ETS TOEFL TEST

The ETS TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language® is designed as a standardised test for non-native speakers of English. Many English speaking academic and professional institutions accept the test.  It measures your language abilities and is especially useful if you are a non-native English speaker who wishes to enrol in an English-speaking university. There are no official prerequisites for the test because it is intended for non-native English speakers.

TOEFL Scores and Grades

TOEFL scores are considered valid for two years after you take the test.

For the internet-based test, TOEFL scores come in four sections and a total score:

  • Reading (0–30)
  • Listening (0–30)
  • Speaking (0–30)
  • Writing (0–30)
  • Total Score (0–120)

Over 10,000 universities and educational institutions accept TOEFL test scores in more than 130 countries.

TOEFL SCORES

TOEFL SCORES COMPARED TO IELTS

TOEFL Skills and Knowledge  

You can take the test in one of 4,500 test centres in 165 countries. The test assesses the four areas of the English language: Reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Prepare online to take the ETS TOEFL test 

We have a team of specialist teachers ready to help guide you to the TOEFL score you need. Our online classes via Skype will ensure you are prepared in every aspect of the English language and that you are ready to take the test when the time comes. In fact, at Break into English, our method ensures that students are pushed to the limits, by making exercises more difficult than in the test you are preparing for, we can be certain that when you come to take the test – it will actually feel easy by comparison!   

ETS TOEFL

General information about the TOEFL test

ETS, the Educational testing service developed TOEFL as a test of English as a foreign language. In total, nearly one million students from all over the world sign up to take the test each year. Thousands of universities around the world depend on TOEFL as proof of English language proficiency at application stages. TOEFL aims to test your academic language, however, either British or American variants are acceptable.  Most TOEFL test-takers test are planning to study at colleges and universities using the English language. In addition, some government agencies, scholarship programs, and licensing bodies agencies use TOEFL scores to assess English proficiency levels.

Versions of the ETS TOEFL test

Depending on where you live, there are two versions of the test available. Firstly the traditional paper-based test (PBT) and secondly the computer-based test or iBT. Usually you will have to do this version, however, if the iBT is is not available in your country you will do the PBT.

For younger students, there is an adapted version of the test called TOEFL Junior®.

Where can I take the test?

You usually have to take the TOEFL test at a test centre in your country, you can register online to take the TOEFL iBT ®.

TOEFL test pricing

Each country has a different set price for the TOEFL iBT, although we can say that the prices range from $160 to $240. The paper-based TOEFL is always $160.

TOEFL test structure

TOEFL test structure

Description of the speaking tasks

There are two task types: Independent Tasks and Integrated Tasks. In turn, there are two types of integrated tasks: “Read/Listen/Speak” and “Listen/Speak”. The computer records your voice and then sends your recording for external evaluation. This facilitates standardization of the test. 

Independent tasks

There are two independent tasks, personal preference and choice. Firstly in the personal preference task, you will have 15 seconds for preparation time and 45 seconds to respond. You will have to speak about a person, object, place or event that is familiar to you. In the choice task, you will again get 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to respond. In this case, you will get two opinions or situations. You will have to say which you prefer and give your reasons.

Integrated tasks

The integrated tasks aim to integrate or incorporate other skills, not just speaking skills into the test. The first task incorporates reading, listening and speaking. You have 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to respond. There will be a reading passage and a listening passage that both present a campus-related issue. You must summarize these passaged to demonstrate your comprehension and speaking skills.

Next, another task incorporating the three skills of reading, listening and speaking. You will hear and read passages on academic topics, and finally, you will have to combine and convey important information from the reading passage and the lecture excerpt.

The second integrated task section combines listening and speaking skills only. Again there will be two questions, a campus situation topic and an academic course topic

Description of the TOEFL ® reading tasks

Importantly, this section measures your reading skills with regard to university-level academic writing. There are three reading skills considered in this test: your ability to read to find information, basic comprehension and ultimately skills used in reading to learn.

TOEFL reading test format

There are three categories of academic writing which are included in the TOEFL test: exposition, argumentation, and historical biographical/event narrative. Fortunately, you don’t need to have any previous knowledge about the topics as all the information needed to answer the questions is contained in the passages. The questions are at the end of the passage, so you will have to read first or scroll down to find the questions if you prefer. Passages are about 700 words long.

Details of the TOEFL listening section.

You will hear between 4 and 6 recorded academic lectures which will have 6 questions each. Additionally, you will listen to 2 or 3 recorded conversations with 5 questions each. In a similar manner as in the reading section, there are three main purposes of the listening skills you must demonstrate. 

Firstly listening to obtain basic comprehension, such as getting the gist, understanding key points and following structure. Secondly, you must demonstrate that you can learn from listening, so you have to demonstrate an understanding of various relationships between ideas and show you can trace the development of ideas along the audio recordings. Finally, you must be able to make inferences about the speakers’ opinions and what is implied in speech. In the listening section there are individual headsets for you, rather than speakers in a room. 

Details of the TOEFL writing section

ETS designed the TOEFL writing section to test how well you can produce the kind of English writing that you would need in an academic (university) situation. In total, the writing section lasts 50 minutes, however, consists of two tasks: an independent task and an integrated task.

  • The integrated task integrates reading and listening. You will have to read a passage and listen to a speaker who talks about the same topic, then, write about that topic. You should spend about 20 minutes doing this task.
  • The independent task requires you to take give your opinion on an issue and then support your ideas with evidence and reasons. This task takes a little longer, about 30 minutes.

Independent Task

Independent tasks mean that you are showing your writing skills independently of your other English language skills. You are not expected to read or listen to any information before writing in this section. You will have to give your opinion on a topic, however, the issues in the prompts are very generic, so anyone will be able to form opinions and write about them.  The time limit for planning and writing your essay is 30 minutes. Effective essays are typically around 300 words, in which you will have to give your opinion and back it up with reasons and ideas. Although there’s no upper limit, you should ensure your essay is well structured and of good quality.

The Integrated Task

On the other hand, the integrated task does require you to write about information that you read and listen to. It is called ‘integrated’ because the task integrates your skills in reading and listening as well as writing.

Firstly, you read a short passage and take brief notes. Then, the passage will disappear, and you’ll hear a two-minute long lecture, again, you can take notes. The lecture and the reading text will be about the same topic. Finally, the reading passage will pop back up on your screen, and it will be time to start writing.

Firstly you will always have to summarize the listening passage and explain how the main points are related to the reading text. Again there is no upper word limit, but you should aim to write between 150 and 225 words.