Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL is a test of the English language in foreign countries. It is a standardized test to measure the English of non-native speakers willing to apply to American Universities.
All English language academies and professional bodies accept it. It is one of the two major tests for the English language along with IELTS. TOEFL is an ETS (Educational Testing Service) trademark.
Types of TOEFL test
There are mainly two types of TOEFL:
1. TOEFL IBT
IBT stands for the TOEFL internet bases test. This test has taken over the older TOEFL CBT (TOEFL Computer-based Test) test. TOEFL CBT was terminated in 2006, and the scores are not valid. Where internet and computer facilities are available, the TOEFL IBT test is taken. Most of the test centers in the world had an internet-based testing system for TOEFL.
2. TOEFL PBT
PBT stands for Paper Based Test. In the areas of the world where internet facilities and Computers are not available, TOEFL paper-based testing is done. It is now replaced by TOEFL PDT, Paper Delivered Test from 2017. The test pattern and Scoring are different from the TOEFL IBT.
Other Types of TOEFL tests:
1. TOEFL Junior:
TOEFL junior is an assessment of middle school level English Proficiency Test. TOEFL junior standard is paper-based, while TOEFL junior comprehensive is a computer-based exam. Subjects for TOEFL junior standard are Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, and Language Form and Meaning. Subjects for TOEFL junior Comprehensive test are Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking Comprehension.
2. TOEFL ITP
TOEFL ITP stands for Institutional Training Program. The test is used to assess English Language Proficiency for institutes’ internal structure. These are closely related to IELTS PBT. The only difference here is the exclusion is the Test of Written Expression.
More Information on TOEFL
There are no fixed eligibility criteria for the TOEFL. However, one must have finished high school to appear for TOEFL. Anyone who wants to study abroad can appear for TOEFL. There is no age limit to TOEFL appearance either.
Who can appear for TOEFL?
The people who are making plans to study at colleges or universities where instruction is given in English can appear for the TOEFL test. Furthermore, many government agencies, licensing/certification agencies, and scholarship programs use TOEFL scores to find out the English communication skills of that person. So people who want this kind of benefit can give TOEFL.
What is the TOEFL eligibility regarding the age limit of the candidate?
Everyone is eligible for taking the TOEFL exam. There are no restrictions regarding the age limit of the candidate. ETS has not set any guidelines defining an Age limit or minimum age for the candidates. So, there is no hindrance in TOEFL eligibility regarding the age of the person.
What is the TOEFL eligibility regarding the qualifications of the candidate?
Generally, a person who has passed in 10+2 level of education from any recognized institution is an acceptable qualification for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. In other words, a candidate should have passed from the high school or equivalent to appear for the TOEFL test.
What is the TOEFL eligibility regarding the availability of the document?
The following ID documents should be there for admission to a test center:
- A printout of the confirmation email from ETS which has the registration number.
- A photo identification card. – You should make sure that it has a photo of you, and that the ID card is not expired. IDs like employee ID, credit card, birth certificate, driver’s license, are not valid. The id proof should have your name, signature, and photograph.
- Valid Passport with name and photograph National ID with name, photograph, and signature
Many of the institutions have their own TOEFL eligibility criteria, so, it is suggested by the experts that candidates should check the eligibility criteria for the TOEFL exam for individual colleges or universities. The universities in major English-speaking countries like the USA and Canada require students to prove their language proficiency for getting admission to their educational institutions. The validity of TOEFL test scores is for only two years.
TOEFL is made of four aspects of a spoken and written language, and they are called modules. The four modules of TOEFL are reading, listening, writing, and speaking cover the TOEFL test format for iBT online test. The TOEFL structure and syllabus for four of them is as follows.
TOEFL Reading Syllabus
Reading is all about reading the passages and answering the questions asked. In reading, there will be 3-5 passages and there will be 12-14 questions in each passage to answer. The total no of questions to be answered will be 50 in the duration of 60-100 minutes. The score will be based on the correctness of each answer in each passage.
3 to 5 Passages: 12-14 Questions Asked
TOEFL Listening Syllabus
In listening, there will be two types of conversations that will be heard. One will be a short conversation and others will be a long conversation. In short conversations after a short conversation, there will 1 question that will be multiple-choice question having options to select from. While in a long conversation, there will be multiple questions to be answered. In listening there will two sections, which are as follows-
- 4-5 lectures that will be 3-5 minutes long and will have 500-800 words with 6 question each and the total no of questions will be 30
- 2- 3 conversations that will be for more than 3 minutes there will be 12-25 exchanges and there will be 5 questions each. The total no of questions will more than 40 and the time duration will be 60-90 minutes.
TOEFL Speaking Syllabus
If you want to score well in speaking you should try to fulfil all the requirements of the exam. One should try to avoid mistakes. The total no of questions will be 6 for speaking and the total duration will be 20 minutes. The division in speaking is as follows:-
- In the first section, there will be 2 independent tasks. The preparation time for this task will be 15 seconds and the time to respond will be 45 seconds.
- In the second section, there will be 2 integrated tasks. The task will be as follows read-listen-speak. The preparation time for this section will be 30 seconds and the response time will be 60 seconds.
- In the last section, there will be 2 integrated tasks. The task will be as follows listen-speak. The preparation time for this task will be 20 seconds and the response time will be 60 seconds.
TOEFL Writing Syllabus
The essay should effectively address a topic. The response should be well-organised and well-developed using relevant explanations and detailed support. Furthermore, it should also display a unity of thought, steady progress and collective thoughts. Make sure your grammar is correct, but also do not be repetitive with sentence structure. Bring variety in sentence formation for higher scores.
(A) 1 integrated task
Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes)
(Reading time: 3 min; listening time: 2 min; Writing time: 15 min)
(B) 1 independent task (30 minutes)
Total no. of questions: 2
Total time: 50 minutes
TOEFL Exam Pattern
TOEFL Exam Pattern consists of two types. One is the iBT exam (internet-based test) and the other is the PBT exam(paper-based test). To measure your skill or proficiency to communicate, the test is divided into 4 sections, named as Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. Now let’s look at the TOEFL exam pattern section by section:-
|Section||Time Limit in Minutes||Number of Questions||Tasks|
|Reading||54-72||30-40||3-4 Passages of academic texts and answering questions related to it|
|Listening||41-57||28–39||Classroom lectures, conversations, and discussions are to be listened to with great attention and answer the questions based on them.|
|A 10-minute Break is given|
|Speaking||17||4 tasks||Express an opinion on a familiar topic|
|Writing||50||2 tasks||Opinions and Arguments Essay, Express your opinions in writing|
The test duration of TOEFL will be 3 hours or 180 minutes The total score is the sum of scores of all four sections. The scores are been posted after the 10 days of the exam date. The TOEFL test scores can be viewed online as well. Your official reports will be sent to four institutes of your choice once they are declared, by ETS.
There are two ways you can approach the TOEFL Preparation. It can be done on your own, where you will understand the TOEFL Exam pattern thoroughly on your own, and then prepare accordingly. There are a number of TOEFL Preparation books available online and offline on ETS, as well as on the Magoosh TOEFL kit. There is no fixed way or plan to follow for the TOEFL Examination, as it is at the end of the day an assessment of the language. However, there are some tips, and materials we can guide you through, to help you with the preparation.
The other way is to enroll yourself for coaching. Coaching can be done both online and offline, depending on the candidate’s preference. There are tons of Best TOEFL online preparation courses available, along with TOEFL Preparation Materials Free Downloads in PDF and other formats. Since it is coming from ETS, the TOEFL materials from the ETS are the best way to start the preparation. Here are some other tips to prepare for your TOEFL test:
How to Prepare for TOEFL IBT?
Here are some tips for TOEFL test preparation.
- The very first thing one should do is give yourself an ample amount of time to prepare for the test.
- Start thinking in English and try to clear your grammar concepts.
- Write and Read English as much as you can.
- Try to have conversations in English.
- Refer to official sites of ETS to understand the TOEFL test Structure.
- Then one can purchase books for TOEFL test preparation or can download pdf available online.
- Also, try to be aware of all the types of questions to be asked in the exam.
- After a few days of preparation, one can start appearing on the online TOEFL iBT practice test, and once after enough TOEFL test practice has been done, if you are confident enough then you can appear for the exam.
The internet-based TOEFL test (TOEFL iBT) is priced at US$190. Special requests such as late registrations and rescheduling come with an additional cost.
TOEFL Exam Fees for other facilities:
If you are not happy with the scores you have received, there are facilities to review the scores for all the modules. However, there are some fees one needs to pay for the score reviewing for TOEFL. Remember that reviewing the scores will not mean that they will go higher. It may remain the same or go lower, too. Only if you think you have been evaluated too harshly, then opt for it. Coming to the TOEFL Exam fees for score reviewing, the Speaking or Writing section will cost US $80. If you want to review the scoring for both, the fees are US $160
TOEFL Rescheduling Fees
There is an option to reschedule the test if for any reason one wants to. However, the rescheduling has to be done at least four days before the scheduled date booked by you. The fees for the rescheduling need to be paid before the new booking. The fee for TOEFL rescheduling is US $60.
Reinstatement of TOEFL Scores:
If a test taker has canceled his or her scores, it can be reinstated in a span of 60 days of the test date. The fee for TOEFL score Reinstatement is US $20.
TOEFL Late Registration Fees:
One can register themselves before 7 days of the test date. The registration, however, closes before the 4 days of the test date. For TOEFL Late Registration, the fees are US $40.
Additional Reports Per Institute:
When registering for TOEFL, a user can opt for up to 4 institutions where he or she wants to send the results t for evaluation. If you want to add more institutions to that list, you can do that within 6 days of the test date. For every institute, the agency you add, you will have to pay a fee of 20$.
TOEFL Exam Fees Summary:
|Facility provided||TOEFL Fees|
|Speaking or Writing Section score review||US$80|
|Speaking and Writing Section score review||US$160|
|Reinstatement of canceled scores||US$20|
|Additional score reports (per institution or agency)||US$20 per report|
How to Pay the TOEFL Exam Fees?
- The Exam fees for the TOEFL can be paid via Credit or Debit Card. For some countries, Master Card is not accepted for some countries, however, one can pay with Visa cards in those countries.
- For US Candidates, one can also pay the fees via Electronic cheques that are from American Banks, and in US dollars.
- Candidates can also pay the fees with their PayPal account.
- Candidates can pay paper cheques or money orders that are in US dollars to ETS-TOEFL.
- There is also a facility to pay via Western Union® QuickPay® for the candidates.
One cannot pay the TOEFL Exam Fees via Cash, Demand Drafts, currency other than USD, UNESCO coupons.
TOEFL Exam Fees Refunds:
As we have mentioned before, one must cancel their Exam at least 4 days before the exam. The refunds will never be in the form of cash. Refunds will not be processed if the candidate has failed to follow the procedure. For the additional services mentioned above, refunds are not available.
How to find a TOEFL Exam Date?
One can look for available TOEFL Test centres and test dates before the registration of the exam. Or, one can check the available dates and centres once they log in to their ETS account. There are fixed exam dates available for different regions and countries, however, the best way is to register first, and find the latest test dates at your nearest test centers.
There is no requirement for an ETS account if you just check the Exam dates available. However, if you want to book for IELTS, you will require an ETS account, and then go through the process of Registration.
Here, you will find all you need to know about that process: TOEFL Registration
Before you book an Exam, you need to create an account. Here, you have to create an ETS account to register for TOEFL.
The tabs show different steps of the Registration process above, like Personal Information, Additional Information, Search Services, Username and Password, and Review & Submit. On each page, you will need to fill in this information:
1. Personal Information: Here, you will start with information like Name, Date of Birth, Email Address, Physical Address, Phone, and Other Contact Details. Click on the “Next”
2. Additional Information: This step will look like the image below. The information to fill is: Country, Native Language, Country of Citizenship
3. Search Services: If your profile matches a program or a school, the Search Services of TOEFL will send information about the Program to you. Agree to the terms of services and continue to the next step.
The next information to fill in the country of interest, level of study, age, the current level of study, intended intake to study abroad, how long have you been studying English? How long were you at an institute where courses were taught in English?
4. Username and Password: In the final step of creating an account, you need to create a Username, Password, and Security Question
5. Review and Submit: The final step is to review your details and submit the information. As the screenshot below says, one cannot use the
Booking For TOEFL Exam:
Now that you have created an account, the next step is to book the TOEFL on a Test Date at a test center near you. For that, first, you will have to sign in with the username and password you have just created. The Login button can be found on the last step of creating your account, or you can go to https://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/register/, to sign in. Here is a step-by-step process to TOEFL Registration.
1. Sign-In into your Account with Username and Password.
2. The image below shows what your TOEFL home will look like. Click on the Register / Find Test Centers and Dates to select your location and Dates.
3. In the next step, as you can see, you need to enter the closest location you want to appear for the exam and a 2 month period from which you want to choose the dates. (The time period of two months can be changed after this step, too.
4. Once you select from available Dates, you will be shown the list of centers available and distance in the form of a list as seen below. With every test center, you can see the link to show available exam times in the bottom right corner of the box. When you click that, you will be shown the timings available for that center on that date. If that’s convenient for you, you need to click on the “register” button which will be there with the timings.
5. You will be asked to provide Identification proof and a number. Apart from the Passport or Driving License, there are a number of proofs one can provide. However, there are some guidelines one needs to follow for ID Proofs. The Identity proof requirements depend on the country you are applying to. The ID Proof should be original, not expired, it should show your full name and a photograph that is clearly visible. Signature is also a must-needed requirement for ID.
6. Next, in one of the most important steps, candidates are allowed to choose the universities they want to send their TOEFL Scores to. Students can choose up to 4 institutions to send their scores to, as soon as they are available.
7. The last step before payment is to review your Registration. You can change the Center, date, time, ID, and recipient details before confirming the TOEFL Registration.
8. Once you are done reviewing your application, you can add TOEFL Preparation materials if you want to.
9. Proceed to check out. The page will show your TOEFL Exam Details and other material packages if you have included them. You can see your subtotal to be paid in the bottom right.
10. You can pay with a Credit or Debit Card, Fund Transfer, or PayPal. Fill in the Card Details and click on “Buy”.
Once successfully applied, you will receive a notification in your email and ETS account with the exam details and test center.
One can reschedule TOEFL up to 4 days to the exam date. The rescheduling fees for TOEFL are 60$ and should be paid when you are choosing the new date. Before 4 days of the exam, you will not be allowed to change the TOEFL Test Date. You can reschedule TOEFL from your ETS Account, Mobile Application, or by contacting the ETS over the call and reschedule. Keep in mind that you cannot reschedule or cancel the test via email.
TOEFL Registration FAQs:
What should one know Before TOEFL Registration?
Before starting the TOEFL registration process, one should always look for the test centers available for the dates he or she wants to appear for TOEFL. The website has a separate link to check the information. Also, check if you have a valid ID basis on your location to show at the TOEFL Test Centers.
When to Register for TOEFL?
Because there are many test-takers, TOEFL advises the candidates to register at least three to four months before the desired dates. The Test date should be 2 to 3 months before the application deadline of the university.
How to Pay Fees for TOEFL Exam?
There are a number of ways to pay fees for the TOEFL Exam. You can pay fees via Debit Card, Credit Card, fund transfer (only for American Banks), and PayPal.
How can I Find a TOEFL Test Center?
While registering for the Exam, you will find a box where you can enter your closest location, and the website will show you the list of nearest Test Centers available.
Where will I receive confirmation of my Registration?
You will receive an email confirmation for your TOEFL Registration. You can also print your confirmation from your ETS Account online, or from the mobile application.
Can I Change my Email Address after Registration?
Yes, you can change your email address from your ETS Account.
Are there any Late Fees for TOEFL?
If you pay before the 7 days of the test dates, there are no late fees. You will have to pay late fees of $40 if you pay within 7 days of the test dates. The exam will be canceled if you do not pay before 4 days of the test dates.
What do I do if I miss a deadline?
If you miss the deadline, you will have to choose another date to Register for the TOEFL.
The iBT test consists of four sections – Reading (30 points), Listening (30 points), Speaking (30 points) and Writing (30 points) – adding up to a total of 120 points. So the candidate can achieve a maximum TOEFL score is 120 points. The table below can give you more clarity of the TOEFL scores :
|Section||Score Range||Average Scores||High Scores||Low Scores|
TOEFL test score is set as a proper standard for the candidates by the institutions. A candidate who applies should score range from 61 to 110 to apply at university. Candidate can get their results after 2 weeks from the test date. By logging in to their TOEFL iBT account on the TOEFL test Registration website, they can see their scores. Printed score reports will be sent to you by mail approximately within 13 days after your test has been conducted. Your official reports will be sent to four institutes of your choice once they are declared, by ETS(Educational Testing Service).
When you get your result on TOEFL scores, a document called “performance feedback” will be attached. This document will give you a brief summary on a general level of each section/skill of the TOEFL. There will be separate comments on your performance for TOEFL Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.
- The score range for TOEFL Reading and TOEFL Listening is divided into 3 levels in ETS’s performance feedback document. They are high, intermediate, and low.
- For TOEFL Speaking, ETS’s performance feedback reports give four different levels. They are Good, Fair, Limited, and Weak.
- Same as TOEFL Reading and Speaking, TOEFL Writing score range is divided into 3 levels in ETS’s feedback performance document. They are Good, Fair, and Limited.
TOEFL Reading or Listening
The validity of TOEFL Score
The validity of TOEFL scores is only for 2 years, during this period it can be sent to any institutes of your choice during that time., You won’t be able to access them online or send them to schools once it gets expired. The TOEFL score validity period is fairly short to ensure schools have accurate and current information about your English skills.
With the MyBest Score facility, one can present their best scores achieved in each module from all the exams they have taken in 2 years. Therefore, one can attempt the retake of TOEFL if they are not happy with the scores and provide the best scores to the institutions they want to apply to.
How many TOEFL scores do you need?
The answer to the above question depends heavily on where you choose to study. The universities having high status and are competitive often require a 100 or higher score on the TOEFL. While other colleges and universities’ requirements ask for TOEFL scores in the range of 60-80. Some colleges and universities don’t demand any TOEFL scores for any of the programs offered by them. It is extremely important for students to do good research while choosing abroad for colleges or universities for education. They have to find not only the university’s minimum TOEFL score but their suggested scores as well and whether or not they require a specific score for each section of the TOEFL. Sometimes they have to connect with the university in order to get their TOEFL score requirements and other relatable information. Requirements of TOEFL scores are often different, depending on what type of program or degree you want to pursue in that particular college or university.
How to set a TOEFL score goal?
1.) Make yourself a chart:
Start by making a chart of the TOEFL score requirement by different universities of your choice. List all the universities and note down their TOEFL score requirements accordingly.
2.) Find your college or university TOEFL score information online :
You have to make good research through online resources out there to help you easily find information for required TOEFL scores, recommended TOEFL scores, the specific score for each section of the TOEFL
3.) Ascertain your TOEFL score goal :
Out of your list of colleges or universities, select the one that has the highest required TOEFL score. And here your goal is set by picking the highest TOEFL score requirement.
Comparing TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores
|TOEFL iBT Score (0–120)||IELTS Band (0–9)|
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