What is TOEFL? How to pass TOEFL? How to prepare to TOEFL?

TOEFL: your way to getting higher education in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA.

TOEFL is abbreviation for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It’s international test developed by ETS Educational Testing Service in Princeton University, USA. The goal of TOEFL is to estimate a level of English language of foreigner speakers. Many of them need to pass TOEFL to enter 240 universities of USA and Canada, many colleges in other English-speaking countries; business-structures and 150 world countries accept TOEFL certificates. TOEFL used to evaluate English language skills by government structures, international organizations giving educational grants and many license and certificate organizations around the world. TOEFL certificates can be accepted even in UK that have 4 functioning TOEFL centers.

Attention! TOEFL results are good only for 2 years after the test.

TOEFL at a test isn’t very difficult, but it’s not very standart, so some of the questions can be puzzling. Even if you speak English perfectly, you still need to get use to structure of TOEFL test, because there were not so many people who passed it successfully at the very first time. You need to train a LOT, train to answer TOEFL questions and repeat topics you’re not very strong in.

How much TOEFL cost?

From $125 to 150, depends on a center.


Paper-based TOEFL
Until 1998 everybody in the world had to pass paper-based, standard TOEFL. The test consisted of 3 parts: listening comprehension, grammar and reading comprehension. Correct answers should be marked by pencil. Max points were 677. Except for TOEFL itself, you could pass one or two additional tests TWE (Test of Written English, composition) and TSE (Test of Spoken English).
From July 1998 all candidates pass new, computer-based, nonstandard TOEFL.

What are differences between new and old TOEFL?
1. Changed points system. New TOEFL have less questions and max points if 300. You can compare new results to old ones using special table which you can find using the link: www.toefl.org/concords1.html
2. Changed structure of test. Test of written English is obligatory. So now the test consists of 4 parts.
3. First two parts of the test (listening comprehension and grammar) became adaptive – so the difficulty of test depends on your skills. It allows to save time but easy questions give you less points.
4. The new test can be passed not 2 times a year but 4 times a week and even twice a day! You can know your points right away and official results in 14 days (instead of 1,5 months for paper-based test).

How to prepare to TOEFL test?

You can study using special CDs. Usually they contain different strategies of passing the test, test variants and variety of grammar exercises. Answering the test questions, don’t forget to watch the time and appreciate how many of tasks you have ahead.
During the test, you’ll meet several types of questions. Better to study them at home first.

Don’t hurry answering, you can miss some information, even if the answer seems to be clear. After giving the answer, you cannot change it.

TOEFL as it is

Come to the test, having your passport and TOEFL Admission Ticket and Photo File Record. You cannot be late, if you are – you failed it, and won’t get money back. You cannot use electronic devices during the test, any paper, books, cannot eat, drink and talk. Many other “don’t” exist, and if you do something wrong, you can be out of test room with no results.
Test is hold for 3 hours. Choose the level of sound before the test. Once you started working, you cannot change it.

Parts of TOEFL

Listening Comprehension
You’ll listen people speaking, while a monitor will demonstrate you their photos and some other information. This part consists of two: A and B. In A you’ll hear short dialogues between two people. After each dialogue you need to answer a question with 4 variants of answer. In B you’ll hear longer dialogues with more participants, again with questions after each dialogue. Topics can be different, but don’t require special knowledge. It’s usual modern language. You’re going to need some experience in speaking and attention.
Try to answer quickly. You cannot skip questions and go back. If you pass computer test, you can read a question several times and understand it. If it’s paper test, a question would be read only one time, be concentrated!
You can imagine the answer and then try to look for similar variant among offered. In the computer variant of test you can watch a video, sometimes it contains important information related to question.

Structure and Written Expression
There two types of tasks. First is sentences which should be completed with any of 4 variants. Second is sentences with marked words which could contain a mistake.
You cannot skip questions and go back. Choose a variant that seems to be correct.

Reading Comprehension
Paper and computer variants are the same in this part. Read a text before answering. You can go back and answer one more time. If you don’t know the answer, you can skip the questions and answer it later. Answer first all questions related to one part of a text, then pass to another part and so on. Don’t leave questions unanswered.

Test of Written English
You need to study the topics beforehand. Practice writing compositions at home. Check how quick you can type if you’re going to pass a computer test. Using facts, you need to either agree or decline offered statements in half an hour!

TOEFL points

General points (0 to 300) is counted by special formula considering the difficulties of questions.
After the test you can know how many points you got or ask to decline results. It’s better to keep it, though, because nobody will send them anywhere without your agreement. To enter a great US university, you need to get 250 points (600 – paper-based test).

Be calm and don’t be afraid! After passing TOEFL you’ll be more confident in your English language skills!