TOEFL iBT® Test: Your Questions Answered

 Are you wondering whether the TOEFL iBT® Test is right for you? Here are some expert answers from ETS, its creators, on common questions as well as practical information on the test.

This is a recording of the webinar with Wouter Schut, Academic and Marketing Expert from ETS, held on January 8th, 2019. He shared everything there is to know about the TOEFL iBT® Test and gave valuable advice to test takers to ease their anxiousness while preparing.

What are the benefits of the TOEFL iBT® Test compared to other language tests?

1. The test measures academic English the way it is used in the classroom. You will be able to communicate effectively through listening, reading, writing and speaking.
2. The test provides unbiased scoring. The reading and listening sections are graded by a computer but the other sections by trained and certified human raters. These raters receive daily calibration so they grade accurately.
3. Students preparing for the test, are better prepared than others when they arrive on campus. Universities will be able to tell the difference.

What is the breakdown of the test?

Reading: 60-80 mins Score: 0-30
Listening: 60-90 mins Score: 0-30
Break 10 mins
Speaking: 20 min Score: 0-30
Writing: 50 min Score: 0-30
Total Score: 0-120

How many score reports will I receive?

Four free score reports are included with your registration fee. You will receive detailed performance feedback after completing your exam.

What score do I need to get accepted to a top graduate program?

Schools determine their own score requirements. Make sure you know the requirements of the school you are interested in attending. The minimum score depends whether you will study masters, MBA, PhD, also if you’d like to study at a top school. The minimum score ranges from 80 up to 100.

What is the most common mistake students make on the test?
Keep in mind that with the speaking section, you have limited time. It’s important not to get off track, and use your time wisely. Also, it’s important to take notes during the listening section. By practicing your writing skills, you will improve both for the writing section and listening as well.

Is one test section more important than the other?
All sections are weighed equally, 0-30 points adding up to a total of a maximum score of 120.

What if I don’t agree with the score on speaking section?
You are eligible to ask for additional feedback by contacting ETS on their website. You can also resit the test.

Should I take the internet or paper based TOEFL® Test?
Most students prefer to take the TOEFL iBT® (internet based test). In countries where there are issues with electricity, ETS offers a paper version of the test.

Can I choose which order to take the test?
You cannot choose the order of sections. The test starts with the 60-80 minute reading section, then the 60-90 minutes listening, followed by a short 10 minute break, and afterwards a 20 minute speaking section, ending with a 50 minute writing section.

I am rather anxious about the speaking section. How should I face my fear?
If you are worried about the speaking part which will require you to speak into a microphone, Wouter reminds us: “Think about how often you talk on the phone and send voice messages via apps like WhatsApp.”

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