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What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is one of the most popular English proficiency exams accepted at American and Canadian universities and schools abroad. TOEFL tests the international students’ usage and understanding of English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university surroundings. The Educational Testing Services (ETS) is the conducting body of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and is responsible for setting the TOEFL questions, conducting the test, and sending each examinee their scorecard. Why take the TOEFL Exam? TOEFL is mostly undertaken by students who are planning to pursue higher education abroad. Appearing for TOEFL would also allow students to be eligible for several scholarships and also help students and candidates looking for employment abroad with their visa application process. Accepted in over 10,000 universities and institutions worldwide, including universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the United States, and across Europe and Asia, TOEFL is one of the most preferred English-language tests for students wanting to study abroad. Students wanting to study abroad and opting for TOEFL comes with many benefits. TOEFL is a more preferred exam among students who want to pursue higher education abroad, as more TOEFL scores are sent to universities in the United States and Canada, compared to others. Similarly, TOEFL is a more preferred English Test among countries as more TOEFL scores are sent to German, French, US, and Canadian universities than other English tests. ETS – the conducting body of the TOEFL also guarantees students a fair and unbiased process of score reporting, making the test more authentic in nature. What are the types of TOEFL Exam? Candidates should be aware that the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is held in two formats, viz. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). The TOEFL iBT is a more preferred mode of the exam while TOEFL PBT is only available in locations that do not support the use of the Internet and this mode of examination does not have the TOEFL Speaking Test due to lack of resources. Read on to know more about the two formats of the TOEFL Exam. What is TOEFL iBt? As the name suggests, the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is the online version of the TOEFL test for candidates looking to appear for their exam. It is the more preferred medium of TOEFL due to its ease of convenience and uses fewer resources. What is TOEFL PBT? The TOEFL Paper Based Test (TOEFL PBT) is the more orthodox method, wherein paper and pen are extensively used for the purpose of the exam. Not a big hit among students, the paper-based model of the TOEFL exam is conducted in areas that do not have access to the Internet. Candidates should be aware that in this format of the TOEFL exam, the TOEFL Speaking Test is not conducted due to the limited availability of resources. TOEFL 2020: TOEFL Exam Key Highlights Exam Name TOEFL TOEFL full form Test of English as a Foreign Language Official Website Conducting body Educational Testing Service (ETS) Widely popular as English language proficiency test Generally accepted by Universities in USA and Canada Mode of exam Internet-based and Paper-based TOEFL iBT fee US$180 TOEFL Paper-based test fee US$180 Score Range Reading: 0–30 Listening: 0–30 Speaking: 0–30 Writing: 0–30 TOEFL Helpline 1-609-771-7100, 1-877-863-3546 Fax 1-610-290-8972 TOEFL Exam Pattern TOEFL exam pattern is as follows - four sections, namely, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing - along with the total score. It goes without saying that the more you practice TOEFL sample papers, the better your scores will be. The total score is the sum of the scores of the four skill areas. Scores will be posted online 10 days after the test date. ETS will send up to four official score reports directly to the institutions the student selects. TOEFL Test pattern TOEFL Syllabus The TOEFL iBT syllabus for students includes reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Here is the TOEFL exam format covering TOEFL writing syllabus, TOEFL reading syllabus, TOEFL listening syllabus, and TOEFL speaking syllabus: TOEFL Reading Syllabus In this section, you will read 3-4 passages and answer 10 questions on each passage. The section is scored based on the number of correct reading comprehension responses. Question type: 3–4 passages, 10 questions each Total no. of questions: About 40 Total time: 64-72 minutes TOEFL Listening Syllabus In the Listening test section, you will hear short conversations as well as long conversations. After the short conversation, you will be asked one question and multiple choices of answers will be given. You have to choose one answer. In long conversations, you will be asked multiple questions based on the conversation. Question type: a) 3–4 lectures (3-5 minutes long, about 500-800 words), 6 questions each b) 2–3 conversations (about 3 minutes long, about 12-25 exchanges), 5 questions each Total time: 41–57 minutes TOEFL Speaking Syllabus For you to earn the highest scores in the Speaking Section, your responses must fulfill the demands of the task given with only minor mistakes or lapses. The test graders are looking for a highly intelligible and sustained conversation. There are three main factors that comprise scoring for the section. Question type: a) 1 independent task (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec) b) 3 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec) Total no. of questions: 4 Total time: 17 minutes TOEFL Writing Syllabus The essay should effectively address a topic. The response should be well-organized and well-developed using relevant explanations and detailed support. Furthermore, it should also display unity, progression, and coherence. If you want to achieve a high writing score, make sure that you demonstrate the syntactic variety and appropriate word choice with minor grammatical errors. Question type: a) 1 integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes) (reading time: 3 min; listening time: 2 min; writing: 15 min) b) 1 independent task (30 minutes) Total no. of questions: 2 Total time: 50 minutes How are TOEFL Scores calculated? For calculating TOEFL scores, both human raters and automated scoring methods are used. This is done in order to offer a complete and accurate picture of the candidate’s ability. While the automated scoring method has the advantage of being unbiased, it does not measure the effectiveness of the language and content. Human raters are required to attend to a wider variety of features, such as the quality of ideas and content as well as form. Also, you are expected to answer at least one question each in all sections. For reading and listening, you should answer at least one question. For writing and speaking, you must attempt one task each. For the online TOEFL iBT test as well the result is four-scaled along with a total score. The four-section scores of the TOEFL are divided as follow: Section/ Score Range Mean Scores* Level* Reading 0–30 20 High (22–30) Intermediate (15–21) Low (0–14) Listening 0–30 19 High (22–30) Intermediate (14–21) Low (0–13) Speaking 0–30 19 Good (26–30) Fair (18–25) Limited (10–17) Weak (0–9) Writing 0–30 20 Good (24–30) Fair (17–23) Limited (1–16) Score of zero (0) Total Score 0–120 80 What is the validity of TOEFL scores? Your TOEFL scores are valid until two years post the declaration of your result. If you are not satisfied with the scores of your first attempt, you can try again as there is no limitation on the number of retakes. However, there should be a 12-day gap between your retakes; i.e if you have a test appointment for today, you cannot register for another appointment for the next 12 days.