As an aspiring international student wanting to study in an English-speaking country, you may need to sit for a TOEFL test. Introduced in the year of 1964, the acronym of TOEFL is the abbreviation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language, which is the standard name of the test. This test is conducted to analyze the English ability of potential candidates in terms of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Each of these skills are essential requirements for academic studies. Widely accepted by global institutions, this test ensures student success in their respective fields of study, in a country where the educational curriculum is taught in English. 



TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language
Sections4 (Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing)
Types of TOEFL ExamMain Types: (Paper-based (PBT), Internet-Based (iBT) Other types: Institutional Testing Program (ITP) & TOEFL Junior Test
Score Validity 2 years
Conducted ByETS (Educational Testing Service)

The TOEFL is a four-hour long, computerized examination comprising of four specific sections: 

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

TOEFL is an umbrella term for a suite of tests, the most sought-after of which are TOEFL iBT and the TOEFL Essentials test. Several other tests that fall under the blanket term of TOEFL include TOEFL Junior, TOEFL Primary, and TOEFL ITP (Institutional Testing Program). Primarily accepted as proof of English language proficiency, the TOEFL test is generally taken by students who seek admission in the United States of America. However, TOEFL scores are also accepted by universities outside and beyond the USA. 

The following countries accept TOEFL scores: 

  • The United States of America
  • The United Kingdom
  • Australia 
  • New Zealand 
  • Canada 

The Educational Testing Services is responsible for conducting the TOEFL test and issuing the score card. After taking the TOEFL test, the students become eligible for several scholarships. Moreover, the test scores help them in the visa application processes, especially those who are seeking overseas employment opportunities. Accepted in more than 11,000 educational institutions and universities, the TOEFL test scores may be used for purposes of work, study, and settling abroad. 

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
TOEFL SectionsProficiency Levels
TOEFL Reading SectionScore Range 0–30Advanced (24–30)
High-Intermediate (18–23)
Low-Intermediate (4–17)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)
ListeningScore Range 0–30Advanced (22–30)
High-Intermediate (17–21)
Low-Intermediate (9–16)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)
SpeakingScore Range 0–30Advanced (25–30)
High-Intermediate (20–24)
Low-Intermediate (16–19)
Basic (10–15)
Below Basic (0–9
WritingScore Range 0–30Advanced (24–30)
High-Intermediate (17–23)
Low-Intermediate (13–16)
Basic (7–12)
Below Basic (0–6)
TOEFL Total Score0 – 120


More than 27 million people take the TOEFL test every year. Students planning to study abroad and apply for scholarships, sit for the test, along with those who are looking to apply for visas. To appear for the TOEFL test, interested students must complete the registration process via the online method (email or phone), or through an authorized agent. It must also be noted that the registration window for the online method closes 7 days before the commencing of the examination. 

There are several reasons why a TOEFL test may be important for you: 

  • TOEFL test scores are an important part of the university application process in a predominantly English-speaking foreign country. 
  • When appearing for the TOEFL test, students become eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities. 
  • TOEFL test scores assist students in their visa application process, as well as employment opportunities overseas. 
  • The TOEFL test is accepted by more than 11,000 universities across the globe, including Canada, Australia, United States, The United Kingdom, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand. 
  • TOEFL test scores can be used for study, work, or even purposes of immigration. 


TOEFL tests are of three types; Paper Based Test (PBT), Computer-Based Test (CBT), and Internet-Based Test (iBT) respectively. Out of these, PBT and iBT are the most important and commonly used tests. Other types of TOEFL English Tests include TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (IPT) and TOEFL Junior Tests. These two tests are described below:


This test is conducted via offline mode. With a total time duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes, the test comprises three sections and is conducted only in areas where there is no internet connection available. 

SectionDurationTotal Number of QuestionsTypes of Questions
Reading35 minutes20 MCQs2 Reading Comprehension Passages with 10 questions each
Listening36 minutes28 MCQs2 Conversations with 3 lectures and a total of 28 questions
Writing29 minutes2 Constructed Responses1 Integrated Task & 1 Independent Task


This test is conducted over a duration of 2 hours and has replaced the Computer-Based Test ever since 2006. 

Sections TaskTotal Number of Questions Duration Score 
Reading2 Reading Passages20 Questions  35 minutes 0-30 
Writing 2 Writing Tasks2 Questions 29 minutes 0-30
Speaking4 Tasks 4 Tasks16 minutes 0-30 
ListeningLectures &Conversations28 Questions36 minutes0-30


  • Be well aware of TOEFL score requirements in different schools and universities.
  • Absorb the test format including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 
  • Prepare a study routine for yourself and focus on each section carefully. 
  • Go through academic passages and other relevant study materials.
  • Refer to lectures in English and make a note of the key points mentioned.
  • Maintain notes in English while going through passages or listening to recordings.
  • Work on time management skills, and try finishing passages within strict deadlines and word count.
  • Focus on improving your vocabulary and try learning new synonyms.
  • In the case of an Internet-Based TOEFL Test, practice writing with a QWERTY keyboard. 


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Just like the basics of anything act as “building blocks” forming a strong foundation for constructing complex structures. The Basics of Immigration serve as the foundational elements of moving abroad, for any aspiring immigrant.

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