The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized English Language Test which is used to provide admission in English Speaking Universities. It is used to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers who wish to enroll in English Speaking Universities and colleges. TOEFL is one of the major English-language tests in the world. The TOEFL Scores are accepted by many English-Speaking Academic and Professional institutions. The TOEFL is designed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization. Since its administration, this test has been taken by more than 23 million students.

A TOEFL Score is generally valid for two years from the date of the test and will no longer be valid since the candidate’s language proficiency could have changed during this time. The College Board and ETS have jointly take the responsibility of the conduction of TOEFL Test in the year 1965. Whereas in 1973, The College Board, ETS, and the Graduate Record Examinations board of advisers had made a cooperative arrangement to oversee and run the program. All the Students who wish to study in English Speaking Countries should take the TOEFL Exam except some of the Commonwealth nations (Nations part of Anglosphere like Mozambique or Namibia, Hongkong). However, the commonwealth nations outside the Anglosphere, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc, have to take the TOEFL Exam, even though they may have English as the de facto official language.

The TOEFL is conducted as both internet based and paper based test. Depends on the Convenience students can take any of these tests. Though the Internet-based test is widely used all over the world still there are some selected areas using Paper based testing. And you don’t have any limit on the test attempts. You can take the test any number of times, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. The TOEFL Examiners Committee is composed of  12 specialists in linguistics, language testing, teaching or research. This committee focuses on current trends and methodologies to ensure the test is a valid measure of English language proficiency.

TOEFL Internet Based Test

Since its introduction in late 2005, the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) has replaced the computer-based tests (CBT) and Paper based Tests (PBT). Though Computer based tests have been used widely before the introduction of the Internet-based tests was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid. In the year 2005, The TOEFL iBT has been introduced in phases with the United States, Canada, Germany, France, and Italy. And in rest of the Countries, it was introduced in 2006, with test centers added regularly.

Initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to wait for months. It is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills), and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once every 12 days. The four sections of the TOEFL iBT Test are Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.


The Reading section consists of passage questions. In total, it consists of 3-5 passages of each approximately 700 words in length. The passages require the understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast, and argumentation. The topics that will be given in passages are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Students should Answer this Questions with main ideas, inferences, details, essential information, vocabulary, sentence insertion, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. The New type of questions in TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries too.


The Listening section consists of six passages of each 3-5 minutes in length. The test taker should answer the questions on six passages. These passages include four academic lectures or discussions and two student conversations. The Lectures are the self-contained portion of an academic lecture that involves student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. And the conversations involve a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. Both Conversation and lecture passage are heard only once. There are five questions associated with each conversation and six with each lecture. The Listening section assesses the student ability to understand main ideas, implications, important details, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose, and speaker attitude.


The Speaking section of the IELTS exam consists of six tasks including four integrated tasks and two independent tasks. The independent tasks are used to evaluate the student ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In the two independent sections, the test-takers need to answer questions on familiar topics. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the remaining two integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. The Integrated task section evaluates the student ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. The test-takers may take notes while listening & reading and can use their notes to prepare their responses. The test-takers will be given a short preparation time before beginning their speaking.


The writing section consists of two tasks such as one integrated and one independent section. This writing section is conducted to assess the test taker’s ability to write an academic setting. The integrated task section consists of a passage on an academic topic, the students should read this passage and then listen to a speaker discuss it. After listening to it the test taker should write a summary of the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task he test-taker must write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. All the responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least 3 different raters.

TOEFL iBT Test Pattern

S.No Task Description Approximate Time
1. Reading 3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions 60 to 80 minutes
2. Listening 6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions 60 to 90 minutes
3. Break Mandatory Break 10 Minutes
4. Speaking 6 tasks 20 Minutes
5. Writing 2 tasks 50 Minutes

TOEFL Paper Based Test

The TOEFL Paper Based Test is available in limited areas where the internet based test can not be conducted. The scores achieved in Paper Based Test (PBT) are also valid for 2 years. And the test takers scores sent to the institutions or face time. The Paper based TOEFL Test also contains four sections namely Listening, Structure and written expression, Reading Comprehension, and writing.


The listening section of the paper based TOEFL Test consists of 3 parts. Among the three parts, the first part consists of 30 questions about short conversations. The Second part has 8 questions about longer conversations and the last part consists of 12 questions about lectures or talks. The test-taker should complete this section in 30 to 40 minutes.

Structure & Written Expression

The Structure and Written Expression section consist of 15 exercises of completing sentences and 25 exercises of identifying errors. And the total duration of this section is 25 Minutes.

Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension section has 50 questions about reading passages and should be completed in 55 Minutes.


The TOEFL PBT include a writing test called the Test of Written English (TWE). In average it contains one essay question with 250-300 words. The total duration of this section is 30 minutes.