The KI- Unique Reading Tips will not only provide with the basic tips that have to be kept in mind but also with specific tips needed in specific types of questions.
Reading section consists of 3-5 passages and is to be completed in 60-100 minutes. This is marked at a score scale of 0-30.


  • First time read the passage quickly to know the context of the passage.
  • Don’t always go for a dictionary, understand words around it.
  • Underline the words you don’t know.
  • Read the passage again, carefully.
  • Use the dictionary, this time.
  • Summarize each paragraph.
  • Read the last time and summarize everything this time.
  1. Improve your ability to understand universally read texts and passages for 3 main purposes:
    • to find information:
      1. Frequently reading academic texts in natural sciences, social sciences, or related to business.
      2. Even check in library, books, magazines, journals that are academic in style.
      3. It is even recommended by ETS that the more academic you read, the more you prepare for TOEFL IBT.
    • for basic comprehension:

      Make extensive use of flashcards as it improves vocabulary. It is better to make your own flashcards as it will help you to memorize words.

      Instead of reading each word or sentence, practice skimming. The table below can give you an idea of the types of reading.

      Getting a general idea Finding specific information Reading carefully for meaning
      Example: Newspaper article Example: a telephone directory Example: an instructional manual
      Help you find the right section Help you find the right section Confirms you have the right answer

    • Identify main points in a passage.
    • Skim slowly i.e., write down main ideas, major ideas and important facts.
    • Choose some unfamiliar words in passage and try to identify the meaning of these words by using the context.
    • Underline all the pronouns you see in the passage. It might be he, him, and they etc., to identify which nouns they have been referred to.
    • Practice making inferences or joint conclusions based on what is implied in the passage.
    • To learn:
      1. Scan the passage to find highlighted important facts. Like the dates, numbers, terms, other titles suggesting information.
      2. Practice skimming frequently, so that it can increase your reading rate and performance.
  2. Other than these tips, there are some OTHER TIPS that have to be followed specifically:

    Identify the organization of the reading passage.

    • Classification type.
    • Argument based.
    • Compare/ Contrast.
    Need to identify:
    • Thesis
    • Major supporting points of reading passages.

    Several students have different interpretation of main ideas and because of this the

    Common Mistakes made by them are:

    • They are misled by the introduction which did not include an argument against home schooling.
    • They do not pay attention to the rhetorical cues “for some”, “for others” and “finally”.
    • To avoid it :
      1. You should skim the rest of the passage to make sure that you have identified the main idea.
      2. Identify all the major support points in the reading passage and try to connect it back to the writer’s main topic.

Beware of TOEFL IBT reading trap, where the writer starts with one idea but makes a transition to a new topic.
Beware of TOEFL IBT reading trap, where the writer starts with one idea but makes a transition to a new topic. However a candidate needs to learn some imperative things before attempting a reading passage in TOEFL IBT.
This is:

  1. Understand passage.
  2. Understand relationship between ideas:
    • Recognize logical order of a reading passage.
    • Recognize organization and purpose of reading.
    • Create a mental map of the structure of a passage (e.g. chart or outline) that organizes major points and important details.
    • Summarize major points.

  • Cut a 5-8 paragraph article from newspaper.;
  • Make a copy of the article.
  • Cut paragraphs.
  • Mix up paragraphs and order them back.For ordering back, go for:
    1. logical sequencing.
    2. Develop relationship between ideas of the article.
  • Check your work against the original text.
  • Make a summary statement for each paragraph.
  • Each statement should outline the main idea of each paragraph.
  • Repeat this exercise by cutting down sentences from each paragraph.

These tips will be of immense use to every candidate and one who will follow them will see the difference.


Below is an example of the type of passage and questions one can expect in TOEFL IBT reading section.

Read the passage below, and answer the questions that follow. When you have finished the unit, check your work by clicking on the links for the answers.


Vicissitudes in the political arena are predominant among the events reported by today's press. Stupendous scandals have been uncovered and covert operations foiled as a result of recent media investigations. This may occur after immense and assiduous research into the particular discrepancies among various stories told by politicians or may simply result from an investigative journalist following an instinctive hunch. Had many duplicitous politicians been aware of the menace posed by such journalists, they would have been much more careful in carrying out their subterfuge.

The methods utilized in various scandals and subsequent cover-ups may include bugging governmental offices, tapping telephone lines, classifying documents as "top secret" or purging relevant data from computer systems. Such perfidy towards the democratic process is considered tantamount to espionage or treason by many patriotic Americans.

Once the scandal is uncovered, the politician will be subjected to questioning at a public hearing. Most politicians do not respond with complete candor and servility during these proceedings. However, their testimony is irrevocable and cannot be taken back without committing the act of perjury, or lying under oath. Certain politicians may phlegmatically profess no knowledge of the matter under investigation, while others may coyly state that their recollection of the events is slightly blurry. However, most parties involved will attempt to reply to questioning deftly and resolutely with cogent arguments and apposite remarks.

Ultimately, the hearing is likely to have an adverse impact on the politician's career. During the hearing, the politician may be subjected to daily jeering from throngs of spectators assembled outside the hearing room. The politician may even be forced to relinquish his or her position as a consequence of a unanimous consensus at the hearing, and, thus, be banished from public office for the remainder of his or her career.

VOCABULARY – Look at the definitions given below, then find words or phrases with similar meanings in the reading comprehension passage.

  • a) changes for the worse
  • b) amazingly large
  • c) hidden
  • d) thwarted
  • e) with unceasing attention
  • f) intuition
  • g) threat
  • h) a trick to avoid blame
  • i) disloyalty
  • j) commensurate with
  • k) honesty
  • l) submissiveness
  • m) with equanimity
  • n) falsely shy
  • o) fuzzy
  • p) skillfully
  • q) completely determined
  • r) convincing
  • s) appropriate
  • t) mockery
  • u) crowds
  • v) give up
  • w) total agreement (2 answers)
  • x) exiled

READING COMPREHENSION – Choose the best answers to the following questions based solely on the information contained in the reading comprehension passage.

1) Political scandals

  • A) often come to light due to differences among various versions of stories told by politicians.
  • B) are equivalent to covert operations.
  • C) are rarely mentioned in the news.
  • D) show the magnanimity of politicians nowadays.

2) Disloyal politicians may attempt to

  • A) hide secret listening devices in offices and on telephones.
  • B) obtain sinecures to avoid responsibility.
  • C) exercise more caution in their affairs subsequent to giving up public office.
  • D) add irrelevant information to computer files.

3) During public hearings most politicians

  • A) answer questions frankly and with clarity.
  • B) hesitate slightly before responding.
  • C) recall events clearly.
  • D) try to reply with appropriate statements.

4) The public hearing

  • A) may result in the exile of the politician to another country.
  • B) may expose the politician to public ridicule.
  • C) is poorly attended by members of the public.
  • D) Both A & B.

5) Which statement is true according to the passage?

  • A) Most politicians are supercilious in this day and age.
  • B) The public hearing may result in the demise of the politician's career.
  • C) Testimony can be revised by witnesses as desired.
  • D) Most parties reply nervously and hesitantly to questions at the public hearing.
Copy Right © 2012 by Knowledge Icon
Website Designed & Developed By Dream Business Systems