TOEFL Prep 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 is mostly offered in an Internet-Based test (iBT) format worldwide with the paper-based test (PBT) format only available in a very limited number of countries. The test is divided into four sections, each testing basic skills in an academic setting: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. However the Speaking and Writing sections also include integrated questions testing a combination of skills. The TOEFL iBT test may be taken no more than once in any seven-day period, even if a person took the test and decided to cancel the score.

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

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 Writing responses. As of August 2019, your Speaking score is now determined by one human grader and the new SpeechRater software. This is called “Enhanced Speaking Scoring” by ETS. Previously, students were graded only by human raters.

    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 3–4 passages, about 700 words each. (If you get 4 passages, one of them will be an experimental section which will NOT be scored).
      • 9–10 questions for each passage
      • About 30-40 questions total
      • Total Time: 54 minutes (three passages) or 74 minutes (four passages)

      TOEFL Listening Section

      • 2-3 sets of listening material. Each set consists of either one conversation and two lectures (long set), or one conversation and one lecture (short set). If you are given three sets, the third will be an additional short set. In this case one of your lectures and one of your conversations will not be graded. These experimental passages could come from any of the sets.
      • Long Set: 17 questions to solve in 10 minutes.
      • Short Set: 11 questions to solve in 6.5 minutes.

    • 40+ questions total
    • Total Time: 40 minutes
    • TOEFL Speaking Section

      • 1 independent tasks (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)
      • 2 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)
      • 1 integrated tasks – Listen/Speak (prep time: 20 sec; response time: 60 sec)

    • 4 questions total
    • Total Time: 17 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

      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.

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