What Are the Salient Features of TOEFL CBT


The introduction of TOEFL CBT in 2005 was only to keep pace with the technological era that we now live in. Using technology to create a better testing atmosphere and to provide convenience and speed are some of the main reasons for the introduction of TOEFL CBT. The TOEFL PBT is only a supplement to be conducted where TOEFL CBT is not yet available.

What's New about TOEFL CBT

  1. Tests all your skills: Unlike the TOEFL PBT, TOEFL CBT tests all the four parts of language; Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, since all of these are important for effective communication.

  2. Additional Speaking Section: This is an additional section in the TOEFL CBT. There are 6 tasks to be completed in the Speaking section. You are supposed to talk via a microphone. The responses of the test taker are recorded.

  3. Expansion of the Writing Section: The Writing section in the TOEFL CBT requires the test-taker to write responses to an independent task and secondly to an integrated task where the test-taker will probably be given something to listen or read before writing the response.

  4. In order to ensure better academic success, TOEFL CBT now requires the test takers to integrate two or more skills to form a particular response, as in the case of the Listening, Speaking and Writing sections.

  5. Note making has been allowed. However, these notes are collected once the test is over.

  6. The TOEFL CBT takes around four hours to complete on a single day.

  7. TOEFL CBT is administered using a computer via internet at authorized test centers all around the world.

  8. The new test has better and improved scoring information including separate scores for each of the sections and a total score.

  9. The scores are reported online. The test takers are able to see their scores after 15 business days post the test date. They also have the option of receiving hard copies of their score report.

  10. Universities, colleges and other institutes can also view the scores of the test takers online.

Reasons for Making Changes in TOEFL

  1. To better assess the test-takers ability to understand and communicate effectively and successfully, especially in an academic environment.

  2. The new TOEFL CBT ensures the academic readiness of a test taker.

  3. It helps the institutes to identify right candidates for admission especially on the basis of new and improved standards. Since this will in turn help them in stimulating the communication within their institutions.

  4. The integrated tasks work both ways in understanding and determining the communication capacity in a student, as well as evaluate their aptitudes.

  5. TOEFL CBT specializes in testing the communication skills that are required in an academic setting.

  6. This is an all-encompassing way to test skills required to succeed in university education.

Features of TOEFL CBT

  • The TOEFL CBT is not computer adaptive. The test taker is provided with questions that test all the required skills.

  • The Speaking section is administered using a noise-cancelling headphone. The responses are recorded digitally and sent to the Online Scoring Network of ETS.

  • The Writing section requires the readers to type in their responses. The responses are again sent to the Online Scoring Network of ETS.

  • The new TOEFL has opened more doors for students since it tests not only the knowledge of English but the ability of the students to use the language.

  • The TOEFL CBT has a new Writing section, in the sense that the older one has been expanded to form a new one. The writing section is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 5, which is then converted to a scaled score of 0 - 30.

  • Despite the digital revolution of the test, TOEFL is rated by trained and certified human raters.

For a detailed understanding of the comparison between TOEFL CBT and TOEFL PBT, visit the site

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