About the Exam
TOEFL is to be taken for seeking admission in any course in USA and Canada. The score is also used for admission in many other countries where the medium of instruction is English. The test aims at evaluating proficiency in English of candidates whose mother tongue is not English. It is important to note that ‘American English’ is not quite like the language we are used to in India. Their accent in particular, is quite different. Scores in TOEFL help the colleges to judge whether the applicant, seeking admission, would be able to comprehend the lectures etc.
TOEFL is mandatory for seeking admission in any academic course at any level- undergraduate, graduate or post graduate, in USA and Canada.
TOEFL can be taken in any working day of the month meaning it is held five days in a week. It is advisable that a candidate takes the test as early as possible so that the score is reported timely.
OEFL has been introduced as a computer based test in most of the countries. The computer-based test has four sections
The first two sections- Listening and Structure are computer adaptive, meaning, each time a question is answered, the computer scores that question and adjusts to the response. It determines the next question to be presented to the candidate by using this information. Both of these are multiple-choice sections and the candidate is presented with a question of moderate difficulty at first. If answered correctly, the second question will be tougher and if the response is incorrect the second question would be easier. The computer will continue presenting questions based on the responses, with the goal of determining the ability level of the candidate and at the same time meeting the requirement of the test for which it is designed.
Listening Section evaluates the ability of the candidate to understand English as spoken in US and Canada. Candidates are given headphones to hear recorded sessions. The questions based on the recording appear on the screen and thereafter the answer choices appear. The time spent in hearing the test material is not counted, however the material and the questions are presented only once. Structure Section contains incomplete and incorrect sentences. These are required to be completed or corrected by using words/phrases from the given choice
The other two sections are Reading and Writing respectively. These sections are not ‘computer adaptive’ since the selection of passages and topics in them are not based on the performance of the candidate. The section on Reading contains short passages and questions on them. It measures the ability of the candidate to comprehend short passages, similar to those, which he may actually encounter while pursuing the actual course. The section on Writing comprises of essay writing on a given topic, within 30 minutes. The candidate has the option to type out his essay on the computer or write it on a sheet
For details like scheduling of an appointment for the test, list of test centers, and more it is best to obtain a copy of the ‘TOEFL Information Bulletin for Computer Based Testing’. It is a free publication and can be obtained from the Regional Registration Center or downloaded from http://www.toefl.org/