Basic Information About TOEFL
It is the first requirement of a TOEFL test-taker that he or she should thoroughly gather TOEFL information. TOEFL is a standardized test which measures a candidate's English-language proficiency that is required for optimum academic performance. TOEFL is offered in two formats: iBT and PBT. The full form of iBT is Internet-based Test; and the full form of PBT is Paper-based Test. As the name itself says, iBT is offered over the internet through secured networks. PBT is available in those locations where iBT is not implemented yet. In order to get up-to-date TOEFL information, keep visiting the official website (www.ets.org) regularly. TOEFL tests a candidate's speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. The TOEFL PBT does not test speaking skills. Candidate has to complete each section within a given time. Test-takers are allowed to take notes except in the listening section of the PBT. Notes should be returned to the test supervisor after the completion of the test and they will be destroyed. Given below is the TOEFL information about each test section. Note that there are differences in the TOEFL information for the TOEFL iBT and the TOEFL PBT test sections.
The TOEFL iBT and PBT Reading sections test candidates ability to understand academic texts. Candidates don't have to be subject experts to answer the questions; the passages contain all the required information. Test-takers have to identify the relationships between ideas and concepts. Candidates have to demonstrate their efficiency in organizing and re-presenting the information which they have read. Test-takers are required to explain concealed and latent intentions of an author in the passages. The TOEFL iBT Reading section consists of 3 to 5 passages. Each passage will be of 700 words. 60 to 100 minutes of time is allocated. 12 to 14 questions are set on each passage. Glossary will be provided for jargons if they appear in the passages. Note that this TOEFL information pertaining to the glossary does not apply to the TOEFL PBT.
Purpose of this section is to test how well a candidate follows academic lectures and natural speech. Broadly speaking, the skills that are tested in the Reading section are also tested here in a different way. Test-takers listen to audio instead of reading texts. Additionally, test-takers have to identify speaker's attitude and intention with the help of his or her tone.
In the TOEFL iBT, 4 to 6 lectures of 500 to 800 words are streamed. 6 questions are asked on each lecture. 2 to 3 conversations of 3 minutes duration are also streamed. 5 questions are asked on each conversation. The allocated time for the TOEFL iBT listening section is 60 to 90 minutes; for the TOEFL PBT it is 30 to 40 minutes.
In this section, candidates have to speak into a microphone. Their answers are recorded and evaluated by the ETS trained and certified evaluators. This section aims to test candidates speaking skills. They are required to justify their personal preferences. They also have to support their expressed opinions and views with appropriate logical reasoning. In other questions, candidates have to read and listen to the passages. After that, they have to answer the questions by combining information from both the sources. The allocated time for this section is 20 minutes. Speaking section does not appear in the TOEFL PBT.
In academic institutions, a student's abilities to form independent opinions and to analyze topics and issues critically are highly valued. This section is designed to test these abilities. 50 minutes are allocated for this section. Candidates have to write two essays. The first task is an integrated task. In that task, they are required to read a passage and listen to an audio extract which gives different perspectives on the same topic. Then, they have to present their version by combining the information obtained from both the sources. Essay has to be of 150 to 225 words. The second task demands a candidate to express his or her opinions and views about an issue. The candidate has to compose the essay employing his experience and knowledge. Expected essay length is 300 words.
The TOEFL PBT has a section which is known as the Test of Written English (TWE). In this section, candidates have to write an essay in the allocated time of 30 minutes.
Structure and Written Expression Section
This section appears on the TOEFL PBT. The section tests candidates' knowledge of sentence construction and other grammatical elements that are used in the standard written English. Candidates have to correct the errors in the sentences and they also have to appropriately complete the sentences by choosing the right word.
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