Preparation for the Test Of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)
TOEFL iBT (Internet-based test) measures your ability to understand and communicate in English for the academic world. In the past there have been other versions, such as the paper based and computer-based versions. TOEFL iBT defers from former versions dramatically since it measures English in a more integrated fashion; likewise, it has a slant to measure academic skills for academic settings.
In about 4 hours the Internet-based test measures all four language skills in four sections. The reading and listening questions vary in format and purpose from basic information questions to connecting information and pragmatic understanding questions.
The test also includes Speaking and Writing sections with integrated skills where test takers need to demonstrate:
- how much they understand from reading and/or listening;
- to what extent they can be accurate to the information presented;
- how data is organized and related in the context of a class lecture, a reading passage or a conversation between students; and
Test takers are also evaluated against their organization and clarity of ideas and the appropriate use of vocabulary and grammar.
Questions refer to the content and intent of the phrases, as well as to the speakers’ attitude and meaning, either in short conversations or in lectures.
Approximate duration: up to 90 minutes
After each academic reading passage (out of 3-4), questions are posed about content, intent of the author, and ideas inferred from the passage. New types of questions in the iBT require paraphrasing, filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.
Approximate duration: up to 80 minutes
This section contains questions relating to personal experiences or preferences, as well as tasks that also involve reading passages and listening to short conversations and lectures. Test takers are expected to convey information, explain ideas and defend opinions clearly, coherently and accurately.
Approximate duration: 20 minutes
One task requires test takers to defend a position relative to a specified general topic. In the other task, a reading passage and a lecture are presented, and test takers must answer a question relating the main points made in both the passage and the lecture.
Approximate duration: up to 50 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which TOEFL should I take, paper based, computer based or IBT?
A: Although during 2006 the three formats were available, today you can only take TOEFL iBT, that is, the Internet-based version. The computer based test (TOEFL CBT) is no longer available in Chile and most countries. For updates please visit the ETS website at www.toefl.org
Q: Since the test is Internet-based, can I take it at home or at my office?
A: No. You can only take the test in authorized test centers. You will see there is a number of different options across the country.
Q: Why the change in TOEFL?
A: NLC’s founders, Maite Exposito and Mauricio Miraglia, published an article at www.estudiosusa.com which addresses the reasons for the profound change in the TOEFL test. The article also gives you a quick overview of what the new sections are like.
Q: I took the TOEFL some time ago. How do test scores compare in its 3 different formats?
A: Test scores have changed over time. Please make sure you read the latest bulletin for precise information on this topic. Download the current TOEFL Bulletin from www.toefl.org
TOEFL REGISTRATION TIPS
- You can only register through TOEFL Official site (www.toefl.org)
- While registering you will be asked to enter your address and zip code: find out your zip code at www.correos.cl (Chilean students)
- Make sure you keep you username & passwords safe in some place! It can be a real hassle to re-gain access. Once you have registered your profile, you cannot create a new one with a different email address.