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TOEFL

TOEFL iBT® Test Content

The TOEFL iBT® test is given in English and administered via the Internet. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking and writing) which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete. 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

TOEFL iBT Test Sections

Section Time Limit Questions Tasks
Reading* 60–80 minutes 36–56 questions Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, and then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score. These are either questions that enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or new questions that help ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions. Please read the timing instructions for the Reading Section carefully. The instructions will indicate how many passages you will receive and the amount of time you have to respond to questions for those passages. Be sure to pace yourself so that you have time to answer all the questions. A Standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. We recommend that you practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard before taking the test. Native-speaker English Accents Beginning in March 2013, the Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT test include other native-speaker English accents in addition to accents from North America. You may hear accents from the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia. ETS is adding these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad. Below are examples similar to what you might hear in the Speaking and Listening sections. Listening Section Listen to a talk about the greenhouse effect (MP3). The lecturer is from Great Britain. Speaking Section In the Speaking section, only items 1 and 2 of the six tasks may have accented speech. Below are two examples similar to what you might hear. The speakers are from Great Britain. In each instance, the example is 15 seconds long, and you would have 45 seconds to respond.  

About the TOEFL iBT® Test

The TOEFL iBT® test, administered via the Internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.  

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.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test?

More than 27 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

Where Can I Get Local, In-language Support?

You can contact a local TOEFL iBT Resource Center for general in-language information about the TOEFL test and test preparation. TOEFL iBT Resource Centers are available in specific countries.

Who Accepts TOEFL Test Scores?

More than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. For more information, including using your scores to satisfy visa requirements in Australia and the United Kingdom, how to find institutions that accept TOEFL scores, and more,  

Note: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and e-checks are NOT accepted for the following locations: Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo. Only VISA cards are accepted for those locations.

  • Registration closes seven days before your test date.
  • Late registration closes three days before your test date (not including the day of the test) and has a late fee of US$35
  • Need help registering online? Use our step-by-step guide (PDF).

Register Online Note: Test takers who have disabilities or health-related needs that require them to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room, take extra or extended breaks, or require another accommodation must register by mail and need to follow the accommodations request procedures described in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs (PDF).

  • Send the form with your payment to the address on the form or to your Regional Registration Center (PDF).
  • Forms must be received at least four weeks before your test date.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation, call the location where you mailed your paperwork — at least three business days before your registration deadline.
  • If you register by mail you will need to enter certain codes manually that are input automatically online. See Code Lists for Registering by Mail.

Register in Person at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center

  • In some areas, you can purchase test registration vouchers with local currency and/or register in person at a master TOEFL iBT Resource Center. See Identification Requirements.
  • If you don't want to register at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center, you can use a registration voucher online from any computer or on the phone.
  • Registration deadline is seven days before the test date.
  • Late registration closes three days before your test date and has a late fee of US$35.
  • When you register, make sure to spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you bring on test day.