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Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL® Test Book with CD-ROM Paperback – 11 Sep 2006
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Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL® Test, Fourth Edition, helps students master the language skills they need to succeed on the TOEFL® iBT and communicate effectively in an academic setting. Using an integrated skills approach that mirrors the structure of the TOEFL® iBT, this fully revised text is ideal for classroom use and self-study. The book contains hundreds of skill-building exercises covering all of the question types in the exam and four practice tests. A supporting skills section is provided to improve grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and study skills. The CD-ROM includes the tests from the book plus three additional practice tests in an electronic format that simulates the online TOEFL® iBT. The audio program, available on Audio CDs or Audio Cassettes, contains conversations, lectures, and all listening material for all listening exercises and test questions.
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Top Customer Reviews
If it helps, following preparation with this book, I obtained a score of 109 out 120 in April 2012.
This is not good enough, and I still await a reply to my complaint to Cambridge Publications. Sloppy service from a normally reliable publishing house.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was required to take the TOEFL test by the time of January 2010 by the college I applied to. I have been studying English for about 10 years and during the last two I am using it as a primary language in school.
Knowing only very roughly what the TOEFL looks like I began my preparation about a week before the exam. Sounds like very little time, but ultimately I scored 105 points (120 is maximum in the iBT). I'm proud of my score and it more than enough for my college appliaction. This Cambridge book was a large help here. It talks about each section and each question type in great detail, but you still can feel why each of these details matter and why knowing them can help you.
I strongly suggest buying the version of the book with CD-ROM and 8 audio CDs (the one which costs $89). The audio CDs contain quite big amount of listening and speaking exercises.
One more thing: in my view, the most difficult part of the TOEFL iBT is speaking. Prepare well for it by recording yourself and paying attention to time. Attached CD-ROM with a program that simulates the test is very helpful here. Not only here, actually - it makes you feel comfortable with the test interface, which is important.
First, in the reading section, while their are many good examples of academic text, the actual questions and answer choices in the book are not composed the same way as the real TOEFL questions. Therefore, a student using these questions to practice is often practicing skills that are not tested on the real test, or is wasting time trying to answer questions that would never be asked on a TOEFL test. Worse, in many cases the answer choices do not contain a clear, correct answer, regardless of what the answer key claims. In some cases, the answer choices are too vague or, I believe, simply incorrect. Also, the authors have divided up the section into the different types of questions that can be asked, but with little rhyme or reason, as they have lumped questions into the inference section which are clearly not inference questions (and not considered inference questions by the test makers), and ignored some other types of questions.
The listening section is slightly better, but the book does not come with the listening CD's, so the student will not be able to use this section. Nevertheless, there are quite a few places in the listening where the questions do not accurately represent TOEFL questions, although to the inexperienced eye the format appears similar.
The speaking section is quite sparse and offers little useful advice to the student. There are no samples available on CD of how different score levels will sound.
I did not use the writing section at all, so cannot comment on the exercises there, but the explanation of the scoring rubric and the sample papers shown in the book do not reflect an understanding of how TOEFL papers are actually scored. You will find much better samples that give a much more accurate idea of what a high or low scoring essay looks like in the book published by ETS.
Finally, the book is loaded up with "supporting skills" exercises, which seems like a good idea, except that often the skills practiced will not be found on the actual test. Moreover, the questions and answer choices in the exercises are so carelessly done that there are many instances of answers which don't make sense, choices that are too similar and too vague, and questions which don't use the skill one is supposedly practicing.
And one more thing - the book is overly large and not at all user friendly. It's hard to find anything in it, and sometimes the exercises that go with certain materials are located at the end of the unit instead of directly after the material.
One of the few good things about this book is the ETS scoring rubrics and scoring instructions provided in the front of the book, which allow you to figure out your TOEFL score. Also, it is useful to have actual computerized practice tests that reflect the testing conditions and can give the student practice with the real test format.
Other than that, I really don't like this book and would never willingly use it again for a TOEFL class.