For international students studying in the US, the TOEFL test – the Test of English as a Foreign Language – is recognized as the globe’s most respected English language assessment exam. More than 125 countries currently utilize the TOEFL exam for admission purposes – countries that include the United States, the United Kingdon, and Australia, among others. The TOEFL test, administered by ETS – the Educational Testing Service, is designed to measure non-native English language speakers’ ability – to speak English if they wanted to attend an English-speaking institution of higher education.
First, given in the early 1960s, the TOEFL test’s latest iteration was released in 2005. The most recent TOEFL version – the TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test) – has been crafted with innovative designs in simulating language, reading, listening, and speaking use in an academic environment. The TOEFL iBT replaced the TOEFL CBT (The Computer-Based Test), which was last used in 2006, and is no longer valid. TOEFL exam is taken in a testing location using online software.
What makes the TOEFL unique to any other English language assessment exam is that it is scored in a central location– which makes it the fairest and unbiased English-language assessment test available. Instead of a test-taker sitting in a face-to-face interview – where the scorer/rater may form a bias (even without trying), the TOEFL test is scored using several exam raters and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology.
While the TOEFL iBT exam is the most widely used exam, there are still certain places where the TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based Test) is still used.
edX was established by the educators at MIT and Harvard as a learning platform that opens access to education to anyone interested in learning. More than 100 institutions and agencies have partnered with edX to offer these education resources.
edX offered TOEFL test prep at no cost, except for those test-takers who wish to earn a verified certificate for $49. edX coursework for the TOEFL test is available as follows –
- The course is 6-weeks in length and requires a committed effort of 2 to 4 hours of studying per week.
- Students have the option to finish the course at their own pace.
The edX TOEFL test prep coursework teaches students –
- How to register for the TOEFL exam.
- How to enhance their English skills.
- Tips for preparing for the TOEFL exam.
- How each of the sections of the TOEFL test is scored.
- How to efficiently manage each of the four TOEFL test sections.
- How to utilize passing TOEFL test scores when applying to schools, employment opportunities, or available scholastic scholarships.
As a result of the COVID-19, the Education Testing Service now offers a temporary at-home TOEFL exam that is available from any internet-connected computer.
The Education Testing Service (the ETS) are the developers and administrators of the TOEFL exam. ETS offers high-quality TOEFL test prep coursework at no cost. More than 1,000,000 individuals have taken ETS’s TOEFL exam coursework from ETS.
This free TOEFL test prep course from ETS offers the following study materials and resources –
- Interactive videos.
- Discussion boards available online, 24/7.
- Tips from TOEFL test experts.
- Short Quizzes to test your knowledge.
- Introductions to each section of the TOEFL test to help prepare students for test day.
- A self-paced course that allows students to study on their own schedule and at their own pace.
In addition, ETS offers these resources for those preparing to take the TOEFL exam –
- An official TOEFL test prep application for those on the go.
- Online webinars and seminars available in English and other languages.
- Study guides and e-books.
- Practice tests that help students gauge their progress.
- Value packs for studying from high-quality resources.
ETS also provides comprehensive information and resources to help students on test-day. Check out their test day hints from ETS by following this link.
Magoosh is one of the quality TOEFL test prep services available for those studying for the TOEFL exam. Magoosh’s name is a play on the word magush – which is Persian for a highly-learned person. Magoosh’s TOEFL test prep offers those studying for the TOEFL the following study materials –
- Comprehensive study materials prepared by education experts.
- A mobile application that allows you to study anytime, anywhere.
- A full-length practice exam.
- Pre-planned study schedules from which students can select.
- 400+ practice questions.
- 125+ video lessons.
- A score predictor, based on the scores of several hundred thousand students.
- Email support, all day, every day.
Magoosh offers several pricing plans, as follows –
- 1-week access that includes all of the above, except the money-back guarantees. Cost – a one-time fee of $39.
- 1-month access that includes all of the above. Cost – a one-time fee of $49.
- 6-months access that includes all of the above. Cost – a one-time fee of $89.
Magoosh offers a solid money-back guarantee that those who complete the course will increase their score by a minimum of four points – or receive a complete 100% refund, in addition to its 7 day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
4. The Princeton Review
For more than three decades, students have utilized the Princeton Review’s high-quality test prep materials. The Princeton Review’s mission is to provide innovative test prep services that allow students to realize their academic goals by tearing down barriers. The TOEFL test prep study materials offered by the Princeton Review include –
- Study materials prepared by academic experts.
- Free TOEFL practice test that can act as a baseline score for any student.
- Engaging content.
- Efficient and strategic coursework.
- A guarantee that a student will improve their score, or the option to retake the Princeton review TOEFL test prep course at no cost.
Princeton Review is serious about test prep services and offers a private tutoring option by subject matter experts. Tutoring services begin at $167 per hour and includes the following –
- Online tutoring or in-person tutoring.
- Setting up study plans, which includes setting realistic and achievable goals.
In addition, the Princeton Review offers students interested in learning more about its services by enrolling in a free information session.
5. Best My Test
Best My Test was established in 2014 with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia. Best My Test offers a variety of TOEFL test prep interactive study materials through these available TOEFL test prep plan options –
- The last-minute option – offers –
- 1,000+ practice questions.
- 2,000+ vocabulary words
- 200 TOEFL lessons.
- Twenty 3-hour TOEFL simulated tests.
- Cost – $39 for seven days of access.
- The Premium option – offers all of the above plus the following –
- 25 essay grammar corrections
- 25 ask instructor questions.
- 20 speaking reviews.
- 10 writing reviews.
- Moneyback guarantee if the student’s score does not improve by at least 15 points.
- Cost – $189 for 6 months access.
- The Customized option – offers all of the last minute option features plus
- The option to select access from one to six months.
- 5 essay grammar instructions and 10 ask instructor questions.
- 4 speaking reviews.
- 2 writing reviews.
- Moneyback guarantee if a student’s score does not improve by at least 17 points.
- Cost – $69 for up to six months.
6. Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep was founded more than eight decades ago. This TOEFL test prep service has served millions of students across the globe in more than 35 countries.
Kaplan Test Prep provides a self-paced TOEFL course that offers students the following features and advantages –
- More than 180 video lessons led by teachers and experts.
- Four full-length TOEFL exams that simulate real TOEFL exams.
- Proven Strategies to help students maximize their TOEFL scores.
- A coursebook that includes more than 110 practice problems, which is delivered to each student by the US Postal Service.
- All features are available online and include audio sections.
- A money-back guarantee that if a student does not pass the TOEFL, they can ask for their money back or choose to enroll in the course for another three months at no cost. Must contact Kaplan Test Prep within fourteen days.
The cost for Kaplan Test Prep’s TOEFL test prep course is $349, which is also offered to those eligible for $30 per month, with no interest charges – students must qualify for this ‘paying on time’ option.
Udemy was created to provide online learning options to those students who may have trouble finding quality test prep materials. Udemy now offers coursework in more than 60 languages. As a global leader of TOEFL test prep study options, Udemy offers more than 150,000 courses in pretty much any subject one can think of.
First, it is essential to note that Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all courses they offer. Additionally, Udemy offers more than 50 study options for TOEFL test-takers. A sample of these TOEFL test prep study options include –
- The Complete TOEFL Success Coursework – at the cost of $18.99, this bestselling option includes 10 hours of coursework plus more than 85 lectures. Level – intermediate.
- The TOEFL Prep Emergency Coursework – at the cost of $15.99, this option includes 5 hours of coursework plus more than 59 lectures. Level – intermediate.
- TOEFL Speaking – A Complete Study Guide – at the cost of $12.99, this option includes 4.5 hours of coursework plus more than 47 lectures. Level – intermediate.
- TOEFL Writing – A Complete Study Guide – at the cost of $12.99, this option includes 2.5 hours of coursework plus more than 28 lectures. Level – beginner.
8. English Success Academy
English Success Academy offers a variety of TOEFL test prep study options that are sure to help students improve their scores or pass the TOEFL test on their first attempt. English Success Academy offers the 6-week ESA Method which includes the following –
- An ESA learning kit that is mailed to each student, although much of the studying is done online through ESA’s step by step study plan. US students receive it in less than a week, whereas international students may not receive the kit for several weeks. Students enrolled in the ESA method receive –
- A seat in the ESA classroom for the 12 topics and essentials of success.
- Free enrollment for future classes.
- Score analysis for all four sections.
- 60 homework assignments
- Personalized feedback.
ESA Essentials is offered with a trial period of 30 days for students to test out the course, with a prorated refund during this time. The program’s cost is $1,200, which can be paid in one, two- or three-monthly payments, with no interest charges.
ESA also offers self-paced coursework for those students who are motivated and ambitious. These study guides include –
- Advanced Speaking
- Delta’s key to TEOFL iBT
- 24 Writing Tutorials
- A free TOEFL class.
What is the TOEFL Test?
The TOEFL test’s objective is to assess the proficiency of non-native English-language speakers when speaking, reading, writing, and listening – when using the English language. Most TOEFL iBT test-takers are students who hail from non-English speaking countries but want to attend an English-speaking college or university.
What is the TOEFL exam?
More specifically, the TOEFL test has been developed to measure those non-native English-speaking individuals’ ability to effectively communicate using the English language in activities and tasks required to successfully navigate a degree program offered by a college or university.
The TOEFL test helps international non-native English-speaking students prepare to enter an English-speaking institution of higher learning with confidence. AS you prepare and study for the TOEFL exam, make sure you have a complete understanding and answer to the questions – What is the TOEFL exam?
The next section delineates what is the TOEFL test and what is on the TOEFL test.
What is on the TOEFL Test?
If you are thinking about taking the TOEFL test, it is important that you can answer the question – What is on the TOEFL exam?
Knowing what is on the TOEFL test is smart to begin creating a study plan tailored to your specific needs.
First, though, before detailing what is on the TOEFL test, it is important to detail the TOEFL test’s format and testing information.
- The TOEFL exam is given using a secured internet-network of computerized testing locations around the world.
- Those taking the TOEFL exam do so with noise-canceling headphones when speaking into a mic, or typing their writing responses.
- The test-taker’s answers are digitally recorded and forwarded to the Education Testing Service online network of test scorers. The writing and speaking sections are scores differently and detailed below.
The TOEFL iBT test is organized into four fundamental categories. Each category of questions focuses specifically on one English language skill – reading, writing, listening and speaking. The TOEFL iBT test version of the test can now be finished in about 180 minutes or 3 hours, whereas the previous versions often took two days.
Here is a breakdown of the TOEFL iBT test questions and exams –
- The Reading Section consists of reading passages and then appropriately responding to questions regarding the passages’ content. The number of questions is 30 to 40 questions, with a time limit of 54 to 72 minutes.
- The Listening Section consists of listening to discussions in classrooms or lectures and then responding to questions regarding the lecture or classroom discussion content. The number of questions is 28 to 39 questions, with a time limit of 41 to 57 minutes.
At this time, a ten-minute break is given to students.
- The Speaking Section – consists of speaking into a microphone that is followed by a discussion regarding the concepts heard and listened to. The number of tasks is 4, with a time limit of 17 minutes.
- The Writing Section – consists of reading a passage, listening to a recording, and then types a written response. The number of questions is 2 tasks, with a time limit of 50 minutes.
What is on the TOEFL Test – Test Content
The Listening Section
The listening section calculates an individual’s ability to understand spoken English within an academic environment. During this part of the TOEFL test-takers listen to three/four lectures or discussions that are about five minutes long. These lectures and interactions represent several typical academic situations – but note, test-takers need no special training or background to pass the test.
Each of The Listening Passages Includes A Set Of Queries That Demonstrates The Student’s Ability To Understand –
- The primary ideas.
- The details.
- The relationships between ideas.
- The narrator’s function or attitude, among others.
The Reading Section
The reading section calculates an individual’s ability to understand reading passages that are written at a university level – that are about 750 words each. Test-takers must answer ten questions about each passage based on their ability to
- Understand and retain factual information.
- Infer information.
- Discern vocabulary.
- Determine the author’s objective for writing the passage.
The Speaking Section
The speaking section calculates an individual’s ability to speak English effectively in academic settings – in and outside of the academic classroom. The speaking section of the TEOFL test includes four tasks – three tasks are integrated, and one task is independent of all others.
- The independent speaking task requires the test-taker to reference their own opinions and experiences.
- The integrated tasks are –
- Listen to a lecture’s excerpt that details a concept. Test-takers must then speak their answers regarding the academic course topic.
- Read a passage that offers a broad definition and then listen to a lecture that offers examples as illustrations. Test-takers must then speak their answers about the selection and the audio recording of an academic course topic.
- Read a passage regarding a usual campus circumstance, then listen to a conversation regarding the academic or campus situation. Next, the test-taker responds verbally to the problem by answering test questions.
The Writing Section
The writing section calculates an individual’s ability to effectively write the English language within an academic setting. The writing section includes two tasks –
- The Integrated Writing Task – test-takers read a passage that concerns an academic subject. Then they listen to a partial lecture that assesses/criticizes the information in the passage. To conclude, test-takers then compose a summary regarding the lecture’s essential points and how they relate to the contents of the reading passage.
- The Independent Writing Task – test-takers are required to pull from their own experiences and knowledge regarding their opinion about a specific issue.
How to Pass the TOEFL Test?
Most people start to feel anxious at the thought of taking the TOEFL exam. Students who understand that properly preparing for the TOEFL test are among the best ways to ace the exam and generally pass the exam on their first try. Before you begin studying for the TOEFL test, be sure to answer these questions –
- What is a good score on the TOEFL test?
- What is the highest score on TOEFL test?
- How can I learn how to pass the TOEFL exam tips?
Consider these helpful hints when preparing to sit for the TOEFL exam –
- Be certain to practice. The reality is the more practice and studying you can do, the higher you will score on the TOEFL test.
- Take advantage of the many resources available – some at no cost.
- Be certain you are ready to take the test.
- Commit to the study plan you create.
- Focus on vocabulary and grammar. It helps to learn a few new words or English expressions each day.
- Try to only use words on the exam that you are familiar with.
- Check out the study materials offered by ETS.
What is the highest score of the TOEFL Test?
About ten days after you sit for the TOEFL iBT, the test-taker’s score is reported online. Additionally, test-takers will also receive a copy in the mail 4 to 6 weeks after the exam.
- The TOEFL iBT has a scoring range of 0 to 120 points – with 120 points being the best score. Each of the four TOEFL sections is scored from 0 to 30 points.
- TOEFL scores remain valid for 24 months from the date of your TOEFL test.
- Most universities tend to utilize the Total TOEFL score.
- The Paper-based test has a score range from 310 to 677.
- Students can take the TOEFL exam as many times as they want; however, test-takers can only take the test once in a three-day timeframe.
- TOEFL scores can be sent to up to four higher education institutions – that were selected before you sat for the test.
Resources for International Students
Best Online MBA Programs for International Students