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Home > TOEFL iBT Format: Topic wise Question Details

What is the structure of the TOEFL iBT?

The TOEFL iBT split into four sections, namely Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Section Time Limit  No. of Questions Score
Reading 60-100 min 36-70

3-5 passages,

12-14 questions each

Listening 60-90 min 34-51

Academic Lectures

4-6 lectures, 3-5 minutes long each,

6 questions per lecture,

Campus Conversation

2-3 conversations, about 3 minute long, about 12-25 exchanges,

5 questions each

Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 min 6 Tasks

2 independent

2 question, 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds respond2 Integrated Reading + Listening

2 question, 45 seconds to read, about 2 minute to listen, 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds respond

2 Integrated Listening

2 question, about 2 minute to listen, 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds respond

Writing 50 min 3 Tasks

One integrated reading + listening task

1 question, 3 minutes to read, about 2 minutes to listen, 20 minutes to prepare and respond

Two Independent Essay

2 question, 30 minutes to read and prepare and respond, 1-5 raw points for each essay

Total Score (The total score is the sum of the four skill scores.) 0-120

Your section scores will be added to get your total score of between 6 and 120 points. Theoretically, you can get a combined score of 0 points, but ETS’s field tests to date, the lowest combined score has been 6 points.

The style of English tested throughout is North American English and some questions require you to combine more than one skill through integrated questions or tasks. For example, you will be asked to read, listen and then speak in response to a question.

The Listening section measures your ability to understand spoken English and you answer up to 50 questions using headphones to listen to taped conversations and talks. You have up to 90 minutes to complete this section and note taking is allowed.

The Speaking section is a new section introduced in the Internet Based TOEFL test (this is not in the Computer Based or Paper Based TOEFL tests) and is designed to test your ability to speak in English.

There are six speaking tasks on the TOEFL iBT. On two of these tasks, called Independent Speaking Tasks, you will be asked to express an opinion on a topic that you are familiar with.

The remaining four tasks are called Integrated Speaking Tasks where you will be given information, either written, spoken, or both, about a topic. Then you will be asked to speak for up to 60 seconds about the topic.

You have up to 20 minutes to complete this section and for all the tasks you will be given up to 30 seconds to prepare your response before speaking.

The Reading section measures your ability to read and understand short passages that you are likely to encounter in North American universities and colleges.

You are required to answer questions about the reading passages provided in this section and the time available is up to 100 minutes depending upon the number of questions to be answered.

The Writing section tests your ability to write in English. This section is split into two tasks, one integrated task where you are asked to write based on what you read you and hear, and an independent task where you need to generate ideas on a topic and provide supporting examples or evidence in a clear and grammatically correct manner.

The time available for this section is 50 minutes split 20 minutes for the integrated task and 30 minutes for the independent task.

An important difference between the Internet Based TOEFL and the Paper or Computer Based TOEFL tests is that there is no Structure section in the TOEFL iBT. This is now evaluated in the Speaking and Writing sections.

In total the TOEFL iBT is 4 hours (compared to 3 hours for the Paper based TOEFL and 3.5 hours for the Computer Based TOEFL test) and all sections will be completed in one day.


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