The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)is an esteemed exam designed to measure the skills in the English language of the non-native speakers who are trying to seek admissions at the English-speaking universities. It is designed and conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).The TOEFL test is intended for the individuals who want to enroll themselves in the universities based in English speaking. Hence, it is designed in such a way that it’s accepted and trusted by many English-speaking professional and academic institutions.This exam falls in the category of the two most elite English-language tests across the world, the other one is IELTS.
The TOEFL test can be taken in two formats: Internet-based and Paper-based. The internet-based examworks in all parts of the world wherever there is availability of the resources like a computer and the Internet. In some countries lacking these resources, the paper-based format is the option.
TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT)
The Internet-based test lasts four and a half hoursand requires the individuals to deal with four different sections. This is the composite time set for the candidates to check-in and take the test with the break included. The four sections of the exam are designed keeping in the mind the requirements in the academic and professional institutions. The individuals are allowed to take the test once in every 12 days.
The four sections of the PrepAway Admission Tests are as follows:
- Reading: The time set for this section is between 60 and80 minutes. It consists of 3-4 passages with each one having about 700 words. Each of these passages comes with 12-14 questions. The topics related to academic are inculcated in these passages, and the level of exam is of an undergraduate level. The candidates have to answer the questions based on the details, inferences, gist, sentence insertion, skimmed information, rhetorical purpose, vocabulary, tables, and etc.
- Listening: This area is set for a time period of 60-90 minutes. The passages for this section vary from 6 to 9, and each one comes with 5-6 questions. They include student conversations, student-lecture conversations,as well as academic lectures and discussions.Each of these passages is approximately 3-5 minutes in length, and the students get to hear them only once. In this section, the candidates also get to take notes so they can refer to them while answering the questions. The Listening part is designed specifically to assess the candidate’s ability to understand the speakers’ purpose, their attitude, the ideas and details put forth by them.
- Speaking: This section comes with 6 tasks for the candidates and is set for a time period of 20 minutes. These tasks are divided into 2 independent and 4 integrated. The independent tasks are tailored to assess the individual’s ability to convey their ideas in a proper mannerand speak spontaneously. Two of the four integrated tasks come with short passages and a recording of academic course lecture. The students need to read and hear them and answer a set of questions based on their understanding and relating to the information provided to them.The other two of the four integrated tasks come with a conversation about campus life or a recording of academic course lecture. The candidates should listen to them and appropriately answer the questions based on them.
- Writing: This part comes with two tasks. The time set for these tasks are 50 minutes. One of the two ones is integrated, and the candidates are expected to read a passage and listen to a speaker on the same academic topic. Later, they must write a summary on the same. The second task is an independent one, in which the students are asked to write an essay.
In all these sections, certain passages or questions asked will be of non-scoring type. Meaning, the answers of these questions will not be used during grading and are just used to check the worthiness of the questions to be asked in future tests.
TOEFL Paper-based test
The Paper-based testtakes two and a half hours. It has four sections: Listening, Structure and Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, and Writing. The details of these four area are as follows:
- Listening: This section is of 30 to 40 minutes with three sub-sections. The first sub-section comes with recording of short conversations and has 30 questions for the candidates to solve. The second part has comparatively lengthy recordings of conversations and comes with 8 questions to answer. The third one is based on academic lectures and discussions which has 12 questions.
- Structure and Written Expression: This part of the exam is of 25 minutes and has 15 tasks, which involve sentence completion and 25 tasks of error identification.
- Reading Comprehension: The section is of 55 minutes and comes with 50 questions. The candidates taking the test must read the given passages and accordingly solve the questions.
- Writing: This part lasts 30 minutes and includes writing an essay of 250-300 words. It is known as the Test of Written English (TWE).
TOEFL scoring methods
TOEFL iBT Test:The passing score for this exam ranges from 0 to 120 points with each of the four sections valued at 30 points.
TOEFL Paper-based test:It has scores ranging from 310 to 677. Each sub-section has different scores: theListening and Structure and Written Expression partshave a score ranging from 31 to 68 while the Reading section has from 31 to 67. The Writing area of the paper-based test is not included in the above score and is measured separately on a scale of 0 to 6.