Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the standardized test to ascertain the English language ability of those non English speaking citizens wishing to enroll in English speaking universities.

This test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions around the globe. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS

Formats and Contents

Internet-based test

Since TOEFL introduction, the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) format has increasingly replaced the TOEFL computer-based tests (CBT) and the paper-based tests (PBT), even though paper-based testing is still used in few areas.

TOEFL iBT test has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy.

The has four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills, and all tasks focus on language which are used in an academic, higher-education environment.

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Sections

Reading:

The Reading section of the test consists of questions on 3-4 passages, each question which is approximately 700 words in length and with 10 questions in the section. The passages are on academic topics; the materials might be found in an undergraduate university textbook.

The Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare and contrast the argumentation. Candidates answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall education ideas.

New questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. Firt hand knowledge of the subject under consideration is not necessary to come to the correct answer.

Listening:

This Listening section includes questions on 2-3 conversations with 5 questions each, and 5-7 lectures with 6 questions each. Each conversation is between 2.5-3 minutes and lectures are 4.5-5.5 minutes in long.

The conversations includes a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. The lectures are a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may consist student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area.

This listening questions are meant to ascertain the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.

Speaking:

The Speaking section involve 4 tasks: 1 independent (Task 1) and 3 integrated (Task 2, 3, 4). In task 1, Candidates answer opinion questions on familiar topics.

Candidates are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and express their ideas clearly and coherently.

In task 2 and 4, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk.

In task 3, Candidates listen to an academic course lecture and then reply to a question about what they heard.

In the integrated tasks, Candidates are evaluated on their ability to appropriately digest and effectively give out information from the reading and listening material.

Candidates may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Candidates are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking.

The responses are electronically recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by three to six raters.

Writing:

The Writing section measures a Candidates ability to write in an academic setting and involve of two tasks: one integrated and one independent.

In the integrated task, Candidates read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker analysis.

Then the Candidates writes a summary of the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage.

In the independent task, the Candidates must write an essay that states their choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices.

Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least 3 different raters

Paper-delivered Test

The TOEFL PDT is an official test for use where the internet test is not available, usually due to internet & computer problems.

It includes the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, with scores that are the same scale as the Internet Based Test. There is no total score.

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Sections

Listening (30 – 40 minutes)

The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first part contains 30 questions on short conversations.

The second part has 8 questions on longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions on lectures or talks.

Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)

The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying placed errors.

Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)

The Reading Comprehension sections has 50 questions about reading passages.

Writing (30 minutes)

The TOEFL PBT administrations include a writing test called the Test of Written English (TWE). This is one essay question with 250–300 words in average

TOEFL Practice test

The TOEFL iBT Free Practice Test offers free unlimited access to one full length TOEFL iBT test practice, which includes:

  • answer keys for the Reading and Listening questions
  • sample responses with rater commentary for the Speaking and Writing questions.

You are advised to practice the question before tge actual exam.

Please Note: This Free Practice Test is not a simulation of the real test and is intended to give you with the general experience of taking the TOEFL iBT test.

Some of the technicalities will differ from what you will see on the screen when you take the real test because the practice test is delivered to your computer over the internet, rather than via our secure computer-delivered testing system at a test center.

click Here for TOEFL Practice test

IELTS and TOEFL| Comparison

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are two of the most widely-accepted tests to certify your proficiency in English.

The decision to take the TOEFL or IELTS will ultimately depend on a number of factors.

TOEFL or IELTS

The TOEFL and IELTS exams are bit different, and so some people will find that they are naturally better suited for one than they are for the other.

You probably want to know which test you should go for. But before we discuss their differences and similarities, remember that both IELTS and TOEFL are standardized tests. Which means that, with some training and practice, you can learn to do well on whichever exam you decide to take either IELTS or TOEFL.

Let us look specifically about each exams and conducts

TOEFL is a language test for people who are not English speaking citizens, and is mostly used as an entrance exam at universities and graduate schools. Because of this, TOEFL offers only academic English.

On the other hand, the IELTS offers an academic option as well as a general test; this is generally the acceptable test for immigration purposes to the UK and Canada.

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Expiration

No matter which test you take, be aware that the scores all expire 2 years after your test date

Formats

When the format of the IELTS with that of TOEFL is compared, it will be noticed difference in a couple of things.

Firstly, both IELTS and TOEFL have four sections each, each of which tests a basic skill which are; reading, listening, speaking, writing.

But while the TOEFL only tests academic subjects, the IELTS academic option will have both the academic reading and writing sections combined with general listening and speaking sections.

Finally, the IELTS has more of a real-world feeling than that of TOEFL. So weather IELTS or TOEFL is harder truly depends on your English background.

listening component

The IELTS doesn’t have a listening section on the integrated assignments, though one of the two assignments you will have to incorporate a graphic or other written information source into your argument.

Both tests contain an independent question that simply asks about your opinion some issue.

Speaking section

The TOEFL speaking section is done by recorder and mostly consist of explaining your opinions and then summarizing the information from other sources.

While the IELTS, your speaking test will take place in person and will include a short speech and a conversation component.

NOTE: Although it would be great if every English program gave equal time to each major dialect of English, the vast majority of students spend 90% of their time with only one dialect.

If you’re most experienced with American English, you may find some parts of the IELTS unfamiliar; if you’ve learned British English or another dialect, the TOEFL will feel a little strange.

It’s important to note also that neither test will penalize you for using one or the other dialect, as long as your answers are fluent, clear, and, of course, correct.

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