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  TOEFL – Internet-based Test

The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the iBT. The test cannot be taken more than once a week.



    1. Reading

The Reading section consists of 3–5 passages, each approximately 700 words in length and questions about the passages. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the iBT require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.

    2. Listening

The Listening section consists of six passages 3–5 minutes in length and questions about the passages. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. A conversation involves two speakers, a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. A lecture is a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture stimulus is heard only once. Test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.

    3. Speaking

The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent tasks and four integrated tasks. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN) and evaluated by three to six raters.

    4. Writing

The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated task and one independent task. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. The test-taker will then write a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, test-takers must write an essay that states, explains, and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by four raters.



Task

Description

Approx. time

Score Scale

READING

3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions

60–100 minutes

       0-30

LISTENING

6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions

60–90 minutes

    0-30

BREAK

-

10 minutes

 

SPEAKING

6 tasks and 6 questions

20 minutes

0-4 points converted to 0-30 score scale

WRITING

2 tasks and 2 questions

55 minutes

0-5 points converted to 0-30 score scale

Total Score

0-120




Test Scores Compared

IELTS

TOEFL

PTE A

Paper Based

Computer Based

Internet Based

7.5

627

263

107

73 – 79

7

600

250

100

65 – 72

6.5

577

233

90

59 – 64

6

550

213

79

51 – 58

5.5

525

197

71

43 – 50

5

500

173

61

35 – 42




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