The TOEFL reading section tends to put test takers in an unpleasant situation – the risk of running out of time.
In this video, Lucas, the TOEFL guy at Magoosh, is offering advice on how to proceed if you face this problem.
Let’s say you have three passages and sixty minutes in total. However, you have already spent most of that time on reading the first two passages and you have ten minutes left for the last one but you also still need to answer the questions. Clearly, it’s impossible to read the rest of the text and answer the questions within only ten minutes because TOEFL expects you to use twenty. So what should you do in this emergency situation?
Step 1: Vocabulary questions
The first thing you need to do is to go to the vocabulary questions and answer them without reading the passage. You don’t need to know the text to answer those questions; you only need to know the definitions of the words. They are still in the text, but instead of wasting time on reading it, you can just use your vocabulary knowledge to get them right. This is why it’s better to start with these questions, so you can get those points while you still have time.
Check out: TOEFL Reading and Listening Tips (Video)
Step 2: Answer while reading
If when you are done with the vocabulary questions you still have some time left, go back to the first question, read it and go to the reading again to find the information you need to answer it. Then, do the same with the other questions. Again, don’t read the whole passage, because you will only lose more time. You get points for answering questions, not for reading the text. Therefore, try to answer questions and read the text simultaneously. This way, you will have a better chance of answering as many questions as possible for the time you have left.