Test of English as a Foreign Language
Testing Student's Academic English Proficiency Levels
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL /ˈtoʊfəl/ TOH-fəl) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization.
Score / grade validity: 2 years
Score / grade range: The TOEFL iBT test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points. Each section receives a scaled score from 0 to 30.
Countries / regions: More than 11,000 test centres in over 150 countries.
Scores / grades needed by: people who attend university or graduate school abroad, including anyone who is applying to a foreign high school, exchange program, community college, or for a student visa.
Total number of test takers: > 35 million, so far.
Knowledge / skills tested: Listening, reading, writing and speaking of the English language
Purpose: To assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers
POINTS TO REMEMBER
TOEFL's Examining Body
ETS is the examining body of TOEFL tests, which designs and administers the tests. ETS issues official score reports which are sent independently to institutions and are valid for two years following the test.
TOEFL test and its types
TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS. The vast majority of students must take the TOEFL iBT. The PBT is not offered in most countries. Some schools or programs only accept TOEFL iBT scores, not TOEFL PBT or revised TOEFL paper-delivered scores.
TOEFL iBT - Computerized TOEFL Test
The TOEFL iBT is a four-hour, computerized test with four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. You will use one main skill for each section. some questions or tasks requiring the use of multiple skills. All sections are timed. Sectional iBT scores for reading, writing, speaking, and listening are given on a scale of 0 to 30 for each, in one-point increments. The iBT total score is the sum of all four sectional scores (0 to 120).
TOEFL Reading Test
The Reading section consists of questions on 3-4 passages, each approximately 700 words in length and with 10 questions. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require 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. TOEFL reading test ranges from 60 to 80 minutes long. The Reading sections vary in length due to unscored, experimental questions and there will be no indication telling you, which questions are experimental and which ones not, so do not spend too much time worrying about this.
TOEFL Writing Test
The TOEFL writing section includes an integrated task (20 minutes) and an independent task (30 minutes), for a total of 50 minutes. The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. The test-taker then writes a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least 3 different raters.
TOEFL Listening Test
The Listening section consists of questions on 2-3 conversations with 5 questions each, and 5-7 lectures with 6 questions each. Each conversation is 2.5-3 minutes and lectures are 4.5-5.5 minutes in length. 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. The listening questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude. TOEFL listening test ranges from 60 to 90 minutes. It covers 4-6 sample lectures and 2-3 conversations, with 6 questions per lecture and 5 questions per conversation. The Listening sections vary in length due to unscored, experimental questions. long.
TOEFL Speaking Test
In speaking test, you will always have 20 minutes on Speaking. The Speaking section consists of 4 tasks: 1 independent (Task 1) and 3 integrated (Task 2, 3, 4). In task 1, 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 task 2 and 4, 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 task 3, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture 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 iBT takes between three hours and 20 minutes and four hours and 10 minutes to complete, including a single 10-minute break in the middle of the test, between the Listening and Speaking sections. This break is mandatory, meaning you must take it. You may take other breaks during the test, but you will not be able to pause the timer for these.
Paper-delivered TOEFL test (PDT)
The TOEFL PDT is an official test for use where the internet test is unavailable, usually due to internet & computer issues. It consists of the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, with scores that are the same scale as the Internet Based Test. There is no total score.
Paper-based TOEFL test (PBT)
Scores are valid for two years after the test date, and test takers can have their scores sent to institutions. Total PBT testing time is 140-150 minutes (2 hours and 20-30 minutes), and total PBT scores are reported from 310-677 (the writing assessment is separate from the rest of the exam and is not included in the total score).
The TOEFL PBT is also built from four sections:
"Reading Comprehension" (55 minutes; 31-67), and
"Writing" (30 minutes; 1-6).
"Structure and Written Expression" (25 minutes; 31-68),
"Listening Comprehension" (30-40 minutes, scored from 31-68 in one-point increments),
Reading Comprehension (55 minutes): The Reading Comprehension sections has 50 question about reading passages.
Writing (30 minutes): The TOEFL PBT administrations include a writing test called the Test of Written English (TWE). This is one essay question with 250–300 words in average.
Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes) The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors.
Listening (30 – 40 minutes): The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first one contains 30 questions about short conversations. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks.