The TOEFL test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world; this test is given in English and administered via the Internet. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking and writing) which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete.
TOEFL Test Sections
The Reading section consists of questions on 4–6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length. The passages are on academic topics. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas.
The Listening section consists of questions on six passages, each 3–5 minutes in length. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. Each conversation and lecture passage is heard only once. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six.
The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard.
The Writing section measures a test taker’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices.
|Reading||60–80 minutes||36–56 questions||Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.|
|Listening||60–90 minutes||34–51 questions||Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, and then answer questions.|
|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.|