TOEFL Overview

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is used as an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking universities and colleges.  It can be taken in an Internet-Based test (iBT) or paper-based test (PBT) format. The test is divided into four sections, each testing basic skills in an academic setting: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The test may be taken no more than once a week. 

Total scores range from 0 to 130. In evaluating your performance on TOEFL iBT, it is useful to compare your scores with those of other students from your native country and with those of students who speak the same language as you. The test is not computer adaptive and you're allowed to take notes throughout the entire exam. It takes about four hours to complete the test.

TOEFL iBT Format

       
  Total Sections: 4 Sections:

•Reading
•Listening
•Speaking
•Writing
 
  TOEFL Reading Question Type:
3-5 passages (about 700 words each)
12-14 questions each

Total No. of Questions: About 50

Total Time: 60-100 minutes
 
  TOEFL Listening Question Type:
a) 4–6 lectures (3-5 minutes long, about 500-800 words)
6 questions each
about 30 questions in total
b) 2–3 conversations (about 3 minutes long, about 12-25 exchanges)
5 questions each
about 12 questions in total

Total No. of Questions: 40+

Total Time: 60-90 minutes
 
  TOEFL Speaking Question Type:
a) 2 independent tasks
(prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)
2 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak
(prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)
c) 2 integrated tasks – Listen/Speak
(prep time: 20 sec; response time: 60 sec)

Total No. of Questions: 6

Total Time: 20 minutes
 
  TOEFL Writing Question Type:
a) 1 integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes)
(reading time: 3 min; listening time: 2 min; writing: 15 min)
b) 1 independent task (30 minutes)

Total No. of Questions: 2

Total Time: 50 minutes
 
  Time: Approximately 4 hours  
  Summary New integrated-skills questions test ability to learn, to integrate information across multiple tests

They are more difficult and more reflective of actual academic English
 

TOEFL Reading Section Format

       
  Length of Passage: Approximately 700 words  
  Number of Passages: 3-5 passages  
  Questions: 12-14 questions per passage  
  Total Time: 60-100 minutes  
  Avg. Time per Question: 1.5 min  
  When Questions will appear: After test takers finish read through or scroll to the end of the passage  
  Screen/Test Details: a) Test takers can view the entire passage while answering

b) They can also review all the previous reading questions and answers and even fill out the missed answers

c) They can now click on some special purpose words and phrases in the reading passages to view a definition or explanation
 

TOEFL Writing Section Format

       
  Length of Task: 1 integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes)
(reading time: 3 min; listening time: 2 min; writing: 15 min)

1 independent task (30 minutes)
 
  Number of Tasks: 2  
  Questions: 2  
  Total Time: 50 minutes  
  When Questions will appear: On the same screen above the reading material or just on the left of the screen without reading material  
  Screen/Test Details: a) Test takers may take notes on the reading passage

b) Responses are typed on the computer and sent to ETS’ Online Score Network
 

TOELF Listening Section Format

       
  Length of Lecture: 3–5 minutes long each - about 500–800 words  
  Number of Lectures: 4-6 lectures  
  Lecture Questions: 6 questions per lecture

24-36 questions in total
 
  Length of Conversation: about 3 minutes long - about 12–25 exchanges each  
  Number of Conversations: 2-3 conversations  
  Conversation Questions: 5 questions per conversation

10-15 questions in total
 
  Total Time: 60-90 minutes  
  Avg. Time per Question: About 1 min  
  When Questions will appear: After listening material is finished playing  
  Screen/Test Details: a) Pictures on the screen can help test takers image the setting and the role of the speakers

b) Test takers will see and hear each question before seeing the answers

c) Note taking is allowed. After testing, notes are collected and shredded before the test taker leaves the test center

d) In some questions a portion of the lecture or conversation is replayed so the test taker does not need to rely on memory of what was said
 

TOEFL Speaking Section Format

       
  Length of Task: 1-4 minutes long each  
  Number of Task: 6  
  Questions: 1 question per task - 6 questions in total  
  Total Time: 20 minutes  
  Avg. Time per Question: 45-60 seconds for the speaking part of each question  
  When Questions will appear: After the test taker is done with reading and listening material  
  Screen/Test Details: a) Pictures on the screen can help test takers imagine the setting and the role of the speakers

b) Test takers will see and hear each question

c) Note taking is allowed. After testing, notes are collected and shredded before the test taker leaves the test center
 

Please Note

  • The TOEFL iBT is not computer adaptive. Each test taker receives the same range of questions.
  • Test takers can take notes throughout the entire test. At the end of testing, all notes are collected and destroyed at the test center.
  • For the Speaking section, test takers speak into a microphone, and their responses are digitally recorded and sent to the ETS Online Scoring Network.
  • For the Writing section, test takers must type their responses, which are sent to the ETS Online Scoring Network.
  • Human raters, trained and certified by ETS, rate the Speaking and Writing responses.

    TOEFL Grammar

    • There is no stand-alone Grammar section; rather grammar is tested wholly within the four skill areas.
    • In comparison to previous versions of the TOEFL, the addition of a speaking section and expansion of the writing section requires students to communicate effectively in English.
    • Integrated-skills questions test ability to learn, to integrate information across multiple tests. They are more difficult and more reflective of actual academic English.

      TOEFL Reading Section

      • Contains 3–5 passages (About 700 words each)
      • 12–14 questions for each passage
      • About 50 questions total
      • Total Time: 60–100 minutes

      TOEFL Listening Section

      • 2 question types
        • 4–6 lectures (3-5 minutes long, about 500-800 words), 6 questions each; About 30 questions in total
        • 2–3 conversations (about 3 minutes long, about 12-25 exchanges), 5 questions each; About 12 questions in total
      • 40+ questions total
      • Total Time: 60–90 minutes

      TOEFL Speaking Section

      • 3 types of questions:
        • 2 independent tasks (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)
        • 2 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)
        • 2 integrated tasks – Listen/Speak (prep time: 20 sec; response time: 60 sec)
      • 6 questions total
      • Total Time: 20 minutes

      TOEFL Writing Section

      • 2 types of questions:
        • 1 integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes (reading time: 3 min; listening time: 2 min; writing: 15 min)
        • 1 independent task  (30 minutes)
      • 2 questions total
      • Total Time: 50 minutes

      TOEFL Scoring

      • TOEFL iBT provides five scores. Four section scores for Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking and a total score.
      • Each section is scored on a 0-30 scale.
      • The total score is the sum of the four section scores.
      • The range of total scores could be anywhere from 0-120.
      • It is valid for two years.
      • You may take the TOEFL iBT test only once in any seven-day period, even if you took the test and canceled your scores.
      • The normal fee to take the TOEFL test is US$110. However, it varies based on country.

        To register for your test, please visit www.ets.org/toefl

         

        TOEFL Test Prep Tutoring & Preparation Courses

        Based in New York City (NYC), Manhattan Elite Prep offers TOEFL test prep classes and tutoring services. We also have expert teachers for all major TOEFL sections including Reading, Speaking and Listening. With locations on the East Coast, from Boston (MA) to Miami (FL), to cities on the West Coast, such as San Diego (CA), Los Angeles (CA), San Jose (CA) and San Francisco (CA), Manhattan Elite Prep has instructors in almost every major city in the United States.

        Our TOEFL tutors help students achieve their best score in private tutoring sessions throughout the country, from our Dallas (TX), Houston (TX) and Austin (TX) locations in Texas, to our Chicago (IL), Cincinnati (OH), Columbus (OH) and Indianapolis (IN) locations. We offer private tutoring for the TOEFL, among other tests, in cities away from the major metro areas, such as Louisville (KY), St. Louis (MO), Salt Lake City (UT), Oklahoma City (OK) and Kansas City (KS).

        Our online TOEFL teachers help students achieve their best score in online test preparation classes. We offer online test prep courses for the TOEFL, among other tests. For TOEFL test prep students pursuing an online TOEFL class we allow for maximum flexibility by providing them with immediate and unlimited access to our online library. For TOEFL students, test preparation courses can be expensive, so we are always sure to have online TOEFL instructors available at affordable rates.