The Test of English as a Foreign Language is standardized test designed to measure the ability to understand and to use English as used in a North American academic setting, such as a university. The admission committees of more than 8,500 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and 130 other countries worldwide require foreign applicants to submit TOEFL scores along with transcripts and recommendations in order to be considered for admission. In addition, workers applying for visas often use TOEFL scores as part of their applications.
There are four sections in the TOEFL:
- Reading section test ability to understand reading passages like those in college textbooks. There are three passages in the short format and four in the long format.
- Listening section test ability to understand spoken English that is typical of interactions and academic speech on campuses. There are two conversations, two lectures, and two discussions on the short format and three conversations, three lectures, and three discussions on the long format.
- Speaking section tests ability to communicate in English in an academic setting.
- Writing section tests ability to write essays in English similar to those written in college courses.
Typical TOEFL iBT
Total testing time is approximately 4 hours, including the time required for giving directions & break.
|Measure/Section||Number of Questions||Time|
|Reading||3-4 passages with 12-14 questions||60-80 minutes|
|Listening||2-3 conversations with 5 questions each
2-3 lectures with 6 questions each
2-3 discussions with 6 questions each
|Speaking||2 independent tasks
4 integrated tasks
|Writing||1 integrated task
1 independent task
| 20 minutes
Some of the Reading and Listening sections may be longer because test developers include experimental questions for either the Reading or the Listening section on most TOEFL forms. The experimental questions that wouldn’t contribute to your scores may be at the beginning, middle, or end of the section.
Each of the four sections of TOEFL iBT is scored on a scale of 0 to 30.The four section scores are then added together for a total test score of 0 to 120.
In addition to the section scores and total score, test takers receive score descriptors as part of their result. These descriptors are brief explanations of what the numeric scores mean in terms of language skills and proficiency.
Typically, scores on the TOEFL iBT are reported 10 to 15 days after the test date.
NB: TOEFL is valid for two years and an international passport is needed for TOEFL registration!
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