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TOEFL Overview

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is the world's most popular test for assessing the level of English for non-native speakers and their ability to communicate in English in academic and non academic environment. By simulating real class and real campus situations, TOEFL tests assess the candidates' ability to communicate ideas effectively. The language used in TOEFL closely follows the English the students are exposed to when they attend lectures, class discussions, study groups, when they read course books, or need to communicate between each other in everyday life, etc. The topics are gathered from real textbooks, lectures, discussions, course materials and conversations.

TOEFL is used by many undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs around the world as English entry level for candidate students. Because of its reliability to provide objective scoring, TOEFL is widely acceptable worldwide. More than 6 000 academic institutions around the world accept TOEFL scores as an entry level requirement. TOEFL provides unbiased assessment of the essential students' English language skills, therefore, scoring well on TOEFL guarantees that the students' English is sufficient for admission in nearly any school, college or university.

The new generation TOEFL - TOEFL iBT

TOEFL is administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service). By 2005 two versions of TOEFL were available - computer-based test and paper-based test. In 2005 ETS introduced the new generation of TOEFL - TOEFL iBT. The test was gradually introduced first in the USA, Canada, France, Germany and Italy and then in 2006 it was introduced to the rest of the world. The computer-based test was phased out while the paper-based version is still offered to supplement the TOEFL iBT network and also in countries where the TOEFL iBT is not yet accessible. iBT stands for Internet-Based Test. As the name suggests, the new test is delivered via the Internet to thousands of secure test centers around the world.


ETS provides registration for the TOEFL iBT with an easy online application. Here you can register online. Remember, places in the test centers are limited, so early registration enhances the chances that places for the desired date and test center are still available. You also have to register with your name as it is spelled on your ID. Otherwise you may not be allowed to sit for the test.

TOEFL iBT Format

The new TOEFL iBT takes about four hours. The test comprises of four sections - reading, listening, speaking and writing. All the four sections are taken on the same day. 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. For example, test takers may be required to read a short passage, listen to a part of a lecture and respond orally or in written. In all parts of the test note-taking is allowed. For more information about different sections and tasks please, visit the test content page.

TOEFL Preparation

To score high on TOEFL iBT it is extremely important to prepare well for the test. Despite the general English level required there are some other specifics you have to master. On this page we have paid special attention to some test taking strategies in general and specific strategies for each separate test component. Of huge importance is that you do as many tests as possible. It is compulsory that the tests you take closely resemble the real TOEFL iBT format and structure. That is how you get used to the test, to the software used and master your time management for the real exam. In the test menu you can find one free sample TOEFL iBT test and several full TOEFL tests and components. All tests closely resemble the real TOEFL iBT content, structure and test taking software. All tests are scored and thorough feedback is provided. Speaking and writing parts are reviewed by independent assessors that provide feedback individually to each test taker.

On the test date

There are two "must have" things that you are required to bring with you on the test date:

  1. A valid ID with your name, signature and photograph on.
  2. Your registration number - this number is received upon registration for the exam.

TOEFL iBT scoring

Scores are reported online and via e-mail within 15 business days after the test is taken. Paper score reports are also delivered a bit later than the electronic scores. A new ETS service allows colleges, universities, and other academic institutions to view scores online and also to receive scores via e-mail. The scoring information is comprehensive and divided in separate skill-section scores plus the total score. For each skill-section (e.g. reading, listening, etc.) performance feedback is provided. The feedback describes the level of language proficiency of the test takers. It also contains advice on how test takers may further improve their language skills. More details about the scoring are provided on the Tests Scores page. TOEFL iBT results are valid for 2 years.