TOEFL – An overview

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

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

Broadly TOEFL can be  divided into four sections that is Reading, Listening , Speaking and Writing.

Reading: If you are an average student who can understand English well, then you are not going to have any problem with this section. The only thing you should be worried is the time factor. The Reading section consists of 3–4 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.

Listening: If you are good listener and very attentive in the class, you gonna crack this easily or else you should practice. he 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 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.

Speaking: For most of us speaking will be the toughest section as it is  not our mother tongue, as we constantly violate the compulsion of speaking English in schools and of course the speaking section is very impulsive giving no time for preparation.