TOEFL Preparation Book: Review of “ETS – The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test”

The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test can help you with your TOEFL test preparation if you are looking for the best practice book. This book contains various skills and lessons you need, such as practice exams and tasks, reading passages, listening materials, strategies, and tips.

However, we will briefly review the content of this book. We will discuss its pros and cons, how to use it effectively, and the reasons why you should have this book.  


Everything You Need To Know About The ETS – Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test

Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test Book or Guide

Why not choose the only bestselling practice book? This guide contains 600 questions from the actual exam written by actual TOEFL writers. Worry not about the complexity of the test because this book can gear you up with its practice questions with equal difficulty to the TOEFL. 

The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test can help you learn how to construct proper answers, meet English language proficiency requirements, and develop listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills.

Here, we will discuss the book’s basic information and details, including the authors, contents, prices, and the latest edition that you can find in various bookstores and online stores. 

Authors

The Education Testing Service or ETS authored the Official Guide to TOEFL iBT Test. ETS is a private non-profit organization founded in 1947 that develops, conducts, and scores more than 50 million tests every year. These tests include TOEFL, GRE, TOEIC, and Praxis assessments. They cater to 180 countries and 9,000 locations worldwide. 

Book Contents

The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test is on the top of the game when talking about full-length practice tests. Moreover, it also has various tasks that develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. If you are looking for test questions, this guide also has updated questions from the actual TOEFL, plus explanations for each of them.

Aside from that, there are also different essay topics suitable for achieving university-level English proficiency. You can also get test-taking strategies written by actual test makers. Lastly, you will not worry about assessing your answers because there are answer keys provided in the latter part.

Latest edition available

The latest edition of this TOEFL guide is the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test, Sixth Edition. The Education Testing Service published this edition on August 25, 2020, under McGraw-Hill Education.

Book Contents

To provide a detailed guide to this book’s content, here is the official list of topics this book includes according to the official guide.

About the TOEFL iBT Test

  • Getting Started
  • How to Use this Book
  • All About the TOEFL iBT Test
  • Reading Section
  • Listening Section
  • Speaking Section
  • Writing Section
  • About Test Scores
  • General Skill-Building Tips
  • Test Preparation Tips from ETS
  • Questions Frequently Asked by Test Takers

Reading Section

  • Reading Passages
  • Reading Questions
  • Basic Information and Inferencing Questions
  • Reading to Learn Questions
  • Strategies for Preparing for the Reading Section
  • Reading Practice Set

Listening Section 

  • Listening Materials
  • Listening Questions
  • Basic Comprehension Questions
  • Pragmatic Understanding Questions
  • Connecting Information Questions
  • Strategies for Preparing for the Listening Section
  • Listening Practice Set

Speaking Section

  • The Speaking Section
  • Speaking Tasks
  • The Independent Task
  • The Integrated Task
  • Speaking Scoring Rubric
    • Independent Task: Question 1
    • Integrated Tasks: Question 2, 3, and 4
  • Strategies for Preparing For and Taking the Speaking Section
  • Frequently Asked Questions About the TOEFL Speaking Section

Writing Section

  • The Writing Section
  • The Integrated Writing Task
  • How the Task is Phrased
  • Strategies for Taking the Integrated Writing Task
  • Integrated Writing Scoring Rubric
    • Sample Scored Responses for the Integrated Writing Task
  • The Independent Writing Task
    • How Essays are Scored
  • Independent Writing Scoring Rubric
    • Sample Scored Responses for the Independent Writing Task
  • Independent Writing Topics
    • Topic List

Authentic TOEFL iBT Practice Test 1

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Answers, Explanations, and Listening Scripts

Authentic TOEFL iBT Practice Test 2

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Answers, Explanations, and Listening Scripts

Authentic TOEFL iBT Practice Test 3

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Answers, Explanations, and Listening Scripts

Authentic TOEFL iBT Practice Test 4

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Answers, Explanations, and Listening Scripts

Writer’s Handbook for English Language Learners

  • Grammar
  • Usage
  • Mechanics
  • Style
  • Organization and Development
  • Advice to Writers
  • Revising, Editing, and Proofreading
  • Glossary

Appendix: Performance Feedback for Test Takers

Price

The Official Guide to TOEFL iBT Test (Sixth edition) is available on Amazon at varying prices, ranging from USD 32.99 to USD 60.21. The price depends on your location and the individual stores. Your expense may also become higher due to shipping fees. 


Book Review: The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test

We will now take a closer look at this prep book’s efficacy and quality. Is the content excellent? Is this book enough? Let us have a detailed review of these. 

General Overview

First, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of using the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test.

Pros

Since official writers of TOEFL have written this guide, you can guarantee that the information and questions are similar and accurate to the actual TOEFL. Moreover, sample essay prompts are also on-point and identical to the exam, making the writing section excellent. You need not worry about the difficulty because you can be ready by reading this guide.

Aside from the accuracy, this book also boasts its full-length practice tests, as stated earlier. There are also different types of questions with detailed explanations for each. Additionally, there will also be sample questions for every type.

Cons

However, there may also be drawbacks when using this book. Even though there are strategies and tips, they are still insufficient and not helpful. Some of the tricks are obvious, so readers already know most of them.

Aside from that, its information about vocabulary is also lacking. The words provided are simple words that any reader can understand. That is why you will not learn many new vocabularies.

Lastly, the study plan recommended by the book seems basic or simple. So, if you are looking for a prep book that can help you improve your study plan, this book is not advisable for you.

Ratings

We will provide some user ratings and reviews to examine the content of this book and its effectiveness. 

Goodreads

The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test got a rating of 4.11 out of 5 on Goodreads. Users said is an excellent source for reading and listening, but not for writing and speaking because some parts are inaccurate. However, they still commended its incredible amount of tests and examples.

Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test Book Goodreads Review 1
Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test Book Goodreads Review 2

Amazon

Users from Amazon gave this guide a rating of 4.4 out of 5. They commented that it has very detailed and precise content, and there are enough practice tests and explanations. Nonetheless, the digital access code to audio files is not downloadable.

Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test Book Amazon Review

UBuy

Lastly, users from UBuy rated this book with 4.4 out of 5. The content is simple, relevant, and concise, but the digital access code does not work.

Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test Book UBuy Review 1

How To Use The Book Effectively?

The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test is a helpful book, especially when you know how to use it effectively. To help you with that, we offer these tips and advice you can consider.

  1. Try answering practice tests to know which area you are lacking. Assess yourself with the answer keys provided. With that, you can understand what to improve.
  2. Read frequently and practice quick skimming. It would be best to learn how to grasp the main idea of a paragraph quickly to avoid getting rushed by time limits.
  3. Scan the passages provided in the book and highlight essential information and critical facts. You can find and remember them easily by highlighting them.
  4. You can also use flashcards when reviewing vocabulary. Make your study plan creative and fun to stay interested in what you are doing. 

Is This Book Right For You?

If you are a beginner in TOEFL, this book may be helpful for you because it contains an overview of what the test will look like on exam day. As stated earlier, the official test makers for TOEFL wrote this book, so you will most likely get real practice test questions. Since these practice exams are essential when reviewing for TOEFL, you will not need to worry about what questions appear on the actual test.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for excellent tips on study plans, this book will not be the best for you. Even though there are strategies listed here, they are not that helpful. With that, you will need to find other prep books as supplementary reading materials.


How To Get The Most Out Of The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test

If you have decided to buy this book already, we would like to give you these tips and advice to achieve the most out of the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test.

  1. Try taking the practice tests under testing conditions similar to the actual TOEFL. Please take it in an area without distractions and answer each exam in one sitting. By doing this kind of practice, your mind and body can get used to the testing conditions of TOEFL.
  2. Assess yourself through the tasks to see your strengths and weaknesses. Through that, you can know which skill you need to improve and enhance.
  3. Master the format and type of questions written in the book. Since they are similar to the actual TOEFL questions, you can know what to study and answer.
  4. Do not try to study the entire book in a short time. Your mind will not retain any information if you force yourself to finish the complete guide in a few days.

Final Thoughts

The TOEFL is another English-language proficiency test that takes much effort and time to prepare. However, getting ready for the examination is possible with the help of the right book. With that in mind, the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test can be your study buddy.

The Official Guide to the TOEFL is an excellent prep book, mainly when used effectively. You can have a clear idea of how the test will look, what questions will appear, and how to answer them. This guide is also helpful when training your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.

However, we advise not to use this book alone. It lacks strategies and tips, and we do not want to risk your score. Consider finding other supplementary books to help you.

The TOEFL may be challenging, but there are many ways to pass! Do you have any experience in using this guide and taking the TOEFL? Share your opinions and thoughts below!


Additional FAQs About The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test

Is The official Guide for TOEFL good?

The Official Guide to the TOEFL is an excellent book for its full-length practice exams, similar to the actual TOEFL. It also has informative listening, speaking, writing, and reading content. However, it lacks tips and strategies for study plans and habits.

Which Book Should I Buy for TOEFL Preparation?

There are many books that you can buy for preparing for TOEFL. Some of the best prep books are Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test, Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus, Barron’s TOEFL iBT, Mometrix’s TOEFL iBT Secrets Study Guide, and The Princeton Review’s TOEFL iBT Prep

Nonetheless, the top pick and bestselling prep book for TOEFL is the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test. It has excellent content and practice exams that are perfect for your preparation. 

How Many TOEFL Books Are There?

There are more than 35 different prep books for TOEFL. Nevertheless, there may be more other than what is currently popular.


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