Last Updated: February 18, 2021

Best TOEFL Books

The TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is an exam designed to test one's ability to use and understand English in an academic environment. It was created to address the problem of ensuring the English language proficiency of non-native speakers applying to American universities. Since then, it has become a standard admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many colleges and universities, and occasionally in other institutions like government agencies or businesses.

Preparing for the exam entails purchasing study guides either prescribed by your mentors or trying to figure out which is the most helpful book in the market that suits your needs. We have compiled a list of the very best books for your perusal from which you can choose which one you would like to buy.

#1 TOEFL Preparation Book 2020 and 2021 by Test Prep Books

Are you preparing for TOEFL at the last minute? Do you have just one week or one month ahead of you until the exam date? Then this book is for you. This book has different study plans made for people who want to prepare in 1 week, 2 weeks, or even under a month. The study planners can organize your method of study and make you focus on things you probably wouldn't have focused on yourself.

The book includes a quick overview of what is required for the exam, along with test-taking strategies. It is divided into sections and sub-sections starting with an introduction and moving on to the different sections of reading. listening, speaking, and writing. It contains practice questions after the key concepts have been covered which can be attempted either after each section or together in the end. It also contains audio with which you can practice for the listening part.

The detailed answers and explanations provided in the book help you rectify your mistakes and learn from them. When compared to the official books released by ETS, this book is comparatively cheaper and hence a great choice for those who want to ace the test.

#2 The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, 5th Edition by ETS

The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test is one of the most reliable TOEFL prep books out there. Including real practice questions and explanations for each section of the test, this book will have you on your way to acing the exam. This study guide clearly outlines what is expected for each of the speaking and writing tasks, and instructs you on how to create well-structured answers.

Though there is a 6th Edition of the same book, reviewers claim that it is a repetition of this book in most ways. It contains hundreds of authentic test questions and other essay topics. It is also to be noted that the practice tests included are as close to the official test as possible. The general complaint by people who have purchased the book is how the audio for listening skills is slower than how it is asked for the official exam. So keep in mind and prepare for fast-paced audio files in the exam.

If you are looking for authentic content, then this is the book for you. Purchase it and prepare according to how the test-makers want you to prepare for the test. At the end of the day, preparation is all about how well-disciplined you are in sticking to your study plan and how well you have practiced for the test.

#3 Cracking the TOEFL iBT - Princeton Review (2019 Edition)

This book has been created by the trusted Princeton Review who has been in this business since 1981. The book has been designed in a user-friendly manner where it is not necessary that you have a mentor or a tutor to master the basics of the test. It is said that purchasing this book and preparing for less than a month is more than enough to crack the test. That being said, since it saves a lot of tuition fees that you might otherwise incur, the book is an investment in itself.

Called a good strategy book by reviewers, Cracking the TOEFL iBT, by Princeton Review, is an excellent study guide. The newest edition comes with a full-length simulated iBT TOEFL exam and accompanying audio sections.

This text also has a comprehensive grammar review to practice those basic skills and a review of core concepts. Practice drills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing to ensure that you'll be ready for test day with this study guide. Princeton's guide also includes time-saving techniques and tips on how to ace the Reading and Writing sections of the test, with updated strategies to keep up with changes in the reading section. Like all strong guides, detailed answers and explanations for all the practice tests are provided. Some of the positive features of this book are excellent writing strategies and drills, and fairly challenging speaking and listening strategies and drills, though they are limited in number. One weakness might be that the reading sample questions are reported to be easier than the questions on the actual exam.

#4 Practice Exercises for the TOEFL, by Barron's (8th Edition)

This study guide put out by one of the giants in the test preparation industry comes packed with materials to get you ready to ace this challenging exam. Jam-packed with over 1,000 practice questions Barron's guide is one of the most comprehensive ones of its caliber on the market.

Though this book was released in 2015, since it contains practice questions more than content, it is still a go-to option for most online prep courses. It was designed to help students succeed on both the paper-based and internet-based exams and it includes study guides for both test-taking methods. This guide comes with a full-length test in each format, answers with detailed explanations, and supplementary materials with instructions for evaluating your answers and determining your score.

Additionally, this guide includes an optional audio CD program of six compact discs that provide practice for the Listening, Speaking, and Integrated Writing sections. Reviewers comment that this is a reliable and comprehensive resource for preparing for the TOEFL exam. The simulated test more accurately reflects the actual exam than the competitor's options, using accurate timing to train yourself for actual test conditions.

#5 Nova's - Speaking and Writing Strategies for the TOEFL iBT (2nd Edition)

Are you a test-taker who is less confident in your writing and speaking skills than listening and reading skills? Have you been trying to find a prep book that focuses on the sections you need rather than books that make you pay for things you don’t require? Then this is the book for you. This book contains key strategies that focus on improving your writing and speaking scores.

According to this book, argument mapping is the strategy that one has to learn and use to ace these sections in the test. So, they try to teach you rhetorical strategies and means of opinion development. They provide step-by-step basic and advanced responses for all tasks.

Along with these strategies, they focus on how you can revise your responses in certain ways that can maximize scoring. The book, more than teaching you about the language, teaches you about the exam and its grading pattern. This smart way of learning is best for those who are well-versed in the language but are not confident in their ability to organize and articulate their thoughts well. If you are such a person, this book is a must-buy.

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