Everything You Need to Know about the TOEFL Exam

Everything You Need to Know about the TOEFL Exam

Are you required to take the TOEFL exam but not sure what it is? Well, you have come to the right place. We have compiled all the information you need to know before taking the TOEFL exam. 

The TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an internationally recognized test that measures the English language ability of non-native speakers. So, if you are interested in attending an English-speaking college but are not a native speaker, you may need to take the TOEFL exam as part of your application. The TOEFL exam will show the admission officers at the school you are applying to that you know English well enough to be able to participate in class and complete coursework. 

In order to receive a higher score on the TOEFL, you will need to prepare and study months in advance. Luckily, tests are usually scheduled every week. You just need to find a convenient authorized test center near you. When you register for your TOEFL test, you will need to enter your identification (ID) information and make sure that the name you use when creating an account matches the name on your ID exactly. If not, you will not be allowed to take the test and will lose your testing fee. 

Your ID must:

       be an original document; photocopied documents are not acceptable, and documents cannot be presented on a mobile phone or any other electronic device

       be a government-issued national/state/province identity card that is issued and recognized by the country where you are a citizen or resident

       be valid; expired documents are not acceptable

       include your full name exactly matching the name you used to register, excluding accents or diacritical marks

       include a recent, recognizable photograph

       include your signature (the name on the ID and the signature name must match)

Now, after you have successfully registered for your TOEFL test, you will need to prepare. The TOEFL test has four sections and generally lasts 3½ hours. The four sections of the TOEFL tests are reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

The reading section has 30-40 questions and will be between 54-72 minutes. The reading section will evaluate how well you can read and understand the different types of material that you will see in your university. There are 3-4 passages, and each passage will have 10 questions. Passages are excerpts from university-level textbooks that cover a variety of different topics. There might be plenty of topics and vocabulary that you are not familiar with, but do not worry. All the information that you need to answer the questions will be in the passage. There is also a glossary feature in the test to give you the definitions of words that are not commonly used but needed to understand the question. 

The listening section of the test includes 3-4 lectures that are 3-5 minutes long. The lectures will have six questions. There will also be 2 conversations with different speakers. The conversations will be three minutes long and have 5 questions to answer. This section evaluates your ability to understand lectures in conversations in English. You will have between 41 and 57 minutes for this section. 

After the listening section, you will take a 10-minute break. When the break is finished, you will move on to the speaking section. During the speaking section, you will be asked four questions. Your responses will show your ability to speak English in an academic setting. You will have one independent task that asks you to use only your own ideas, opinions, and experiences to respond. The other questions are integrated tasks. These tasks will require you to do listening and then speaking, or reading, listening, and then speaking. After you have been asked your question, you will have 15-30 seconds to respond. Your response will have to be 45 seconds for independent tasks and 60 seconds for integrated. 

Lastly, you have the writing section. The writing section will have one independent and one integrated question. The independent writing tasks will ask you to write an essay about your own personal experience or opinion. You will have 30 minutes to respond. The integrated tasks will ask you to read a short passage and then listen to a lecture. You will then have to write a response to the prompt using information from the passage and lecture. You will have 20 minutes to respond to this task. 

After all four sections are finished, you are all done with the TOEFL exam. You can send your scores to the colleges of your choice. You will receive an email when your scores are available to view. You can view them in your ETS account about six days after your test date. Unless you requested a paper copy of your scores, then you will need to wait around 11 days after your test date. 

Are you thinking about taking the TOEFL? Find out how our TOEFL preparation class can help you to prepare for your TOEFL exam, or email us at info@aels.eduto learn more!

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Published on October 14, 2020

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