Test of English as a Foreign Language

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is an exam developed by ETS that measures the ability of non-native English speakers to function in an academic setting. Many colleges and universities, especially in the United States, require ESL students to submit a TOEFL score before they can apply to a program. The test evaluates listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. The TOEFL is not for beginner ESL students. It is designed for advanced learners who are ready to prove that they have the ability to live and study in an English environment. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the test that you will be taking. The majority of test centers are now using the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT). Before beginning the following practice pages, check with your local test center to confirm that the iBT is available in your region.

TOEFL scores may be aligned to the Common European Framework.

Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT)

In areas where the Internet-Based TOEFL (see below) is not available, the Paper-Based TOEFL is used. The total time you will spend taking the paper-based test is 2.5 hours.

Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL iBT is intended to replace previous versions of the test. It is gradually becoming available worldwide. Changes include the elimination of the structure section, and the addition of the speaking and writing section. Integrated tasks that require the test taker to combine more than one skill have also been added. Some stylistic changes related to language have also been made in order to make the spoken exchanges as realistic as possible. The aim of the TOEFL remains the same as it has in previous forms. A TOEFL iBT score measures the communication skills of those who wish to enter a post-secondary educational facility where English is the native language.

Here is the format of the TOEFL, showing the differences between the paper-based, and internet-based versions. The TWE is required for all PBT takers. An optional TSE (Test of Spoken English) is available for PBT takers who require a Speaking score. Please note, the practice session that follows is based on the NEW internet-based TOEFL (iBT) as the previous versions are being discontinued.

TOEFL Format

Paper-based Test (PBT)

30 minutes
Part A: Short dialogues
Part B: Long conversations
Part C: Mini-lectures

Structure & Written Expression
25 minutes
Sentence completion (15 questions)
Error recognition (25 questions)

55 minutes
(50 questions - approx. 5 passages)

Writing TWE (Test of Written English)
30 Minutes
1 essay topic

Internet-based Test (iBT)

60-100 minutes
3-5 passages (12-14 questions each)

60-90 minutes
4-6 lectures and academic discussions (6 questions each)
2-3 conversations (5 questions each)

20 minutes
6 tasks (2 independent, 4 integrated)

50 minutes
1 integrated task, 1 independent task

TOEFL Practice
Examples for each section of the TOEFL(iBT), including audio, explanatary answers, and sample responses. Note: These practice sessions contain questions that are similar to the real TOEFL exam.

20 TOEFL Tips
Hints and advice to help you. Follow these essential tips to improve your TOEFL score.

More information may be found at ETS.