Everything you need to know about TOEFL

14Feb

What is TOEFL?

The TOEFL iBT test is the most widely accepted test to prove academic English proficiency. TOEFL stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” and is designed by the ETS, a non-profit organization in the United States. Along with IELTS, it’s one of the two main tests for assessing the level of English language proficiency. This test is designed specifically for people whose mother tongue is not English but intend to continue their studies at English-speaking universities and educational institutions.

TOEFL is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is widely accepted by over 11,000 universities and academic institutions in more than 150 countries, such as the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia as well as across Asia and Europe. Earlier there used to be two types of TOEFL exams, i.e. TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT. TOEFL iBT is a computer-delivered test that is conducted in online mode whereas TOEFL PBT was a paper-based test that is only carried out in those areas where the internet is not available. But 11th April 2021 onwards, the official authorities- ETS have discontinued TOEFL PBT.

Need for TOEFL iBT test:

The TOEFL iBT test gives several advantages. It helps you get noticed by admissions officers, because the test measures academic English skills the way they are actually used in the classroom. Also, one will arrive on campus better prepared than others, knowing that the fair and unbiased TOEFL iBT scoring will provide a true representation of your abilities.

The TOEFL iBT test has also added several enhancements that provide a better test experience, including a shorter test, an upgraded registration site, MyBest™ scores, a free full-length practice test, faster score reporting, extended online registration, the TOEFL iBT Official App, and more.

Structure of TOEFL iBT Tests:

Section Order Time No of Questions Details
Reading 1 60-80 mins 36-56 questions Read 3-4 passages and answer questions
Listening 2 60-90 mins 34-51 questions Listen to 4-6 lectures and 2-3 conversations and answer questions
Break 3 10 mins
Speaking 4 20 mins 6 tasks Answer prompts about familiar topics, campus situations, and academic course content
Writing 5 50 mins 2 tasks Compare a passage and a lecture; write about your opinion
TOTAL About 4 hrs

The 4 Major Sections of the TOEFL:

  1. Reading Section:

The Reading section (60-100 minutes long) assesses your ability to understand and analyse written texts on topics like science and academic discussions.

Tips for Reading section:

#1: Learn to Manage Your Time
Task Time
Read a passage About 5 mins
Answer a question About 1 min each
Complete a question set About 15 mins in total
TOTAL (passage + question set) About 20 mins
#2: Choose a Passage-Reading Strategy Ahead of Time

To do well on TOEFL Reading, you must know how to approach the passages so that you’re using your time wisely and are clearly comprehending the main points of the text.

There are a few ways you can approach Reading section passages:

  • Read the entire passage first (recommended)
  • Skim the passage and then answer the questions
  • Answer the questions paragraph by paragraph
  • Read the questions first (not recommended)

#3: Skip Difficult Questions and Return to Them Later
  1. Listening Section:

The Listening section (60-90 minutes long) makes sure you can understand information given to you orally—for example, when you listen to a lecture or speak to a professor at university. This section has four to six lectures and questions that test your understanding of the content, as well as your understanding of the motivations and emotions of speakers.

#1: Take Notes as You Listen

#2: Pay Close Attention to Replay Questions

#3: Read Questions and Answer Choices Carefully

  1. Speaking Skills:

The Speaking section (20 minutes) consists of six tasks that you complete by talking into a microphone during the test. It is meant to measure how well you can express your thoughts and ideas in English.

#1: Use Your Scratch Paper to Plan What You’ll Say

#2: Take Notes on Readings and Audio Clips

#3: Take Notes on Readings and Audio Clips

  1. Writing Skills:

And finally, the Writing section (50 minutes) is all about demonstrating how you can use your English in writing. Here, you will apply your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and form clear sentences and paragraphs.

#1: Outline Your Essays

#2: Take Notes on the Audio Clip—Not the Passage

#3: Choose the Easier Side to Support

Where can I take the TOEFL iBT test?

The TOEFL iBT test is conveniently offered in three formats, all with the same content and scoring. The traditional TOEFL iBT test is taken on a computer at an ETS-authorized test centre. There are more than 3,000 TOEFL test centres worldwide, and you can use the official TOEFL iBT website to find one near you.

The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is taken on a computer at home. Test appointments are available around the clock 4 days a week.

The TOEFL iBT Paper Edition is available in select countries. The Reading, Listening and Writing sections are taken on paper at a test centre, and the Speaking section is taken on a computer at home within 3 days of the test-centre session.

You can choose which option is most convenient for you when you register for a test.

How much does the TOEFL iBT test cost?

The test fee varies depending on where you take the test, but typically ranges between USD $180 – $325. This covers your registration fee, your score report, and 4 score reports sent to institutions you select. There are additional fees for late registration, rescheduling, and cancelling a test.

What are the Resources for the TOEFL Test?

These books are part of TOEFL resources, and students can use this introduced collection or use other available resources according to their tastes:

  • Barrons TOEFL iBT
  • Essential Words for the TOEFL
  • The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
  • Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test
  • Delta Key to the Next Generation TOEFL Test
  • Mastering Skills for the TOEFL iBT
  • Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier
  • TOEFL Test Preparation Kit
  • Official TOEFL iBT Tests
  • Grammar Digest
  • Top the TOEFL- Unlocking the Secrets
  • Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test

These are just some TOEFL test resources. You can search on the Internet to get a more complete list of books published by reputable publishing companies.

IELTS and TOEFL:

TOEFL is designed by an independent organization Educational Testing Service (ETS), which specializes on the development of the test and management system. This organization is located in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Besides the TOEFL, company ETS developed such exams as TOEIC, GRE, etc. ETS develops not only tasks and questions for the test, but also checks all the results of the exam, prepares certificates on paper and sends them to the students who’ve passed the test.

IELTS test is jointly owned by three organizations:

  1. British Councilis an organization which specializes on training activities and the development of relations with the countries of the UK.
  2. IDP: IELTS Australia is a branch of one of the world’s leading international educational organizations IDP Education, which deals with accommodation of the students in Australia, the U.S. and the UK.
  3. University of CambridgeESOL is a unit of Cambridge University, which conducts exams in English.

Thus, TOEFL is the test which was developed in the USA and IELTS was designed in the UK. However, it doesn’t mean that if you are admitted to the European university, you need to be sure to take the IELTS. Both exams are recognized worldwide and are accepted on equal terms.

Latest Updates on TOEFL Exam:

  • Starting July 1, 2021, ETS, the TOEFL exam’s administering body has stated that they would accept Aadhar Cards from Indian students who take the TOEFL exam if they do not have their passports as part of their student ID ready. Because of the pandemic, new passports have not been provided on a regular basis, therefore students who have not received their passports can temporarily use their Aadhar cards as evidence of ID. This service’s termination date has not yet been announced.
  • Due to the continuous pandemic, several institutions were forced to implement test-optional policies or depend on substandard language examinations, which were more inexpensive and convenient but not always of good quality or sustainable in the long run. As a result, ETS, a niche English test provider, has created the TOEFL Essentials test, a higher-quality testing alternative in the face of the pandemic.

 

 

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