Test of English as a Foreign Language which is popularly known as TOEFL is a standardized test to assess English language proficiency. It is for non-native speakers willing to enroll in colleges or universities in English-speaking countries. It is accepted by more than 11000 universities in the World. It is administered and conducted by the Education Testing System (ETS).

The test duration is 2 hours and 47 minutes. TOEFL is mostly taken by international students who are planning to pursue higher education abroad. There are 2 types of TOEFL exams:

  • TOEFL iBT which is computer-based.
  • TOEFL paper-based examination.

Sections in the TOEFL

TOEFL evaluates the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers based on 4 sections. These sections of TOEFL are sketched in such a manner that the applicant’s English language proficiency is assessed in all respects. The sections of TOEFL are:

  • Reading section of TOEFL- It is designed to evaluate how well you can read, understand, and then deliver the write-up in your own words from the kind of material that is used in an academic environment.
  • Listening section of TOEFL- It is designed to assess and measure your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. This section evaluates whether you can listen to and understand the lectures that will be delivered in the classroom during the course.
  • Speaking section of TOEFL- It is designed to measure your ability to speak English effectively in academic settings. It tests your skills like fluency, pronunciation, accent, and grammar in English speaking.
  • Writing section of TOEFL- It is designed in such a manner that your ability to write in an academic setup is evaluated. In the writing section, you will be graded on the ability to plan, manage and organize your ideas, and on the quality of your grammar and language usage.

Eligibility for TOEFL examination

ETS has not set any official TOEFL exam eligibility for the test-takers. It can be taken by any student or skilled worker from a non-native English-speaking environment. There is no official limitation regarding the minimum or maximum age limit for candidates to appear for TOEFL. However, it is recommended that the test should be taken by students who have completed a minimum of Class 12. You must have a valid photo ID proof for taking the exam.

TOEFL Registration

You can register for TOEFL through the official website of ETS or by phone or email. TOEFL is conducted more than 50 times a year, which makes it 4 to 5 times a month. There are 4,500 test centres in 150 countries. The TOEFL exam can be taken once every 3 days. TOEFL exam fees can be anywhere between $160 to $260. The fees vary depending on the location one chooses as the test centre.

TOEFL Examination Pattern

  1. TOEFL Reading section In the reading section, there will be 3-5 passages and around 12-14 questions on each passage. The section is scored based on the number of correct responses from the reading comprehension. Here are the details:
    • Question type: 3 to 4 passages, 10 questions each
    • Total number of questions: About 40
    • Total time: 54 to 72 minutes
    • Syllabus: Academic and General interest extracts
  2. TOEFL Writing section The essay should effectively address a topic. It should be well organized and developed with all the relevant information. To achieve a high score, present the write-up tasks with the right word choice without any grammatical errors. Here are the details:
    • One integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes)
    • One independent task (30 minutes)
    • Total number of questions: 2 questions
    • Total time: 50 minutes
  3. TOEFL Listening section The listening section consists of short lectures and conversations. Here are the details:
    • 3 to 4 lectures (about 500 to 800 words, 3 to 5 minutes long,), 6 questions each; about 30 questions in total
    • 2 to 3 conversations (about 3 minutes long, about 12 to 25 exchanges), 5 questions each; About 12 questions in total
    • Total number of questions: 40 questions
    • Total time: 41 to 57 minutes
  4. TOEFL Speaking section The speaking test section consists of a total of four tasks that goes in resemblance with real-life situations that you will encounter both inside and outside the classroom. Here are the details:
    • One independent task (preparation time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)
    • 3 integrated tasks – Read, Listen and Speak (preparation time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)
    • Total number of questions: 4 questions
    • Total time: 17 minutes

TOEFL Examination Dates

TOEFL exam dates are obtainable on ETS official website. You must check the official website to get the right test dates. The exam dates and time slots are available on the ETS Website. It opens the test dates of only two months at a time, and not for the whole year.

TOEFL Syllabus

The TOEFL Syllabus consists of four subjects, called TOEFL modules. They are Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The test assesses the candidate in all these modules and it provides a score for that, indicating one’s proficiency level in the English language. Here are the details:

  • Syllabus for the Reading section The reading passages are taken from various college and university-level textbooks and modules that can be used to define a discipline or a particular topic. It assesses English reading fluency and skills. It also evaluates your ability to understand, skim passages and recognize the writer’s attitude, opinion, reasoning, and argument.
  • Syllabus for the Speaking section The speaking test section comprises a total of 4 tasks that go in correspondence with real-life situations. It is a face-to-face information interview. The 1st question will be independent because it will be about you, your ideas, past life experiences, and opinions. Secondly, tasks 2, 3, and 4 will be integrated speaking tasks where you need to combine all your English language skills.
  • Syllabus for the Writing section You are expected to deliver a complete writeup where ideas, opinions, grammar, fluency, and vocabulary everything will be in an accurate and organized manner. The independent writing task is completely based on you. You need to present a summary of your past experiences and opinions about a writing topic. In the second task, you need to write a summary after listening to a short passage or short lecture.
  • Syllabus for the Listening section Basic English comprehension and practical understanding are two important things in this section. There will be lectures and conversation audio clips, based on which questions will be given.

TOEFL Exam Scores

TOEFL exam results are declared on the official website of ETS (Education Testing System). Log in with your ETS account and check your result. It takes around 6 days to declare the result after the test date. The TOEFL iBT exam is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points. Each section of TOEFL has a score range from 0 to 30.

TOEFL Preparation

There are two ways to prepare for the TOEFL Exam. Either join the classes for the preparation or self-study. TOEFL test materials and practice papers are the best methods to choose if you want to self-study. Here are some TOEFL examination tips:

  • Learn and understand the TOEFL exam pattern. You need to have complete knowledge about the test pattern, the type of questions in each module, and the types of tasks.
  • Manage your time by planning the task. When you practice, set a timer for yourself and practice.
  • Focus on building a fantastic vocabulary.
  • Make sure to practice so much that there are no minor or major grammatical mistakes.
  • Write and Read the English language in your daily life as much as you can.
  • Try to have conversations in English.
  • Purchase TOEFL test preparation books or download pdf available online for preparation.
  • Start Practicing by appearing for the online practice test. You will know your strengths and limitations.
  • Practice general and academic topics.

TOEFL is a compulsory general eligibility criterion set by various universities where the applicants are enrolled only when they fulfil the test requirements. The TOEFL test score is valid for 2 years from the day of declaration of the results. TOEFL is intended for non-native English speakers from all over the world.