What is the format of Reading
Comprehensions in the TOEFL test?
(Explanation with examples)
The TOEFL test is administered to test your
proficiency in English and has four modules of which
Reading is one. The Reading test usually measures
your capability to read and understand academic
English to the fullest. The reading test has
approximately 50 questions spread out in 5 passages.
You get 55 minutes to complete the test. This is the
format for the Paper based test and for the Internet
Based test you have about 60+ questions spread out
in 6 passages which must be answered in approx 100
minutes. The Reading comprehension tests your
ability to comprehend what you read and also analyze
the reading passages for inferences and conclusions.
The reading content has more non –technical reading
passages in the Paper based test and more of
technical matter in the internet based test.
Structure of the Reading passage
The Reading Test is the first section of the test
paper in the internet based test and the third
section in the paper based test. Each section of the
Reading test has a passage followed by questions.
Each passage has different types of question. You
need to choose the right option from the set of four
provided. The answers are number A, B, C, and D and
you need to select the right answer by clicking on
the option in the internet based test and ticking
the right answer in paper based test.
Types of Question commonly found:
I. Questions that ask you to answer what is
stated and what is not stated in the passage:
a. According to the paragraph which /what /why etc
tells you that …………………….
b. According to the paragraph which /what /why etc
does not tell you that……….
c. According to the paragraph all of the following
are stated except……………
II. Questions that ask you to infer or implicate:
a. What can be inferred from the statement in Line
III from Paragraph 2?
b. In the last paragraph what does the writer imply
with the words ………………….?
III. Vocabulary questions:
a. Which word among the following is closest in
meaning to the word _ mentioned in the line III
b. What does the author mean by saying ____?
IV. Questions that ask you to reason out why
certain facts are stated:
a. The author’s use of reference of one object to
b. The author’s use of discussion to explain the
reason for something stated
V. Questions that ask you to identify the
reference by the use of pronouns in the paragraph
a. By the use of pronoun who is referred to?
b. By the use of pronoun what is referred to?
One fact you need to remember is that you can follow
a set pattern in answering the questions. The
questions are usually set in such a way that the
first set of questions is in the first part of the
passage and this way a chronological order follows.