Exams Know-how

TOEFL Books: Find Out 5 Best Books for TOEFL Preparation

Sumeet Jain

Are you a first-time aspirant for TOEFL who needs optimum resources for preparation? Does the excessive TOEFL information on the internet perplex you? If yes, then this is an article for you.

We at Yocket will assist you with some of the best TOEFL iBT preparation books which will help you cover each and every aspect of the exam methodically. These books for TOEFL are highly revered, top-ranked and preferred by most aspirants attempting the TOEFL exam.

Suggested Read: Everything you must know about TOEFL Exam in 2021

The 5 Best TOEFL Preparation Books

We have curated a list of the top 5 TOEFL exam books which can serve as good preparation guides for aspirants. These books are picked from amongst the best TOEFL preparation resources and are ranked on the basis of genuine reviews from experts, and student ratings.

  1. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL iBT Test (CUP)

  2. Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2020-2021

  3. Barron’s TOEFL iBT (17th Edition)

  4. Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1 (3rd Edition)

  5. Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (ETS)

Find out the latest TOEFL Exam Pattern & Syllabus

Let us learn about each book, one by one:

Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL iBT Test (CUP)

The Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL iBT Test Book is considered to be the best book for TOEFL because of its highly adaptable learning resource feature.

The book is around 700 pages long and is easily available on Amazon.


  • 100+ strategies and exercises

  • Section based tests - Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking

  • Full length 7 TOEFL Mock Tests

  • Adaptable study pattern


  • Access to audio files at additional cost

  • Insufficient Explanations to Practice Answers

  • Lack of English Vocabulary listings

  • No approach to catch the wrong pattern and mistakes

Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2020-2021

Considered to be one of the most useful TOEFL preparation books is Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus (2020-2021). The feature of Kaplan’s guide to help students access its online resources along with the book makes it one of the best books for TOEFL Preparation.


  • Offer online resources’ access along with the book

  • 4 full length mock tests and 450+ practice questions

  • Detailed answers and explanations

  • Effective score-raising tips and strategies


  • Complex understanding

  • Lack of accuracy in questions and samples

  • Weak Independent writing section

  • No option of student’s answer recording in online resources

Barron’s TOEFL iBT (17th Edition)

The Barron’s TOEFL iBT (17th Edition), is yet another book considered useful for TOEFL preparation. This is mainly because of its feature of regular upgradation.


  • Accuracy in questions

  • Frequently updated

  • Detailed and strategized practice material - 8 full model tests, 8 mini practice tests, illustrative questions

  • Availability of separate MP3 downloads for all test questions


  • Unlike real test, no specific paragraph is mentioned in the question

  • Conversations don’t match with the readings

  • Complicated and specific in practice category

  • Writing questions have a fixed format.

Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1 (3rd Edition)

Written by the official TOEFL test-making company, the Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1 (3rd Edition) is also considered to be amongst the most sought after books for TOEFL.


  • Most accurate practice tests

  • Modified questions - updated with the changing patterns

  • More tangible sample mocks and tests

  • Access to online resources


  • Recent editions do not have much changes

  • Digital Content is not available on DVD anymore

  • The Code to access McGraw Hill’s website can only be accessed or used twice.

  • Fewer listening, speaking, and reading questions are provided as compared to the 2019 editions.

Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (ETS)

Just as the name suggests, the Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (ETS), is published by the official TOEFL test-maker company. The Guide is beautifully written and compiled. This is why it is listed among the top TOEFL preparation books.


  • CD-ROM with actual exam layout

  • Follows a five-technique examination

  • 4 full length mock tests

  • Variety of questions for practice


  • The book alone is not sufficient for preparation.

  • Lack of examples in speaking phase

  • Inadequate explanations - lack of details in the answers

  • Lack of assistance in the vocabulary section - a vital part of the test.

Ratings for the TOEFL Preparation Books


RATINGS (out of 5)

Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL iBT Test (CUP)


Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2020-2021


Barron’s TOEFL iBT (17th Edition)


Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1 (3rd Edition)


Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (ETS)


In addition to the above-mentioned books, aspirants of TOEFL must also know about the resources of study for the TOEFL Essentials Test:

The Complete List of Preparation Books for TOEFL Essentials Test

The TOEFL Essentials Test, released in May 2021, is a blend of general English questions and academic. Since the examination consists of 50% of general English questions and the remaining 50% of academic English questions, some preparation books to go for -

  • English Grammar in Use - Raymond Murphy

  • ESL Beginner - Sherry Boguchwal

  • English Grammar to Ace - Samuel Lamerson

  • English Grammar and Composition - S.C Gupta

  • Practical English Usage - Michael Swan

  • Grammar Fundamentals for Teaching English as a Foreign Language - International TEFL Academy Press


Start learning with the best preparatory books today for your TOEFL exam. Remember, the earlier you start investing time in preparation, the stronger you will emerge across the 4 TOEFL test sections: Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Reading. Your chance to stand out in the TOEFL exam lies in staying passionate and emerging a winner.

All the best!

Commonly Asked Questions About TOEFL Preparation Books

Q. Is one book enough to prepare for the TOEFL Examination?

A.- No. You need to refer to at least 2-3 books to prepare for each and every section of the examination thoroughly so that you can achieve a good score in the test.


Q. Which books are good to prepare from, given that only 2 weeks are left for the TOEFL exam?

A. It is strongly advised to start preparation early and not just 2 weeks before the exam. In that short span of time, all you can do is revision and not preparation.


Q. What is the most important criteria to consider while choosing a book for TOEFL preparation?

A. The book you select for your TOEFL preparation should be the latest edition and upgraded with the ongoing pattern of the examination.

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