TOEFL Preparation Book: Review of “Manhattan Prep TOEFL 5 lb. Book of Practice Problems”

Are you curious about the Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book? Well, you need to get ready as we dive deeper into the sea of knowledge this book offers for your TOEFL preparation. It has an incredible number of well-written practice problems that can gear you up for the actual TOEFL!

If you want to know more regarding this book, you must continue reading because we will present everything you must know about Manhattan Prep. We will provide basic information, content, prices, tips, and user ratings. 

Everything You Need To Know About Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book

Manhattan Prep for TOEFL Prep Book or Guide

Using the Manhattan Prep to TOEFL can prepare you for the actual format of questions and problems through its practical practice tasks. The audio files provided in the online resources make the listening and speaking sections more understandable to improve yourself in these concepts.

In addition to that, the reading passages have different content areas, including natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and varied topics. Each of them is well-written and not complex. Worry not about knowing the correct answers in the practice questions because answer keys and detailed explanations are present after every set of questions. 

This book is suitable for all test-takers who want to answer numerous problems. Since this prep guide contains over 1,500 practice questions, you can confidently go to the testing center.

Before proceeding to the brief review of the Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book, we will first discuss its basic information such as the authors, book contents, the latest edition available in bookstores, and the prices. 


The Manhattan Prep authored the Manhattan Prep 5 lbs. Series, including the Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep. They are one of the leading test preparation providers in the United States and worldwide.

Founded by an alumnus of Teach for America in 2002, this book aims to provide the best curriculums and high-quality instructors to help students achieve high scores in various tests.

Manhattan Prep provides excellent teaching and curricular materials, tricks, and tips to pass the exam. Aside from that, they also offer test preps for GMAT, LSAT, SAT, and GRE.

Book Contents

Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book takes the lead with approximately 1,500 questions from the book and online resources. The 5 lb book has 1,048 questions, while the online chapters have 456. These practice problems are regarding the exam format and content of the actual TOEFL.

This book starts with a diagnostic test you must take to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Through that, you may know which area you should focus on while studying.

The Manhattan Prep to TOEFL also includes different reading passages and listening lectures. The listening activities are accessible through the instructions provided in the book regarding the registration to the online resources.

Aside from that, there are various speaking tasks where you need to record yourself speaking. There are also numerous writing topics where you can improve your skills in writing essays and giving out opinions. There are also pieces of advice on learning vocabulary, writing complex sentences, and practicing reading at the college level.

Latest Edition Available

The latest edition of this book that you can find in different bookstores and platforms is the 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems. The Manhattan Prep published this edition on October 3, 2017, under the Manhattan Prep Publishing.

Book Contents

Here is the official content of the book to provide you with detailed information about the things you can learn from it. 

How to Access Your Online Resources

Section I: Introduction

Chapter 1: How to Use This Book

Chapter 2: Diagnostic Test

Section 1: Reading

  • Passage for Diagnostic

Section 2: Listening

  • Lecture for Diagnostic
  • Conversation for Diagnostic

Section 3: Speaking

  • 2.4 Speaking Type 2 for Diagnostic
  • Speaking Type 4 for Diagnostic

Section 4: Writing

  • Writing Type 1 for Diagnostic

Answer keys and explanations


Section II: Practice

Chapter 3: Reading A – Humanities

  • Realism and Modernism in Literary Fiction
  • Modern Schools of Acting
  • Habitats of the Blues
  • Photography
  • Stream of Consciousness
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • History of the Recording Industry
  • Paleolithic Cave Art
  • Synesthesia
  • Communication through Gesture
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 4: Reading B – Social Science

  • Cupule Rock Art
  • The Beaver Wars
  • The Flynn Effect
  • Operation Barbarossa and Napoleon
  • The Kennewick Man
  • Harriet Tubman
  • The Sphinx
  • The Man Who Would Not Be King
  • Classroom Noise
  • Urban Decay and Renewal
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 5: Reading C – Natural Science

  • Lead in Gasoline (Petrol)
  • The Golden Ratio
  • Pterosaurs
  • Why Humans Have Big Brains
  • Crystallization
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Is Pluto a Planet?
  • Turtle Navigation
  • Dyson Spheres
  • Southwestern Water Rights
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 6: Reading D – Mixed

  • Developmental Plasticity
  • Depletion of California’s Aquifers
  • Difference and Analytical Engines
  • The Black Death
  • South Asian Carnivores
  • Coal Mining
  • The Sixth Amendment
  • Signaling Theory
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 7: Lectures A – Humanities

  • Listening activities and follow-up questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 8: Lectures B – Humanities

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 9: Lectures C – Social Science

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 10: Lectures D – Social Science

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 11: Lectures E – Natural Science

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 12: Lectures F – Natural Science

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 13: Conversations A

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 14: Conversations B

  • Listening activities and questions
  • Answer keys and explanations

Chapter 15: Speaking Task Type 1

  • Speaking about a familiar topic
  • Assessment

Chapter 16: Speaking Task Type 2

  • Giving opinions about a familiar topic
  • Assessment

Chapter 17: Speaking Task Type 3

  • Reading short passages
  • Listening to conversations
  • Answering questions
  • Assessment

Chapter 18: Speaking Task Type 4

  • Speaking responses to questions aloud
  • Assessment

Chapter 19: Speaking Task Type 5

  • Listening to a part of a conversation
  • Answering questions
  • Assessment

Chapter 20: Speaking Task Type 6

  • Listening to a part of a lecture
  • Answering questions
  • Assessment

Chapter 21: Writing Task Type 1

  • Summarizing information from passages and lectures
  • Assessment

Chapter 22: Writing Task Type 2

  • Providing reasons and examples to support opinions
  • Assessment

Appendices: Building Skills

Introduction to Appendices

  • Appendix 1: How to Learn Vocab (and anything else)
  • Appendix 2: How English Works
  • Appendix 3: Consuming & Producing Good English
  • Appendix 4: Achieving Things with Words
  • Appendix 5: Knowing the Situations
  • Appendix 6: Making a Sentence
  • Appendix 7: Making Several Sentences
  • Appendix 8: Achieving More Things with Words
  • Appendix 9: Taking the TOEFL
  • Appendix 10: Bringing Other Test Experience to the TOEFL

Citations & Acknowledgments


You must prepare a budget of USD 39.99 to USD 88.22 if you want to purchase the 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems on Amazon.

However, we recommend preparing more than the mentioned amount because your expense may increase due to shipping fees. 

Book Review: The Official Guide to Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book

Choosing the perfect book is challenging, but we want to assist you with that by providing a detailed critique of the Manhattan TOEFL Prep. The following are the book’s pros, cons, and user ratings. 

General Overview

Before proceeding to the user ratings, here are the strengths and weaknesses of the Manhattan Prep for TOEFL. 


The 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems covers all content areas. It has various reading topics, including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, mixed subjects, and the likes. Moreover, it also has numerous well-written reading passages perfect for test-takers.

Aside from that, the listening section is also excellent. It contains many audio tracks and listening activities that improve one’s listening skills. The writing topics and speaking tasks are helpful too. 

Lastly, this book’s appendices may be on the top compared to others. It includes the summary of the entire book, tips on nailing the exam, notes you must remember, and guidance on answering questions. 


However, we all know that things usually have weaknesses. In this case, the 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems lacks quality in some aspects.

For example, the questions provided after each passage are off. They do not give the perfect picture of the actual TOEFL, so you may become surprised with what’s actually on the actual test. Additionally, the sample responses to the speaking sections are not also good. 


Unfortunately, even though 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems received a user rating of 4 out of 5 in the Goodreads and 3.5 out of 5 in Flipkart, only one site has written reviews. 


Users from Amazon gave this book a rating of 4.2 out of 5. They commended the number of practice problems and questions provided in the Manhattan Prep. Some said this book is perfect for preparing for the TOEFL.

Nevertheless, users became disappointed with the audio files. First, you can only access them for a year, and it expires afterward. After the expiration date, you cannot practice listening activities and other tasks that depend on the listening files. The entire book becomes useless, somehow. 

Additionally, the audio files are also not accessible for offline downloads. Lastly, the difficulty level of some passages is not even or balanced compared to the others. 

Manhattan Prep for TOEFL Prep Book Amazon Review

How To Use The Book Effectively?

Preparing for the TOEFL can be less complex if you know how to use Manhattan Prep effectively. To help you with that matter, we offer these tips and strategies.

  1. Start with the Diagnostic Test before proceeding to the content of the book. Taking that test can help you identify your strong and weak points.
  2. After taking the test, create a study plan. Consider the topics you need to focus on and those you need to improve.
  3. Try to study consistently every day. In that way, the flow of knowledge will not stop.
  4. Review and redo the passages and tasks so you can remember them easily.

Is This Book Right for You?

The 5 lb Book of TOEFL Practice Problems is perfect for test-takers who want to master answering practice exams. You can try every type of question with over 1,500 questions provided in this book. The reading, speaking, listening, and writing sections have varying tasks for each, including answer keys and detailed explanations on the latter part.

Aside from that, you are welcome in this book if you are looking for tips, notes, and strategies on how to practice reading at the college level, learn vocabulary and construct complex sentences. Lastly, Manhattan Prep also has online resources accessible through the registration instruction on the book.

How to Get the Most Out of Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book?

Do not let your money go to waste! It will be best to know how to get the most out of this book. However, you won’t need to worry because here are some tips and strategies for doing that.

  1. Try to answer practice questions with and without time limits. Taking practice problems without time limits can relieve your brain of stress while answering. On the other hand, putting on time pressure will train your brain to answer questions quickly. 
  2. Answer questions by set or individually. You can start with answering a single question and checking the answer right after to see what you can learn from it. However, it is better to have progression, such as taking a set of questions before checking the answers.
  3. Take questions and passages by topic or type, and do varied ones. Drilling into the same topics can develop skills, while answering mixed questions can help your brain switch subjects. This part is essential because the actual TOEFL usually has varied questions.

Final Thoughts

If you ever think that preparing for the TOEFL is challenging, remember that numerous prep guides are here to help you, including the Manhattan Prep TOEFL Prep Book! This book can assist you in learning how to understand passages, lectures, conversations, and written articles. Moreover, it can also help you hone your writing and speaking skills by constructing arguments and opinions.

It is also good news that you can assess yourself after taking each task using detailed explanations and answers. Tips and strategies, you say? This book also has them!

Nevertheless, we recommend looking for other supplementary materials, such as the  Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test. Since we cannot guarantee that Manhattan Prep can stand alone, it is better to have another excellent book.

Do you have any experience using Manhattan Prep or taking the TOEFL? Share your ideas, thoughts, and experiences below!