Everything you need to know about TOEFL

Written By: Cudy

12th February 2021

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is a standardized exam that tests your English language proficiency. It can be used by foreign applicants who want to study in the United States or Canada.

The TOEFL is administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is only offered via computer. As of 2016, there are three different versions of the TOEFL:

TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test) – This version is the most commonly used version of the TOEFL and is relatively new compared to other versions. It is the only version of the TOEFL that isn’t paper-based.

The iBT is composed of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The Speaking section is optional and can only be taken if you’ve paid an extra fee to take the iBT.

TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based Test) – This version of the TOEFL is only offered at select locations and is paper-based. It is administered at a limited number of test centers.

TOEFL iBT and PBT scores are reported on a scale that ranges from 0 to 30. The iBT is scored on a scale that ranges from 0 to 120.

What is the format of the test?

The format of the TOEFL iBT is very similar to the SAT format. The test is made up of four sections: one Reading section, one Listening section, one Speaking section, and one Writing section.

The TOEFL iBT is administered at a set time. You can choose to take the test in the morning or afternoon. The Listening section will have you listen to audio recordings and answer multiple-choice questions.

The Speaking section will have you respond to a recorded prompt and practice your English pronunciation. The Writing section will give you a prompt to write an essay.

The Reading section will have you answer multiple-choice questions based on reading passages. The

TOEFL PBT is administered at a set time, but is paper-based. It is composed of three sections: Listening, Reading, and Writing. The Reading and Writing sections are both multiple choice and the Listening section is recorded.

There are no “right” answers to these questions. The answers are scored using a scale that is similar to the SAT and other standardized tests.

If the test administrator believes that you answered the question incorrectly, they may give you a “no answer” option.

How is TOEFL scored?

TOEFL scores are reported on a scale that ranges from 0 to 120. This is similar to how the SAT is scored. TOEFL scores are broken down into two sections: Listening and Reading scores, and Speaking and Writing scores.

The Writing score is optional and will only be given to you if you take the iBT version of the test.

Listening and Reading scores range from 0 to 30. For the Writing section, the scores range from 0 to 30, but there is a section that is out of 6 scoring. This section does not count towards your overall score.

Speech and Writing scores range from 0 to 30. However, there is a section out of 6 scoring. This section does not count towards your overall score.

What is the TOEFL iBT test format?

The iBT TOEFL is a four-section test. It consists of one Reading section, one Listening section, and two Writing sections.

Each section has a different time limit. To be eligible to take the test, you must be able to understand the language of the prompt and take the test in English.

Reading section:

The Reading section is 75 minutes long. It consists of 37 questions that you must answer in 45 minutes.

The iBT Reading section consists of four passages: three passages that have you answer multiple choice questions and one short reading passage.

The text in the passages has sourced from many different fields. Including history, social studies, science, medicine, and the arts. The passages are on a wide range of topics and presented in a variety of formats.

Listening section:

The Listening section is 60 minutes long. It consists of 40 questions that you must answer in 45 minutes.

The Listening section consists of four recordings with a total of 10 questions. The recordings are between 5 and 10 minutes long. The questions are in the format of multiple choice, with four possible answers.

Speaking section:

The Speaking section is either 30 or 60 minutes long. It consists of six tasks that you must complete in the time limit of your choice.

The Speaking section is optional. However, you can take it if you’ve paid an extra fee to take the iBT.

The Speaking section is composed of six tasks, which have you listen to recordings and respond to them. These tasks are designed to test your oral English proficiency.

Writing section:

The Writing section is either 30 or 60 minutes long. It consists of two tasks that you must complete in the time limit of your choice.

The Writing section is optional. But you can take it if you’ve paid an extra fee to take the iBT.

The Writing section consists of two tasks. Those tasks required you listen to recordings and respond to them. These tasks designed to test your writing proficiency in English.

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