TOEFL Preparation

TOEFL stands for 'Test Of English as Foreign Language'. TOEFL is a Standardized test that evaluates the English Proficiency of people whose native language is not English. Almost all the universities in the United States and Canada require TOEFL scores from each applicant. The test is also used by institutions in other countries where English is the language of Instruction. The TOEFL tests the ability to understand North American English. A TOEFL score is valid for 2 years.

The TOEFL is administered worldwide by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test was first administered in 1964 and has since been taken by nearly 20 million students. The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on a test taker's location.

Why TOEFL Test?

TOEFL test is a prerequisite for admission into colleges and universities where English is a lingua franca i.e., native or official language. Besides admissions, many licensing, government, and certification agencies and exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people for whom English is not their native language.

Who Should Take the TOEFL Test?

Non-native English speakers at the 11th-grade level or above should take the TOEFL test to provide evidence of their English proficiency before beginning academic work. The test content is considered too difficult for students below 11th grade.

Who don't need to take the TOEFL Test?

  • Non-native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand)
  • Non-native speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-year course of study in which English was the language of instruction
  • Transfer students from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work was favorably evaluated in relation to its demands and duration
  • Nonnative speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years
  • Nonnative speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period, generally two years

Who administers the TOEFL test?

The TOEFL test is developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS). This implies that ETS sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test, ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act as franchisee for ETS.

Formats of the TOEFL

Internet-based Test (IBT)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT), ever since its introduction in late 2005 has progressively replaced both the (CBT) computer-based and (PBT) paper-based tests. The iBT has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers increased periodically till-date. The demand for test seats remains very high even after almost a year after the introduction of the test; candidates have to wait for months since short-term test dates are fully booked. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring mainly one of the basic language skills (although some tasks may require integration of these skills) and focusing on language used in an academic, higher-education environment.

  • Reading measures the ability to understand academic reading matter.
  • Listening measures the ability to understand English as it is used in colleges and universities.
  • Speaking measures the ability to speak English.
  • Writing measures the ability to write in a way that is appropriate for college and university course work. Detailed descriptions and samples are available at the official website.
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