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Toefl ® Test

Toefl stands for Test of English as a foreign language. The Toefl test measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written and heard in colleges and in Universities abroad. Toefl scores are accepted by more than 11,000 universities and other institutions in over 150 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, the U.K., and all across Europe and Asia.

Toefl is produced and administered by ETS (Educational testing services), a professional test developer organization in Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.

Toefl ® iBT

The Toefl iBT® test is approximately 4 hours long and has four sections. The computer Based Toefl iBT test a student takes will have four sections as given below in the format:

Section Toefl iBT Content


Reading 30-40 Questions

(54-72  Minutes)

3-4 Reading Passages


Listening 33-34 Questions

(41-57 Minutes)

2-3  Conversations

[3 minutes long each]

3-4  Lecture

[3-5 minutes each]




10 Minutes Break


Speaking 4 Tasks

(17 Minutes)

2  Independent Task

4  Integrated Skills Task

Reading / Speaking Included
Writing 2 Tasks

(50 Minutes)

1 Integrated Skill Task

1 Independent Task

Listening / Writing Included
Reading / Writing Included


The actual time will vary in accordance with the time the supervisor complete the preliminary work and begins the actual test. On the computer based Toefl and the next generation Toefl the time for the tutorial will vary from one person to another. Exact no of questions will also vary slightly from one test to another for statistical purposes.


Measure the ability to understand academic reading material. You will read the variety of short passages on academic subjects and answers several questions about each passage.

This section includes passages which are related with the college level subjects, such as natural sciences, social sciences, business and arts. The language is generally formal and academic rather than informal or conversational. The rhetoric purpose of the passage may be expository, argumentative, historical or biographical. All of the questions are based on the information given in the passage.


Listening section is designed to measure your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. It includes listening for:

  • basic comprehension
  • pragmatic understanding (speaker’s attitude and degree of certainty) and connecting and synthesizing information

There are 2 types of listening items in the Speaking section — lectures and conversations. Both use campus-based language.

  • 3–4 lectures, each 3–5 minutes long, with 6 questions per lecture
  • 2–3 conversations with 2 speakers, each 3 minutes long, with 5 questions per conversation

You can take notes on any audio item throughout the test to help you answer questions. You have 41 to 57 minutes to complete the section.


The TOEFL iBT® Speaking section is designed to measure your ability to speak English effectively in academic settings. It is composed of 4 tasks that resemble real-life situations you might encounter both in and outside of a classroom.

  • Three types of questions are presented in six sets. The first two sets have a General question. Other sets have questions about Campus and Academic topics.
  • After you see and hear the general questions, you will have 15 seconds to prepare your answers, and 45 seconds to record them.
  • After you hear the Campus and Academic questions you will have 20 to thirty seconds to prepare each answer and 60 seconds to record it.
  • There are two types of tasks are included in speaking sections:

Independent Speaking:

In the independent speaking task you will hear questions about Familiar topics. You can use your personnel experience and general knowledge to answer. After each question you have 15 seconds to prepare your answer and 45 seconds to record it.

Integrated Speaking:

In the integrated speaking task you will hear a lecture or read a passage about an academic topic or you may listen to a lecture and read a related passage about an academic topic. You may take notes to prepare an answer. After each lecture or reading passage you will hear a question that requires you to respond by speaking. You will have 20 to 30 seconds to prepare your answers and 60 seconds to record it.

Writing Task

Measure the ability to write in a way that is appropriate for a college and University course work. The writing section includes two essays.

There are usually two questions in two parts on the writing section of the iBT Toefl. The topics are both general and academic. There are two types of tasks included in the writing section. One independent writing task and one integrated writing task.

Independent writing:

In the independent writing task, you will read a question about a general topic. You can use your personal experience and common knowledge to answer. After each question you have 30 minutes to prepare and write your essay. The essay should be about 300 words long.

Integrated writing task:

In the integrated writing task you will hear a lecture or read a passage or listen to a lecture and read a related passage about an academic topic. You may take notes to prepare your answers. After each lecture or reading passage, you will read a question that requires you to answer by writing a short response. You will have 20 minutes to prepare and write the answer to the academic question. The answer should be 150 to 225 words long.

The test is delivered via the internet. It emphasizes integrated skills and helps confirm you are ready to communicate your ideas about what you will read and listen to in your academic courses. Integrated tasks require you to combine more than one skill. You will be asked to

  • Read, listen and then speak in response to a question.
  • Listen then speak in response to a question.
  • Read, listen and then write in response to a question.

The test that you take may include questions that do not count toward your scores. These are either question that enables ETS to make test score comparable across administration or new questions that helps ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions.

Each section of the test has a time limit. The computer will indicate when to start and stop each section. If you finish a section early you may go on to the next section but you may not go back to a section you have already completed. You may however go back within the reading section during the time allotted for it. Failure to follow this rule may result in your scores been cancelled. There is a mandatory 10 minutes break midway through the testing session.

Interpreting your TOEFL iBT scores

Your scores are based on performance on the questions in the test. You must answer at least one question in each Reading and Listening section, write at least one essay, and complete at least one Speaking task to receive an official score report. For the internet based test, you will receive four section scores and a total score:

  1. Reading:    0-30 
  2. Listening:    0-30
  3. Speaking :   0-30
  4. Writing:     0-30
  5. Total Score:    0-120

In addition to numeric scores, your examinee score record also includes performances feedback that indicates your performance level and a description of the kinds of tasks that test takers within the reported score range can typically do.

Canceling your Toefl iBT scores

At the end of the test session, you will be given the option to cancel your scores. You cannot cancel your score for one section of the test and have the scores for the remaining sections reported. Although you have the option to cancel the scores, consider carefully before doing so. Your scores will be reported to institutions only at your request. If you cancel your scores they will not be reported to any institutions and no refund will be made. Cancelled scores are deleted from your permanent record. If you wish to take the test again you must register and submit another test payment. Cancelled scores can be reinstated if you request is received at ETS within 10 days after your test dates.

How long are the Toefl Ibt scores valid?

TOEFL iBT score are valid for two years. Because language proficiency can change considerably in a relatively short period of time, scores more than two years old cannot be reported or verified. if you take the Toefl iBT test more than two years ago and need to submit scores to an agency or an institution you must take the Toefl iBT again to have your scores reported.




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