The Educational Testing Service administers the TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, which is conducted by ETS. There are two ways to take the TOEFL exam: online (iBT) and on paper (PBT). The TOEFL iBT, which debuted in 2005, is an improved version of the TOEFL CBT (Computer Based Test). Both versions (iBT and PBT) have the same exam format, even though scoring on each section varies between the two versions. The TOEFL iBT is the test that 97% of students choose to take out of the two. Most students believe taking the TOEFL online is safer because of the pandemic. ETS also offers this alternative. 


Classification TOEFL PBT TOEFL iBT
Full-Form Paper Based Test Internet-Based Test
Exam Duration 4 hours 3 hours
Venue Locations where the iBT is not available Online
Frequency of conducting 4 times a year Over 50 times a year
Exam Fee US$180 $160 – $300
Score range 310 to 677 0-120
Exam Pattern Reading, Writing, Listening and Structure Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking


A lot of universities require the TOEFL score as a requirement for admission, but how else are these scores used? Following are some of the uses of the said test:

  • Students wishing to enroll in academic programs in English-speaking nations
  • Working people requesting a visa to emigrate abroad
  • Students submitting applications for awards and other certifications
  • To gauge their progress, English language learners can also take the TOEFL Exam.
  • Candidates for some jobs are screened using their TOEFL scores.
  • Prepare for the TOEFL exam with these practice questions.

A TOEFL score is accepted by some universities and organisations in other English-speaking nations, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, and so forth, for various other purposes. It is evident that those who wish to work or study abroad take the TOEFL exam. The good news is that there aren’t any requirements for “TOEFL eligibility,” to put it another way. The TOEFL exam is technically open to everyone. After the test date, your TOEFL score is valid for two years.



A few changes were made to the ETS TOEFL exam on August 1, 2019. The length of the TOEFL exam and the number of questions in each section were updated as part of these changes. Nearly all TOEFL test takers benefited from these changes over the next two years. So what were these modifications?

The TOEFL exam was condensed by 30 minutes, to begin with. The test’s length increased to three hours, but the nature and structure of the questions remained the same. To shorten the time, fewer questions were asked in the reading, speaking, and listening sections.

Here is a brief comparison of the TOEFL exam’s previous iteration and its most recent iteration


Section Old Version New Version
Reading 3-4 passages

12-14 questions/passage

60-80 minutes

3-4 passages

10 questions/passage

54-72 minutes

Listening 4-6 Lectures, 6 Questions/lecture

2-3 Conversations, 5 Questions each

60-90 minutes

3-4 Lectures, 6 Questions/lecture

2-3 Conversations, 5 Questions each

41-57 minutes

Speaking 6 Tasks

20 minutes

4 Tasks

17 minutes

Writing 2 Tasks

50 minutes

No change


Now let’s look at the TOEFL syllabus and the assignments you will need to complete for each of the sections mentioned above, in detail (the exam is approx 3hrs long):



One of the longer exam sections is the reading section. The section typically consists of 3–4 passages, each of which has 10 questions. The reading portion can take anywhere from 54 to 72 minutes to complete. You will be required to read no more than three or four passages, all of which will be taken from academic texts.
After that, you will have to respond to inquiries based on those texts. Thus, the entire purpose of the reading section is to determine your capacity for comprehending English-written academic reading material.



The TOEFL’s listening section can take between 41 and 57 minutes to complete. I’d say an hour or so. Typically, 3–4 lectures are tested, with an average of 6 questions per lecture. Additionally, you will be put to the test in 2-3 conversations with roughly 5 questions each. You must listen to lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations for this TOEFL exam section, and then you must respond to a series of questions based on what you heard.
The ability to understand spoken English as it is used in colleges and universities is also being tested in this section. Again, this is primarily an academic setting, so communication in English is a skill you will unquestionably need if you plan to pursue academic interests abroad.

After these first two sections, you will have a brief break of about 10 minutes before moving on to the remaining two.


The Speaking section of the TOEFL exam is the third one you’ll come across. You will have to complete four tasks during the roughly 17-minute test. At this point, you will be required to give your opinion on a well-known subject or to give a speech based on reading and listening assignments. You will be given a microphone and instructed to use it.

You won’t actually be conversing with anyone. If you’re not used to speaking into a microphone, you will need to kind of practise and get used to it. You won’t interact in the traditional sense; instead, you’ll receive a prompt and be left to formulate your own response.



The last section of the TOEFL iBT is the fifteen-minute writing section. You have two assignments. Yes, there are only two writing-related tasks in the section. On the basis of the provided premise, you must write essay responses. One of those tasks will also require listening and reading. You’ll need to read a passage, listen to a lecture, and then write an answer based on what you read and heard.
It will primarily be your personal opinion because the second task requires you to support an opinion in writing. For the second task, you will need to elaborate and genuinely demonstrate that you are able to write something significant and coherent on your own. This section evaluates your English writing proficiency writing in English in a manner suitable for college and university curricula.


Also Read


Best Books for Students to Help Them Grow


Slay your admissions process like a pro! Be a part of our network

Want to work with us? Contact us today

Meet Inspiring Game Changers who beat all odds to get Top MBA Admits.
Impressed? Itching to get started? Email us now: info [at] gyanone [dot] com.

Thirsty for Guidance? Then you cant miss these
Career Counselling | Admission Tips | Scholarships | Executive MBA | GMAT Preparation

About GyanOne

GyanOne is a leading MBA admissions consulting firm with a proven track record of admissions to top MBA programs globally. Knock off all your career and admissions related queries on our exclusively designed platform here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

enter the fold

Join the elite group of other people who signed in on our mailing list.