TOEFL : not a personality scorecard But a skill checker

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In education, an examination is just test to show the knowledge and ability of a student and it is not the scorecard of a person’s personality. But it is necessary to take examinations for a cross check whether our learning is going in the right direction or not. So, in this article I will be putting light on the examination which is held world-wide, TOEFL. This examination is designed and administrated by ETS (Educational testing service). Around 2.3 million students take this exam every year.

Before going into the deeper details, we will first have a look what this examination is all about. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers, wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities which is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. The TOEFL score is used as a measure of English language proficiency of a candidate.

The skills that are tested here are Reading, listening, speaking and writing of the English Language. The main purpose of the exam is to assess the English Language proficiency of non-native English speakers.

Coming on to the one of the important to be known for any competitive is the eligibility criteria.

  • Students who have passed their Intermediate Examination are eligible for this exam.
  • But considering the difficulty level of the exam, students mainly prefer to apply for it after attaining an educational qualification higher than intermediate.

Mode of examination and registration fees: –

  • Internet-based and Paper-based.
  • The registration fees for Internet-based test is US$180 (13706.10 INR) .
  • For the Paper-based test is US$180 (13706.10 INR).
  • The late fees are of US$40.
  • The registration process works for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
  • Late registration closes 2 days before your test date and has a late fee of US$40.

So, a candidate can give exam at least 30 to 40 times a year!!

Now coming on to the most important part of the examination ,Syllabus: –

  • Reading Comprehension

In this section, you will be required to read 3-5 passages and answer 12-14 questions on each passage. The section is scored based on the number of correct reading comprehension responses.

·       Listening Comprehension

In this section, you will hear short conversations as well as long conversations. After the short conversation, you will be asked one question and multiple choices of answers will be given. You have to choose one answer. In long conversations, you will be asked multiple questions based on the conversation

·       Speaking Section

For you to earn the highest scores in the Speaking Section, your responses must fulfill the demands of the task given with only minor mistakes or lapses. The test graders are looking for a highly intelligible and sustained conversation. There are three main factors that comprise scoring for the section.

Speaking Questions covered in TOEFL Syllabus:

a) 1 independent task (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)

b) 3 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)

·       Writing Section

The essay should effectively address a topic. The response should be well-organized and well-developed using relevant explanations and detailed support. Furthermore, it should also display unity, progression, and coherence. If you want to achieve a high writing score, make sure that you demonstrate the syntactic variety and appropriate word choice with minor grammatical errors.

The exam pattern and the number of questions asked is summarised below: –

SectionOrderTimeNumber of QuestionsDetails
Reading160-80 mins36-56 questionsRead 3-4 passages and answer questions
Listening260-90 mins34-51 questionsListen to 4-6 lectures and 2-3 conversations and answer questions
Break310 mins
Speaking420 mins6 tasksAnswer prompts about familiar topics, campus situations, and academic course content
Writing550 mins2 tasksCompare a passage and a lecture; write about your opinion
TOTALAbout 4 hrs

Cut-off: –

  • The maximum score that you can score is 120.
  • The cut-off score for TOEFL varies with institution.
  • For some institutes its around 60 to 80 and for some it can go as high as 112.

The link for the sample question paper is given below: –

https://www.ets.org/toefl_itp/content/sample_questions/

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