All About TOEFL Exam

Posted In exam preparation On December 4, 2018

TOEFL refers to the test of English as a foreign language which evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in English. Because it is a valid and reliable test with unbiased, objective scoring, the TOEFL test confirms that a student has the English language skills necessary to succeed in an academic setting. That’s why it is a universally accepted test. More than 8,500 colleges, universities, and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. It is administered at more than 4,500 test centres in 180 countries. More than 27 million people have taken the test since it began in 1964.

Who Creates the TOEFL Test?

The TOEFL test is developed and administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). If your first or native language is not English, it is likely that your dream college or university will require you to take an English-language proficiency test amongst which the TOEFL is the most accessible.

Eligibility criteria-

The TOEFL test (both TOEFL-IBT and TOEFL-PBT) is open to all. Ordinarily, a pass in 10+2 level of any recognised Indian Board or University is a suitable qualification to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. However, the test is suitable for candidates studying at high school level or higher.

How Is the TOEFL Test Used in the Admissions Process?

Your test scores will be considered together with other information you provide to the institution to determine if you have the appropriate academic and language background to be admitted to a regular or modified program of study. Often, your field of study and whether you are applying as a graduate or undergraduate student will determine what TOEFL scores you need.

Is there a Minimum Acceptable Score?

This minimum acceptable TOEFL score varies from one institution to another, depending on factors such as the applicant’s field of study, the level of study (undergraduate or graduate), whether the applicant will be a teaching assistant, and whether the institution offers English as a Second Language support for its students. All international students who are planning to study in the United States must do this exam.

How much does it cost?

It can be taken at ETS approved centres around the world, and the TOEFL fees is around 240 US Dollars (INR 16,500 approx.) although it may vary from country to country.

What are the sections of the TOEFL?

The exam lasts about four hours and has four different sections:

  • Reading comprehension: There are two versions, and it can last between 60 and 80 minutes, depending on whether you get the short or the long version.
  • Listening comprehension: This is the part that measures your ability to understand spoken language, lasting about an hour. If you did the short version of reading, you will do the long version of listening and vice versa.
  • Speaking: you will have about 20 minutes to demonstrate the ability you have to communicate with spoken language by answering a series of questions using the headset microphone.
  • Writing: This section evaluates your writing skills. You have to write two essays in a time limit of about 50 minutes.

How are TOEFL scores calculated?

Each section carries 30 marks. The maximum number of points that can be scored is 120. You will need a higher or lower score depending on the requirements for admission to a college. Some universities admit students with grades between 61 and 70 points (out of 120), but the higher the score you get, the greater range of universities you can consider.

Where and when can you take the TOEFL?

You can either take the Paper-based Test (PBT) or the Internet-based test (IBT). There are more than 50 dates per year to take the TOEFL exam held in different centres worldwide. You can retake the test as many times as you want in order to improve your TOEFL score. But you cannot take the test more than once in a 12-day period.

A test date should be chosen at least six months before your college application deadlines. This will give you a few months to work on strengthening your weaknesses before you retake the exam.

When are the TOEFL Scores available? When are the TOEFL scores expired?

If you have done the TOEFL IBT you will have access to your score 10 days after your exam date. This is one of the many advantages the IBT has over the PBT.

The printed score reports will be sent to you after approximately 13 days, but you have to add the days it will take to be delivered to you. If you live in the United States, this would take 7 to 10 days. Outside the U.S it will take even more time, depending on your location.

Your TOEFL score lasts for 2 years. During that time, you are allowed to send them to any institution you desire.

Can the TOEFL exam be rescheduled or cancelled?

Yes. You can reschedule or cancel it up to 4 full days before the date. The fee to reschedule the exam is $60 (INR 4,125 approx).

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