Overview Of The TOEFL iBT Exam
his article gives an Overview Of The TOEFL iBT Exam — What It Actually IS — The Basic Format — What Is Unique About It — What The Exam Tests For — What Makes It Awesome! (seriously) — and Where To Go To Learn More. So if you have just found out that you need to, or that you MAY need to take The TOEFL iBT Exam — but you don’t really know anything about it — then this post is a great place to start.
Table Of Contents
n previous posts about The TOEFL iBT Exam — I have gone over the topics of: The Most Important Thing To Know about The TOEFL iBT Exam, and then When To Start Preparing For The TOEFL Exam.
ow we will return to one of the main points of the former post — where-in I stated that the most important thing is to Know The Format Of The Exam itself! Because, if you don’t know this, it is like taking a driving test without even knowing that you will have to drive a car! In other words — it could be a complete disaster.
So What IS The TOEFL Exam?
n my 12+ years of experience teaching The TOEFL Exam — most people who who contact me about The TOEFL already know a little bit about what the exam is. This is usually because they find out that they need to take The TOEFL Exam from a teacher, a fellow student, or someone who works in the admissions department of a university, or for a scholarship organization.
ower — those people usually make my job of helping you more difficult. Because those people are NOT TOEFL Professionals, and usually don’t really know anything about the exam. But they do not hesitate to tell people what the THINK they know — and it is usually wrong. So let’s start from the very beginning.
What You DON’T Need To Know
his information includes: The History Of The Exam — Who Created The Exam — How Many Countries You Can Take The Exam In — How Many Universities Accept The Exam — and “What The Exam Can Do For Your Future”. All of this information is COMPLETELY useless to you as the test-taker. (But this is what makes up the majority of the information on the website of the makers of the exam.)
- The History Of The TOEFL Exam — Who Really Cares!?!?! This Is COMPLETELY Not Important to anyone except the makers of the exam.
- Who Created The Exam — Also… Who Cares!?!?! This Has NOTHING to do with your success on the exam!
- How Many Countries Support The Exam — This is completely irrelevant because you will only be taking the exam in one country… (probably) the one you live in!
- How Many Universities Accept The Exam — Also, this does not matter to anyone, because people do not take The TOEFL Exam for this reason. They take The TOEFL Exam because the university that they want to go to requires it! Besides… you can only go to one university at a time 😆
- “What The Exam Can Do For Your Future” — This is useless information because it should be obvious. You want to go to university and/or get a scholarship. THAT is what affects your future. The TOEFL Exam is simply a necessary step in getting there.
What Does “TOEFL iBT” Mean?
his information is not necessary for your success on the exam. But it is good to know if you have no idea about The TOEFL Exam. Because the name explains what it is. Both parts of the name are Acronyms.
TOEFL Stands For:
iBT Stands For:
don’t know exactly why they chose to not capitalize the letter “i” in the name. But I can imagine that it had something to do with the huge popularity and success of all the “i” products from that that one computer company around the same time that they created this particular version of the exam.
owever — the use of the term “internet” in the name is mis-leading and has caused confusion with a lot of people. You will NOT actually be “connected” to the internet (as we know) while doing the exam. You will be connected to the TOEFL Exam System THROUGH the internet. But you will ONLY be connected to the exam.
ou will not be able to access any other sites, tools, or apps while you are taking The TOEFL Exam. And you can’t just go to some website and take the exam “On The Internet”.
Now On To The Important Stuff…
About The Testing Center
he only & PROPER way that The TOEFL Exam SHOULD be done — is At The Official Testing Center! Yes — there is a so-called “Home Edition”. But as long as it is being conducted in the way that it is (and there are no signs that they will change) — then I will NEVER recommend the “Home Edition” as an option.
he exam is conducted every week — traditionally on Fridays & Saturdays — but in some places, it also happens on other days of the week. However — the schedule is not the same for all locations. It is different for every country, and also every city & town that the exam is held in.
he reason for this is due, mostly, to demand for the exam, and local population size. But the Available Dates & Locations is also — very-often — affected by the current political atmosphere in each particular area. This is also why the exam is NOT available in every country.
he actual “Testing Centers” are usually at universities & language schools. But they can also be in “business centers” — where people go to access computers & conference rooms for working remotely.
inally — another factor to take into consideration when preparing for The TOEFL Exam is availability. Even in places where there are many locations and many dates — they very-often fill-up many months in advance.
So Check Early & Check Often!!!
The Format Of The TOEFL Exam
he entire exam takes about 2 hours to complete. This has been changed from the previous 3.5 – 4 hours that it used to take. And since the exam has been shortened so drastically — there is no-longer any break in the middle of the exam, as there used to be.
he exam is broken up into four different sections, each with it’s own allotted time. You can learn more of the details of each of these sections, including all of the Questions & Tasks in each section in The TOEFL Excellence Training System. Those sections — in order are:
The Reading Section — The First Section Of The Exam, Lasting 35 Minutes
The Listening Section — The Second Section Of The Exam, Lasting 36 Minutes
The Speaking Section — The Third Section Of The Exam, Lasting 16 Minutes
The Writing Section — The Fourth & Final Section Of The Exam, Lasting 29 Minutes
ach section of the exam is designed to test your ability to Comprehend, Combine, and Use the four different English skills to show that you will be able to function in an English-speaking environment with a focus on a university setting.
But The Best Thing About The TOEFL Exam Is…
(at least for many people)
here in NO dedicated “Grammar” Section on the exam. Meaning: You will not be tested on your knowledge of English Grammar. Your USE of grammar will be taken into consideration when scoring your responses in The Speaking and Writing Sections. And your comprehension of the basic points of grammatical structure (such as comprehension of pronouns) will be tested. But you do not have to answer any questions about grammar itself. 😉
Scoring Of The TOEFL
ach section of the exam is worth a total of 0-30 points for a grand total of 120 possible points for the entire exam. Most people will need to achieve at least 80-85 points on the entire exam for whatever University or program for which they are required to take the exam. People entering Medical, Legal, or highly technical programs usually need to score 90-100 points or more.
he scoring for each section is done with a different criteria and will be explained in a future post. But for right now — the most important thing is to simply Learn The Format. And — you will learn all about The Format AND The Scoring for each Question & Task in The TOEFL Excellence Training System.
But What REALLY Makes The TOEFL Exam Awesome… (besides no grammar)
It Is Possible To Make Mistakes On Certain Questions & Tasks On The TOEFL Exam — And STILL Receive A Perfect Score For Those Particular Questions & Tasks 😎
How Is This Possible?
ach of the sections has many different types of Questions & Tasks which are worth different amounts of points (depending on the Section, and the Question- or Task-Type). And — since this is a test of your ability to FUNCTION in an English-Speaking Environment — rather than a test of your memorized text-book knowledge ABOUT the English Language… Well, then The TOEFL Exam makes concessions for minor mistakes in Speaking & Writing.
This is because, no one speaks and writes perfectly all of the time. Making minor mistakes is a natural part of “Authentic English” 😉
Getting Excited Yet?
So Where Do You Go To Get Prepared?
he absolute BEST way to prepare for The TOEFL Exam — is with The TOEFL Excellence Training System. No other course — anywhere in the world — tells you EXACTLY how to succeed on literally EVERY single Question & Task — as well as providing strategies for each section as a whole… But TOEFL Excellence does. 😎
See You There!
Have An Excellent Day!
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