Reading comprehension is the third part of the Toefl Test. It consists of fifty questions, but some tests may be longer. Generally, a test taker only has fifty five minutes to complete this section. Topics of reading passage are varied, such as: American History, literature, art, architecture, geology, geography, sport, invention, politics, health, economics, law and astronomy, biography etc. Moreover, there are five to seven reading passages. As a matter of fact, it is rare to find two similar TOPICS in the same test and there is no guarantee that all topics are related to test taker’s educational background. That is why, many participants confess that they are unable to finish this section because of limited time. Knowing these handicaps, let you learn the following effective strategies.
Some effective strategies
1. Skim the reading passage to determine the main idea, topic or title. Remember, main idea is commonly placed in the first sentence of every paragraph. some writers put it in the middle and a few writers prefer placing it in the last sentence to the first one. Topic, main idea or title is discussed in every paragraph. In other words, the most important information of the passage is so-called topic or title.
2. It is possible that you will find some new vocabulary in every passage. However, you do not need to worry about it, because generally the next sentence will explain any certain terms. Moreover, a participant does not have to posses any particular knowlegde to comprehend the passages.
3. Sometimes, it is more efficient to learn the questions first before reading the passage. Very often, we can answer certain questions correctly without understanding every detail in each passage.
4. A test taker must be accustomed to the question forms, so that s/he will not get confused what the question about is.