TOEFL iBT Listening Section
Academic Listening Skills
The Listening section measures your ability to understand spoken English. In academic settings, students must be able to listen to lectures and conversations. Academic listening is typically done for one of the three following purposes:
Listening for basic comprehension
- Comprehend the main idea, major points, and important details related to the main idea (Note : comprehension of all details is not necessary)
Listening for pragmatic understanding
- recognize a speakers attitude and degree of certainty
- recognize a speakers function or purpose
Connecting and synthesizing information
- Recognize the organization of information presented
- Understand the relationships between ideas presented (for examples, compare/contrast, cause/effect, or steps in a process)
- Make inferencesand draw conclusions based on what is implied in the material
- Make connections among pieces of information in a conversion or lecture
- Recognize topic changes (for examples, digressions and aside statements) in lectures and conversations, and recognize introductions and conclusions in lectures
Listening material in the test includes academic lectures and long conversations in which the speech sounds very natural. You can take notes on any listening material throughout the entire test.
Listen section Format:
||Number of Questions
|4-6 lectures, 35 minutes long, each about 500-800 words
||6 questions per lecture
|2-3 conversations, about 3 minutes long, about 12-125 exchanges
||5 question per conversation
The lectures in the TOEFL iBT reflect the kind of listening and speaking that occurs in the classroom. In some of the lectures, the professor does all or almost all of the talking, with an occasional comment by a student. In other lectures, the professor may engage the students in discussion by asking questions that are answered by the students.
Conversion in an Academic Setting
The conversions on the TOEFL iBT may take place during an office meeting with a professor or teaching assistant, or during a service encounter with university staff. The contents of the office conversations are generally academic in nature or related to course requirements. Service encounters could involve conversations about a housing payment, registering for a class, or requesting information at the library.
Listening Question Formats
After the listening material is played, you both see and hear each question before you see the answer choices. This encourages you to listen for main ideas.
There are four question formats in the Listening section:
- traditional multiple-choice question with four answer choices and a single correct answer
- multiple-choice questions with more than one answer (e.g./ two answers out of four or more choices)
- questions that requires you to order events or steps in a process
- questions that require you to match objects or text to categories in a chart
- Note taking is allowed. After testing, notes are collected and destroyed before you leave the center for test security purposes.
- A multiple-choice question measures understanding of a speakerâs attitude, degree of certainly, or purpose. These questions require you to listen for voice tones and other cues and determine how speakers feel about the topic they are discussing.
- In some questions, a portion of the lecture or conversation is replayed so you do not need to rely on memory of what was said.
- In the replay format, you listen to part of the conversation or lecture again and then answer a question
TOEFL iBT Reading Section
Academic Reading Skills
The reading section measures your ability to understand university-level academic texts and passages. In many academic settings around the world, students are expected to read and understand information from textbooks and other academic materials written in English. The following are three purposes for academic reading:
Reading to find information
- Effectively scanning text for key facts and important information
- Increasing reading fluency and rate
- Understanding the general topic or main idea, major points, important facts and details, vocabulary in context, and pronoun references
- Making inferences about what is implied in a passage
Reading to learn
- Recognizing the organization and purpose of a passage
- Understanding relationships between ideas
- Organizing information into a category chart or a summary in order to recall major points and important details
- Inferring hoe ideas throughout the passage connect
Reading section format
|Length of each passage
||Number of passages and questions
|Approximately 700 words
||3 – 5 passages
||60 – 100 min
||12 – 14 questions per passage
The TOEFL iBT uses reading passages from university-level textbooks that introduce a discipline or topic. The excerpts are changed as little as possible so the TOEFL iBT can measure how well students can read academic material.
The passages cover a variety of different subjects. You should not be concerned if you are unfamiliar with a topic. The passage contains all the information needed to answer the questions.
All passage are Classified into three basic categories:
Often, passages present information about the topic from more than one perspective or point of view. This is something you should note as you read. Usually, you are asked one question that allows you to demonstrate that you understood the general organization of the passage. Common organization types that you should be able to recognize are:
You must read through or scroll to the end of each passage before receiving questions on that passage. Once the questions appear, the passage appears on the right side of the computer screen. The questions are on the left.
You do not need any special background knowledge to answer the questions in the Reading section correctly, but the definition of difficult words or phrases in the passage may be provided. If you click on the word, a definition appears in the lower left part of the screen.
The 60 to 100 minutes allotted for this section include time for reading the passage and answering the questions.
Reading Question Formats
There are three question formats in the Reading section:
- questions with four choices and a single answer in traditional multiple choice format
- questions with four choices and a single answer that ask test takers to âinsert a sentence where it fits best in a passage
- Reading to learnâ question with more than four choices and more than one possible correct answer.
Reading to learn questions
These questions test your ability to recognize how the passage is organized and understand the relationships among facts and ideas in different parts of the passage.
You are asked to sort information and place the text options provided into a category chart or summary. The summary questions are worth up to 2 points each. The chart questions are worth up to 3 points if there are five options presented and up to 4 points if there are seven options presented. Partial credit is given in this question format.
Questions in this category are in multiple-choice format. They test your ability to select the answer choice that most accurately paraphrases a sentence from the passage.
You can click on some special purpose words and phrases in the reading passages to view a definition or explanation of the term.