The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is one of the two major standardized tests in the world, having the scope of evaluating the English language skills of non-native English speakers. These tests are accepted in most countries which have English as the native language, with the test being more oriented towards English-speaking professional and academic institutions.
A bit about the TOEFL test
The test was first developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics with the help of a linguistic professor from the Stanford University. The test has become one of the most important evaluative tests of the English language and a requirement by most US universities as well as other academic institutions in English speaking countries.
The TOEFL test scores are valid for two years from receiving the scores after which a new test must be taken if the person wishes to apply at another institution.
Types of TOEFL tests
Since its initial development, 3 types of test formats have been introduced: the internet-based test iBT, the computer-based test or CBT and the paper-based test or PBT. The computer-based test has progressively replaced the two other formats, with the CBT being discontinued in 2006 and the PBT being used less regularly in most parts of the world.
The Internet-based TOEFL tests
The iBT is split into four sections for the four major English skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. With the introduction of the Internet-based test, the availability has greatly improved as well as having waiting times shortened. The test has a maximum allowed time of four hours, and each of the sections might have tasks requiring multiple skills, all of which focus on language which would be used in a higher education or academic environment.
The Paper-based test
The Paper-based TOEFL test is currently available in limited areas. Just as in the case of iBT tests, the test scores are valid for two years and these can be sent to institutions on behalf of the test taker during this period of time. The PBT is taken in less time than the iBT with a maximum time allowance of two and a half hours. The test contains four main sections as well: Listening, Structure and Written Expression, Reading Comprehension and Writing.
Scales and test scores
The scale on which the internet-based test is scored is from 0 to 120 points. The Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking sections are scaled from 0 to 30 points each, the points being added at the end in order to obtain the final score. Speaking questions are scored 0 to 4 points each while writing questions from 0 to 5.
The paper-based tests are scored from 310 to 677 points, with the Listening and Structure sections being scored from 31 to 68, the Reading section from 31 to 67 and the Writing section being scored separately from 0 to 6 points. The first three section scores are not percentages of correct answers and they will be converted in order to obtain the final score.
If you would like to learn more about the TOEFL test, locations, dates as well as prices on tests, you should enter their main website as you will find all the information you need.