What is the TOEFL test?

What is the TOEFL Test

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is recognized by more than 10,000 universities and other institutions in over 150 countries. TOEFL is available in two formats: internet based (iBT) and paper-based (PBT).

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. It also evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

Structure and Scoring

Since March 2013, the Listening and Speaking sections include other native English accents (United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia), in addition to accents from North America, to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad. The test includes the following four sections:

1. Reading

Format: Read 3 or 4 passages, 10 questions each
Task: Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Time: 54–72 minutes
Score0 – 30

2. Listening

Format: 3–4 lectures, 6 questions each 2–3 conversations, 5 questions each
Task: Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Time41–57 minutes
Score: 0 – 30

3. Speaking

Format: 4 tasks – 1 independent and 3 integrated
Task: Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Time: 17 minutes
Score: 0 – 30

4. Writing

Format: 2 tasks
Task: Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.
Time: 50 minutes
Score: 0 – 30

Overall score range is between 0 and 120.

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You can register for the TOEFL test online, by telephone, by mail or in person at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center. Register about two and a half months before the test date, especially if you are registering by mail.

Fees and Score Validity

The test fee is around USD 200 and depends on the test location you choose. The fee includes four free official score reports which will be automatically sent to institutions of your choice, selected before the test.

There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. Your test score is valid for two years. Allow at least two weeks for your official scores to be sent by ETS to the universities you have selected.

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