What is the TOEFL Test?
Who Takes the TOEFL® Test?
More than 30 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL® test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.
- Students planning to study at a higher education institution
- English-language learning program admissions and exit
- Scholarship and certification candidates
- English-language learners who want to track their progress
- Students and workers applying for visas
More than 9,000 colleges, agencies, and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. For more information, including using your scores to satisfy visa requirements in Australia and the U.K., how to find institutions that accept TOEFL scores and more.
Format For TOEFL-IBT Exam:
Initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to for months. It is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills), and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once every 12 days.
The Reading section consists of questions on 4–6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require an understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast, and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.
The Listening section consists of questions on six passages, each 3–5 minutes in length. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The conversations involve a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. The lectures are a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture passage is heard only once. Test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, an organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.
The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by three to six raters.
- The entire test is given in half a day, unlike other tests that make you come back the second day
- Free resources and official prep materials — because there’s no better way to practice for test success than with tools from ETS, the creator of the TOEFL test
TOEFL iBT Test Scores
- Reading Section (Score of 0–30)
- Listening Section (Score of 0–30)
- Speaking Section (Score of 0–30)
- Writing Section (Score of 0–30)
- Total Score (0–120)
Before you begin the Test
- Make sure you have the following:
- The identification (ID) you plan to bring with you on test day.
- The name you use when you register must exactly match the name on the ID you bring to the test center.
How much will it cost to take the TOEFL test?
Registration payment methods:
- Credit/debit cards (American Express®, Discover®, JCB®, MasterCard® or Visa®)
- Electronic check (e-check)
- TOEFL voucher
NOTE: Please check the ETS website to see if there are any payment restrictions for your location.
Create a profile
- Update your personal information
- View, reschedule or cancel your registration
- View your scores
- Order additional score reports
Register for the TOEFL test
- On My Home Page, under My Tests, select Register for a Test
- Under Select Product Type, click TOEFL Test, thenContinue
- Complete the remaining steps as indicated on each screen
- You can register online anytime, day or night.
Regular registration deadline:
Seven days before the test date (not including the day of the test). So, if your test date is March 13, you must register by March 6.
Rescheduling deadline: Three full days before the test date (not including the day of the test or the day of your request); the fee is US$60.
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