TOEFL is the short form of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. The examination of TOEFL is a standardized exam that is conducted to measure the ability of people in the English language. This exam is mainly attended by non-native speakers who wish to get enrolled in English-speaking universities. The marks obtained by the students is accepted by many English-speaking universities as well as several private institutions based on the TOEFL syllabus. This exam is considered as one of the major exams in English-language all around the world. The TOEFL examination was first conducted in the year of 1964, i.e., around 55 years. Around 2.3 million people sit for the TOEFL examination every year. There are around 4500 test centres for the TOEFL examination in around 165 countries. The score obtained in the TOEFL examination is valid for 2 years for any student. The TOEFL examination is a 4-hour examination.
The TOEFL examination is conducted by a private, non-profitable organization that is Educational Testing Services (ETS). ETS is the organization that designs the examination as well as administers over the test. ETS also issues the score and the reports regarding the test for every student. The minimum TOEFL scores that are accepted in colleges range from 61 to 110. More than 10,000 colleges all around the world accept the TOEFL scores in around 135 countries. The TOEFL exams are mainly for students who are living in the commonwealth countries. But, the students need to keep in mind that the TOEFL scores is only one of the criteria for getting selected in a college, there are many other criteria.
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Key Points of this article
- Skills that are tested
- Types of questions asked
- Duration of each skill test
- Essential information about each section
The examination of TOEFL is conducted in two ways. They are:
- Internet-based Test
- Paper-delivered Test
Understand the difference between TOEFL Internet Based vs Paper Based Test
Nowadays, the Internet-based Test is preferred and popular for conducting the TOEFL examination. The Paper-delivered Test is conducted by ETS only when there is a failure or some kind of problem develops due to issues on the computer or the internet. The TOEFL test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120.
What skills are tested in TOEFL?
The examination is divided into four parts:
Reading Section -TOEFL Syllabus
What is the time limit and the general marks distribution in TOEFL?
The reading section is the first section of the TOEFL examination. The time limit that is assigned for the reading section is around 60 to 80 minutes. The reading section consists of 3 or 4 articles. Each article is around 700 words. Each passage consists of 10 questions. The questions are prepared on the basis of these articles and the students have to answer keeping in mind the contents of the articles. The students have to answer the questions about the details, main idea, rhetorical purposes, vocabulary along with overall ideas. Each question consists of 1 mark each and there is a total of around 30-40 questions.
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See our guide for TOEFL Reading Practice
What helps in getting accustomed to the TOEFL syllabus and exam pattern?
A person can get accustomed to the pattern of the reading section of the TOEFL exam by practicing the reading exam practice that is provided by the official site of TOEFL. The passages that come in the TOEFL exam can be based on anything. The topics can include science, history or humanities. The humanities are one of the most important topics that often come in the passages of TOEFL.
TOEFL Listening Section – TOEFL Syllabus
What does a student need to do in the listening skill test?
Listening is the second section of the TOEFL examination. The listening section consists of conversations and lectures that have been recorded earlier. These are questions made on the basis of these conversations that the students need to answer. Thus, the students need to listen to these recordings very clearly.
What is the question distribution and marking pattern? is there a timing restriction?
There are around 2-3 conversations as well as 5-7 lectures that are recorded earlier and the students need to answer questions based on them. The length of each conversation lasts from around 2.5-3 minutes and each lecture lasts from 4.5-5.5 minutes each. There are around 40 questions in this particular section and a time limit of 60-90 minutes is assigned for this particular section.
Our guide for your TOEFL listening section
What kind of recordings are played in the skill test?
The conversations that are usually recorded are in between students and professors or in between students and a campus service provider. The lectures are usually portions from academic-lectures which may or may not include the involvement of students. It is not necessary for the student who is taking the exam to have a piece of background knowledge on the subject of the lecture. Each lecture, as well as the conversation, can be heard only once by the students.
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How does the Listening skill exam proceed?
The students can take notes on the conversation or the lecture while listening to it. Afterwards, while answering the questions, the students are allowed to consult the notes that they have made while listening to the piece of conversation or the lecture. This listening section is mainly meant to measure the skills of the student to understand the ideas, to get an idea on their understanding of important details, relationships between ideas, how well they organize the information that they get, how attentive they are while listening, implications, speaker attitude, and purpose.
TOEFL Vocabulary Quiz 1
TOEFL Speaking Section – TOEFL Syllabus
How is the speaking section divided and how are the tasks composed?
After the listening section, the students are provided with a mandatory 10 minutes break in order to refresh their minds and get some rest. After the break, they have to attend the third section of the test that is the speaking part. The section of speaking consists of 4 sections. They are 1 independent and 3 integrated tasks. Task 1 is an independent task. In the independent task, the students who are taking the exam need to answer on familiar topics and need to give their opinion on the topic. They are evaluated on the basis of spontaneity, i.e., how spontaneous they are while speaking, and how clearly, they are able to express their ideas.
A general overview of each section in the speaking skill test
Task 2 and task 4 are of a similar kind. In these two tasks, the students need to listen to a lecture or conversation or read a short passage on campus life and need to answer by combining proper and appropriate information from the lecture or the talk as well as the passage. Task 3 is based on an academic lecture and the students need to carefully listen to the lecture and then answer the questions based on the lecture. From the integrated tasks, the students are evaluated on the basis of their ability to synthesize as well as convey information from listening and the reading material. The students are given the time to prepare in the break and their answers are recorded digitally and sent to the ETS scoring network and where they scored accordingly by three to six raters. The students have around 20 minutes to complete this section.
TOEFL Writing Section -TOEFL Syllabus
The distinction of sections in the writing skill test
The writing is the last section of the TOEFL examination. The writing section also consists of two tasks- one independent and another an integrated task. In the integrated task, the student is taking the exam have to read a passage and then listen to a recording in which the speaker is discussing the academic topic on which the passage is based on.
Our guide for TOEFL independent writing
Is it a continuation of the previous sections? Are the previously acquired notes important in this section?
After reading the passage and listening to the recording, the student has to write an answer by making a summary of the important points that they have read in the passage or heard in the recording. They also need to explain why these are the key points regarding the topic clearly and then they are evaluated on the basis of their understanding and how well they convey their answer. The independent task is to write an essay on a given topic and write about their opinion and choice and then evaluate their points properly, and not just list out their choices. The students are provided with 55 minutes to complete this section.
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Also, the students need to keep in mind, that the ETS always include some extra and uncounted materials. This is why the students who are giving the exam, must give equal importance to each and every question because they don’t know which question will be considered uncounted by ETS. TOEFL looks like a pretty basic test but the sheer elongated time span of the test seems formidable for the student. you need to keep your focus intact and the best way to do so is continued practice. to know about the latest updates and well-built practice tests, register with us.