What is TOEFL

What is TOEFL?

According to abbreviationfinder, TOEFL is a standardized test for testing knowledge of the English language. The test is accepted by many academic and professional institutions where study is offered in English. TOEFL is one of the two main English language tests in the world. Besides TOEFL, another important test is IELTS.

The test lasts about 3 hours and consists of 4 sections. The sections of this test are arranged as follows: reading, listening, speaking and writing. These skills are considered essential to succeed in an academic institution where English is used as the language of instruction. During the test, these skills must be combined in multiple parts to answer the questions posed. For example, in a part of the test we will have to read, listen and then speak to answer the questions.

This section assesses how well we can read and understand material used in academic settings. The section includes 3 or 4 extracts from the literature of 700 words on average. After reading a passage, 10 questions related to it appear. The questions are always multiple choice and in no case will you have to write the answer. If the test has 3 sections, then you have 54 minutes to answer all the questions, whereas if the test has 4 sections, then you have 72 minutes to answer. Note that during each section of the test, you can see how much time you have to complete the section.

Excerpts from the literature can be from different fields of education and are usually taken from the introductory / introductory part of a discipline or topic. You don’t need to worry if you are not familiar with the topic as all the information you need to answer can be found in the presented passage.

Listening section

This section measures your skills in understanding academic lectures and conversations in English. During this section, you have the opportunity to listen to lectures or conversations.

  • Lectures : They are about a certain academic topic. You can listen to 3 to 4 lectures lasting 3-5 minutes on average and after each lecture you listen 6 questions appear.
  • Conversations : They deal with cases around the university, such as a conversation between a student and a librarian or consultations between a professor and a student about an assignment. In the test you have 2 to 3 conversations in total, lasting about 3 minutes. After each conversation, 5 questions about what was discussed will appear.

While listening to lectures or talks you can take notes and then use those notes to give the correct answer. Depending on how many lectures and talks you have on the test, you have between 41 and 57 minutes to complete this section.

Info: If you have the reading section longer (72 minutes), then the listening section will be shorter (so 41 minutes) and vice versa. This is because ETS for each test introduces new questions to test if it has to officially integrate them into the test. Questions that are in the test phase are not included in the final evaluation process, but we can never know which questions are in this phase. Therefore, we must try to answer each question correctly.

Speaking section

The third section assesses your ability to speak English in an academic setting. It contains a total of 4 tasks in which you will have to answer out loud. These tasks are divided into two categories. In total, this section lasts 17 minutes.

The first task belongs to the first category, which is called “independent speaking task”. In this task, you are shown a question on the monitor and asked to express your personal opinion about it. After the question appears on the monitor, you will have 15 seconds to prepare your answer and then 45 seconds to give the answer.

Meanwhile, tasks 2-4 are included in the category of “integrated speaking task”. In these tasks or questions, you will have to combine your skills in the English language, where in some of the questions you will read a paragraph and then answer about it. In other cases, you will listen to a conversation, read a paragraph about the conversation, and then respond. In this part you will have 45 seconds to prepare your answer and then you will be asked to answer in 60 seconds.

Also in this section you will answer on the computer through the headphones provided by the test center. In this section you need to be well focused as other candidates will be answering at the same time as you, which can distract you and confuse your thoughts.

Writing section

The last section of the TOEFL test is writing. In this section you will be asked to write two essays. In general, this section lasts 50 minutes.

The first essay is an integrated essay. You will first read a short passage about a certain topic and then listen to a lecture about that topic. Then you will have 20 minutes to make a summary of what you have read and heard. While you read the paragraph and listen to the lecture, you can take notes to help you formulate your thoughts while writing the essay. Also, while you are writing the essay, on the left side of the computer you will be able to read the previous paragraph again, while you will be able to listen to the lecture only once. For this reason, you should pay more attention to the part of the lecture, to get the main information. Usually this essay is built in this format: the paragraph talks about a certain topic and supports or does not support it, while the lecture in most cases contradicts what is written in the paragraph. In rare cases it happens that the lecture supports what is said in the paragraph.

In the last part of this section and the test in general, you are also asked to write an independent essay. So, a question will appear in front of you and you will need to express your opinion or experience about that issue through the essay. You will have 30 minutes to complete this essay. Essay evaluation is done by artificial intelligence and certified evaluators to ensure that the evaluation is fair.

At the end of the test, you are shown the preliminary results for the first two sections. In most cases, these points will also appear in the official scores, with rare exceptions. Usually, the full and final result is ready within 6-10 days after you complete the test. In case you are not satisfied with the result achieved, you can be re-tested. Re-testing can be done when at least 12 days have passed since the last test. Currently, the price of the TOEFL test in Kosovo is $190 (with the current exchange rate it translates to €156).

For more detailed information about the test, sample questions for each section, how to reserve a test date and other information, you can visit the official ETS website: https://www.ets.org/toefl /test-takers/ibt/about/ .

Also, with a simple search on Google or YouTube, you will find numerous resources where you can learn more about the test and take practice tests. Pre-exercise is very important because it helps you feel more confident with the test format and manage your time.

What is TOEFL

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