TOEFL Syllabus 2023: Updated Test Syllabus for TOEFL Exam

Nov 18, 2023 | Education, Science


TOEFL syllabus was created to evaluate candidates' reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in a university context. The TOEFL exam and syllabus were designed to test candidates' diverse skills and determine their English language competency. The TOEFL syllabus covers all components of the exam, including writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

TOEFL syllabus for the exam is used by Universities and Institutions from European countries and Australia among many others. TOEFL Test is used by these institutions to check whether the applicants who are from non-English speaking countries know enough English to work or study in their Institute.

  • Educational Testing Services has not prescribed any particular syllabus for TOEFL 2023 that will not be based on particular topics.
  • TOEFL will not test some particular topics but it tests how well the candidate knows English and measures the English language ability of the applicant. 
  • Therefore the candidate has to improve his English Language ability. The candidate can look at the format of TOEFL 2023 so that he/she can concentrate on those areas.

Table of Contents

TOEFL 2023 Syallbus Format

ETS will test four areas in a candidate's English Ability through TOEFL 2023 which are Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, Speaking and Writing. The details of what ETS is testing in these four areas of skills is given below:

TOEFL Reading

In the reading section, ETS will test your Reading and Understanding abilities.

  • Passage: You will be asked to read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and you will have to answer some questions. Passages require an understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not required to come to the correct answer.
  • Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas.
  • Questions: There will be around 10 questions for each passage and a total of 40 questions. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test requires the candidates to fill out tables or complete summaries.
  • Duration: Candidates will have anywhere from 54 minutes to 72 minutes to attend this section

TOEFL Listening

In this listening section, ETS will test your Listening and Understanding section.

  • Conversations: You'll hear both short and extended chats in this section. Following the brief dialogue, you will be asked one question with numerous options for responses. You must select one option. You will be asked many questions based on the conversation in long discussions.
  • Non-native English accents: You will also hear non-native English speakers' accents, this is because after joining university you will be exposed to several accents. So, it will test your understanding of English through various accents.
  • Duration: 3–4 lectures (3-5 minutes each, roughly 500–800 words each), 6 questions each; a total of about 30 questions
  • 2–3 talks (about 3 minutes each, 12–25 exchanges), each with 5 questions; In total, there are about 12 questions.
  • There are more than 40 questions in all.
  • Time allotted: 41–57 minutes

TOEFL Speaking

To get the best marks in the Speaking Section, your responses must meet the requirements of the work with only minor errors or lapses. The examiners are seeking a discourse that is both understandable and long-lasting. The section's scoring is determined by three key variables.

In this section, ETS will test your English speaking fluency.

  • Questions: Candidates will have 6 tasks in this section, two independent tasks and 4 integrated tasks.
  • The 2 independent tasks will have a preparation time of 15 sec and a response time of 45 sec. Here the candidate will have to express his or her opinion and should try to maintain a highly intelligent and sustained conversation. This applies to all tasks across this section.
  • Duration: One self-contained task (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)
  • Three intertwined tasks: read, listen and speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)
  • The total number of questions is four.
  • 17 minutes in total.

TOEFL Writing

A topic should be effectively addressed in the essay. The response should be well-organized and well-developed, with pertinent explanations and supporting details. It should also have a sense of unity, progression, and cohesion. If you want to get a good writing grade, make sure you show syntactic variation and acceptable word choice while avoiding minor grammatical mistakes.

In this section, ETS will check your English writing skills.

  • Essay: You will have to write an essay addressing a topic.
  • Duration: This will test your writing skills. Here you will have 2 tasks and you will have a total of 50 minutes.
  • Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes) (reading time: 3 minutes; listening time: 2 minutes; writing time: 15 minutes)
  • 1 self-contained task (30 minutes)
  • The total number of questions is two.
  • Time allotted: 50 minutes

Keeping the format of TOEFL 2023 in mind candidates can prepare for areas that the ETS is trying to test through TOEFL 2023. Check the TOEFL Eligibility and TOEFL Exam pattern to know more about the TOEFL 2023 Exam.

TOEFL 2023 Exam Pattern

The exam pattern followed by TOEFL is given below.

Category Highlights
  • 10 Questions
  • 3-4 Passages
  • 54-72 Minutes
  • 10 Questions
  • 3-4 Lectures
  • 2-3 Converstions
  • 41-57 Minutes
  • 4 Question
  • 17 Minutes
  • 2 Tasks
  • 50 Minutes

TOEFL 2023 Preparation Tips

Candidates willing to take up TOEFL 2023 can choose 2 preparation methods, one - Self Study and other attend coaching classes. Candidates can prefer the TOEFL books and other reference materials in the first case. This method of preparing for TOEFL 2023 Exam can also cut short the preparation cost. Candidates can also opt for the second option of reaching out to any professional coach for preparation assistance. This may add an another expenditure of the tuition fees. There are many  institutes and coaching centers offering TOEFL preparation with the assistance of experts. Anyway, both the methods of preparation has its own merits and demerits. 

TOEFL 2023 has 4 sections including reading, listening, speaking and writing. The TOEFL exam is mainly conducted for testing the language skills of the  candidate based on the university level. The candidates should have a proper understanding of the syllabus, exam pattern and other exam related info to be thorough with their preparations. Candidates can successfully pass the test only if they are prepared. Free and paid study materials are also offered by ETS, the conducting body of TOEFL 2023.

How to start preparing for TOEFL 2023?

Candidates can pick a coaching center and enroll themselves for the coaching before TOEFL 2023 Exams. The candidate should make sure that they are picking the best coaching center and also enrolling them at the right time before the exams. Candidates should be sure about the preparation time required before examination and start preparing well. Candidates willing to do self study should also make sure that they are focusing on the right study materials and giving enough time in preparation.

TOEFL 2023 Sample Papers

The basic criteria for TOEFL 2023 Exam is good command over the english language. The purpose of the exam is to check the ability of the candidates proficiency in English language. The examination has 4 sections and all the four sections are equally important. Candidates after ensuring their preparation in the topics of all the section can check their ability by solving sample papers and attending mock tests. There are different sources providing sample papers. 

Examination Day Tips for TOEFL 2023

Candidates has to be well prepared before appearing for TOEFL 2023 Exam. Candidates should make sure to carry a valid ID like passport with them to the examination hall. The information on the ID should have the following mentioned below.

  • Should be original document of the ID(Not duplicate or photo copy)
  • The activation date should be valid.
  • The full name of the candidate should be present
  • The ID should have the photo of the candidate
  • The ID should have the signature of the candidate

Candidates cannot carry any other personal items other than the ID card to the examination hall. 


Colleges Accepting TOEFL


Popular Exams