TOEFL

USA Application Guide

Application Guide

9. TOEFL

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TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and was created to measure English proficiency amongst candidates who don’t speak English as a first language. The test is available globally and looks the same regardless of where you take it. It takes 4 hours and consists of 4 parts: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. There is a 10 minute break in the middle of the 4 parts.

 

Reading (60-80 mins; 36-56 questions):

A reading comprehension exercise; you will be given 3 or 4 passages to read and then be asked to answer questions about the content, specific words and formulations.

 

Listening (60-90 mins; 34-51 questions):

You will listen to a mix of recorded verbal discussions and lectures, and then be asked to answer questions about the content.

 

Speaking (20 minutes; 6 tasks):

Most consider this to be the toughest but also most fun part of the TOEFL test. You will be asked to listen to or read a text, and then to verbally answer questions about it. This will test your ability to express an opinion in English speech.

 

Writing (50 minutes; 2 tasks):

This is a two-part exercise including one independently written essay where you should show ability to construct a cohesive argument, and one task to summarise a mix of verbal and written content, demonstrating an ability to grasp key points and summarise them with appropriate language.

 

Scores:

The top score in the TOEFL test is 120; to get into a good university you’ll need a score of at least 100, and for top universities you should aim for higher than that.

 

Logistics:

TOEFL test centres exist in many large and mid-sized cities across Europe, and test dates are relatively frequent. You should register well in advance of your preferred test date to secure your spot and ensure you have enough time to get prepared. All details and registration form is available at: www.ets.org/toefl

 

The test fee is approximately $250.
Universities require you to submit a formal score report from ETS, the organisation that administers the TOEFL test. This is accessible from the same online account you log into when registering for the test. You can order the score report to be sent to the universities you’ve applied to at any point in time; four reports are included in your test fee, for any further reports there is a small additional fee.

 

 

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