The 4 Best TOEFL Vocabulary PDFs for Your Prep


You’ll need a strong vocab to do well on the TOEFL, but learning the words you need to know can be tough. Luckily, you don’t need to spend time reading a dictionary because we have much better ways for you to learn TOEFL vocab words!

In this guide, we have four TOEFL vocabulary PDFs to make your studying easier and more efficient.  You can study them on the computer or print them out (or both!). These lists include a TOEFL word list, a TOEFL vocabulary PDF organized by parts of speech, TOEFL vocabulary flashcards, and a TOEFL vocabulary list PDF with blank definitions you can fill in. Together, these four TOEFL vocab PDFs will help ensure you know all of the words you need for exam day.


Our TOEFL Vocabulary PDFs

We’ve made these four TOEFL vocabulary PDFs for you based on our master list of the 327 TOEFL vocab words to know. This list was created from our own investigation of official TOEFL practice tests and synthesizing the top TOEFL words from other test-prep experts. You can trust that these words will give you a great vocabulary foundation for the TOEFL.


Complete TOEFL Vocabulary List PDF

This complete word list is best used as a quick reference guide. You can use it to easily figure out what words from the list you already know and which you still need to learn.

I don’t advise trying to learn the words just from a list, though. A method that involves self-testing, like flashcards or the blank definition TOEFL words PDF below, is a more effective way to study vocab. Learn more details on how to do this in the next section.


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Complete TOEFL Words PDF Sorted by Parts of Speech

This is another vocabulary for TOEFL PDF, organized by parts of speech. Sorting the words by parts of speech can make it easier for you to wrap your head around a big list. It can also help you get a better idea of how these words are used and how you might use them in sentences.


327 TOEFL Vocabulary Flashcards

Flashcards are one of the absolute best ways to learn new vocab, and when studying your flashcards, we recommend using the waterfall method which is described in detail below. The waterfall method is the fastest, most efficient way to study flashcards, so if you use it, you’ll be a vocab expert in no time!


Blank Definition List for TOEFL Vocabulary Practice

Once you think you’ve memorized the words and definitions using flashcards, you can use this TOEFL vocabulary PDF to really test yourself! Writing out definitions yourself is harder to do than just having a vague idea of the definition then flipping the card over to see if you’re right. That’s why this PDF is such good practice! The next section gives more details on exactly how to use it so you get the most out of it.




How to Use These TOEFL Vocabulary PDFs to Study

Now that you have all these useful guides, what are the best ways to study with them? In this section, we explain our preferred methods for memorizing the TOEFL vocab words and quizzing yourself on them.


Learning Vocab Words: The Waterfall Method

First you need to learn those vocab words, and we recommend the waterfall method as the best way to do that. If you’re not sure what the waterfall method is, we break it down for you below.

First step, get your flashcards ready. This method of studying works best with the TOEFL vocab flashcards PDF printed out and the individual cards cut out. Once you have your TOEFL vocabulary flashcards, you’ll go through the entire deck of cards one by one. For each card whose definition you know easily, you’ll put it in a “Know It” pile. If you don’t know the definition of a particular TOEFL word, create a “Struggled” pile to put the cards in.


After you’ve gone through the entire deck, pick up your “Struggled” pile. Now go through this pile again. For words where you know the definition, place them in a second “Know It” pile next to (but not combined with) the first “Know It” pile.


For words whose definition you don’t know, make a new “Struggled” pile. Repeat this process, placing new “Know It” piles in a row from left to right. This is what makes your waterfall. Keep going through this process until the “Struggled” pile has only about five or less cards left.


Now, you’ll start to move back up the waterfall. Begin with the last “Struggled” pile and go through it until you know all the words in the pile. Then, add the most recent “Know It” pile (the one farthest to the right).


Go through those words. If you miss any words, go through the entire pile you currently have again until you get all of the words right. This may seem brutal, but it’ll guarantee that you really know the vocab words! Don’t pick up more cards until you can get through the whole pile with no trouble. Continue this process until you get all the way back up the waterfall.



Quizzing Yourself With TOEFL Vocab PDFs

Once you have a good understanding of the TOEFL vocab words, it’s time to perfect that knowledge by actively quizzing yourself on them. For this method of studying, we recommend using the Blank Definitions TOEFL Vocab PDF. There are a couple things you can do to use this PDF as a TOEFL vocabulary quiz. First, you can go through the list and try to write out the definition(s) of each word—this will really test whether you’ve truly memorized those definitions.

Another way to use this vocabulary for TOEFL PDF is to write sentences that use each word. This will help make sure that you understand how the words are used in context. You may want someone with a strong vocabulary to look the sentences over to make sure you’ve used the words correctly, and you can also use the sample sentences included on the flashcards for reference.


Recap: Studying With a TOEFL Vocabulary PDF

Studying from a TOEFL vocabulary PDF is a great way to learn important words you should know for the TOEFL. You’ll need a strong vocab to do well on this exam, so we’ve created four TOEFL words PDFs to help you learn important vocabulary that can help you raise your score.

By studying our TOEFL vocabulary list PDF, TOEFL vocabulary PDF organized by parts of speech, TOEFL vocabulary flashcards, and TOEFL words PDF with blank definitions, you can help yourself be well prepared for the TOEFL and any tricky words that come your way on test day.


What’s Next?

A prep book can be your most useful study tool for the TOEFL. Learn what the five best TOEFL prep books are so you can start studying!

Looking for more ways to study for the TOEFL? Check out our guide to the eight best TOEFL exercises to make sure you’re prepared come test day! (coming soon)

What TOEFL score should you aim for on test day? Check out our guide on what a good TOEFL score is to learn how to set your own TOEFL goal score today.

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Author: Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.