TOEFL Exam Test

What Does the TOEFL Exam Test

The TOEFL Exam:

The TOEFL, administered by the Educational Testing Service is the stepping stone for pursuing studies in the English-speaking countries of world. The TOEFL exam test measures your ability to use the English language as means of interaction and conversation. TOEFL tests your capability to read, write, listen and speak English. The TOEFL exam test is available in two formats, namely the Internet Based Test (iBT) format and the Paper Based Test (PBT) format. Come middle of 2012, the PBT format will become obsolete and will be replaced by the iBT format. The TOEFL is administered in 4500 test centers over 165 countries in the world. The frequency of the test is around 30-40 times per year.

The Aim of TOEFL:

The basic aim and importance of taking the TOEFL is to get admission in universities, institutions and organizations in the English-speaking countries. The TOEFL exam test measures your efficiency in English language. It measures:





  • How well you can form an opinion and express it into words of your own.

  • How easily can you comprehend written information from passages and compare it while responding to questions based on the passage.

  • Your efficacy in listening and comprehending lectures or dialogues and your ability to respond to the questions based on them.

  • Your ability in framing well structured and well-informed essay responses to essay prompts, incorporating logical details and evidences to support your essay.

Test Sections:

TOEFL mixes up all four integral skills of English speaking, namely Listening, Writing, Speaking and Reading. These are the four sections that constitute the TOEFL exam test. Let us discuss the content of each section in the following points:

  • Reading: The Reading section contains three or four excerpts or passages. These are academic texts or extracts from journals, magazines and related sources. The sources of these texts are legitimate and authorized. In this section the efficiency and skills of the test taker to interpret the given passage are tested. In addition, the test takers capacity to quickly grab the main theme of the passage and start answering correctly the subsequent questions is also tested. This section lasts for 80 minutes.

  • Listening: The test takers gets to hear some lectures, verbal discussions, dialogues or even questions, announced by a speaker. The test taker has to pay close attention to the information given by the speakers as he/she has to answer questions based on those announcements. This section lasts for one-half hours.


  • Speaking: The next section of the TOEFL exam test is the Speaking section. In here, the test taker faces an ETS certified tutor, who provides an opinion or an argument. The test taker gets a couple of minutes to form a response to his/her arguments. Afterwards the test taker gets about two minutes to speak on the topic, using coherent evidences and logic. The Speaking section gets over within twenty minutes.


  • Writing: This is the last of the four sections of TOEFL exam test where the test taker has to compose an essay response for an essay prompt. The test takers have to write an essay, which should include tangible evidences and technical details in response to an argument or a debate. There are two writing tasks. The Integrated Writing task, which asks you to support a given essay prompt, differs from the Independent Writing prompt, which lets you display your own views for a given prompt.

Question Format:

The four sections of the TOEFL exam test contain different formats of questions, which are discussed in the following points:

  • Multiple-choice Questions: The Reading and the Listening tasks contain multiple-choice questions. The Reading section contains 36-56 questions while the Listening section contains 34-51 questions of this kind.

  • The Speaking Task: The Speaking section contains six tasks, which are precisely recorded in digital playback recorders. It is then sent to ETS Online Scoring Network for evaluation. There are 3 to 6 authorized raters who grant you scores in the Speaking section.

  • The Writing Task: There are two writing tasks, the Integrated Writing and the Independent Writing tasks. These two tasks allow the test takers to compose an essay either according to their own views (Independent Writing) or in accordance with the essay prompt (Integrated Writing).

The TOEFL exam test is scored by the eRater® and by human examiners. Hence, while the human examiner tests the content of the answers given by test takers, the automated eRater® measures the test takers’ style and linguistic usage in the test. TOEFL has become a favourite among students wishing to study abroad. Prep courses are always present in order to ace the test. All you have to do is practice as many test questions as possible to understand the main structure of TOEFL.




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