TOEFL Examination

Who takes the TOEFL Examination?

TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) is one of the best English language test you can take to apply for education in the United States. The primary purpose of the TOEFL examination is to determine how well you can tackle with the reading, speaking, listening and writing aspects of the English language. The scores in this test can help the admission officers decide how well you can cope up with English language in the academic settings of an English-speaking country.

Who requires the TOEFL Scores?

The TOEFL examination scores are required by most of the colleges and universities, licensing/certification agencies, scholarship programs, government organizations functioning in an English-speaking country.

Who can take the TOEFL Examination?

Any person who likes to pursue any higher education course in an English-speaking country can take the TOEFL examination. You can also take this test for other purposes such as:

  • If you want to apply for scholarship or certification.

  • If you need to apply for a visa.

  • If you like to track your progress in between the English learning course that you are learning.

What are the Two Formats of the TOEFL Test?

The TOEFL examination is conducted in paper-based as well as in Internet-based formats. You will be able to decide whether you can take the paper-based format (TOEFL PBT) test or the Internet-based format (TOEFL iBT) test only after choosing the test center that you prefer. Generally, the TOEFL PBT test exists only at the test centers that lack Internet accessing facility.

Section Types of the TOEFL Test

The TOEFL iBT test consists of the Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing sections. You will have to complete the TOEFL examination in four and a half hours. Each section has a specific time limit with a 10 minute break between the Listening and Speaking sections. Each section includes specific number of questions that require you to do tasks combining more than one skill among the reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. For more information related to the TOEFL iBT test sections, refer to the

The TOEFL PBT test consists of four sub-tests: the Test of Written English, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, and Structure and Written Expression tests. You will be given four hours to complete this test. Each section has a specific time limit, and includes a specific number of questions. For further details regarding the TOEFL PBT test sections, refer to the

Question Types of the TOEFL Test

You can expect different types of questions in the TOEFL examination. The TOEFL iBT will include more types of questions when compared to the TOEFL PBT. The following passage will describe a few things about the TOEFL iBT question types:

  • Reading Section

    This section includes 3 to 4 passages, and a set of 36 to 56 questions that are based on the given passages. The passages are related to academic topics. The questions in this section can be of different types. Mostly, you can expect multiple choice questions. The other types of questions can be sentence completion, matching statements, matching facts etc.

  • Listening Section

    This section includes 4 to 6 audio academic lectures, 2 to 3 audio classroom discussions, and a set of 34 to 51 questions that are based on the lectures and classroom discussions. The questions asked in this section can be multiple choice, table matching or inference types questions.

  • Speaking Section

    This section includes 6 questions. The first 2 questions are related to a familiar topic and the last 4 questions are related to short readings, conversations and lectures. You have to orally answer these questions using the information available in the short readings, conversations and lectures.

  • Writing Section

    This section includes 2 questions. The first question will ask you to write an essay based on the given short reading text and the audio speech related to a topic. The second question will ask you to write an essay about a given topic.

This article provides you with a brief idea of the formats, sections and question types of the TOEFL test. It also gives the information on who can take the test. For further details, you can refer to the official website of the ETS.

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