Basic Information and Tips Concerning the TOEFL Exam

If you are planning to study in a university where the medium of instructions is in English, you have to pass the TOEFL exam. Your ability to read, write, speak and listen in English decides if you will be able to get admission and study in a university with an English-speaking environment.

TOEFL is recognized and accepted by more than 10000 educational institutions and universities of more than 150 countries around the world. Being the most popular English language test in the world, the TOEFL Score is widely used as a measurement of English ability of non-native English speaking students.

What does TOEFL stand for?

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and was started by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 1964. ETS is a private organization working on non-profit bases which designs, develops and conducts various tests.

Why take a TOEFL test?

Those looking to study abroad should go through the TOEFL preparation course for the test before applying to a university. The tools and guidance are provided online to help you improve your English and prepare for the exam.

But it is not limited to that and millions of people worldwide have taken the TOEFL to prove their knowledge and proficiency in the English language.

TOEFL score is considered as an important aspect by many countries when you apply for the visa. Thousands of universities, agencies, and other institutions from more than 150 countries require TOEFL score to be a part of your application. It is considered as a proof that you are able to study or work in the English environment.

Who is it for?

TOEFL is generally taken by the people from non-English speaking countries. Most of the test takers do it for speaking practice, writing improvement, listening and understanding the language efficiently and prove their command over the language. If you are one of the below-mentioned groups of people, you should take the TOEFL.

  • Candidates applying for the academic or professional certifications and scholarships
  • People applying for the study or work visas in English speaking countries
  • Students planning to study advanced level courses in universities
  • Students who want to test and measure their English language skill and progress

Anyone with any age can take the test. But if the student is under 15 years of age, an adult person of at least 18 years or older should accompany with a valid ID at the test center.

Basic things about the TOEFL test

The basic information of TOEFL is described in above paragraphs, but you will find below sections very useful as they describe more aspects in detail.

How can I register for the TOEFL test?

The registration process can be done by filling the form and paying the fee online. After you are registered, you have to be present on the selected date at the test center of your country with two of the original acceptable documents and ID proofs.

You can register online anytime as it is open 24×7. However, make sure to register early as it closes 7 days before the test. You can also register 4 days before the test with a late fee of US$40.

Where and how the test is taken?

The test can be given in two formats at your test center, i.e. on a computer or on paper. You can take any format depending on your resource and location. You can check the ETS website for more details on this and the official guide to the TOEFL test.

Computer-based test is called iBT and is taken via the internet. It is arranged more than 50 times in the test centers around the world. This test format measures your English proficiency in four sections, i.e. reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

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There is an unlimited number of retakes available, and you can retake after a period of 12 days. Note that you have to pay the fee for each retake.

The Paper-based test was called PBT and has been replaced with a revised Paper-delivered Test which will evaluate your skills in reading, writing and listening. Your speaking skill will not be measured in this test format.

Though the iBT format is now available in most of the countries, you can choose the Paper-delivered test format if it’s not available in your country.

What is a good TOEFL score?

Each section is comprised of 30 points and there are four sections for four skills, so the attainable total TOEFL score range is 0 to 120. To be considered having a good score, you must have a score in the range of 80 to 90. Most of the universities accept the score of 80 or above.

Some universities consider 90 to 100 TOEFL scores as an acceptable score, and if you are applying to any such university, you should prepare accordingly. You can see the ETS website for the detailed information on scores.

How much does TOEFL cost?

The fee for TOEFL iBT ranges from $160 to $240 depending on which country you live in. You can check the fee applicable in your country on the testing locations page on the ETS website to know more about TOEFL resources and centers. The fee can be paid using a credit/debit card, PayPal, e-check or Western Union Quick Pay.

The cost can be more for late registration, rescheduling, additional score report, cancelled scores reinstatement, review request for any of the speaking or writing section or for both.

Note that there will be no refund in case you fail to follow the instructions given in the registration procedure or fail to present the required documents for your identification at the test center. You can refer to the fees page for more information about the fees structure, acceptable payment options, payment instructions, and refund policy.

How to prepare for TOEFL?

Read every small detail about the TOEFL practice and prepare yourself with all four skills in English before you register for the test. ETS provides all that you need to learn English proficiently and practice different section of the test to be ready for the actual iBT test.

The basic materials like preparation planner, quick preparation tools, past questions, and samples are available free. There are also premium materials like DVDs, eBooks, online tutorials and online listening practice which are paid and available on the ETS store.

There is also an app, TOEFL GO, which you can use to prepare on the go. This app provides you with the free samples and practice questions for all four sections. Also, you can purchase practice tests for reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, TOEFL essays topics, and other materials directly from the app using in-app purchases.

Best of luck!