Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide

Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

Last updated Jan 7, 2022

Welcome! I’m glad you decided to read this blog. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the reason you clicked on this blog is you want to improve your language skills and ultimately ace the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] examination. If that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place! 

Let me take you back to your high-school days. Were you ever in a situation where the teacher asked you a question in front of the whole class and you knew the answer but were too embarrassed to say it out loud because you were not confident in your speaking abilities? Same.

 

If you are serious about studying abroad then having good English proficiency is a must. International students are required to take language tests in order to prove they are fluent in the English language. One of the main language tests in the world is the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL]. TOEFL is the preferred examination for universities in the US and Canada. It is also accepted for admissions by U.K. universities for courses, including all of the Russell Group universities. 

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What Is TOEFL?

Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide

TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] is one of the most famous English proficiency exams accepted at universities abroad, especially in the USA and Canada. This exam tests an international student’s usage and understanding of the English language. ETS (Educational Testing Services) conducts the TOEFL exam and is responsible for setting the TOEFL questions, conducting the test, and sending each examinee their scorecard.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] is a foreign test. It is also a flexible test as students can choose from multiple TOEFL Test Dates available round-the-year and select from the various test centres located across major cities. Students who wish to take this exam remotely at home, can do so thanks to the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition system. TOEFL scores are valid for a period of two years.

Read: 10 Useful Languages For A Student To Know

Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] Registration 

The registration process is fairly simple and straightforward. Here’s how you go about it – 

Step 1: Create a new account or log in to an already existing account on the official website.

Step 2: Build your profile. Students will need to type in all their academic details. 

Step 3: Choose the TOEFL exam date. Students should choose a date that is most convenient to them. 

Step 4: Select the exam centre. Students can select a Test Centre that is convenient to them. Taking the test at home, is also an option provided by Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL].

Step 5: Make the payment. Once the exam date and location is confirmed, students will be directed to the exam payment gateway page. Students are advised to check the details of the examination credentials before paying the TOEFL Examination fee. Once the payment is made, changes made henceforth would attract an additional fee.

Step 6: Print the acknowledgement receipt. Once the payment has been made successfully, students should take a printout of the acknowledgement receipt. This can be done immediately after the payment or later via the account dashboard. 

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TOEFL Test Pattern 2021

Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide

Section: Reading.

Questions: 30 – 40 questions

Duration: 54 – 72 minutes 

Tasks: Read 3 – 4 passages from the academic texts and answer questions based on them.

Section: Listening

Questions: 28 – 38

Duration: 41-57 minutes

Tasks: Listen to lectures, conversations, classroom discussions, and then answer questions based on them.

Section: Speaking

Questions:  4 tasks

Duration: 17 minutes

Tasks: Candidates need to express their opinion on a topic familiar to them and speak based on reading and listening tasks.

Section: Writing

Questions: 2 tasks

Duration: 50 minutes

Tasks: Candidates need to write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks, along with supporting the opinion in writing.

Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] Preparation

Taking the TOEFL can be a stressful experience if you haven’t prepared well. Most test-takers enrol in coaching classes to study for TOEFL, however, the studies can be done on your own as well. It takes roughly around 2 weeks to learn the format of the TOEFL well and take a couple of full practice tests. The best way to ace this exam is to have the right TOEFL study material along with motivation and self-discipline.

Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide

When it comes to TOEFL study material, there are a lot of resources available. The official ETS has its own official preparation books and online preparation. We recommend the following TOEFL study material (Based on the experiences of past TOEFL test takers) – 

  • TOEFL iBT: The Official ETS Study Guide
  • Delta’s Key to the TOEFL iBT: Advanced Skill Practice
  • The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test iBT Edition by Bruce Rogers

Now that you know about the best possible study resources, it is time to think about your Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL] strategy. We’re showing you the 5 top TOEFL preparation strategies –

Become A Good Note Taker 

Since you will get to listen to audio clips only once, it is essential that you become a good note taker. Based on the audio clip, you will be required to answer questions, speak or write on the subject you heard about. In order to become an expert note taker, try listening to different audio clips of different lengths and levels of complexity and then listen to the clip again and see how accurate your notes are. Make sure that your handwriting is legible while taking notes.

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Take Practice Tests

Taking practice tests is an important part of the TOEFL preparation. These tests will help you get a feeling for the test environment, question types and constraints that you might face on test day. 

Read Daily

Every native English speaker builds his/her vocabulary by reading. The trick is that the more you read, the more you are exposed to concepts and vocabulary. Start by reading a range of subjects you are comfortable with in English, and then move on to more complex passages. One never knows what kind of passage will come upon the TOEFL test, so it’s best to have a very wide comfort zone.

Listen To Podcasts

Listening to native English speakers speak English at their natural speed will help develop your listening comprehension. The great thing about podcasts is that you can rewind parts of it to mimic the pronunciation of the speaker. Understanding a recording is more difficult than understanding a video because there aren’t any visual context clues. This makes podcasts better for listening comprehension practice than watching movies or TV shows in English.

Learn To Touch Type

The Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL] writing section requires students to type answers on an unfamiliar computer with a QWERTY keyboard. If you are not dexterous with a keyboard then there’s a good chance that you will struggle with this section. So, make sure you can type quickly in English on a QWERTY keyboard well before your test date. There are lots of free online tools to help you learn touch typing.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on ‘Test Of English As A Foreign Language [TOEFL]: A Complete Guide’. If you wish to read more blogs like this, here are some blogs that we think you will enjoy reading – 

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