article1Blessy Babu

What is the TOEFL?- An Introduction to the TOEFL Exam

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Are you planning to attend your university or graduate school abroad? If yes, qualifying in the TOEFL exam is your first milestone. The TOEFL test is an English proficiency test for students who aspire to study abroad and gain global exposure. TOEFL is undoubtedly one of the most widely attended exams around the globe.

Today, more than 10000 colleges, universities, and institutions globally recognize TOEFL as English language proficiency. It is the most popular language proficiency test. TOEFL is accepted in 130 countries around the world. 

What is a TOEFL exam?

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. The TOEFL exam is conducted to measure the English language ability of candidates who are non-native speakers. It is the most popular and significant entrance language test in the world after IELTS. TOEFL is administered by the international body known as Educational Testing Service, a private non-profit organisation.

TOEFL Test Format and Content

There are three types of TOEFL tests- paper-based, computer-based, and online version-based. Currently, TOEFL exams are widely in the online format. There are generally four areas in the TOEFL test. They are:

  • Reading section: The reading test comprises comprehension sections with reading passages. There will be 50 questions in the reading part. The time allotted for the reading comprehension will be 55 minutes.
  • Listening section: The listening section consists of three parts. While the first listening section contains questions about short conversations, the second part includes long discussions. 
  • Writing section: The writing section is designed to measure the candidate’s ability to write effectively in English. This test will be based on an academic setting. In the writing test, the candidate will write a short passage based on a listening lecture. 
  • Speaking section: The speaking test is conducted to measure the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in an academic setting. The speaking test will be evaluated based on the delivery, language use, and topic development. There are two tasks in the speaking test- independent task and integrated task. The different job requires the candidate to express their self-opinion on familiar topics, while the integrated task requires the candidate to listen to an audio clip and answer. 

Below is a table in which you can find the four types of sections in the TOEFL test, time allotted and the number of questions in the exam.

Sections in the TOEFL test Time Questions
Reading 60 to 80 minutes 36- 56
Listening 60 to 90 minutes 34- 51
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks

The real test will take approximately 4 hours to complete. The TOEFL test is extended, but you can clear it quickly once you practice well to attend the exam. Most of the colleges admit candidates with scores ranging from 71 to 110 out of 120. However, there is no passing score for the TOEFL test, and the only matter is the score you gain. 

Preparation Tips for your TOEFL Exam 

Before you attend the exam, you must be clear about the format of the exam. Below are some tips that you must follow before attending the exam:

  •  Understand the proper format of the TOEFL test. Ensure that you know about the time limit, the mode of delivery, and the exam structure. 
  •  Prepare your test with the help of mentors or TOEFL training classes. 
  •  Start preparing at least 2-3 months before your exam. 
  •  Research and attend online classes if you do not have access to other training classes.
  • Speak English loudly. You are trying to make conversations to improve your speaking skills. 
  • Take practice tests, listen to audio clips, and know about the writing styles you should follow. 
  •  Read every day. Be it newspaper, storybook, or any article, make sure you read anything every day. 
  • Listen to podcasts. Understand different accents and know how to mark the keywords. 

To Conclude

The TOEFL exam is one of the most popular English proficiency exams. With efficient training classes and practice, you can make learning easier. Once you wish to attend the exam, do not wait to start preparing. Track your progress and spend more time on sections that you are weak in. Then, start your TOEFL journey to study in your dream college!

article1Blessy Babu

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Blessy Babu is an English Language Associate with over seven years of experience teaching various language courses such as IELTS, OET, TOEFL, PTE, SAT, GRE & GMAT. She attained her Master’s Degree in English Literature along with a second Masters's in Counseling and Psychology. Besides, these master's degrees she gained an advanced diploma in creative writing, which perfectly enhances her writing skills. She has authored a book that contains multiple essay writing models to help learners boost their essay writing skills and styles.

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