TOEFL iBT Test Format
|Test section||Number and type of questions||Timing||Maximum points|
|Reading||3-5 passages; 12-14 questions in each passage||60 - 100 minutes||30|
|Listening||4-6 lectures; 6 questions each 2-3 conversations; 5 questions each||60 - 90 minutes||30|
|Speaking||2 independent tasks 4 integrated tasks||20 minutes||30|
|Writing||1 integrated task 1 independent task||20 minutes 30 minutes||30|
|TOTAL||230 - 240 minutes||120|
Unlike the computer-based and paper-based TOEFL, some of the sections in TOEFL iBT contain integrated tasks. Those tasks measure the ability of the test takers to combine different language skills in order to communicate effectively and prove they are ready for academic success. For example, test takers may be required to read a short passage, listen to a part of a lecture and respond orally or in writing. In all parts of the test note-taking is allowed.
Choose a section for thorough description:
This section tests the candidates' abilities to understand academic texts and passages to succeed in university settings. The academic reading section aims at three main features:
The reading section consists of 3 to 5 passages. It cannot be predicted whether the particular session will contain 3 or 5 texts. However, if the reading section contains more passages it would be at the expense of the listening part of the test and it will be containing fewer lectures to listen to and vice versa. Each text in the reading is about 700 words with 12 to 14 questions related to the text. Each text in the reading is about 700 words with 12 to 14 questions related to the text. The 1st passage stands alone and you will have 20 minutes to read it and answer the questions. The 2nd and 3rd passages share a total time of 40 minutes, so if you are a bit slow for the second passage you will not be stopped when the 20th minute ends and you could catch up with the third passage. You should be very careful about the time as the system will cut you off right after it ends.
The texts are taken from university-level textbooks readings with just minor changes and cover variety of different subjects and topics. The test takers are not expected to be familiar with the topics. The questions are designed in a way that all information needed for providing correct answer is present in the texts. The texts/passages are classified into three major categories:
Sometimes, texts introduce several prospective or points of view about the topic which candidates should notice while reading. Test takers are asked at least one question to demonstrate their understanding of the general organization of the text. The text could be organized in several common types:
Sometimes, a definition of a difficult word or phrase in the text could be provided. The word or phrase that contains a definition is underlined and differently colored. Test takers have to click on the word so that the definition appears in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
The questions in the Reading part are organized around three major question formats:
This section measures students' abilities to understand spoken English in academic or everyday settings. In order to succeed in an academic environment, students must be able to listen to lectures and conversation and, most importantly, to understand the information provided orally. In TOEFL the academic listening is done for three main purposes:
The Listening section measures the candidate's ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. The section is divided into separately timed parts (2 or 3). Each part consists of 1 long conversation and two lectures. The test takers hear each lecture or conversation only once. Lectures and conversations are 3-5 minutes long. While listening the time is not running. The allotted time of 10 minutes for each section is only for answering the questions.
Academic lectures represent the kind of listening during university classes. Some of the lectures are entirely done by the professor, while in others students are engaged in the discussion by asking or answering questions.
The conversations in TOEFL iBT may occur between students and professor or teaching advisor or between students and university officials.
After each lecture or conversation, candidates have to answer some questions related to the lecture/conversation. The questions typically ask for the main idea, supporting details, and speaker's purpose or attitude.
In the Listening section four question formats occur:
In some questions part of the lecture/conversation is repeated and the question is refers to this particular part of the lecture/conversation.
The speaking section in TOEFL iBT comes right after the 10-minute break. TOEFL iBT Speaking section is intended to measure test takers' ability to speak about a variety of topics. Each question should be answered as completely as possible within the given time. In total, the section consists of six questions divided into two types - independent speaking tasks (question 1 and 2) and integrated speaking tasks (questions 3, 4, 5 and 6).
In academic settings students must be able to:
TOEFL iBT Academic Speaking section tests students' ability to speak effectively under abovementioned criteria.
The speaking section is approximately 20 minutes long and includes six questions. During all the section, test takers are allowed to take notes on a piece of paper and use their notes when speaking. For each question students are given short time to prepare and organize their responses. Test takers are required to wear headphones in order to receive instructions, listen to the questions and be isolated from listening to the others' responses. Test takers provide responses orally, speaking into a digital microphone. Responses are not kept on the computer, but the records are immediately sent to the ETS's Online Scoring Network.
Independent speaking tasks
Question 1 and question 2 ask test takers to speak about familiar topics. Students are expected to provide an answer based on their own ideas, opinions and experience. The answers should be clear and coherent. After hearing the questions students are given 15 seconds to prepare their responses and 45 seconds to speak.
Preparation time: 15 seconds
Response time: 45 seconds
Integrated speaking tasks
(Read/Listen/Speak) Questions 3 and 4 ask students to read a short passage first, listen to a conversation or part of a lecture related to the passage they have read and speak in response to a question. Information from both reading text and listening should be combined into the response. Test takers have to use reasons and examples to support their answer. For reading the passage, test takers are allotted 45 seconds. They also have 30 seconds to prepare their response to the question and 60 seconds to speak.
Reading time: 45 seconds
Preparation time: 30 seconds
Response time: 60 seconds
(Listen/Speak) In questions 5 and 6 students will first listen to part of a conversation or lecture. Further, they will be given the question and 20 seconds to prepare their response. The speaking time for those questions is set at 60 seconds.
Preparation time: 20 seconds
Response time: 60 seconds
TOEFL iBT Writing section measures students' abilities to communicate effectively in writing in academic settings. Students must be able to present their ideas clearly and in an well-organized manner. Responses are typed into a computer and automatically sent to the ETS's Online Scoring Network for evaluating and scoring.
TOEFL iBT Writing section includes two writing tasks:
Task 1: Integrated writing task (20 minutes)
(Reading/Listening/Writing) In the integrated writing task test takers have 3 minutes to read a short text at about 230-300 words. The text is on an academic topic. When the time finishes the reading text disappears. The reading text is followed by a lecture (listening) on the same topic presented from different perspective. The listening passage has the same length - 230-300 words. When the listening finishes the reading text appears again with the question that test takers are expected to answer. A writing box on the screen is provided for typing the response. Students write a summary of the important points in the listening and explain how those are related to the reading text. During writing the reading passage is on screen and students can refer to it every time they wish to. The writing response should be between 150 and 225 words in length. There is a word counter that counts the words in the response.
Task 2: Independent writing task (30 minutes)
(Essay)In this task students are asked to write an essay that expresses and supports their opinion on a certain topic. The support should be based on test takers' own knowledge and experience. This task is the same as the one in the paper-based and the computer-based TOEFL. The length of an effective essay should be minimum 300 words.