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TOEFL exam – Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

When you hear about the TOEFL exam, you are probably looking for its meaning, the ways in which you can qualify the exam, and the exact places where you can learn the entire syllabus. You may also have questions regarding the websites offering free courses to pursue the TOEFL syllabus.

You are most welcome to the perfect place answering every query you have about the TOEFL exam. Above all, holding worldwide recognition, TOEFL has inspired many. It stands for Test Of English As A Foreign Language. Several months of preparation, rigorous study, concentration, and research on the English language are all parts of its preparation.

TOEFL exam
TOEFL exam - Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

If you are reading this blog, I assume you have already set your mind to sit for the exam in the coming days. The TOEFL exam is for everybody. Above all, you can pursue a course or continue a career if you qualify. The very first step towards knowing about the TOEFL exam is to know its purpose and understanding the TOEFL pattern.

Pattern Of TOEFL Exam And Purpose

No matter which exam you are sitting for, it is very important to learn the pattern and the purpose. For this examination, the pattern is as important as its syllabus.

If you take your mind into the TOEFL pattern well, the examination won’t be much difficult. The pattern and its understanding will help you study productively and in turn, lead you to a good grade. Therefore you will in a way understand what you should study for, which parts are important than the others and when should you study the sections alternatively.

The TOEFL exam has a total of four-section. Each of the sections has its own specific range of 6 to 20 questions. Even if it’s the English language, it’s difficult, and at times incomprehensible. Studying English from a nursery is not enough. The topics asked in the TOEFL exam are not consistent. The format remains the same. It never changes. Do not study consistent topics, instead, practice so much so that the format is at your fingertips.

The purpose of the TOEFL exam is to assess non-native English speaker ability. If you want to study at a university speaking English or you want to undertake a program in English or work with an organization where most of the employees read and write in English. This non-native English speaking ability test qualification acts as proof of your application to the concerned organization.

To prove that you are proficient in English, TOEFL is one of the accepted ways which are readily accepted by countries worldwide.

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Won’t be bragging long. Students appearing in the TOEFL exam from India are charged USD 180. TOEFL registration is easy and can be completed at its official site.

TOEFL exam
TOEFL exam - Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

Why Should You Take The TOEFL Exam In The First Place

The advantages are no less if you qualify for the TOEFL exam. Qualifying this exam will not only help you get through the University of your choice but also you will help you land better prepared than others. The examination is conducted fairly and free of bias. This test and its scoring is a true representation of your ability.

TOEFL practice tests can be taken from the comfort at your home. Various sites are now promoting full-length tests to help students learn better. All you need to do is search for “TOEFL book online“, and suggested TOEFL books, TOEFL question papers, with TOEFL practice test will flood your feed.

The new enhancements of the TOEFL test have reduced the test length, increased test experience. In addition, it has also improved the technological abilities of the registration site. The official website of the examination now holds a full-length practice test. You will be able to view your score in the form of a detailed report. The registration procedure for the TOEFL exam has been extended lately.

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Sections Of The Examination (iBT & PBT)

The TOEFL exam has four sections – reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The maximum score allotted to each section is 30, which brings us to the overall score of 120. One great thing to know about the TOEFL exam, there are no passing or failing scores. The TOEFL exam comes in two forms – the internet-based examination (iBT) and the other is the paper-based examination (PBT).

Let’s look into the internet-based examination pattern first.

Reading & Listening

The first section is the reading section. It will take approximately 62 to 80 minutes to assess and analyze the written text. The topics allotted to the reading section of the TOEFL exam are mostly from science and academic discussion. The reading section has 3 to 4 passages of 700 words on academic and scientific topics.

A person’s understanding of rhetorical functions is assessed. The ability to understand argumentation, compare and contrast, cause-effect within a span of 62 to 80 minutes will be checked.

The second section is the listening section. The time allotted in this section is usually 60 to 90 minutes. Assessment parameters look into a person’s oral abilities. A set of questions follow after each lecture. Usually, 4 to 6 lectures with their respective questions frame a section. Not only your understanding of the oral version, but the motivation and emotion of the speaker are important for the assessment. This helps to understand if you are physically and mentally stable to comprehend a person’s linguistics. Questions also contain parts of the student conversation. So you may have 6 academic lectures or 2 student conversations or academic lectures and a discussion. Assessment is in the form of organization of information, understanding of ideas, and comprehensive details all under a span of 90 minutes.

Speaking And Writing

The third section is the speaking section. The shortest time frame of 20 minutes along with a set of 6 questions comes in this section. You are allowed to take a microphone during the test and speak out your thought process. In addition to that your idea, way of speaking, understanding, and expression also a part of the analysis The spontaneity with which you come up with ideas, form them into sentences convey your thoughts clearly and coherently is a key determiner. It will help you get through this section once you practice speaking without fear.

The last section we have is the writing section. 50 minutes allotted and all you have to do is to demonstrate how well you can write in English. Your entire set of knowledge on grammar, vocabulary, and sentence formation will come into play here. Two different parts constitute the writing section. It has questions related to integrated writing and independent writing. As an examinee, you have to be clear while you state your opinions and explanations. One single day completes all of the above sections. Total hours allotted include 4 and 1/2 hours.

A short break is usually provided between the listening and speaking sections.

Paper-Based TOEFL Exam (PBT)

Now the paper-based examination is similar to the internet-based exam. With four different sections, listening, structure and written expression, reading comprehension, and writing. The listening section comprises of 30 to 40 minutes, structure and written expression of 25 minutes. The reading comprehension consists of a good 55 minutes and writing has 30 minutes to complete the entire paper.

You can use rough sheets to make notes. You can make scratch notes, and separate pointers while you submit the PBT TOEFL Test. Submit all the rough papers and notes that you use. You are also allowed to eat during the exam. However, only during the break. If required, you can visit the washroom However, all of it comes under the entire time allotted for the TOEFL exam. You cannot carry any electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptop, or tablets. Not even during the official break. Once your examination is over you can get back to the devices.

Score System

Out of the total 120 points, any score above 50% is good but for top ranking schools. It’s best if you concentrate on 75% and above for studying or getting a decent job in the US. Top colleges that include Columbia and Cornell universities require 100% or above for admission.

TOEFL exam
TOEFL exam - Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

The paper-based test score ranges from 310 to 667. The PBT test has 3 score conversion. This includes the listening section of 31 to 68. The structure section of 31 to 68, and reading section 31 to 67. The raw scores conversion is based on factors such as duration of the TOEFL exam, level of difficulty. The determination helps to release a more accurate scorecard. All the universities and organizations looking at the TOEFL score consider internet-based exam as well as the paper-based exam.

For a University aiming 100% in the internet-based exam (iBT TOEFL exam) requires 600 in the PBT TOEFL exam. Universities and organizations claim above a hundred percent for the internet-based exam (iBT TOEFL exam). So a minimum of 100 and above out of 120 will fetch to the top organizations, colleges, and universities.

Defining Each Section Parameter (Reading Section TOEFL Exam)

The passages under this section are usually 700 words long. A certain topic with comparative discussion is usually part of the assessment. The question set consists of historical, scientific, and even philosophical passages. Each passage makes about 12 to 14 questions. Questions can be in the form of a false statement or identification of an argument, for instance.

TOEFL exam
TOEFL exam - Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

The 100 minutes allotted to complete this action depends on the passages and the questions accompanying them. These 100 minutes are at times struck off and brought down to 80 minutes depending upon the difficulty level of the question in the paper. The reading section is the most demanding section. The passages are usually complex and trust me when I say this, do not hope for an easy grammatical one. To do well, try practicing more and more comprehensive passages. Most of the passages are have unfamiliar words that are difficult to take a hint of.

Listening Section TOEFL Exam

This section comprises of different types of audios as a part of the question set. The question consists of 4 to 6 lectures on academic topics. All the questions ask about the contents of what you hear. Emotional and sentimental questions to understand the circumstantial difference is one question type. In other words, questions may refer to what can happen after the situation you hear or what might have happened before the situation that you hear.

The lecture and conversation will play only once. However, there are some exceptions. Some questions allow playing back the audio again. Nevertheless, you cannot choose to depend on this to answer the questions that follow. Answering questions of what you hear only once is difficult, therefore taking notes and making guesses is what you can do to pass through.

Today’s generation is largely focusing on watching TV series on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the like. These series in a way help understand conversational English. One of the hardest tasks to perform in the TOEFL test is answering questions in one go. No repetition. Each of the audios may have a different accent.

In 1 lecture you may have Australian English, the other lecture may have Newzealand English, and the last one may have British English. You can try practice with YouTube videos, TV shows, and also websites such as FluentU. They have recordings of lectures and help you take notes. Your selection will be easy if you practice daily.

Speaking Section TOEFL Exam

Although the newest addition to the examination, this parameter assesses your ability to speak good English. It may seem easy because you have studied English all your childhood and until today, but difficult at the same time. It is not an interviewer asking you questions while you carefully choose to answer with all the selective words, the entire section is impromptu.

Your voice is recorded here and the answers you speak are assessed by someone later. Very little time is allotted to answer the questions. The hardest part of the TOEFL exam is to listen and answer. There are two different sections with six tasks present under each section. You have to speak on everyday topics. This is the independent speaking section. There is no audio exposure here. Questions come in the form of long passages.

TOEFL exam - Your Dream Job, Dream College. Everything You Need To Know!

The four remaining are the difficult ones. Your integrated speaking ability is awarded. Questions from short passages, audio recordings are part of the analysis. You will be then giving 30 seconds time to prepare the answers and another minute to speak on the microphone.

You can practice taking notes as soon as you hear the question, write down the ideas that you would like to speak. Timing is of prime importance here. Remember your accent is not important, all that matters is the correct answer, the correct idea. Your cognitive abilities and the correct thought process.

Writing Section TOEFL Exam

All your English skills get shape here. Your grammatical knowledge, usage of vocabulary, and the ability to write will be a part of the assessment under this category. Here, two different sets of questions comprises of independent writing and integrated writing, for instance. Although similar to the speaking section, the independent writing task allows you to write an opinion on a casual topic. There are no long audio recordings to bother you in this section.

The integrated writing part asks you to write an essay on additional reading material. Sometimes listening materials are also provided. A total of 30 minutes to spend on the independent and another 20 minutes on the integrated task. Take notes, create an outline, and when given a chance to write, join the dots. Writing every day consistently on different passages different topics will help you crack the examination.


Your actual opinion does not matter while you write. You can easily say you love cold winters when actually you do not. All you need to do is write well. Make sure what you write makes sense. A proper introduction, body, conclusion with grammar, the usage of transition words, flesch reading ease, and a consistent flow will get you the desired result.

TOEFL Score Acceptance

It will surprise you, but the score of the TOEFL exam is accepted by more than 11000 universities, institutes, and organizations. These institutes are all over Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, and all across Asia and Europe.

The official website of the TOEFL exam allows you a destination search where you can look up for the dream University or your dream organization. Almost 9 out of 10 universities in the US prefer this qualification over any other English language test. More than the US, Canada has 80% of graduate programs inclusive of this examination test. In conclusion, New Zealand has the maximum number of migrant workers globally, all admitted through the TOEFL exam.

Papri Chatterjee
Papri Chatterjee
Well, just a passionate writer. I work as an HR in my full-time professional capacity. My interest has always been towards unique concepts and matters not much talked about. Avid "Forbes" and "The Guardian" reader. My personal errands include vocab practice. I respect professionalism and highly culture English as a language. The journey of content writing has been long, energizing and motivating so far. Hope to connect well.



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