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TOEFL Exam : Dates, Types, Eligibility, Syllabus & Latest Updates

By Prabhadri SumanUpdated On - 2023-12-20 06-33-14 IST

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Topics Covered:

  • TOEFL Exam Highlight
  • What is TOEFL Exam?
  • What are the types of TOEFL Exams?
  • Similarities between the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition of the test
  • Why take the TOEFL Exam?
  • Latest Updates for TOEFL Exam 2023-24

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an internationally recognized exam designed to evaluate the English language skills of individuals who are not native English speakers and wish to pursue higher education in English-speaking countries. This standardized test is accepted by over 11,000 prestigious universities across more than 150 nations. 

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by ETS, evaluates the four main academic English skills - reading, listening, speaking, and writing - in a manner that reflects their application in college and university classrooms. As a response to the pandemic, ETS has introduced the TOEFL Home edition, enabling eligible candidates to take the TOEFL test from the comfort and safety of their own homes. This development comes as a pleasant surprise for those seeking to complete the examination amidst current circumstances.

TOEFL Exam Highlight

TOEFL  Test of English as a Foreign Language
Official Website https://www.ets.org/toefl
Exam Level International Level Exam
Sections 4 (Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing)
Exam Mode Online and Paper-Based
Types of TOEFL Exam

(Paper-based (PBT), Internet-Based (iBT) 

Other: Institutional Testing Program (ITP), TOEFL Junior Test, & CBT

Score Validity  2 years
Exam Fees INR 16,900
Conducted By ETS (Educational Testing Service)

What is TOEFL Exam?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an evaluation of English proficiency for those looking to study in English-speaking countries. TOEFL scores become a major part of the application process for people who want to study abroad in an English-speaking situation. Although sometimes the TOEFL requirements can be overlooked, it is completely up to the decision of the university administrators. The Educational Testing Services (ETS) is the organization in charge of the TOEFL exam, administering the TOEFL iBT, and delivering each test taker's test results.

People who are looking to pursue their studies in a foreign country can take advantage of the many TOEFL Test Dates that are available throughout the year. They have the option of taking the exam at one of the numerous test centers located in major cities or remotely from their own home with the TOEFL iBT Home Edition test. Furthermore, those considering taking the TOEFL examination will benefit from being informed about the key topics that are assessed on the test.

What are the types of TOEFL Exams?

There are primarily two types of TOEFL examinations:

1. TOEFL IBT

The acronym IBT represents the TOEFL internet-based test. This particular test has superseded the earlier version known as TOEFL CBT (TOEFL Computer-based Test), which was discontinued in 2006, rendering its scores invalid. When internet and computer resources are accessible, candidates opt for the TOEFL IBT exam. Most testing centers worldwide have embraced an internet-based testing system for conducting the TOEFL.

2. TOEFL PBT

PBT refers to a Paper-Based Test, which is administered in regions where access to internet facilities and computers is limited or unavailable. As of 2017, it has been replaced by a new format called TOEFLE PDT (Paper Delivered Test). The exam pattern and scoring methodology differ from those of the internet-based variant, i.e., the TEOFEL IBD examination.

Other Types

1. TOEFL Junior:

TOEFL Junior is an evaluation of English proficiency at the middle school level. The standard version is conducted on paper, while the comprehensive version is computer-based. The subjects covered in the TOEFL junior standard test include Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, and Language Form and Meaning. On the other hand, the TOEFL Junior Comprehensive test covers Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking Comprehension.

2. TOEFL ITP:

TOEFL ITP stands for Institutional Training Program and is designed to assess English language proficiency within educational institutions' internal structures. It bears close similarities to IELTS PBT (Paper-Based Test) with one key difference—the exclusion of a Test of Written Expression component.

3. Computer-Based Test (CBT): 

It was a popular choice for the TOEFL exam in the past but has been replaced by the Internet-based test. CBT was officially discontinued in 2006.

TOEFL Exam Eligibility

To be deemed eligible for the TOEFL exam in 2023-24, certain criteria must be met:

1. Age : There is no age restriction for taking the TOEFL exam. However, individuals under the age of 16 may need to furnish supplementary documentation to verify their identity.

2. Educational Qualifications : The TOEFL exam does not impose any specific educational prerequisites. Regardless of their academic background, anyone can undertake this examination.

3. English Language Proficiency : Designed for non-native English speakers aspiring to study or work in an English-speaking setting, the TOEFL exam assumes a foundational understanding of the language.

4. Valid ID: When registering for the test, participants are required to provide a current government-issued identification such as a passport or driver's license.

It is worth noting that while universities and institutions worldwide generally accept the results of the TOEFL exam, there may be additional eligibility requirements imposed by individual establishments. Prospective test-takers are advised to consult with their desired institution regarding its specific criteria before proceeding further.

TOEFL Exam Syllabus

TOEFL, or Test of English as a foreign language, is an extensively used evaluation of English language proficiency, especially among those who plan to pursue higher education in the USA, Canada, or other English-speaking countries. This exam is conducted by ETS and comes in three varieties - TOEFL iBT (Internet-based format), TOEFL at Home (home-based TOEFL test), and TOEFL Test on Paper (held at both test centres and homes). This article will be concentrating on TOEFL exam syllabus 2023.

Similarities between the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition of the test

Feature / Description TOEFL iBT  TOEFL iBT Home Edition
Display your highest section scores from a specific exam (e.g., all scores achieved on a TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition test or all scores obtained in a TOEFL Essentials test) within a period of 2 years. Yes Yes
View unofficial scores for the Reading and Listening sections to assess your performance right after the examination. Yes Yes
Get your official score reports in as little as 6 days from the test date. Yes Yes
Conduct your test in the safety and convenience of your own home. No Yes
Finish the entire test in one session: No need to schedule individual appointments for specific sections. Yes Yes

Why take the TOEFL Exam?

In order to pursue higher education or postgraduate studies in English-speaking nations, aspiring students must undertake the TOEFL examination. This test holds significant importance in the application process for foreign universities.

The administration and delivery of the TOEFL assessment and the issuance of score reports are overseen by ETS (Educational Testing Services).

By taking the TOEFL exam, students become eligible for various scholarships, and it also aids them in navigating through the visa application process, particularly those seeking employment opportunities abroad.

The recognition of TOEFL extends to over 11,000 universities and educational institutions across Canada, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe.

To participate in this examination, candidates need to complete a registration process which can be done online or through other means such as phone or mail. Alternatively, they can register with an authorized agent on a face-to-face basis. Please note that online registration closes 7 days prior to the exam, while late registration shuts down 4 days before test day.

Latest Updates for TOEFL Exam 2023-24

TOEFL Exam Pattern will be Shorter from July 26

Starting July 26, the TOEFL exam pattern will be shorter, with ETS (the conducting body) reducing the test duration to just under 2 hours. Alongside this change, several enhancements have been planned to improve the overall experience for TOEFL test takers who wish to study abroad. These modifications align with ETS's commitment to providing a seamless testing experience. For more detailed information about these changes in the TOEFL exam pattern, please visit our website.

TOEFL Exam Fee increases to US$195 from US$190

There is an increase in the cost of taking the TOEFL exam. The previous fee of US$190 has been revised and now stands at US$195 for candidates planning to take their TOEFL iBT test. Therefore, individuals who wish to book their ETS TOEFL exam are required to pay a fee of US$195.

1. As of August 10th, TOEFL iBT is now recognized as a valid qualification for Canada SDS. 

2. However, from July 26, 2023, Australia has temporarily halted its acceptance of TOEFL iBT for visa applications.

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