TOEFL Test with the exam pattern and Syllabus

Sep 10 • Exam Syllabus, Resources • 8041 Views • 5 Comments on TOEFL Test with the exam pattern and Syllabus

The TOEFL – Global Entrance Exam is also known as Test of English as a Foreign Language. This is an examination to test the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. The entrance is designed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and TOEFL test is a registered trademark of ETS. This was developed to address the problem to ensure English language proficiency of non-native speakers wishing to study at U.S. universities, this has become an admission requirement for  the non-native English speakers at many English-speaking universities and colleges in India. Additionally  institutions such as government agencies, the businesses organizations , licensing bodies or scholarship programs may require this test. The TOEFL test scores are valid for two years after then they are no longer reported. Within this period the candidates with good score in it may even enjoy full scholarship for pursuing Masters in countries like Germany, etc.

Test Format and Syllabus contents

  1. Internet Based Test
  2. Paper Based Test

1. Internet Based Test

Although initially the demand for test seats was higher than availability and candidates had to wait for months and it is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most the countries. It is a four-hour test consists of four sections each measuring one of the basic language skills while some tasks require integrating multiple skills and all tasks focus on language used in an academic and higher-education environment.The note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. This test cannot be taken more than once a week.

It Includes :   1. Reading              2.  Listening                    3. Speaking                    4. Writing

1. Reading

toefl test - reading

Lesson 1 : Reading

The Reading section consists of 3–5 passages each approximately 700 words in length and questions about the passages. Then passages are on academic topics where they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. The passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect of the passages, compare-contrast and argumentation. The students answer questions about main ideas, essential information,  inferences,sentence insertion, details, vocabulary,  overall ideas and rhetorical purpose. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries in the paper. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer required.

2. Listening

toefl test - Listening

Leson 2 : Listening

Listening section consists of six passages 3–5 minutes in length and questions about the passages. The passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The conversation involves two speakers a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. The lecture is a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, that may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject . Each conversation and the lecture stimulus is heard only once. The test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions.The conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. When the questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, implications, important details, relationships between ideas, speaker purpose, organization of information, and speaker’s attitude.

3. Speaking

toefl test - speaking

Leson 3 : Speaking

Speaking section consists of six tasks where there are two independent tasks and four integrated tasks. In these two independent tasks the test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. These are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently.The two of the integrated tasks, the test-takers read a short passage, then listen to an academic course lecture or the conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. The two remaining integrated tasks, the test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. The integrated tasks has test-takers who evaluate on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. The test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. And the test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. Responses are digitally recorded and sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network OSN and evaluated by three to six raters.

4. Writing

toefl test - Writing

Lesson 4 : Writing

Writing section measures a test taker’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks, the one integrated task and one independent task. The integrated task has test-takers who read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. Test-taker will then write a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. The independent task where the test-taker must write an essay that states,  supports their opinion on an issue, explains and supporting their opinions or choices rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. The responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by four raters.

TOEFL iBT Test Sections

TaskDescriptionApprox. Time
Reading3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions60–100 minutes
Listening6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions60–90 minutes
                                                       Break              10 minutes
Speaking6 tasks20 minutes
Writing2 tasks50 minutes

2. Paper-based Test

The TOEFL paper-based Test (PBT) is available in limited locations. These scores are valid for two years after the test date and test takers can have their scores sent to institutions or agencies during that time after the exam.

  1. Listening (30 – 40 minutes)
    Listening section consists of 3 parts and the first one contains 30 questions about short conversations and the second part has 8 questions about longer conversations.While the last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks of the exam.
  2. Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)
    Structure and the Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors in the questions.
  3. Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)
    Reading Comprehension section which has 50 questions about reading passages in the paper.
  4. Writing (30 minutes)
    Writing section has one essay with 250–300 words in average.
Top 15 Colleges in World which accepts the TOEFL score


College NameiBT score (Internet Based)PBT (Paper Based)
Harvard Business School109600
Stanford University100600 (Computer Based: 250)
Oxford University100 (*Recommended: 109+)600 (* Recommended: 630)
University of Cambridge100 (minimum score of 25 in each element)600 * Computer Based: 250
MIT Institute90 (* Recommended: 100+)577 (* Recommended: 600+) * Computer Based: 233 (* Recommended: 250+)
Yale University100600
University of Pennsylvania80 ( Recommended: 100+)550 (Recommended: 600)
Johns Hopkins University100600
Cornell University100600
Boston College100600
Duke University100600
Columbia University100600
Montana State University80-93550-580
University of San Francisco80550
University of Virginia90600

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5 Responses to TOEFL Test with the exam pattern and Syllabus

  1. pranuta says:

    I would like to know if a student scores good in TOEFL Exam is there any better chances of getting admission in good university abroad.Only on the basis of TOEFL do universities take students

  2. Rahul Verma says:

    How I study in aboard

  3. Ashwin Bhoskar says:

    Is there any TOEFL coaching institute in Nagpur ( Maharashtra) ?

  4. vishal bhadkariya says:

    can i get the scholarship for studying in the abroad after clearing the tofel or ielts? if yes. than how?

  5. santoshirani sahu says:

    how to apply for a university?
    and is GRE is mandatory to get into any university?
    or TOEFL is enough?

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