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The Test of English as a Foreign Language, which was first held in 1964 under the name TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), was originally a test required for admission to universities in the United States, but today it is worldwide in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. It is accepted by more than 9000 universities and institutions in 130 countries, including Turkey.

The TOEFL test is offered as both a paper-based TOEFL PBT (paper-based test) and an internet-based TOEFL iBT (internet-based test). Its main purpose is to measure your ability to understand spoken and written English and to familiarize yourself with the appropriate structure of written English at the university level. It assesses your ability to both speak and understand English by analyzing your English ability in terms of reading, speaking, listening and writing. These are all skills you will need to carry out your academic studies, and the exam is used by institutions to ensure that students progress and succeed in their chosen major in a country where classes are taught in English.

Why should you take the TOEFL Exam?

Today, educational institutions and government agencies in more than 130 countries accept TOEFL scores when evaluating applications for specific positions or courses. As an admission requirement, you may find that some courses require a minimum TOEFL score that will allow you to attend the course in addition to the normal course requirements. Minimum score requirements can range from 61 to 100, depending on the institution and course.

Your TOEFL test result will only be valid for two years, after these two years they are no longer recorded, so if you want to apply to study abroad after this period, you will have to take the test again. If the result is part of the requirements, it is important to ensure that you take the exam on time for your application; If you're only studying on a one-year course, the same TOEFL results can also be used to enhance your opportunities to study in a foreign country.

What are the TOEFL Test Types?

TOEFL test types are divided into two. The main difference between the two TOEFL test formats is the oral part of the test, which is replaced by the structure and written expressions part in the paper-based test.

1. Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)

  • 60-100 minute reading section with 3-5 passages of 12-14 questions each.
  • 60-90 minute listening session with 6-9 parts with 5-6 questions each
  • Speaking section that lasts 20 minutes and includes 6 oral tasks
  • Writing section that takes 50 minutes and includes 2 tasks to complete

2. Paper-based test (TOEFL PBT)

  • 30-40 minute listening session consisting of 3 parts
  • 25-minute structure and narrative section with 15 sentence completion exercises and 25 error detection examples
  • Reading section lasting 50 minutes and answering 50 questions about passages
  • 30-minute writing section containing a written essay of approximately 250-300 words

What is the TOEFL Exam Structure?

The Reading section (60-100 minutes long) assesses your ability to understand and analyze written texts on topics such as science and academic debates. In the TOEFL reading section, participants are given 3 or 4 academic texts and are asked to answer the questions prepared based on these texts. The number of TOEFL questions in this section can vary between 36 and 56, so the time given to the participant in the reading section varies between 60 and 80 minutes.

The listening section (60-90 minutes long) may vary in terms of the number of questions and duration. In the TOEFL listening section, participants are asked between 34 and 51 questions, with a response time of 60 to 90 minutes depending on the number of questions and listening passages. Participants listen to lectures, class discussions, and conversations and answer questions.

The Speaking section (20 minutes) is to measure how well you can express your thoughts and ideas in English. In order to be successful in the TOEFL speaking test, you can also prepare your own speech on the topics asked in previous exams, determine how your speech will be and practice.

The writing section (50 minutes) is all about demonstrating how you can use your English in writing. In the TOEFL writing section, you will create clear sentences and paragraphs to practice your grammar and vocabulary.

Where to take the TOEFL Exam?

There are many tests you can probably take throughout the year around the world. There are 4,500 TOEFL test centers in 165 countries, so it will be an easily accessible center for you. You can find your nearest test center on the official TOEFL website, which includes the location of the test centers and the format they run the test.

Before applying, it is important to check the admissions requirements of your chosen university or institution to see if TOEFL results are required for entry. If so, the next step is to get you to find a testing center to run your test. Note that once you have your TOEFL results, it only takes 2 years to record them; so make the most of the hard work and money you spend and improve your future prospects.

How is the TOEFL Exam Scored?

Candidates receive a score out of 30 for each section of the TOEFL test. In addition to these four individual points, you get a total of 120 points. Candidates also receive performance feedback summarizing what they can do.

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