English Test TOEFL

Why is TOEFL a Reliable Test?

The TOEFL evaluates your proficiency in English language. It is required for surviving in an English speaking nation. When you are from a non-English speaking country, the language that you know is very different from the one, which is spoken in a native English speaking country. These countries want to make sure that you will be able to understand and communicate in English in their country when you go there for studies. Thus, it is a necessary exam.

There are other exams that test your English language skills but this test is a very reliable and easy test. The reasons are,

  • It tests English from a practical life point of view.
  • The scores provided by the TOEFL are more accurate than other tests.
  • This test is available in more than 165 counties with 4500+ centers.
  • The test scores are accepted in more than 8500 universities and institutions in 130+ countries including the US, Australia and UK.
  • It is administered 30-40 times in a year.
  • All the sections of the test are administered on the same day.
  • Free preparation material is available in the ETS site itself.
  • This test has the best speaking skill evaluation process.
  • It has a good evaluation methodology

Sections in TOEFL

TOEFL tests your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills in the English language. These skills are tested in a comprehensive way. The practical applications of these skills are tested as well.

Reading Section

Reading is a skill that is necessary when you plan to study in an English speaking nation. 3-5 passages are given for you to read. 12-14 questions from each of the passage have to be answered by you. There are both direct questions, wherein the answers are given as information in the passage and indirect questions, wherein you will be able to answer the questions only if you understand the passage. Another type of indirect questions is also asked. Here your ability to learn after reading a passage is tested. This section is for 60-100 minutes. The question formats include multiple choice questions, sentence insertion questions and reading to learn questions.

Listening Section

Your ability to listen for information, listen for speaker’s views and listen for understanding an issue when more than one person is speaking is tested in this section. The time allotted for this section is 60-90 minutes. Within this time you have to listen to 4-6 lectures and 2-3 conversations. The lectures will have 6 questions each and the conversations will have 5 questions each.

The listening ability is tested with these types of questions.

  • Multiple-choice with 1 correct answer,
  • Multiple-choice with 2 correct answers,
  • Order the event or process questions and
  • Matching the objects questions.

Speaking Section

In this section your ability to speak is tested. Your ability to respond after listening and reading a passage is also tested here. This is given as an integrated task. Totally there are 6 tasks for you to complete in 20 minutes. The 6 tasks include 2 independent and 4 integrated tasks.

Task No.







Express opinion on a given topic


Make a choice and defend it




Read and listen to a campus related passage and speak


Read and listen to an academic course topic and speak



Listen to a campus related conversation and speak


Listen to an academic lecture and speak

You have to speak into a microphone and the response is recorded and sent to ETS raters. The major advantage is that you do not talk to a person, so you can be calm while giving your responses. The responses are rated by more that 2 raters, thus, there is no place for human error.

Writing Section

One integrated task and one independent task are tested in the writing section. The total time for this section is 50 minutes. The first is an integrated task where you have to first read a passage, following this, you have to listen to a speaker who expresses his/her opinion on the same topic. You have to summarize keeping in mind the information given in the passage and the opinion given by the speaker. The summary has to be in 150-225 words

The independent task expects you to write an essay on the given topic with your personal views and opinions. The response is usually for 300 words but a longer essay is also accepted.

The TOEFL has been designed to be fair to all examinees in testing their English language skills. It has achieved this and the number of students taking up the test and the number of universities accepting this test score are proof to this. In most exams discrepancy comes when manual scoring is done. In this test, they have the online scoring network which helps in standardizing the scoring. In this the raters do not know the candidate and this ensures reliable scoring. The reliability of score is increased further by having many raters rate a task. The raters independently rate the task with no prior knowledge about the scores in other tasks.