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What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization, which designs and administers the test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities.  TOEFL is an internationally recognized test and is accepted as proof of English proficiency in 9,000 colleges, universities and organizations and other TOEFL participating institutes across 130 countries in the World.
TOEFL has essentially two versions: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). Both the versions of TOEFL have four sections- Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing. The total TOEFL test score is between 0–120. TOEFL results are valid for two years after the test. TOEFL test scores are posted online within 2 weeks of the test date.
TOEFL is a four-hour, computerized test with four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.  The Reading and Listening sections vary in length due to unscored, experimental questions. Reading ranges from 60 to 80 minutes long, while Listening ranges from 60 to 90 minutes long.
*There will be no indication to figure whether the questions are experimental or not
*A student will get a mandatory break for 10 minutes after the Reading and Listening sections.

Test Format

Section Time limit Questions Tasks
Reading 60–80 minutes 36–56 questions Read passages and answer questions
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.
Reading:  The Reading section is the first section of the TOEFL. A student will be given three or five passages of approximately 700 words with each passage comprising of 12 to 14 questions. A student has flexibility to skip answers and come back to them later at any time during the reading testing period.
Listening: The listening section is made up of four to six lectures, each accompanied by six questions, and two or three conversations, each accompanied by five questions.
Speaking: The Speaking section is the shortest section on the TOEFL, lasting just 20 minutes in total.  Every Speaking task is different but is divided into two main types: Independent and Integrated.
The Independent tasks or tasks 1 and 2 focus on familiar topics. For task 1 a student must choose one of many options and for task 2 a student must choose one of two options.
Task 3 Task 4 Task 5 Task 6
Content Reading + Listening Reading + Listening Listening Listening
Topic Campus situations Academic course content Campus situations Academic course content
Time Reading      : 45-50 sec
Listening    : About 60 sec
Preparation: 30 sec
Speaking    : 60 sec
Reading      : 45-50 sec
Listening    : About 60 sec
Preparation: 30 sec
Speaking    : 60 sec
Listening      : About 60-120 sec
Preparation  : 20 sec
Speaking      : 60 sec
Listening: About 60-120 sec
Preparation: 20 sec
Speaking: 60 sec
Integrated tasks or tasks 3-6 requires student to combine reading and listening skills with speaking skills. Tasks 3 and 5 focus on campus situations, while tasks 4 and 6 focus on academic course content.
Task 3
Task 4
Task 5
Task 6
Reading + Listening
Campus situations
Academic course content
Campus situations
   Academic     course content
Reading: 45-50 seconds
Listening: About 60 seconds
Preparation: 30 seconds
Speaking: 60 seconds
Listening: About 60-120 seconds
Preparation: 20 seconds
Speaking: 60 seconds
For tasks 3 and 4, a student must read a passage, listen to an audio clip, and answer a question about both the passage and audio clip. A student will have 45-50 seconds to read the passage, about one minute to listen to the clip, 30 seconds to prepare the response, and 60 seconds to speak.
For tasks 5 and 6, a student must listen to an audio clip and then answer a question about it. The audio clip is usually about two minutes long, and a student will have 20 seconds to prepare the response and 60 seconds to speak.
*There are no reading passages for tasks 5 and 6.
Writing: There are two types of essays you must write for this section: The Integrated task and the Independent task.
Integrated Writing Task
A student will need to read a passage on a specific topic, listen to a lecture about the topic read and then write an essay summarizing the points in the passage and the lecture.
Independent Writing Task
A student will be required to provide viewpoints or provide a response as required for the specific task.
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