TOEFL Secrets: Exam Pattern, Registration Fees And How To Register

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You’ve been trying so hard to understand what TOEFL is or you probably know already but its been hectic trying to register or find other information about it. Your search has ended.

If you want to register for TOEFL, but don’t know how to go about it, this article will walk you through the process of registration for the TOEFL exams, preparation tips, materials, test scores etc. Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most popular international English proficiency examination accepted in all the universities around the world. TOEFL tests the international students’ usage and understanding of North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends examination scores to the applicant.

Most times, students are confused if they need to prepare only for TOEFL or other exams are also required for admission to the US, Australian or Canadian universities. How many exams you need to prepare is dependent on the type of course you are applying to study. For all undergraduate courses in the US and some in Canada, you will have to prepare for SAT. For MBA courses GMAT scores are a requirement; similarly, for MS courses GRE scores are relevant. Along with all these exams, you have to take either IELTS or TOEFL exams.

Often, international students do not know how to choose between IELTS or TOEFL, as universities abroad ask for either exam scores. Since TOEFL syllabus is designed to test your understanding of the North-American English, it should be your first choice if you are applying to universities in US and Canada. For other countries, especially the UK and Australia, IELTS is usually the more preferred language exam, but TOEFL is also accepted.

TOEFL test is usually conducted round the year and has more than 50 test dates per year. You can retake the test as often as you wish, but to take a re-test you have to wait for a 12-day period after attempting the first test.

TOEFL exam fee

The registration fee for TOEFL is $170.

TOEFL Exam Pattern

TOEFL exam has four sections namely, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing – along with the total score. It goes without saying that the more you practice TOEFL sample papers, the better your scores will be.

The total score is the sum of the scores of the four skill areas. Scores are usually posted online 10 days after the test date. ETS will send up to four official score reports directly to the institutions the student selects.

Here’s a summary of the TOEFL exam pattern:

SectionDurationQuestionsTasks
Reading60–80 minutes36–56 questionsReading 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answering questions.
Some Listening60–90 minutes34–51 questionsListening to lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations, and then answering questions.
Break10 minutes
Speaking20 minutes6 tasksExpressing your opinion on a familiar topic and speaking based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing50 minutes2 tasksWriting essay responses based on reading and listening tasks, along with supporting an opinion in writing.

Scoring in TOEFL

To calculate TOEFL scores, both human raters and automated scoring methods are used. This is done in order to offer a complete and accurate picture of the candidate’s ability. While the automated scoring method has the advantage of being unbiased, it does not measure the effectiveness of the language and content. Human raters are required to attend to a wider variety of features, such as the quality of ideas and content as well as form.

The four section scores of the TOEFL are divided as follow:

SectionScore RangeMean Scores*
Reading0–3020
Listening0–3019
Speaking0–3019
Writing0–3020
Total Score0–12080

*Source – ETS

TOEFL Result

Once your result is out, you will receive an email when the scores are available, which would be 10 days after your test date. You can log in to your TOEFL iBT account on the TOEFL Registration website to see your scores. Printed score reports will be mailed approximately 13 days after your test date.

Your scores are valid for two years and can be sent to other higher education institutions during that time.

TOEFL Dates

Your target date for taking the TOEFL exam should be at least a month before your first application deadline. This will give you plenty of time to work on your applications, and in case you need to retake the exam you can do so after 12 days of the first attempt.

So if the deadline for your application is November, you should take the exam by October. If you feel the need to retake TOEFL, you can take it in the latter half of October again. You can retake the TOEFL 12 days after your first attempt..

TOEFL Preparation Tips

There are basically two ways all exam-takers prepare for TOEFL i.e. self-study and attending coaching classes. These two methods of studying have unique benefits and none is better than the other. If money is the prime consideration, then self-studies through TOEFL books and resources may be the better option. Similarly, if you need professional guidance to ensure you have some advantage in TOEFL exam preparation, then enrolling for a TOEFL coaching center is the better option. Please visit TOEFL application portal here for more information on how to apply for the exams. Good luck!

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