TOEFL Reading Tips & Strategies

Many students ask how they should practice improving their reading comprehension before taking the TOEFL. And the answer is simple: read!

It doesn’t matter what you’re reading about as long it’s in English. Improving your reading comprehension also has the benefit of improving your ability on all the other section tested on the TOEFL (speaking, listening and writing). That’s why you will see a lot of exercises based on reading comprehension with ePrepz TOEFL training material.

Below are some TOEFL tips and strategies that might be useful to you during the reading comprehension part of the TOEFL exam.
If you have the opportunity to scan the text and questions quickly before reading the text more in detail you should do so. This will give you an idea on what to look for and what the reading passage is about.

TOEFL Reading Tips & StrategiesThe text often follows an academic structure with an introduction; body paragraphs and wrapped up with a conclusion. You will often find the thesis (main point of the text) of the text in the introduction paragraph. Details supporting the claim can be found in the body paragraphs and a summary of the entire text in the conclusion.

Questions regarding details of the text are often found in the body paragraphs. The body paragraphs are the sections you want to scan for keywords.

You will have 60 to 80 minutes to complete the reading section of the TOEFL. So it’s important to be aware of the time you spend on each question.

The best way to increase your reading speed is to read in English before taking the test and take practice tests.
It’s easy to fall for the temptation to read with your lips in a language your not completely familiar with. However, this will slow you down tremendously. If you notice that you are moving your lips when reading in English we recommend that you get plenty of practice before taking the test so you feel comfortable reading without doing so.

15 minutes of reading a day will help you improve substantially. Read about your interests and hobbies to make it fun!
By taking timed reading comprehension practice tests before taking the TOEFL you do not only improve your reading ability but also your concentration.

These are a few TOEFL reading tips that could help you when tackling the TOEFL reading section. If you are looking for TOEFL practice tests and exercises sign up with ePrepz now.

TOEIC Listening Tips and Strategies

Today we are going to go over some useful TOEIC listening tips and strategies.


The first section of the TOEIC listening test will ask you to look at photographs and select the sentence that best describe the image.

Tip: Make sure you look over the four different options closely.

Tip: Be aware of small details on the picture and words that are emphasized on the recording.

Tip: Scan the image and try to answer the questions who, where what, why?


The second section of the TOEIC listening exam will ask you questions on various topics.

Tip: You might also be given a yes/no as answer options, if so look at the possibility that neither of them are right

Tip: Be aware of tricky questions and answers, it’s important to look closely on the different answers

Tip: If you are unsure of the answer you should always guess, as you don’t lose any points for a wrong answer.


The third section of the TOEIC listening test will be based on conversations. You will listen to a short dialogue and then ask questions on the conversations you just heard.

Tip: Make sure you read the question and the answers before you begin listening to the conversation

Tip: Be aware of the speaker’s tone and words

Tip: Do not rush when selecting your answer
Tip: Once again ask yourself who, why, what, where


The fourth and last section of the TOEIC listening test is based on a monologue (one person speaking).

Tip: Like the previous section, try to read the questions and answers before you listen to the conversation.

Tip: Focus on key details when listening to the talk

Tip: Stay within the time frame as you will have a hard time catching up if you fall behind. So don’t get stuck on a question if you are unsure about the answer, take a guess and then move on.

That concludes are TOEIC listening tips, to get some practice in before taking the TOEIC exam sign up with ePrepz TOEIC practice!

We wish you the best of luck on your test!

IELTS Listening Overview and Tips

We previously looked at the format of the IELTS exam at an earlier post, now it’s time to take a deeper look into the different sections of the IELTS exam. Click on the link to learn more about the IELTS reading section.

IELTS Listening Overview

The IELTS listening section will take about 30 minutes to complete including 10 minutes transfer time. The listening section has 40 questions.

There are four different parts in the IELTS listening section.

Part I: Conversation between two people in an everyday environment
Part II: A monologue set in an everyday social environment (a monologue is one person speaking)
Part III: A group conversation with up to four people in an educational environment.
Part IIII: A monologue in an academic environment

Each of these sections is only available to listen to once. Your score out of 40 questions will be converted to IELTS 9-band scale. You will receive 1 mark for each correct answer.

IELTS Listening Tips

• Remember that you will only be able to hear the recordings once
• Make sure to double check your spelling and grammar
• Always read the questions before listening to the recording
• Write your answers with a pencil
• Be aware of the word limit
• Stay calm and do not rush through when submitting your answers

Quick Tip to Improve your Communication in a International Work Environment

A key factor in business English is being culture sensitive when communicating with a person from a different language. Many students train for the TOEIC exam in a professional capacity. To be a great communicator especially in Business it’s important to be aware of cultural differences. Understanding the culture of those you are doing business with will improve your ability to communicate.

A great way to improve your English and also at the same time learn about the culture of your business partners and coworkers is by researching the culture. When researching the culture, make sure you are looking for specific materials in English. By learning about different cultures in English you kill two birds with one stone, you improve your English and at the same time improve your cultural awareness.

How to Succeed on the English Reading Comprehension Sections on your Exam

Reading comprehension refers to understanding what the message the writer is trying to convey. Reading comprehension is a critical component of the English language and that is why it is included in all of the major English proficiency exams (TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS).

Different elements of reading comprehension include:

CONTEXT – Refers to the overall surroundings of the text, by knowing the context you can accurately guess the meaning of a sentence or a text even if you are missing information.

FACTS – Facts are presented to support the overall main ideas people read, they must attend to factual details.

MAIN IDEA – Is the overall thesis (point) of the whole text. Once again “what message is the author trying to convey”.

When taking your English proficiency exam, your objective at the reading comprehension part of the test should be:
• Identifying the theme or author’s purpose
• Judging author’s tone
• Becoming aware of the author’s point of view
• Recognizing persuasive elements employed by the author
• Distinguishing fact from opinion

If you can answer all these questions you will always be fine when answering questions based on a text.