conceived as a book which includes everything you will need for the TOEFL test from all four sections (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). But, I didn't find it very useful although there are actually some useful things to see inside. There is a lot of authentic TOEFL practice tests in these books at the end of every section and in the end of the book as well. So, I've done every practice tests and they are authentic so you can imagine you are on the actual TOEFL test. I think the writing sections were quite good explained so I've learned some writing tips and I've used them on my TOEFL test. There is essay topic list at the end of the writing section so you can actually prepare and practice writing by yourself using these topics so you can be ready when you take TOEFL. There are also some good things in speaking sections but that's all. There is not much good material from other sections I've found useful, nothing specific that I could find except these things.

1 Was this review helpful?
Decent, but does not include many practice tests.
by on 8/25/2014 9:55 AM

This is the official book of ETS, so the format is completely identical to the actual test. Writing and Speaking sections are carefully written. You should pay attention to strategy and tactics for the two sections. However, this book does not include many practice tests. Reading and listening: easier than the real test. Therefore, do not underestimate Toefl ibt test just because you handle well this book.

1 Was this review helpful?
The must-have book for studying the TOEFL.
by on 7/27/2014 5:50 PM

This is a very good resource if you want to study for TOEFL because this is from ETS which makes the actual exam. You will find here a lot of information about the actual test: the main features of TOEFL iBT, what kind of questions are on the test, and how you can use this book to help you prepare for the test. This book also gives you the tips and strategies on how to answer each sections of TOEFL. I really recommend this book because you can find the ETS rater's comments on responses of actual test takers. In that way, you will know the strengths and weaknesses of each examinee. You will also know what to do and what to avoid in the test.

In this book, you can read about how you will be scored in the exam. There is a scoring rubric here that you can find for you to know how the TOEFL raters give you scores. Actual questions are also here in this book so you will have an idea how ETS makes the exam. At the end of the book, you can find a lecture about grammar, organization and development and other things to improve your speaking and writing skills. This is really the best book that you have to read to pass the TOEFL.

1 Was this review helpful?

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