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The TOEFL IBT

The TOEFL IBT® test is given in English and administered via the internet. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking and writing) which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete and each section is taken online. Of these, Speaking and Writing are Integrated Tasks since they involve listening and reading tasks before answering questions. The total score is 120.

Reading

The Reading section includes three or four reading passages. There are 12 to 14 questions per passage. You have from 60 to 80 minutes to answer all the questions in the section. TOEFL IBT Reading passages are excerpts from university-level textbooks that would be used in introductions to a discipline or topic. The passages will cover a variety of different subjects.

Listening

The Listening section includes test questions about academic lectures and long conversations in which the speech sounds very natural. One can take notes on any listening material throughout the entire test. The test is comprises of:

  • Four to six lectures, each three to five minutes long, six questions per lecture, 60 to 90 minutes
  • Two to three conversations, each three minutes long, five questions per conversation, 60 to 90 minutes.

Speaking

Your recorded responses are sent to the ETS Scoring Network, where three to six certified human raters score them holistically on a scale of 0 to 4. The average score on the six tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.

Raters do not expect your responses to be perfect, and even high-scoring responses may contain occasional errors. Your pronunciation does not need to sound like that of a native speaker of English. The raters are listening for the effectiveness of your communication and your ability to accomplish the tasks you are given.

Writing

The total time for the Writing section is 50 minutes. One is asked to write responses to two writing tasks: an Integrated Writing task and an Independent Writing task.

  • Integrated Writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture. Then write in response to what you read and listened to.
  • Independent Task (30 minutes) — write an essay in response to a Writing topic
 
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