Test your English TOEFL

What is the TOEFL test and why is it important?

The TOEFL test, Test of English as a Foreign Language, is essential for non-native English speakers applying to English-speaking universities or seeking visas. It measures proficiency in academic English and ensures applicants can understand and communicate effectively in an English-speaking environment.

Key Highlights

  • The TOEFL exam is an English language assessment used by many colleges and universities to measure language skills and determine English proficiency.
  • The exam has evolved over the years and is now administered a computer-based test known as the TOEFL iBT.
  • TOEFL scores are widely accepted by over 12,500 institutions in more than 160 countries, making it a valuable tool for international students.
  • TOEFLBT consists of four sections: reading, listening speaking, and writing, and skills in academic English- Preparing for TOEFL involves creating study plans, practicing with practice tests, and utilizing online resources like Preply for additional support.


English language proficiency is a crucial requirement for international students aspiring to study in colleges and universities in the United States. While various documents and qualifications are needed for admission, one of the essential aspects that institutions consider is the applicant’s English language skills. To assess these skills, colleges often require applicants to take standardized English language exams, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Duolingo English Test, and others. These comprehensive exams, including the Duolingo English Test, are accepted by more than 11,000 universities and other institutions in over 190 countries and territories. This makes them a popular choice for international students.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of TOEFL and explore its key components, test-taking strategies, resources for preparation, and the importance of TOEFL scores for international students. Whether you’re a student planning to study abroad or an educator looking to guide your students through the TOEFL journey, this guide will provide you with valuable insights to help you navigate the TOEFL exam successfully on test day.

Understanding the TOEFL Exam: An Overview

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized exam designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. It is widely recognized and accepted by colleges and universities around the world as a measure of an individual’s ability to understand and use English in an academic setting. The TOEFL exam, administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is one of the two main options for English language proficiency exams, with the other being the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The TOEFL exam has evolved over the years, transitioning from a paper-based test to a computer-based test and eventually to the current internet-based test format known as TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test). The TOEFL iBT is taken in person at an ETS-authorized testing center, where test-takers complete four timed sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. These sections assess various language skills, including reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking fluency, and writing proficiency. Additionally, for those looking to study in an English-speaking country, the IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System) is also a widely accepted exam option, with changes made in July 2023. This change in July 2023 has made the TOEFL exam shorter, totaling just under two hours. However, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the TOEFL iBT Home Edition has become a popular option for test-takers, allowing them to take the exam from the comfort of their own home while being monitored by a human proctor through a web camera and screen sharing.

Key Components of the TOEFL Test

The TOEFL iBT test consists of four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Each section assesses different language skills and is designed to measure an individual’s ability to understand and use English in an academic context.

The reading section measures the test-taker’s ability to understand academic passages and answer questions related to the content. Test-takers are required to read passages and answer multiple-choice questions that assess their comprehension, vocabulary usage, and understanding of the main ideas and supporting details.

The listening section evaluates the test-taker’s ability to understand spoken English in academic settings. Test-takers listen to a variety of audio recordings, including lectures and conversations, and answer questions based on the information they hear. This section assesses listening comprehension, note-taking skills, and the ability to understand various accents and speech patterns.

The speaking section measures the test-taker’s ability to speak in English. Test-takers are required to express their opinions, summarize information, and participate in conversations. This section evaluates speaking fluency, pronunciation, and the ability to organize and convey ideas effectively.

The writing section assesses the test-taker’s ability to write in English. Test-takers are required to write responses to academic tasks, such as summarizing information from a reading and a lecture or expressing an opinion on a given topic. This section evaluates writing skills, including grammar, vocabulary usage, and the ability to organize and develop ideas.

Overall, the TOEFL iBT test comprehensively assesses an individual’s language skills, including reading, listening, speaking, and writing, to determine their proficiency in English for academic purposes.

Analyzing TOEFL Scores: What They Mean for You

Understanding your TOEFL scores is crucial for assessing your English language proficiency and determining your readiness for academic studies. Here’s what you need to know about TOEFL scores:

The TOEFL iBT is scored on a scale of 0 to 120. Each section, including reading, listening, speaking, and writing, is scored on a scale of 0 to 30. The scores are then averaged to calculate the total score. Institutions often have their own score requirements for admission, so it’s important to check with the institutions you are applying to for their specific score expectations.

TOEFL scores provide an indication of your English language proficiency and can be used for placement purposes. Higher scores typically reflect a higher level of English proficiency, with advanced scores indicating the ability to interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity with native speakers. Analyzing your scores can help you identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. For example, if you scored lower in the speaking section, you may want to focus on practicing speaking fluency and pronunciation.

Additionally, some institutions may require minimum scores in each section or a specific overall score. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the score requirements of the institutions you are applying to and work towards achieving those scores.

Remember, TOEFL scores are just one aspect of your application. Admissions committees consider various other factors, such as your academic achievements, essays, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. However, achieving a strong TOEFL score can undoubtedly enhance your chances of admission and demonstrate your readiness for academic studies in an English-speaking environment.