Free Practice Test for the TOEFL

TOEFL Practice Assessments

In the lexicon of standardized test preparation, the term "practice test" usually refers to a full-length assessment that imitates the content, structure, and timing of the actual exam as closely as possible. Students are also likely to encounter the term "diagnostic test," which generally describes a shorter assessment with a representative sampling of questions and exercises. Diagnostic tests exist primarily for the purpose of evaluating initial student competence in tested skills. Both types of assessment are invaluable to the TOEFL preparation process. Diagnostic tests provide direction for TOEFL instruction, while practice tests mark progress, build testing endurance, and familiarize students with the tasks they must complete for optimal performance. No TOEFL learning program is complete without practice assessments.

Official Practice Tests for the TOEFL

Official practice tests are written and published exclusively by ETS. The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, available for $25.00 from the online store on the ETS website, includes three full-length practice tests as well as answers and answer explanations. ETS has also published two volumes of additional practice tests. Each volume costs $25.00 and includes five official practice tests. Both volumes feature interactive DVD-ROMs with recordings of passages for the listening section. All of these publications are available as eBooks, with any additional content delivered via download. The TOEFL Value Pack Prep ($52.00) and the TOEFL Value Pack Prep Plus ($72.00) include the Official Guide eBook and online access to extra practice resources.

Unofficial Practice Tests for the TOEFL

Any practice test that is not provided by ETS should be considered unofficial. Many test prep firms have developed their own versions of practice tests, and this is necessary due to the relatively small number of available practice tests of the official type. Privately written practice tests can vary greatly in quality. Some companies seem to view it as in their economic interests to offer practice assessments that are more difficult than the actual TOEFL. These types of tests are intended to mislead students into believing that their eventual score improvements are larger than they are in reality. Reputable firms, however, see instruction with realistic unofficial practice tests as both good teaching and good business.

The Pedagogical Basis of Practice Testing

The term "test-enhanced learning" has been advanced by some educational researchers to refer to a phenomenon in which the mere act of being forced to retrieve knowledge from memory in a testing context promotes long-term retention of material. This idea is very similar to the "testing effect," a well-established principle with supporting research that dates back to at least 1917. Some scholars prefer the term "retrieval practice," because it more accurately describes the low-stakes environment in which practice testing takes place (as opposed to the high stakes of an actual assessment). However one describes practice testing, a large body of research over many years has convincingly demonstrated the superiority of this method over learning plans that focus only on passive studying of tested material. Practice testing is quite simply a proven approach to standardized test preparation.

How to Use TOEFL Practice Tests

TOEFL practice tests are eminently helpful to exam preparation, but they should be used in thoughtful ways. The best approach to full-length practice tests is to take them at regular but not-to-frequent intervals. If practice tests are taken too often, their assessment value can be limited, and if they are not taken often enough, the student will not develop the necessary testing endurance and familiarity with the exam. An interval of a few weeks between practice test administrations is probably the best strategy, with an increase as the test date approaches. With each practice test, it is absolutely vital that students analyze their errors and understand why they got certain questions wrong. Mindlessly taking practice tests over and over again may lead to marginal improvements, but real progress is the result of careful study on areas of weakness and correction of errors.

Free Manhattan Review TOEFL Practice Test

Manhattan Review provides a free TOEFL practice test through our website. From the TOEFL section, click on the link entitled "Take a Free Practice Test" (on the right side of the page). After entering your name, country, and email address, you will receive an email with an access code. Your information will be kept confidential, and will not be accessible to any third parties.