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The official guide to the TOEFL test | An introduction
The TOEFL test is developed and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), a non-profit educational organization. Since its inception in 1964, the TOEFL has been taken by over 27 million international students applying to universities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.
Almost all students now take the TOEFL online, which is known as the internet-based test, or iBT. Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) tests are being phased out and are only available in countries where internet testing is unavailable. The iBT is administered in two parts: a 60-80 minute reading section and a 60-90 minute listening section. The test-takers are then given a 10-minute break. The TOEFL iBT examination concludes with 20-minute speaking and 50-minute writing sections. Thus, the exam is about four hours long.
Why take the TOEFL test?
If English is not your first or native language, it is likely that the college or university you wish to attend will require you to take this test. You should, however, check with each institution to which you are applying for admission.
Your test results, along with other information you provide to the institution, will be used to determine whether you have the necessary academic and language background to be admitted to a regular or modified program of study. The TOEFL scores you need are often determined by your field of study and whether you are applying as a graduate or undergraduate student.
The TOEFL listening section focuses on basic comprehension, pragmatic understanding, and correcting and synthesizing information. 4-6 academic lecture excerpts and 2-3 conversations, approximately 3 to 5 mins long, are included in the listening exercises. Academic lectures can be either professor-only or open to the entire class. The conversations are based on typical interactions with faculty and staff outside of class.
TOEFL listening questions come in four varieties: multiple choice with one correct answer, multiple choice with multiple correct answers, ordering of events or steps in a process, and matching text or objects to categories in a chart.
The TOEFL reading section evaluates three core skills: reading for information, basic reading comprehension, and reading to learn. The reading section contains 3-4 reading passages of approximately 700 words each. These excerpts are from college textbooks on various subjects, and they are either expository, argumentative, or historical.
Test takers will encounter three distinct question formats, each with multiple-choice answers. Traditional multiple choice with a single correct answer, multiple choice with more than one correct answer, and exercises that ask test-takers to choose the most appropriate answer for the blank are all examples of reading section question formats.
The TOEFL writing section consists of two tasks: integrated writing and independent writing. Students must compose a written response to a reading passage and a spoken lecture excerpt on the same topic in 20 minutes for the former task, which requires reading, listening, and writing skills.
In the latter exercise, students write an essay in which they express and defend their own viewpoint on an issue raised by the essay prompt. Typical independent essay questions ask students to choose between two sides of an argument or to explain why they agree or disagree with a given statement. The independent essay should be at least 300 words long, with a time limit of 30 minutes.
The TOEFL speaking section assesses test takers’ ability to communicate in both classroom and non-classroom academic settings. This section is designed to ensure that students can answer questions, participate in classroom discussions, summarize lectures and reading assignments, express their opinions, and function in situations common in university life.
Students must complete six tasks orally, with their responses recorded on audio. The first two are independent tasks in which participants respond to question prompts with their own thoughts and opinions. The other four are integrated tasks that require a combination of reading, listening, and speaking.
TOEFL books for preparation
This official guide for TOEFL preparation can not be complete without some excellent recommendations of books to help you prepare for the exam.
- The Official TOEFL iBT® Test Guide: This guide is available in eBook and paperback formats and includes four complete practice tests, scoring criteria, and sample questions for all sections.
- TOEFL iBT® Test Prep Planner: If you’re just getting started with test prep, start with this free 8-week planner, which includes a detailed examination of the four sections of the test skill-building activities sample TOEFL iBT test questions scoring information.
- Kaplan’s “TOEFL iBT Prep Plus: This book includes four practice tests and hundreds of sample questions that the test taker can become adept at reading, listenings, writing, and speaking in English.
- The TOEFL examination is essential for students who wish to study in English-speaking countries.
- The exam contains four sections: listenings, reading, writing, and speaking.
- The entire exam is about four hours long.
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Q1. Is there an acceptable minimum score?
Answer 1- Each institution that uses TOEFL scores establishes its own minimum acceptable level of performance. These minimums differ by institution, depending on factors such as the applicant’s field of study, level of study (undergraduate or graduate), and whether the institution provides English as second language support to its students.
Q2. What is the cost of TOEFL in India?
Answer 2- The TOEFL exam costs US$190 (Rs. 14,242.11) in India.
Q3. Can you give TOEFL for free?
Answer 3- There is no fee waiver for the TOEFL test in India.