TOEFL Assessment

TOEFL Reading Test back to top


1. Set your online stopwatch to 20 min.

(click here to open an online stopwatch)

2. Start the stopwatch and start the reading.

3. Write down the number, question type, and answer for each question.

Make sure you don’t lose these first try answers. You want to reference them when you check your answers against our answer key (you’ll find the link to these answers in your “assessment instructions”)

3. When the timer stops, stop your work.

4.  Mark in your notes whether you completed all answers or not.


20 min – 19 min : read the first sentences

19 min – 12:40 min : answer questions 1 – 5

12:40 min – 6:20 min : answer questions 6 – 10 

6:20 min – 0 min : answer questions 11 – 14


The reading is on the right and the questions are on the left. Simply scroll up and down to go through the reading and questions in a fashion similar to the exam. (In the TOEFL, the reading scrolls up and but not the questions; the questions jump from one to the next, just a small difference from the actual exam.)


1. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information. 

a) The agricultural potential of the area was realized because the founders city constructed wells to tap the sources of local ground water. 

b) Due to the proximity of the Owens River to Los Angeles, the city founders were able to utilize the agricultural potential of the area without major construction. 

c) By creating an irrigation system that utilized the Owens River, the city founders were able to tap the agricultural potential of the area. 

d) The founders of the city had a vision of bringing water to the city in order to utilize the agricultural potential of the area but this vision was not realized because of the construction of an irrigation system. 


2. According to paragraph 2, the most important factor in the development of agriculture around Los Angeles was the 

a) influx of new residents to agricultural areas near the city

b) construction of an aqueduct 

c) expansion of transportation facilities 

d) development of new connections to the city’s natural harbor 


3. According to the passage, the initial success of Hollywood’s motion picture industry was due largely to the 

a) availability of many skilled workers 

b) beauty of the countryside 

c) region’s reputation for luxurious lifestyles

d) region’s climate and good weather 


4. The phrase “apace with” in the passage is closest in meaning to 

a) anew with 

b) apart from 

c) as fast as 

d) at the middle of 


5. It can be inferred from paragraph 3 that the spatial organization of Los Angeles contributed to the relative decline there of 

a) public transportation 

b) industrial areas 

c) suburban neighborhoods 

d) oil fields 


6. According to paragraph 4, who originally planned the village of Los Angeles? 

a) Its first mayor 

b) An architect from Spain 

c) American Indians who lived nearby 

d) The governor of Upper California 


7. According to paragraph 4, which of the following is suggested as a reason that Los Angeles was a more typical city before 1920? 

a) Its business and entertainment facilities were located in the downtown area. 

b) Roadways and other means of travel connected other areas to the downtown. 

c) Governmental offices were located in the downtown area. 

d) The downtown area was surrounded by suburbs and parks. 


8. The word “bizarre” in the passage is closest in meaning to 

a) strange 

b) financially strong 

c) divided 

d) attractive 


9. In paragraph 5, it can be inferred from the difficulty in finding words to describe Los Angeles that 

a) the English language does not include many descriptive words 

b) writers did not often write about Los Angeles 

c) Los Angeles’ pattern of development was typical of cities in Spain rather than in the United States 

d) Los Angeles’ growth did not follow typical patterns of urban expansion 


10. In paragraph 6, the author mentions the automobile as an example of 

a) a product manufactured in Los Angeles 

b) a factor that encouraged dispersal in Los Angeles 

c) a purchase that is especially expensive in Los Angeles 

d) a source of pollution in Los Angeles 


11. The word “remnants” in the passage is closest in meaning to 

a) traces 

b) streets 

c) consumers 

d) costs 


12. In paragraph 6, the author uses the closing Good Fellows Grotto as an example of 

a) a factor in the development of the first freeway. 

b) a factor that led to the decentralization of the city. 

c) an event that was emblematic of the decentralization of the city. 

d) a restaurant that was destroyed when South Main Street was turned into a freeway. 


13. Look at the four squares ( █ ) that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. 


Even in the mid-nineteenth century the settlement still looked like a provincial Spanish village, with a plaza and with houses for as many plots as could be irrigated nearby. 


Where would the sentence best fit?


14. Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points. 


In the early decades of the twentieth century, the city of Los Angeles experienced a remarkable increase in growth. 


a) Despite a real estate boom that started in the nineteenth century, the downtown area remained the vital center of the city. 

b) Several economic factors, both geographic and economic, attracted an array of industries to Los Angeles. 

c) The first appearance of the freeway in Los Angeles helped to stimulate business in the downtown area. 

d) By 1970 Los Angeles had become the second largest city in the United States with a population of 7 million people. 

e) As Los Angeles grew from its original lay out, the downtown area was not expanded which led to the spread of suburbs. 

f) Due to the vast area and scattered suburbs, cars became a central aspect of Los Angeles, which caused the decline of the downtown area.

Los Angeles


P1 In 1900 the United States had only three cities with more than a million residents New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. By 1930, it had ten giant metropolises. The newer ones experienced remarkable growth, which reflected basic changes in the economy. The population of Los Angeles (114,000 in 1900) rose spectacularly in the early decades of the twentieth century, increasing a dramatic 1,400 percent from 1900 to 1930. 


P2 A number of circumstances contributed to the meteoric rise of Los Angeles. The agricultural potential of the area was enormous if water for irrigation could be found, and the city founders had the vision and daring to obtain it by constructing a 225-mile aqueduct, completed in 1913, to tap the water of the Owens River. The city had a superb natural harbor, as well as excellent rail connections. The climate made it possible to shoot motion pictures year-round; hence Hollywood. Hollywood not only supplied jobs; it disseminated an image of the good life in Southern California on screens all across the nation. The most important single industry powering the growth of Los Angeles, however, was directly linked to the automobile. The demand for petroleum to fuel gasoline engines led to the opening of the Southern California oil fields, and made Los Angeles North America’s greatest refining center. 


P3 Los Angeles was a product of the auto age in another sense as well: its distinctive spatial organization depended on widespread private ownership of automobiles. Los Angeles was a decentralized metropolis, sprawling across the desert landscape over an area of 400 square miles. It was a city without a real center. The downtown business district did not grow apace with the city as a whole, and the rapid transit system designed to link the center with outlying areas withered away from disuse. Approximately 800,000 cars were registered in Los Angeles County in 1930, one per 2.7 residents. Some visitors from the east coast were dismayed at the endless urban sprawl and dismissed Los Angeles as a loose collection of scattered suburbs. But the freedom and mobility of a city built on wheels attracted floods of migrants to the city. 


P4 Los Angeles is the most dramatic example of the twentieth-century transformation of the city in the United States, a transformation that included a large increase in population without an expansion of the central core of the city. █ As originally laid out by the Spanish governor of Upper California in 1781, Los Angeles was to be a village with a central plaza 61 meters wide by 91.5 meters long from which four main streets would extend. █ Although Los Angeles grew steadily with the real estate boom that began in the 1870’s, until about 1920 the city still somehow was dominated by its downtown. █ Los Angeles had a Main Street that was both the daytime commercial center and the nightlife center. █  


P5 But by 1970, when the Los Angeles metropolitan area had spread over more than 1,105 square kilometers, included 7 million people, and had become the core of the second most populous Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) in the United States, there was no longer a dominant downtown. Writers competed in efforts to describe the city’s vagueness. "Suburbs in search of a city;” “prototype of the supercity;” “autopia” – even the fertile American language was strained to describe this bizarre new kind of city that lacked a central core. 


P6 While many forces had been at work to disperse the metropolis, the most effective was the automobile. Los Angeles’ first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, was dedicated on December 30, 1940, and as freeways multiplied, the old central city declined. By 1953 the last remnantsof downtown nightlife were disappearing. The closing of the Good Fellows Grotto restaurant at 341 South Main Street on December 31 of that year symbolized the diffusion of the city. A “grill and oyster house” founded in 1905, it had been a place to gather for business lunches or after-theater meals for nearly 50 years. Now the customers were scattered into a thousand places, each an hour’s drive or more away. 

TOEFL Listening Test back to top


1. Listen to the recording only once.

2. Then, write down the number, question type, and answer for each question.

Make sure you don’t lose these first try answers. You want to reference them when you check your answers against our answer key (you’ll find the link to these answers in your “assessment instructions”)

Special note: You are timed during the TOEFL listening, BUT we don’t recommend that you use a timer for this test at this time. The reason is that it complicates things and timing is rarely a problem for students in the listening section. However, if you would like to use a timer, you can do the following:

Set your online stopwatch for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Start the timer AFTER you finish reading the question (since the timer doesn’t start on the TOEFL until after the question is read out loud to you). Then, stop the timer after you finish answering that question. Next, read the following question and then start the timer after you finish reading it. Continue this process until you complete all questions. You should be able to do this before the timer runs out of time.

As you can see it’s a bit tricky and you might forget to turn the timer off and on. Again, with our years of experience helping students make big improvements, we don’t find it necessary or useful to be so strict on timing for the listening when you’re starting out. Good luck!

Conversation: Listening 1

1. Why does the student go to see the professor?

A) To get help with the concepts in a reading assignment

B) To ask for more time to complete an assigned report

C) To find out important information about course requirements

D) To discuss a theory the professor mentioned in class

2. What does the professor say about class assignments? Choose TWO answers.

A) All projects will include a report.

B) Everyone must complete two projects.

C) Students have a choice of assignment types.

D) All work is due at the end of the semester.

3. According to the professor, what is the advantage of working on a “comprehensive” project?

A) It requires less wok than the focused project.

B) It may be more useful later when looking for a job.

C) It gives the students the opportunity to learn more.

D) It is usually more interesting than the focused project.

4. What can be inferred about the student’s plans?

A) He has scheduled a job interview at an advertising firm.

B) He will not take any marketing classes next semester.

C) He has not yet decided on a possible career.

D) He will miss more classes to attend student council meetings.

Listen again to part of the conversation. Then answer question 5.

5. What does the professor mean when he says this?

A) The student should take his class work more seriously.

B) Class assignments may help the student in job interviews.

C) The student should become more involved with some campus sports activities.

D) An on-campus job would provide the student with valuable experience.

Lecture: Listening 2

1. What is this lecture mainly about?

A) The history of advertising methods

B) A study of children’s reactions to advertising

C) The ways advertisers try to attract consumers

D) Research on consumers’ spending habits

2. What does the professor imply about the relationship between psychology and business?

A) Businesspeople should be more open in expressing their emotions.

B) Advertisers need to understand psychological principles.

C) Psychologists must learn how to advertise their services.

D) Psychology students should take classes in business.

3. Why does the professor talk about blue jeans?

A) To comment on historical trends in popular clothing

B) To give an example of a product unlikely to be promoted using fear

C) To discuss the clothing preferences of college students

D) To discuss the importance of finding the right pair

4. According to the professor, what factors influence customers’ reactions to advertising? Choose TWO answers.

A) Their desire to satisfy basic biological needs

B) Their opinion of the company that makes the product

C) Their hope of building better social relationships

D) Their perception of the quality of the product

5. According to the professor, what is the message of some advertising for children’s toys?

A) Parents should buy toys that are educational.

B) New toys are designed better than older toys.

C) Parents and children should play with toys together.

D) A child with a new toy will have more friends.

Listen again to part of the lecture. Then answer question 6.

6. What does the professor imply when she says this?

A) There was a good reason for putting people in the picture.

B) She does not remember the main point of her lecture.

C) The advertiser forgot to consider basic human instincts.

D) She wants students to learn how to develop advertisements correctly.

TOEFL Speaking Test back to top

Here’s your chance to show what you’ve learned and you have learned a lot, so be comfortable, be confident, and know that you are on your way to success. As we like to say here at NoteFull: little by little (sometimes big jumps with even more big jumps, but usually little by little).

Please Read For Your Fast, Effective Flash Review back to top

1) Please read the instructions below and watch the video below for all of the recording instructions below to know what you’re going to do.

2) Record all 6 answers under TOEFL conditions in Speakpipe or Vocaroo

3) Make sure you don’t lose your link to these first try answers. You want to reference them when you check your answers against ours (you’ll find the link to these answers in your “assessment instructions”)

PLEASE WATCH: Recording Instructions back to top
TOEFL Speaking Instructions back to top

First, put yourself in TOEFL test mode. Imagine yourself in the exam center. The better you imagine that, the better prepared you’ll be to handle the stress of your next TOEFL and still perform your best. You can do it.

Second, you can practice the full test or one question at a time. Just click play on the appropriate video and follow the instructions as they appear.

Third, record yourself as you speak (with your own computer for yourself). Always answer until the end, don’t give up in the middle. It’s a bad habit that you don’t want to take to the exam center.

Fourth, once you finish the entire test, listen to your recordings and evaluate them. Don’t judge them generally: they were good, the were bad. Determine whether you applied all the strategies that you learned. For example, if you did not take notes the way you learned, try the same question again and again and again until you do.

Remember that review is the key to success. Practicing new questions matters, but it’s how you review that really improves your score. 

Complete Test back to top

If you have trouble playing the videos, practice by going to the answers section of the program. There you’ll be able to view the material more easily as text and audio. You can also click here to Adjust Your Security Settings to ensure that’s not stopping the videos from loading.

Questions back to top
TOEFL Writing Test back to top

You’re almost done! Congratulations on your hard work and dedication. Good luck!

For timing yourself: Stopwatch

Question 1 back to top


1) Give yourself 3 minutes to read and take notes on the article

2) Listen to the lecture by clicking play on the recording

3) Set your timer to 20 minutes

4) Read the question and write your essay

Write your essay without checking the spelling or grammar. Also make sure to save your essays. You want to reference them when you check your answers against our answer key (you’ll find the link to these answers in your “assessment instructions”)

5) Remember that you can see the article throughout your 20 minutes on the exam.

Space Tourism

Soon there will be something new for the tourist who has been everywhere and seen everything on Earth. Spacecraft being developed by private commercial companies will soon enable private citizens to buy their own tickets to travel into space, thereby creating a space tourism industry. so far, space travel has been undertaken only by governments, but the new, privatized spaceflight industry will bring great benefits to both science and the public.

First, private space travel will benefit serious space exploration by making spaceflight cheaper. Privatization of space technology will bring technological costs down very fast because it will allow competition–and competition is one of the strongest motivators to cut costs. Thus, lowering the cost of space travel will benefit not only space tourists but also scientists, who will be able to use private space flights for research purposes.

Furthermore, privatization of space travel will accelerate the rate at which important scientific discoveries occur. the aerospace industry already sponsors a lot of groundbreaking scientific research, and adding private spaceflight companies to it will make the industry as a whole grow in size, thereby employing more scientists than it does now. that increased number of working scientists means not only that more discoveries are likely to be made but also that those discoveries are likely to be made more quickly than in the past.

Finally, when governments are the sole providers of space travel, the costs are paid for by the whole taxpaying public, but with privatization, the expenses of space travel will be borne by the customers of the industry. The fact that private spaceflight operators will be able to raise funds through ticket sales means that the financial burden on taxpayers will be eased significantly.



Summarize the points made in the lecture and explain how they cast doubt on points made in the reading passage.

Response time: 20 minutes

Question 2 back to top


1) Set your timer to 30 minutes

2) Read the question and write your essay

Again, write your essay without checking the spelling or grammar. Also make sure to save your essays. You want to reference them when you check your answers against our answer key (you’ll find the link to these answers in your “assessment instructions”)


Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should require students to study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects.

Response Time: 30 minutes

Complete TOEFL Flash Review: Examples & Answers back to top

Great work on completing your test! We hope that you’ll use this page to help you continue to improve. On this page, you’ll find answers for both the Reading and Listening section, an example set of recordings from one of our great students, and an example set of essays so that you have a great model to follow. Here’s a step by step guide to use this page effectively:

1. Start by reviewing the Reading and Listening answers and comparing them to your own. Note the question types and remember to review the specific ones that are giving you difficulty. These are the questions you’ll want to review continuously to improve. Remember, repetition is the key to mastery!

2. Then compare your recordings to the example recordings we included here. Are they similar to your own answers? If not, try to record again. Again, this is to make you an intelligent TOEFL-test-taking-machine. Feel comfortable and smooth as you practice. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Also, use the feedback we provided in your flash review to help narrow down your focus. Avoid judging the entire answer as a whole. Instead, consider the specific element of the answer that’s holding you back. 

3. Finally, compare your essays to the example essays we provided here. Take a close look at the level of detail in this student’s great response. Check to see what you may be missing. Use these essays to model your structure, overall. And again, like with speaking, use the flash review as a way to focus in on the specific issues that you specifically struggle with. Focusing on improving that is crucial. 

Good luck and know that we’re here to answer any follow-up questions that you may have.

Reading: Answers & Question Types back to top


1) Paraphrase – C

2) Detail – B

3) Detail – D

4) Vocabulary – C

5) Inference – A

6) Detail – D

7) Detail – A

8) Vocabulary – A

9) Inference – D

10) Detail – B

11) Vocabulary – A

12) Detail – C

13) Plug-in – B

14) Summary – B, D, F

Listening: Answers & Question Types back to top


Conversation: Listening 1

1) Main Idea – C 

2) Choose 2, Detail – A, C

3) Detail – B

4) Inference – C

5) Listen Again – B

Lecture: Listening 2

1) Main Idea – C 

2) Inference – B

3) Purpose – B

4) Choose 2, Detail – A, C

5) Detail – D

6) Listen Again – A

Speaking: Example Answers back to top

Speaking Responses for Questions 1-6:

We’ve included a set of links that demonstrate perfect answers given by a NoteFull TOEFL master instructor to give you an idea about how you compare. Click below to hear those samples:







Writing: Example Essays back to top

Writing Response for Question 1   Below are two essays from a student who received a 28/30 on the same Writing Test. Please take a look at the sample essays below.   Example Answer:   Space tourism   

The article states that Space travel and tourism will benefit the public and as well as the development of science and technology and thus provides three reasons of support. However, the professor explains that space tourism will not have any substantial benefits and will only increase the expense for tourists and also delay the invention of technology. Thus the professor refutes each of the author’s reasons.

First, the reading posits that the competition amongst private companies will lead to the price of such tickets dropping immensely. But the professor refutes this point by saying that expenses are likely to increase because of the need for infrastructure such as space traffic control systems, testing and retesting of space ships and space stations.

Secondly, the article claims that privatization of space tourism will lead to an increase in employment in such companies and thus will speed up the process of invention of new technologies. However, the professor states that due to employers working at private companies the invention process at government firms will be neglected and thus bring technology development to a grinding halt.

Finally, the article states that due to private companies investing in such inexpensive space ships, the tax payers will not have to bear the complete tax as they were likely to do for government amenities because it shall be paid only by the space tourism customers. The professor opposes such a claim by stating that private tourism is not possible without public tax subsidies as the cost for building ships, space stations and maintenance centres is very high. Thus tax payers will eventually end up paying much more than what they currently do.

Word Count: 277

Writing Response for Question 2

Example Question:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should require students to study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects.

Example Answer:

Yes I agree to the statement that Universities should require students to study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects. This is because jobs in today’s market sometimes require employees to possess inter-disciplinary skills and not just of one discipline. Also, understanding problems in one particular discipline can help solve problems in another.

Let us consider the case of physicists. Today, quantum mechanics is the primary area where a huge amount of research is being done. Visualizing how things work at that extremely small scale is a tedious task and a minuscule error on the part of the physicist could in turn affect other parameters and would not manifest itself until a later stage of the simulation. If physicists knew fundamental computer skills and some knowledge of certain computer science areas such as graphics and simulation, they would be able to easily simulate experiments conducted with extremely high precision thus enhancing their productivity and understanding of the problem they are working on. Another example is policy makers in the government. They have to take critical policy decisions based on the demographics of the country. To determine the parameters based on which the decision should be made, they would have to analyze a huge amount data collected by numerous surveys conducted by varying people at varying points of time. The task can be made much easier if they used data mining tools and possess knowledge of how to approach analysis of huge quantities of data.

Studying about problems other areas unrelated to their major would greatly aid them in tackling problems in ones own area. For instance, managers can take better decisions regarding their team(such as composition, action etc) if they were better informed of their team’s abilities and psychological profile. This can be made much easier if the managers knew fundamental techniques used in psychology to determine the nature of a person. Another classic example is how the Transmission Control Protocol, which powers the internet today, was found to have been designed and implemented by a species of ants millions of years ago. If somebody done some research in such biological phenomena, problems such as these would have been solved much earlier and with little effort. Yet another example is the case of traffic in developing countries such as India. Road discipline is scarce in such countries and this causes a lot of inconvenience to commuters. Despite the heavy rush in the morning and the lack of discipline in comparison to the European and North American countries, every commuter almost always manages to reach their destination in time and without any problems. This scenario is similar to a set of real time systems competing for scarce resources and analyzing how the former is solved can help formulate new algorithms to solve the latter.

In conclusion, universities should require that students study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major since it greatly enhances employability of the students as well as equip them with skills required to tackle a whole new generation of problems which require out of the box thinking as well as a diverse skill set.

Word count: 523