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The TOEFL Test - iBT (Internet-based Test)

The TOEFL Test - iBT (Internet-based Test)

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. The TOEFL test and the IELTS test both seek to assess a student's language ability level in English. In the case of TOEFL, its aim is to assess the English language skills of students applying for university in the USA .

The first TOEFL test was introduced in 1964 but more recently they have replaced it with the new Internet-based TOEFL-iBT test. This has now replaced all previous tests in the great majority of test centres.

The four-hour test consists of four sections and each one measures one of the basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). The focus of the test is the use of English in an academic environment.

A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then is deleted from the official database.

There are four main sections in the test:


The texts are on general topics. There are a series of questions after each passage, both factual and inferential questions. The questions may involve an information-transfer activity and this could require students to fill out forms, complete tables or manipulate the information in some other way.


The listening passages generally involve a conversation with two or more people, giving instructions or perhaps a lecture. The questions relate to the factual content as well as to the speakers' attitude.


This section contains questions relating to personal experiences or preferences. The students may also be expected to state information clearly, explain ideas, and put forward arguments coherently.


One task requires the students to defend a position on a specified general topic. In the other task, a reading passage and a lecture are provided, and the students must answer questions relating main points in both the passage and the lecture.

In areas where the iBT is not available, a paper-based test (PBT) is given.

Test timetable


Time Limit

No. of Questions


60-100 minutes



60-90 minutes



10 minutes


20 minutes

6 tasks


50 minutes

2 tasks


Listening 0-30

Reading 0-30

Speaking 0-30

Writing 0-30

Total Score 0-120


Learning resources, notes and exercises for international students and teachers of English