toefl preparation in usa

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) assesses language skills in English. TOEFL is often required if you want to study at an English-speaking university or college. It is administered and designed by a private non-profit organization called Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The tests that ETS develops are meant to provide measurements for performance in a number of areas. This means that they have a team of professionals dedicated to making sure that each section of a test does exactly what it is supposed to do. In August 2019 ETS updated the TOEFL. Don’t worry! If you did preparation for the previous version of the test, you will be more than ready for the current version. Here are the changes they made.

The Changes to the TOEFL

If you are taking a TOEFL preparation course you will have the opportunity to practice for each section in its new form. Overall, there are fewer questions, but the types of questions have not changed. This is the form of the test now:

  • Reading: 3-4 reading passages, 10 questions per passage, 54-72 minutes to complete.
  • Speaking: 4 tasks (1 independent, 3 integrated), 17 minutes to complete.
  • Listening: 3-4 lectures, 6 questions per lecture; 2-3 conversations, 5 questions per conversation, 41-57 minutes to complete.
  • Writing: 2 tasks, 50 minutes to complete (no changes).
  • Total: The test used to be 3.5 hours long and now it is 3 hours long.

For the reading section, the “fill in a table” and “pronoun questions” are still included. For the speaking section, the “personal preference question” and “campus situation” questions have been removed.

TOEFL now has fewer questions, but also less time

TOEFL now has fewer questions, but also less time

What Does it Mean for TOEFL Test Preparation?

The good news is that your TOEFL test preparation plan does not have to change very much. There are fewer questions and there is also less time for the test. In general this means that you have a similar amount of time to answer each question. Experienced teachers will provide you with all of the tools and strategies you need to do well on the new TOEFL.

The types of questions are the same so you can use the same strategies

The types of questions are the same so you can use the same strategies

Your classroom time will involve test taking strategies and individual attention. Also, you will still do simulated computer tests and you will still practice the questions within the new time frame. Remember that the shorter test means fewer chances to demonstrate your skills. However, this should be easier with the new test because your brain will have more energy to complete shorter sections.

Don’t Forget the “Superscore”

ETS made one more change to the TOEFL in August 2019. It is called the “superscore” and it is good news for people who have taken the TOEFL more than once. When your score is reported it will show the best individual section scores from all of your TOEFL test results. The superscore will appear automatically for anyone who has taken the TOEFL more than once. There is no extra charge for the superscore to appear on your test report.

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