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toefl test

TOEFL Test Format

Published On: 22 Mar 2012 | Last Updated On: 22 Mar 2012

In India TOEFL test is a well known exam among candidates who are willing to study abroad. Apart from India, other countries where English is considered as foreign language students are required to take TOEFL test. TOEFL scores are accepted by majority of foreign institutes, but in certain cases TOEFL score is not required where a candidate has studied English as a main subject for the last 5 years.

The TOEFL iBT® test is given in English and administered via the internet. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking and writing) which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete and each section is taken online.

Combining All Four Skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing

During the test, you are asked to perform tasks that combine more than one skill, such as:

  • Read, listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Read, listen and then write in response to a question

TOEFL iBT Test Sections


Time Limit




60–80 minutes

36–56 questions

Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.


60–90 minutes

34–51 questions

Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.


10 minutes


20 minutes

6 tasks

Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.


50 minutes

2 tasks

Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

*This chart reflects changes made to the reading section effective November 1, 2011. Prior to November 1, the Reading section contains three to five passages with 36–70 questions, and the timing is 60–100 minutes.

Get more information on the timing and navigation enhancements to the Reading section.

Please read timing instructions for the reading section carefully. The instructions will indicate how many passages you will receive and the amount of time you have to respond to questions for those passages. Be sure to pace yourself so that you will have time to answer all of the questions.

A Standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. It is recommend that candidates should practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard before taking the test.

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