What is TOEFL?

Started in the year 1964 “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL) is a standardized test to evaluate the English skills capacity of non-native speakers as it is heard, spoken, read and written in the university classroom and the students wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. It is an internet based or paper-based test that is conducted and designed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) which is a non-profit organization.

TOEFL Internet-based test (IBT) which was introduced in 2005 has progressively replaced the paper-based tests although it is still used in selected areas.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test?

It is to be taken into consideration that more than 35 million people all over the world out of which large numbers consist of students planning to study abroad for higher education have appeared for TOEFL test to demonstrate their English proficiency.

Advantages of TOEFL

The TOEFL test gives students an advantage as its scores are valid for two years after the test dates and is most widely accepted, most popular and most preferred.

  • Acceptance – The scores of this test are accepted by more than 10,000 institutions and universities in around 150 countries.  TOEFL is 100% accepted in Australia and New Zealand universities. More than 90% of universities of the universities in the U.K. accept TOEFL scores.
  • Popularity – Canadian universities prefer students who are evaluated by TOEFL test and more than 78% of education programs prefer TOEFL.
  • Preference – It is worth noticing that nine out of ten universities prefer TOEFL over any other English evaluation test.
  • Unbiased scoring – Tests are only scored through a centralized scoring network. The crucial speaking section uses multiple invigilators who do not know who the aspirant is. This prevents the bias that can occur in other tests that use a face-to-face interview with a single invigilator.

TOEFL Test Format

At authorized test centers around the world, the TOEFL test has over 50 test dates per year A student can appear for the test as many times but cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment.

  • Reading – The Reading module consists of questions on not more than four passages, each approximately 700 words in length and is primarily based on academic topics like the text found in university textbooks. Some of the topics covered in the reading module are sentencing insertion, vocabulary, and overall ideas.
  • Listening – The Listening section consists of questions on not more than 9 passages, each 3–5 minutes in length which includes two conversations between students and four lectures or discussions. Each conversation or lecture is heard only once and the test takers may take notes while they listen to the conversations. The listening module is meant to measure the ability to understand ideas, implications, and speakers attitude.
  • Speaking – The Speaking section consists of not more than six tasks out of which two are independent and four are integrated. Test-takers are allowed to take notes as they read and listen and may use these notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time (generally two minutes) before they have to begin speaking. Responses are recorded, sent to the Online Scoring Network (OSN) where they are evaluated by three to six raters.
  • Writing – The Writing section consists of two tasks, one integrated and one independent which is used to measures a test taker’s ability to write in academics. In the writing test, the test-taker is required to write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it. Responses are then sent and evaluated by at least 3 different raters.