What is the TOEFL?
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It an American based test of English language proficiency and is the most widely used language test. If you want to go to university in the U.S., any "Western" country, or even in Dubai, you will probably have to take the TOEFL.
Who makes the TOEFL?
The TOEFL was developed by the same company that created the SAT, the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
What's on the TOEFL?
There are two commonly accepted versions of the TOEFL, the paper based test (PBT) and internet based test (iBT). The version you have to take depends on the requirements of the university you want to attend.
The TOEFL iBT is the latest version of the test and is taken on the computer. The test is designed to measure integrated skills that you will need in a university environment. It includes four sections: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. For the reading, you will have to read several passages and answer questions. For listening, you listen to campus conversations and academic lectures and answer questions. The speaking section requires you to talk into a microphone and respond to questions asked about yourself or about a listening assignment. There are two parts to the writing: one essay about a listening assignment and one essay about your opinion on a topic.
The TOEFL PBT is an older version of the test and is taken with pencil and paper. It includes three sections: reading, listening, and structure/written expression (grammar). An essay is not part of the TOEFL PBT but you may also be required to take the Test of Written English (TWE), which requires you to write you opinion about a topic.
How is it scored?
The TOEFL iBT is scored from 0 to 30 in each of the four sections for a maximum total score of 120. The TOEFL PBT is scored from 310 to 677. Don't worry if you have taken one test and your school requires the other; there is a conversion that compares the two tests. For example, if you earned a 500 on the PBT, that score converts to a 61 on the iBT.
What is a good score?
There is not really a pass or fail on the TOEFL. A good score is the score that gets you into the university you want to attend. While many universities in the U.S. require an 85 or 90 on the iBT, schools in Dubai usually ask for a 61 to 80.
If you are going to university in Dubai, be sure to check your college's admissions requirements. If classes are taught in the English language, you must score at least a 500 on the TOEFL or you will have to enroll in the universities' Intensive English Programs. Many universities will not let you take classes within your major (for example, science) until you have scored at least a 500.
What else do I need to know?
For more information about the TOEFL, go to www.ets.org/toefl. You can also register for the test at the ETS website.
How do I prepare for the TOEFL?
The TOEFL is designed for people that already have a strong English ability. If you can read and understand this blog, you probably speak English well enough to begin your TOEFL preparation. If your English ability is not as high, consider enrolling in English courses, reading books, and listening to English language programs until you are ready to take the TOEFL.
APPLY ME offers TOEFL preparation as part of our hourly services. Visit the Private Test Coaching page to learn more about how we can prepare you for the TOEFL from start to finish or prepare you with our TOEFL Intensive and test series if you've already taken the SAT and GMAT.