Test Preparation


Test Of English as a foreign language is a standardised test for measuring the level of English proficiency of non native speakers who wish to enrol at English-language universities. The test is recognized by more than 11.000 universities and other institutes in more than 190 countries and Territories. The TOEFL test is one of a number of major English language tests around the world, including the IELTS test, the Cambridge English Assessment and the exams at Trinity college London.

TOEFL Is A Registered Trademark Of The Education Testing Service (ETS), a non-profit private organization that designs and conducts the tests. ETS publishes official score reports, which are independently sent to the institutions and valid for a period of two years after the test.

The Internet-based TOEFL test measures all four levels of academic English – reading, hearing, speaking and writing. Since its introduction at the end of 2005, the internet-based test format has gradually replaced computer-based testing (CBT, or paper-based test, or PBT) although paper tests are still used in selected areas. The iBT TOEFL test was introduced in the US, Canada, Germany, France, and Italy, in 2005, and in the Rest of the World, in phases in 2006, and the test centers have been expanded on a regular basis. It will be offered weekly in authorised test centres. The CBT ceased in September 2006, and these values are no longer applicable.

Initially, demand for test places outstripped availability, and applicants had to wait months. In most countries, it is now possible for students to take the exam within 1-4 weeks. People wishing to take the exam will create an account at the official website in order to find the nearest location. In the past, this test took 4 hours; today, participants can opt for a test of about 3 hours. The test is made up of four sections in which one basic language skill is measured (some tasks require the integration of several skills) and all the tasks focus on the language used in a higher education academic environment.

  • Reading
    The reading part consists of 3-4 questions, each of which is approximately 700 words long and contains 10 questions. These passages relate to academic topics, and are the sort of material that could be found in a university text book. passages require understanding rhetorically functions like cause-and-effect, comparison-contrast, and argumentation. Students will answer questions on main ideas, detail, conclusions, key information, insertion of sentences, lexicon, rhetoric, and overall ideas. New types of TOEFL questions require spreadsheets or summaries to be filled in. Previous knowledge of the topic dealt with is not necessary in order to arrive at the correct answer.
  • Listening
    The listening part consists of 2-3 talks of 5 questions each and 3-3 talks of 6 questions each. Each conversation lasts 2.5-three minutes and the lectures are 4,5-5.5 minutes long. Participants in the talks will be a student, a professor or campus service provider. Lectures are an integral part of an academic course, which may require the participation of students and does not require any special background knowledge in this subject area. Each talk and lecture will be listened to only once. Subjects can take notes while listening, and they can point to their notes while answering the questions. Auditory questions are designed to measure your ability to understand key ideas, important detail, implications, relationship between ideas, information organization, speaker function, and speaker retention.
  • Speaking
    The subscriber part consists of four tasks: one independent (task 1) and three integrated (task 2, 3 and 4). In task 1 the test participants answer opinion questions about familiar topics. They are judged by their ability to spontaneously speak and communicate their ideas in a clear and coherent manner. In tasks 2 and 4 the test participants read a short section, listen to a scientific lecture or talk about life on campus, and answer questions by combining the corresponding information from the texts and the lecture. In assignment 3, the test participants listen to a lecture, and then answer a question on what they have heard. In the integrated assignments, the subjects are evaluated for their ability to synthesize information from reading and hearing material appropriately and to communicate it effectively. Subjects can take notes while reading and listening and use their notes in preparation for their answers. Subjects are given a brief preparation period before they are required to start speaking. Responses are recorded digitally, sent to the ETS Online Scoreboard Network (OSNs) and analysed by between three and six assessors.
  • Writing
    The writing section measures the ability of the test taker to write within an academic environment, and is divided into two tasks: an integrated and an independent one. In the integrated assignment, the test participants read a passage about an academic subject and then listen as a speaker talks about it. Subsequently, the test participant will write a summary of the key points in the reading passage and explain how they relate to key points in the reading passage. In the independent assignment, the test taker must compose an essay in which he or she sets out his or her opinion or choice and explain it, instead of simply listing his or her personal preferences and choices. Responses will be sent to ETS-OSN and assessed by at least three different evaluators.
Approximate time
3-4 sections of 10 questions each
54–72 minutes
5-7 sections with 5-6 questions each
41–57 minutes
Mandatory break
10 minutes
4 tasks
17 minutes

2 tasks

50 minutes

One of the stages of the test is going to include additional, untold material. The Education Testing Service contains additional material to test test questions on future test forms. If the subjects get a longer section they should deal with all the questions in the same way, because they don’t know which question counts and which one doesn’t. If, for example, four passages are read instead of three passages, one of them is not counted. Each of the four might be the unnumbered.

Paper-delivered Test

TOEFL paper-delivered tests are official tests for use in places where the Internet test is not normally available due to Internet and computer problems. It is composed of the listening, reading and writing sections, with results matching the scale of the Internet-based test. There is no overall score. Not all centres have the ability to carry out this type of testing, so in general it will be necessary to postpone the date of the test to another available day.

Paper-based test

The paper-based TOEFL test (PBT) was available in a limited number of areas until 2017 when it was superseded by the paper-based test. Points are valid two years from the date of the test, and the test takers may send their scores to institutions or take their time.[11]
  • Listen (30-40 minutes)
    The hearing part consists of three parts. The first contains 30 short questions. The second part consists of 8 questions about long conversations. The last part poses 12 questions about presentations or lectures. Difficult issues are worth two points.
  • Structure and written expression (25 minutes)
    The structure and printout section includes 15 exercises to correctly execute sentences and 25 error-detection exercises. Difficult issues are worth two points.
  • Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)
    The sections Reading comprehension have 50 questions to read passages. Difficult issues are worth two points.
  • Writing (30 minutes)
    Among the TOEFL-PBT administrators is a written test called the test of written English (“TWE”). This is an essay question of an average of 250 – 300 words
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