Reading Skills
Get to know what is assessed at the reading part of the TOEFL test, which skills correspond to what score and which skills improvements your score presupposes.
Reading Skills

Performance Level – HIGH (score 22-30)

If you have scored at the high level, you are quite knowledgeable in the sphere of academic vocabulary and grammar, understand easily information you read, can make appropriate inferences and are able to surmise the meanings of the words you don’t know from the context, in which they appear. Moreover, you are also able to identify major ideas of the text and what it implies even if the text contains complex language.

Advice for Improvement

• Read a lot. The variety of literature you read should include belletristic, academic texts dealing with various problems, research papers, magazines, etc.
• Write summaries of the texts, abstracting major ideas and the most important points discusses.
• Improve your vocabulary by constant usage of new words in speaking and writing.

Performance Level – INTERMEDIATE (score 15-21)

Scoring at the intermediate level means you have quite good command of the English language; however, you still experience certain problems dealing with high-level academic vocabulary. Your strong sides are grammar, general and specific information text understanding as long as it doesn’t concern conceptually dense text with complex vocabulary. Besides, you are able to infer the role of information organization of the text, but may have some problems when the information is not explicit.

Advice for Improvement

• Read as much as possible, esp. academic texts, paying attention to the structure of the texts and determining the kinds of relations between the main and supporting ideas.
• Write summaries of the texts making sure you consider the peculiarities of the text (comparison and contrast, description, etc.).
• Expand your vocabulary by devising a system of recording new words (e.g. synonymic groups; groups of words with identical prefixes, stems, suffixes, etc.)

Performance Level – LOW (score 0-14)

If you scored at a low level, you, probably, understand some of academic texts but your understanding is inconsistent and limited. You also experience problems identifying paraphrases of the text information and rely heavily on the usage of the same words as in the original text. One more problematic area is identifying the purpose of the text (if it is not stated explicitly) and its main idea (when it is not evident or supported by vivid examples).

Advice for Improvement

• Read as much as possible and study the organizational patterns of the texts and how the passages are connected and interrelated.
• Devise a system of recording new words and remembering them (group words according to the topic, pay attention to the word families, prefixes, suffixes and roots of the words).
• Try to find main ideas and supporting details in the texts and try to identify how they are related and connected to each other.
• Learn to summarize: find the paragraphs that deal with the same idea and summarize them in one sentence, then continue further with other paragraphs. At then end try to write a short summary for the whole text.