TOEFL – About, Test Prep and Study Guide

Non-Native English speaker planning to study in USA, should take mandatory test to show English proficiency. One such test is TOEFL – Test of English as Foreign Language.

TOEFL is administered by ETS.

TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level.

TOEFL iBT evaluates your ability to to listen, read, speak and write at university academic tasks.

There are two formats for the TOEFL test depending on the location of your test center.

  • TOEFL iBT test (internet based test)
  • Paper-based Test (PBT)

Who Takes the TOEFL iBT Test?

Each year, nearly a million individuals take TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

TOEFL iBT Test Sections

Section Time Limit Questions Tasks
Reading* 60–100 minutes 36–70 questions Read 3–5 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

TOEFL Test Prep

Test taking tips for TOEFL

  • Practice speaking in a microphone before going to the TOEFL test. I could not do this and as a result of this my speaking section score suffered. As a result my overall score dropped a bit. I could only manage 106, although I could have easily obtained more than 110.
  • Try to keep your focus. It’s difficult because others might be having speaking section when you are attempting the same section or some other section. It causes a lot of distraction. I had problems initially but adjusted later on.

Preparation tips for TOEFL

If you have already written your GRE and obtained good score then you are almost ready to take the TOEFL. It’s much easier and since the words are always in context, it’s easy to decipher its meaning.

Apart from this you should take the practice TOEFL test available online on ETS website, after you register for TOEFL. I could not take this entirely because I could not get time off from my work schedule and so was a bit low on confidence.

How I Scored 116 in TOEFL

As for TOEFL, I got 116. I  didn’t take coaching. I bought the TOEFL Barron’s a month before my exam but prepared for about a week, not with the best concentration. If you’re  basically comfortable with the language, scoring over 100 shouldn’t be a problem. I was dissatisfied with my test centre (buzzing headphones, disturbance in the room, etc.),  but in the end it all turned out well.

If possible, book a seat early at the Prometric standard test center. Preparing for TOEFL can be fun! Watch English movies  or sitcoms during study breaks(tell yourself it’s practice for the listening section, it partly is) The day before my exam, I settled down and watched a season of  ‘Friends’:)

You have many resources online if you can’t buy the book. The speaking section is important and is considered while awarding students teaching assistantships. It  requires practice, so spend more time on this section.

TOEFL Test Experiences

Following is the links to TOEFL test takers experience (as shared by test takers).

  1. How to Score 114 in TOEFL iBT Without Preparation
  2. See How Easily You Can Score 117 with this TOEFL Study Plan
  3. Warning: Use These 4 TOEFL iBT Strategies at Your Own Risk
  4. TOEFL at Kurnool – Test Center Change and Met a Lovely Girl
  5. ETS: $60 Refund and Free TOEFL Test (and shabby emails)
  6. TOEFL Preparation for the LAZY people
  7. TOEFL iBT Score – 100
  8. TOEFL Study Tips – I Scored 114 in TOEFL iBT
  9. How I Scored 102 in TOEFL iBT
  10. TOEFL Study Plan and Tips
  11. 10 TOEFL Test Taking Strategies
  12. How To Score 30/30 in TOEFL iBT Speaking Section
  13. TOEFL Test Prep Tips to Score Above 90

 

18 Comments

  1. Emmanuel on February 20, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Can i study for tofel pbt with ibt preparation materials?

  2. abi on December 6, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Hello.! I live in Oregon, US, I am on H4, and decided to take Tofel, Please Guide me From where to start?? Is that required to take both GRE and TOEFL?? Is here any one year coarse to do as already i have did four year graduation degree.

  3. Vandana on October 1, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    i need to give toefl for my masters in U.S.. Please help me out how to start and from where. I will be very much obliged to u. Thanks.

  4. suyash on July 8, 2015 at 2:47 AM

    hey will you please tell me good universities… my gre score is 285 and TOEFL
    100

  5. suyash on July 8, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    hey please suggest me good universities for ms in ece.. my gre score is 285 and TOEFL not given yet, but it will be 100

  6. roopali on June 5, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    hi i do not wanna buy any books for TOEFL can anyone suggest any sites for online preparation ?

  7. dechen on December 12, 2014 at 4:49 AM

    i took the toefl test but due to some techical problems ,they couldn’t hear my speaking section. they told me about something voucher.could anyone please help me to know where can i get this voucher?i would be very happy if someone replies this question because i really need it to know but i don’t know where ,how do i get my refund.

  8. Falak on June 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Hi Raghu … I live in Massachusetts US, I am on H4, and decided to take Tofel, Please Guide me From where to start?? And List the Low cost Universities who accept Tofel, No Gre Required,
    Thanks

  9. Anirudh Ch on May 17, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    I want do ms but i am bit confused about taking TOEFL or IELTS .
    please suggest me which exam i had to take.
    are there any universities in us give admission based on only TOEFL/IELTS scores

    • Pallavi on May 18, 2013 at 5:59 AM

      Choice of exam depends upon the place where you want to study. If you want to study in USA then TOEFL is the best choice & if rest of the world then go for IELTS. But in my opinion If you haven’t decided about the exam then go for IELTS just because of following reasons-

      1. Length of IELTS -2 hours 45 minutes TOEFL- 4 hours.
      2. TOEFL speaking section-Student responses are recorded for later grading.
      IELTS speaking section-Face-to-face interview with an examiner.
      3. In TOEFL You may have 1 experimental reading and/or experimental listening set
      In IELTS -No experimental sections.
      4. There is a good website ielts4u which could help you in clearing the exam. But they basically offer audio files. For online course they are charging minimum $25 per month & $45 for three months.
      5. There is a good website notefull.com is an excellent & tested online coaching medium which could help you in clearing the exam. Their complete course is very beneficial(personal experience) which costs $137 + endless use of material.

      But only good thing about TOEFL is it is internet based whereas IETLS is paper based
      No, there is no such good university which will give you admission only on the basis of TOEFL in USA and in case if you will find any then you will be asked to provide GRE/GMAT to support your application. But in UK /NZ/Australia there are universities which give admission on the basis of IELTS.
      I think that might help you to decide.

  10. ashi on April 26, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    what u wil suggest for me im not native english but i wana score good marks please help me.

    • ali on July 14, 2015 at 2:55 AM

      hi. ashi. getting high score in tofel or any english tests is very easy.just study and listen every day .and pleasure from english as your second language .

  11. julie on March 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    HappySchoolBlog rocks !!.It guides you the right books to choose .

    TOEFL I prepared for 5 days maximum.. I utilized it partially not fully .
    Books : ETS official guide.. pretty affordable ..THIS IS MUST and this is enough at least for the folks who are from english medium.This book gives the exact pattern of the exam.I prefered this book becoz of my GRE exam .POWERPREP was apt in deciding the type of questions in verbal section.so some how i felt to buy this and i had very less gap b/w gre and toefl . i bought this book 4 days before exam .
    I am happy for the score in less preparation time.Felt I would have done much better if I prepared for 10-15 days

    I don’t watch English movies at all.Neither blog writer.
    SCORE : 102 🙂

    KAPLANS TOEFL book I invested 1800.worthless..too too toooooo elaborative and I though bought book its like i havent gone through complete book .i used it for reading and listening. but writing and speaking i did nt have tyme.:(

  12. Meet Malde on September 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Hey, my TOEFL score is 99. Can you tell me how many and which US universities will I miss? Thank you!

  13. lakshmi.s.n on June 6, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    i wanna do ms in abroad so i have go through relative exams…so please tell me any exams related to do the M.S

    • Narender Singh on January 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      sweet heart just go for GRE & IELTS,

      Good Luck

  14. Abayomi on May 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I wont to study Electrical Electronic And computer in usa how do i go about it?

    • Narender Singh on January 15, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Just select only one stream, than opt for good universities, file applications online, do GRE/IELTS, prepare for embassy & fly to America.

      Go to Las Vegas & Miami beach & have fun,

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