What is TOEFL and What is TSE?

TOEFL is the "Test of English as Foreign Language". The TOEFL test evaluates your skills of speaking, reading, writing and listening to the English language in the educational environment. The test assesses how well you can combine the different skills to do the academic tasks successfully. The two different formats of the TOEFL test are the TOEFL iBT Test and the TOEFL PBT test. The choice of the test center that you make while registering for the TOEFL test determines the format of your TOEFL test. Almost all the test centers conduct the TOEFL iBT test. Some test centers that do not have access to the Internet offer the TOEFL PBT test.

TSE is the "Test of Spoken English". The TSE test evaluates your skill of speaking English language. This test of general oral language ability is related to the old version speaking tests of the TOEFL iBT and PBT. The TSE test can be taken by any people irrespective of their native language and employment/educational field. In this test, you have to express your English speaking ability by responding orally to different reading and listening tasks. The TSE test has no passing or failing score. Each institution determines its own acceptable TSE score. However, the TSE test is not available now. But, it is conducted in the form of TOEFL iBT and is now known as TOEFL TSE.


The TOEFL TSE can be explained as the new iBT Speaking test of the TOEFL. The format of the new iBT Speaking test is different from that of the TSE. During this test, you will have to wear a headset, and speak into the computer's microphone while answering the questions of this test. Your answers will be recorded, based on which your TOEFL TSE scores will be judged.

TOEFL TSE Test Questions

The TOEFL TSE Test is a 20 minutes test comprising six questions that require you to do six separate tasks. Actually this test includes two types of tasks: the Independent Speaking tasks and the Integrated Speaking tasks. You will have to do the Independent Speaking tasks for the first two questions, and the Integrated Speaking tasks for the last four questions.

For the first two questions, you have to express your opinions or ideas about a given familiar topic. For the last four questions of the TOEFL TSE test, you have to speak in response to the short readings, conversations and lectures. You will be given a short time for preparing each spoken response. Then you will be given a short time to express your answers through your computer's microphone.

Evaluation of the TOEFL TSE Test

Your answers in the TOEFL TSE test will be recorded as you speak through the microphone. The recorded answers will be sent to the Scoring Network of the ETS. Your answers will then be evaluated by a few certified officials based on:

  • Your communication effectiveness
  • Your English usage level
  • Your ability to successfully complete a given task
  • Your ability to develop a topic

TOEFL TSE Test Scores

Each separate task of the TOEFL TSE test will be scored on a scale of 0 to 4. The overall score is the average score of the six tasks in the test, and it ranges from 0 to 30. Each institution sets its own TOEFL iBT Speaking test score requirement.

TOEFL PBT test takers who require a Speaking score can take an optional TSE test. However, since the ETS has removed the TSE test from March 2010, you can take only the TOEFL TSE which is the new iBT Speaking test. Preparing well before taking this test can help you in getting the best possible score in this test.

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