TOEFL Preparation

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TOEFL Preparation

The TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet-based test emphasizes integrated skills and measures all four language skills, including speaking. Each of the four language skills reported on a scale of 0 to 30. There will also be a total score. The content on the test is authentic, and the language is consistent with that used in everyday, real academic settings. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL® test) evaluates the proficiency and general understanding of the English Language for people whose first language is not English.

The TOEFL® test is designed to measure the English-language ability of people who do not speak English as their first language and who plan to study at colleges and universities in Canada and the USA. Language specialists prepare the material for the TOEFL® test. The TOEFL® test Committee of Examiners establishes overall guidelines for the test content and specifications. All the content, questions, specifications, and final test forms are reviewed for cultural and racial bias and content appropriateness, according to established Educational Testing Service (ETS®) procedures.

Who administer the TOEFL iBT?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL pronounced “toe-full”) evaluates the potential success of an individual to use and understand standard American English at a college level. It is required for non-native applicants at many US and other English-speaking colleges and universities. The TOEFL is the product of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is contracted by the private, non-profit firm, the College Board to administer the test in institutions in the US; they also produce the SAT.

What is the structure of the TOEFL iBT?

The TOEFL iBT split into four sections, namely Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The style of English tested throughout is North American English and some questions require you to combine more than one skill through integrated questions or tasks. For example, you will be asked to read, listen and then speak in response to a question.

The Listening section measures your ability to understand spoken English and you answer up to 50 questions using headphones to listen to taped conversations and talks. You have up to 90 minutes to complete this section and note taking is allowed.

The Speaking section is a new section introduced in the Internet Based TOEFL test (this is not in the Computer Based or Paper Based TOEFL tests) and is designed to test your ability to speak in English.

There are six speaking tasks on the TOEFL iBT. On two of these tasks, called Independent Speaking Tasks, you will be asked to express an opinion on a topic that you are familiar with.

The remaining four tasks are called Integrated Speaking Tasks where you will be given information, either written, spoken, or both, about a topic. Then you will be asked to speak for up to 60 seconds about the topic.

You have up to 20 minutes to complete this section and for all the tasks you will be given up to 30 seconds to prepare your response before speaking.

The Reading section measures your ability to read and understand short passages that you are likely to encounter in North American universities and colleges.

You are required to answer questions about the reading passages provided in this section and the time available is up to 100 minutes depending upon the number of questions to be answered.

The Writing section tests your ability to write in English. This section is split into two tasks, one integrated task where you are asked to write based on what you read you and hear, and an independent task where you need to generate ideas on a topic and provide supporting examples or evidence in a clear and grammatically correct manner.

The time available for this section is 50 minutes split 20 minutes for the integrated task and 30 minutes for the independent task.

An important difference between the Internet Based TOEFL and the Paper or Computer Based TOEFL tests is that there is no Structure section in the TOEFL iBT. This is now evaluated in the Speaking and Writing sections.

In total the TOEFL iBT is 4 hours (compared to 3 hours for the Paper based TOEFL and 3.5 hours for the Computer Based TOEFL test) and all sections will be completed in one day.

TOEFL Resources

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