The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is designed to assess an individual’s understanding and use of English in an academic environment. The tests can be conducted in the form of “paper tests” (pBT) or “internet tests” (iBT). For those wondering how a TOEFL score is calculated, this article provides a brief overview of the key elements used to evaluate performance.
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Both web-based and paper-based tests are conducted in controlled environments at authorized test centers. To register for a test, contact the nearest test center that can be found with a simple internet search. With over 4,500 test centers worldwide, hopefully you can find a center near you. Click the link at the bottom of the article.
Reading: 25% of the total score.
Duration: 60-100 minutes.
The test includes: Reading 3-5 passages and answers to 12-14 questions.
This assessment involves reading 3-5 passages of approximately 700 words and answering questions related to the text. All excerpts are academic.
After reading the text, the candidates answer a series of questions to check their understanding. The questions relate to: main context, ideas, conclusions, key information, vocabulary and background information. The content of the course does not require any prior knowledge, as is the case with all subsequent tests.
Listening: 25% of the overall rating
Duration 60-90 minutes
The test includes: Listening to 6-9 passages and answering 5-6 questions.
This section involves listening to 6 passages of 3-5 minutes and answering questions related to the passage. The excerpts are academic in nature, typically involving student interviews or lectures and discussions.
Each audio recording is heard only once and test takers can take notes while listening. Each conversation is accompanied by 5-6 questions that need to be answered to measure the ability to understand: main ideas, key details, intentions, and the purpose and attitude of the speaker.
Saying: 25% of the total score
Duration: Twenty minutes
The test includes: 6 tasks and 6 questions
This section covers 6 tasks, 2 of which are independent and 4 are integrated.
In the case of independent assignments, the candidates answer questions on known topics.
Candidates are assessed for their ability to answer questions spontaneously and to communicate their ideas clearly and consistently. The audio recordings are academic.
In the integrated activity, test takers must use skills and answer questions in the reading and listening material, and have some time to prepare before speaking.
Writing: 25% of the total score
Duration: 55 minutes
The test includes: 2 tasks and 2 questions
This section measures the candidate’s ability to write in an academic setting. The test consists of 2 tasks, 1 integrated and 1 independent.
In an integrated assignment, candidates read an excerpt and listen to an audio recording on the same topic. They then have to write a summary of the key points of the fragment and associate it with the audio recording.
In a self-assignment, candidates are required to write an essay expressing their opinion on the topic, not just answering the selection.
The results of the four individually assessed tests are collated to produce the final score. There are no pass or fail scores, but educational institutions and employers may require certain scores to meet the entry-level requirements.
For paper tests, the results range from 200-677 and the result above 600 is very good.
For online testing, scores range from 0-120 points, and scores above 97 are considered very good.