What is TOEFL? Education USA

What is TOEFL?

What is TOEFL?

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized test for measuring the knowledge of English as a foreign language. The main purpose of the TOEFL is to assess the English language ability of non-native speakers. TOEFL results is a prerequisite for admission to more than 2,400 US colleges and universities. In addition, TOEFL is required to participate in many internship programs in institutions, where teaching is conducted in English. Some scientific and professional certification programs also require applicants to provide TOEFL results.

Since 2008, the test can be held online (TOEFL iBT). The test consists of four parts: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. All parts of the test require using a personal computer with a monitor, standard QWERTY keyboard and mouse, and audio headsets.

During the test, candidates are required a combination of skills:

  • to read, listen, and then verbally answer questions;
  • to listen and verbally answer questions;
  • to read, listen, and then answer questions in writing.

Test structure

The approximate duration of the test is 4 hours.

PartTime limitNumber of questionsThe task
Reading60-80 minutes36-56 questionsRead 3 or 4 passages from the texts and answer questions.
Listening60-90 minutes34-51 questionsListen to lectures, discussions in the audience or conversations and answer questions.
Break10 minutes — —
Speaking20 minutes6 tasksExpress an opinion on a well-known topic; speak based on read and listened tasks.
Writing50 minutes2 tasksWrite an essay response based on the tasks you have read and heard; support the opinion in writing.

The test may contain additional questions for parts of Reading and Listening that will not be taken into account.


Point scale
0-30, in increments of 1 point
0-30, in increments of 1 point
0-30, in increments of 1 point
0-30, in increments of 1 point

The TOEFL result is valid for 2 years from the date of testing.

The cost of the test is about 180 US dollars (excluding taxes and commissions).

Learn more about TOEFL

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