TOEFL iBT Information and Format

The TOEFL test measures the ability of non-native English speakers to communicate in English in an academic setting. It accurately measures how well students can read, listen, speak and write in English in the college or university classroom.

Test takers have up to 4 hours to complete the TOEFL iBT test. The test has 4 sections: Reading; measures the ability to understand academic reading material written in English. Listening; measures the ability to understand spoken English as it is used in colleges and universities. Speaking; measures the ability to speak English in an academic context. Writing; measures the ability to write in English in a way that is appropriate for college and university course work.

The test is delivered via the Internet at secure, ETS-approved test centers. It emphasizes integrated skills and helps confirm that you are ready to communicate your ideas about what you will read and listen to in your academic courses. Integrated tasks require you to combine more than one skill. You’ll be asked to: Read, listen, and then speak in response to a question. Listen and then speak in response to a question. Read, listen, and then write in response to a question.

Each section of the test has a time limit. If you finish a section early, you can go on to the next section, but you cannot go back to a section you have already completed or for which time has been called. However, in the Reading section you can go back within the section during the time allotted for it. There is a mandatory 10-minute break midway through the testing session.

You should work quickly but carefully on the Listening and Reading sections. Some questions are more difficult than others, but try to answer every one to the best of your ability. If you are not sure of the answer to a question, make the best guess that you can. The questions in the Speaking and Writing sections are each separately timed. Try to answer every one of these questions as completely as possible in the time allowed. For the Speaking and Writing sections, respond only on the assigned topic. If you respond on a different topic, your response will not be scored.

-Information taken from 2012-2013 TOEFL iBT Bulletin -

TOEFL iBT Exam Format

Reading 60–80 minutes 3–5 passages, 12–14 questions each Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes -- --
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

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