TOEFL stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” and is designed by the ETS, a non-profit organization in the United States. Along with IELTS, it’s one of the two main tests for assessing the level of English language proficiency.
This test is designed specifically for people whose mother tongue is not English but intend to continue their studies at English-speaking universities and educational institutions.
Discover in this post what is the TOEFL test precisely, the sections of the exam, how the score is calculated, and some of the most frequent questions. Let’s get to them:
- What are the Differences between TOEFL Test and IELTS Test?
- What are the Different Sections in the TOEFL Exam?
- How do They Score TOEFL Exam?
- What are the Resources for the TOEFL Test?
Unlike the IELTS test, which is available in both general and academic formats, the TOEFL test is available in only one academic form, but in both paper and Internet-based forms.
The main difference between the TOEFL test and IELTS is that TOEFL is online. To answer TOEFL questions, you must use computers and headsets available at test centers.
In the past, TOEFL was also offered as a computer-based test, but today, due to the development and spread of Internet technology, in all TOEFL test centers, this test is held online. They send answers directly to the ETS Institute via the Internet.
The cost of attending the TOEFL exam varies in different countries, ranging from US$160 to US$250. It is essential to see this as an investment rather than a cost because if you achieve a score that helps you progress on to your course and graduate, it will improve your future job prospects.
What are the Different Sections in the TOEFL Exam?
The TOEFL test consists of four sections; each is one of the four primary language skills, namely reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
The reading section texts are all academic books, articles, and textbooks that you may encounter in the first year of undergraduate study at English-speaking universities.
The listening section also includes examples of professors’ lectures in university classrooms and students’ conversations with each other or with professors and university staff in English-speaking universities.
In the speaking section, they may ask you to talk for a limited time about the subjects, issues, and problems students may face on campus.
Finally, in the writing section, you will be asked to write two short academic essays on two topics. The type of these essays is the analysis and conformity of two views or the expression of your personal opinion and commentary of a subject.
Let’s take a closer look at them:
The first part is the reading skill. In this section, you will have three or four texts, each of them has about 700 words, and you will answer 12 to 14 questions for each section.
The answer time is 60 to 80 minutes, during which you can go back to the previous texts and questions and review them if you need.
You are not given any dictionary, and you do not have the right to bring any electronic notes or tools to the test session, But you can use the pen and paper that the test center gives you for taking notes.
The second part is listening skill. In this section, you will hear two or three conversations, each lasting approximately three minutes, and you will answer 5 questions for each item.
You will also listen to four to six lectures or a three to five-minute speech and answer six questions. In total, you should answer 34 to 51 questions.
In this section, you must answer the questions in the same order as they are given to you, and it is not possible to return to review the answers. You also have about 60 to 90 minutes to complete this section.
After a 10-minute break, the speaking section begins. You have to answer six questions using the microphone on your headset. These six questions include four combined questions and two independent questions.
For some questions, you just read the item on the monitor, listen to the narrator reread the question, and after a few seconds, give you time to prepare and think about the answer.
You should provide a short answer; For more complex questions, you need to read a short text, listen to a short conversation or conference, and then prepare and articulate your response.
You have an average of 15 to 30 seconds to prepare and think about each question and 45 to 60 seconds to record your answer. It would help if you started talking as soon as the answer is ready and complete your response before your time is up.
You have no choice but to start, pause, or end your voice operation. The whole oral part lasts about 20 minutes, and the number of questions is always six in this section.
In this part, you should write two essays in a total duration of 50 minutes: Twenty minutes for the first and thirty minutes for the second essay. Both of these essays naturally have to be typed on a computer keyboard.
To write the first essay, you should read a short text, which has 230 to 300 words on an academic topic, then listen to a short lecture about 2 minutes on the same subject, which in It actually has a different point of view from the text approach, and then prepare and type your text. Your final text should be at least 150 words long and match the two perspectives well.
In the second essay, they ask you to comment on the a subject. Here, you should write your comments in at least 300 words, most straightforwardly and logically, following academic writing principles in 30 minutes. The total time given to you by both essays is 50 minutes.
How do They Score TOEFL Exam?
The overall TOEFL test score is calculated from 120, and each central section has a score of 30. The first two parts, reading and listening, are measured by your correct answers, while the two parts, speaking, and writing, are generally measured by the specific factors that TOEFL test proofreaders have.
The number of questions with a score in the reading skill section is 39, and in the listening skill section is 34; Therefore, in these two sections, 39 and 34, respectively, the correct answer will be equal to a score of 30 in this part.
You can see the rest of the scores in the table that follows. But in both speaking and writing skills, proofreaders give each of your answers a holistic score from 0 to 4 in speaking skills and an overall score from 0 to 5 for writing skills.
In the report given to you, only the final scores of each skill plus their sum are reported, and access to the questions and answers of the test that you have given, and the mistakes that not taken from you in the speaking and writing section.
If you object to your score, you can request a re-examination for a fee, which will not be refunded even if your objection is justified.
About ten days after the test session, the digital version of your resume will be placed in your ETS account, which you can easily download as a PDF file. About two weeks after the test date, the original hard copy will be sent, both to the universities of your choice and yourself.
If the centers receiving the test report are within the United States, wait for 7 to 10 days to receive them; And if they are outside the United States, the waiting time is longer, maybe 4 to 6 weeks. This time also includes the copy that will be sent to you.
What are the Resources for the TOEFL Test?
These books are part of TOEFL resources, and students can use this introduced collection or use other available resources according to their tastes:
- Barrons TOEFL iBT
- Essential Words for The TOEFL
- The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
- Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test
- Delta Key to the Next Generation TOEFL Test
- Mastering Skills for the TOEFL iBT
- Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier
- TOEFL Test Preparation Kit
- Official TOEFL iBT Tests
- Grammar Digest
- Top the TOEFL- Unlocking the Secrets
- Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test
These are just some TOEFL test resources. You can search on the Internet to get a more complete list of books published by reputable publishing companies.
The famous TOEFL test measures non-native English speakers’ ability to use and understand English while reading, writing, hearing, and speaking in the university classroom.
This test is taken on a computer at a secure, authorized TOEFL iBT test center. The test measures all four English-language skills and takes approximately three hours to complete.