TOEFL

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL full form is Test of English as a Foreign Language. This exam evaluates the candidate’s English language proficiency. If a candidate wishes to pursue higher education in Foreign countries and is non-native English speaker then he/she can take this exam.

TOEFL Exam

Conducting Authority: Educational Testing Service (ETS) is Conducting Authority for TOEFL and administrates all processes regarding the exam. ETS is an US-based non-profit organization. ETS provides various tools to promote educational progress and these tools are used globally.

Popularity: More than 9,000 colleges, universities and organizations recognize this exam. It is also recognized by other participating institutes across 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States.

Frequency: ETS conducts TOEFL more than 50 times a year at 4500 test centres in 165 countries worldwide. But candidates can sit for the exam at most five times a year by choosing their preference of exam date. 

Validity: TOEFL Score remains valid for 2 years from the date of exam.

Attempts: There is no limit to number of times you can take the test. But you can retake TOEFL Exam after 21 days from the previous test date. If you have already booked a test then you cannot register for one more test within 12 days of the previously booked test.

Difficulty: The difficulty level of TOEFL is that of high school or in Indian standards, it will be that of 10+2 levels. 

Duration: TOEFL test time may vary from 3 Hours and 20 Minutes to 4 Hours and 10 Minutes (including 10 Minutes break in between). In the exam, some sections may take a longer time for one candidate compared to another. This is because in the reading section duration will vary between 60 to 80 minutes. And in listening section time duration will vary 60 to 89 minutes.

TOEFL Exam Pattern: This exam is a Descriptive type exam with no negative marking. You can take advantage of this by attempting all tasks.

Mode: Applicants can take the test in both online and offline mode. You can take it as online test known as TOEFL iBT test (internet Based Test) or Paper-delivered Test.

Changes: ETS launched a revised Paper-delivered Test in October 2017. This newly revised test is more closely aligned with TOEFL iBT Test.

Score Range: Score range of this is 0 to 120 and this is the cumulative score of all 4 sections. Each section has a range of 0 to 30.

TOEFL Introduction
Exam
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Conducting Authority Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Official Website ets.org/toefl
Exam Level International
Difficulty Level 10+2 and Above
Eligibility No Minimum Requirement
Document Required Valid Passport
Frequency 50 times a year
Attempts 5 times a year
Fee USD 180 for Indians
Application Mode Online and Offline
Test Mode
Online
(No Offline mode available in India)
Number of Papers 4
Marking Scheme
Descriptive Type with No negative marking
Duration 190 to 240 Minutes
Score Range 0 to 120

Contents

TOEFL Dates

ETS allows students to choose TOEFL Date throughout the year according to their convenience. Candidates should plan properly and choose their exam date. Candidates should plan such that the test score will reach recipient universities on time. Candidates can reschedule or cancel this exam. Rescheduling and Cancellation details are given below.

  • Rescheduling: ETS TOEFL even provides option to students to reschedule their scheduled exam. But Students have to reschedule the exam 4 days before scheduled exam date.
  • Cancellation: If you want to cancel your exam, you can cancel your exam 4 days before to the test. You will only get half of your fee as refund.

TOEFL Eligibility

ETS has not prescribed any eligibility criteria to take this exam. But candidates will be using TOEFL Score to apply for graduate or postgraduate programmes. Hence there are some generally implied eligibility criteria, they are given below:

  • Eligibility: Candidates should at least have an undergraduate degree.
  • Age Limit: Candidates should be at least 18 years old.
  • Eligibility Required by Universities: Candidates does not need to satisfy any eligibility criteria for the exam since there are none. But candidates should keep in mind that they should satisfy eligibility set by Universities. 

TOEFL Syllabus

ETS tests English Language Ability of candidates, hence there is no proper prescribed TOEFL Syllabus. ETS tests 4 different aspects of the English Language. These aspects are:

  • Reading Ability,
  • Listening and Understanding,
  • Writing Mastery and
  • Speaking Proficiency.

Candidates can focus on these four aspects of English Language while preparing for exam. By focusing on these aspects candidates can try to ace the exam.

TOEFL Registration

ETS conducts this exam throughout the year. But you have to plan your exam date and take the exam so that your TOEFL Score will reach recipient universities on time. The registration process, TOEFL Application Form Details along with documents required are given below.

How to register for TOEFL?

Candidate can register for this exam by online registration, registration by phone and by mail. 

Online Registration 

Many people around the world have access to the internet. So these people can access internet and apply for TOEFL. Online Registration Process overview is given below:

  • ETS Account: To registration process, you have to create an account on the ETS TOEFL website at ets.org/toefl.

  • University: You have to select the recipient universities of your TOEFL Score.

  • Fee: You have to pay the registration fee of USD 180 through Credit Card, Debit Card, Paypal or Western Union Quick Pay. If you have a bank account in the United States or its territories then you can pay with Electronic Check (e-Check).

  • Additional Fee: You can select their additional services, these services will help you in your preparation. There are some free services and some paid services, you can choose the one which you need. Then you can make the payment.

Registration by Phone

In some countries there are no proper infrastructures for the internet, as a result, there is no internet access. So ETS has given an option to register by phone. Details regarding registration by phone are given below: 

  • Regional Registration Centre: You have to call one of the Regional Registration Centre which is near you and give them the Details
  • Fee: You can pay the fee with American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard or VISA. Else if you have a bank account in the USA or its territories then you can use Electronic Check (e-Check).
  • Apply Before: You have to apply 7 days before the exam date which you are planning to take. 

Registration by Mail

For those locations where there is no access to a phone, ETS has provided an option to send Application by mail. But they should at least be able to get an application form.

Candidate should download the application form and fill it. Then they have to send application form to the regional registration office. Candidates should send payment along with application form to the registration office. Candidates have to send at least 4 weeks before the day when they want to take the exam.

Note: When you are registering, you should give the exact name which is on the ID Document which you will produce on the exam day. 

TOEFL Application Form Details 

Before applying for TOEFL Exam, candidates need to have a proper idea of details required for registration. The details for Application Form are given below:

  • Mode of Application: Candidates can register through online, phone and Mail. 
  • Mode of Exam: Candidates can take the test online (internet Based Test) or offline test (Paper-delivered Test). 
  • Deadline: Depending on the mode of registration you have to register either 4 weeks before or 7 days before TOEFL Exam Date. 
  • Fee: Fee will vary depending on your geographic location. In India the fee is USD 180.

Documents required to apply for TOEFL

You should have the following documents and details ready when you will apply for TOEFL:

  • Passport or ID Document,
  • Mode of Payment, 
  • Test Location and Date on which test is available,
  • Valid Email ID and 
  • Name of Recipient Universities.  

TOEFL Exam Pattern

Candidates can take exam either through online mode or offline mode. The online mode is called TOEFL internet Based Test (iBT). ETS also offers paper or pencil on a paper test called Paper-delivered Test.

Skills Tested: TOEFL tests a non-native English speaking candidate in 4 different aspects of the English Language. These aspects are his/her reading ability, listening and understanding, speaking proficiency and writing mastery.

Score Range: ETS tests his/her proficiency by dividing the TOEFL Exam into four skills areas. Each of these areas has scores which range from 0 to 30.

TOEFL Admit Card

You have to remember that there is no proper TOEFL Admit Card. But You have to take a Valid and Acceptable Identification (ID) Document. Your username and your name on ID Document should be same (without accents). You should not bring any personal belongings to the exam centre.

TOEFL Exam Centres

ETS Conducts the exam both through online and offline mode. But in India, ETS conducts TOEFL only through online mode in 38 test cities. TOEFL Internet Based Test (iBT) is offered more than 50 times a year.

TOEFL Results 

When the TOEFL Results are announced, you will be notified through an email. You can check your score by logging into your ETS Account. If you are satisfied with your score then you can send it to recipient universities. Else you can take the exam again. But you will able to retake test only after 21 days from your previous TOEFL Exam Date.

TOEFL Counselling

Unlike in India, there is no standard procedure for TOEFL Counselling. But you have to apply to the Univesity with your score along with some documents that are specified by the University.

Once you receive your score, you can send it to recipient universities. You have to send the documents specified by the University along with TOEFL Score.

IELTS or TOEFL

TOEFL: ETS conducts this exam to test English Language Ability of non-native English speakers. Its score is used globally to measure candidates English Language Ability. But TOEFL is highly popular among universities in North American Continent.

IELTS: IELTS is used to measure Candidates English Proficiency. Organisations, Universities and even immigration offices accept IELTS Score.

Which one to choose?

If you are in confusion to choose an exam, then you can read the following:

  • When you are applying for Universities, it will accept one of the above exam score. If so then take the exam whose score is accepted.
  • If Universities accepts both exams, you can consider the following factors for selecting an exam.
    • TOEFL is easy for those who have exposure to accents of the USA.
    • IELTS will be relatively easy if you are familiar with European accents.
    • IELTS exam is shorter than TOEFL Exam.
  • If you are applying for immigration then choose IELTS General as it is easier than TOEFL and IELTS Academics.

TOEFL FAQs

Q. When should I take TOEFL?

Ans. You should plan ahead before taking the exam. You should select a proper exam date so that the TOEFL Score will reach recipient universities on time.

Q, Who needs to take TOEFL?

Ans. If you are a non-native English speaker and applying for Graduate or Postgraduate programmes in an English Speaking Country, then you might need TOEFL Score. When applying for Universities, if Universities demands TOEFL Score then you need to take this exam.

Q. Is TOEFL easier than IETLS?

Ans. TOEFL and IELTS both test candidate's English Proficiency. Both the exams are on same level of difficulty. Read the following to choose a proper exam.

  • If you are applying for immigration then take IELTS General. Since it is easier than IELTS Academic and TOEFL.
  • Some universities demand only one score. If you are applying for university then write the exam whose score the universities are accepting.
  • If Universities accepts both then consider the following factors:
    • You can take TOEFL if you are comfortable with American accents else if you are comfortable with European accents take IELTS.
    • TOEFL is relatively longer than IELTS. So if you are ok with longer exam duration you can take TOEFL or else IELTS. 

Q. How can I take TOEFL?

Ans. You can register for the exam by selecting a test centre which is close to your location and on a date which best suits you. You can register for the exam through their website, calling regional registration office or by sending application form through mail.

Q. What is TOEFL Exam used for?

Ans. Candidates write this exam and use its score to apply for universities in the North American Continent. For non-native English Speakers TOEFL Score is must, if they have to apply for these universities.

Q. Is TOEFL hard?

Ans. ETS tests candidate's English Language ability through TOEFL. These skills develop throughout high school or 10+2 class. The level of difficulty will be of high school or K12 level (10+2).

Q. Why TOEFL is required?

Ans. If you are applying for Universities in the North American continent, then the University will ask for TOEFL Score. They will only ask if you are a non-native English speaker.

Q. What is the syllabus of TOEFL?

Ans. ETS has not prescribed any particular syllabus for TOEFL. Because ETS tests candidates English Language Ability through this exam. But you can look at the sections of exam and prepare well. TOEFL has four sections, they are

  • Reading,
  • Writing,
  • Listening and
  • Speaking.

Q. How is TOEFL Exam conducted?

Ans. ETS conducts the exam online (TOEFL internet Based Test) and offline mode (Paper-delivered test).

Q. What is TOEFL Exam all about?

Ans. ETS conducts TOEFL Exam to test English Language Ability of non-native English speakers. Universities use it's score to understand whether the applicant can survive in an English environment.  

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