What is the TOEFL test?
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. The test is designed to assess your ability to speak and understand English and is usually an entry requirement to be admitted to English-speaking universities or fields of study. Over 9,000 universities use TOEFL test results.
Several international companies and institutions also demand this test score when hiring. For example, the immigration authorities use TOEFL tests to issue residence and work permits in English-speaking countries. TOEFL tests are also used by individuals for the purpose of measuring progress – most often in connection with an English course.
TOEFL-test is a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is administered worldwide in over 130 countries. TOEFL has been used as an entry requirement for more than 50 years and has been taken by more than 27 million students and the working class.
There are two different versions of the TOEFL test: a paper-based test (PBT), and an online test (iBT). Both online and the paper test are based on 4 categories: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
Unlike paper-based exam which is given via a paper and a pencil format at a real testing location, the TOEFL iBT is delivered through Internet at a test center where each computer is assigned to each test taker.
Typically, it takes 3-4 hours to complete a TOEFL iBT exam.
TOEFL test structure
1. Read (60-80 minutes)
In the reading section, read 3-4 text passages, which are excerpts from books at the academic level. Subsequently, you must answer 10 questions per passage.
2. Listening (60-90 minutes)
The listening part consists of 4 academic lectures and 2-3 conversations. You must answer 6 questions per. lecture and 5 questions per. conversation.
3. Speech (20 minutes)
The speech section consists of 2 parts. The first part is called “Independent Speaking Tasks”, and here you need to use your own imagination and ideas when answering.
That part is called “Integrated Speaking Tasks” and here you need to use the language skills in interaction with each other.
4. Writing (50 minutes)
The writing assignment also consists of 2 parts. In the “Integrated Writing Task” section, read a text and hear a lecture at the academic level. In connection with this, you must write a summary with the main points in the text and the lecture. In the “Independent Task” section, write an essay based on a specific topic.
Preparation for the TOEFL test
There is a sea of tools available if you want to practice before the TOEFL test. On the test maker site, you can find various practice tests that can help you in your preparation process.