Are you thinking about taking the TOEFL but have some questions about the exam before you sign up? Then read our commonly asked questions about the TOEFL exam here.
What is the TOEFL?
The TOEFL is one of the main official English language proficiency tests.
What does TOEFL stand for?
The TOEFL stands for: Test of English as a Foreign Language.
How is the TOEFL graded?
The TOEFL is graded using the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which marks proficiency from A1 – C2, with A1 being beginner and C2 being near native level.
- A1 – Beginner
- A2 – Upper beginner
- B1 – Intermediate
- B2 – Upper intermediate
- C1 – Advanced
- C2 – Upper advanced
How long does the exam last?
The TOEFL lasts approximately four hours, but you should arrive at least half an hour before the exam starts to allow for registration.
How is the exam broken down?
The TOEFL tests your speaking, reading, writing and listening abilities.
Can I just take one section of the exam?
Unfortunately not. The exam is taken all together and tests all of the skills. You can’t just test one section, like reading. Instead, you have to take all of the sections together on the same day.Which is why the test takes four hours to complete.
Which level should I take?
The level you should take really depends on you. If you’re working your way through the levels and you want to take one for progress reasons, then take this test to find out what level you’re at and you can work towards that exam or the one above.
- If you’re looking to study in England then you need a minimum of B2
- If you’re looking to work in England then you will need to have a C1 level of proficiency
When should I register for the test?
The test is incredibly popular, so you may want to consider booking your place on the exam up to 4 months before you intend to take the test to ensure there is space.
How much does the TOEFL cost?
The cost of the TOEFL varied from provider to provider, but you’re realistically looking somewhere between $100 – $250 depending on the centre.
When can I take the TOEFL?
The TOEFL exam is held once a month over two days. So if you want to take the exam you have plenty of options to choose from for a date that suits you.
Why should I take the TOEFL?
Obviously there are many reasons why you would consider taking the TOEFL exam but these are our top reasons that might help you consider taking it.
- To study in an English speaking country
- To work in an English speaking country
- To get some jobs in your own country
- As a goal for yourself
- To improve your English abilities
- For some University courses in your own country
How far in advance should I start preparing for the TOEFL?
Obviously as soon as possible is the best answer. Before you sign up for the exam you would want to be around the level you’re at but I would give yourself about 2 months study time to revise before you take the test.
Where can I find information on testing location and dates?
All information that you need regarding exam locations and dates can be found through this search system here.
How can I prepare for the TOEFL?
The best thing to do when you’re studying for the TOEFL exam is to do past papers in timed conditions so you know what the test is going to be like on the day of the exam.
You can prepare by:
- Working your way through textbooks
- Reading graded readers to improve your listening skills
- Speaking as much as you can so you’re comfortable with the speaking section on the day
- Finding a group and talking about the topics that will come up in the exam
What to do on the day of the exam?
- Wake up early so you’re prepared for the exam
- Make sure you eat before your exam so you’re not hungry and distracted
- Read your notes over or practise during the morning. Now is not the time to learn something new.
- Arrive at the venue early, so you’re not rushed
- Bring water so you can stay hydrated throughout the exam
- Try and stay calm and focused
- Then when it’s all over, there’s nothing more to do but wait for your results
Are there other English language exams available?
Another popular English proficiency exam available is called the IELTS. The IELTS does not use the CEFR as a grading system and instead has it’s own system that includes 9 bands to measure proficiency.
There is also the Cambridge English assessment which also uses a A1 through C2 grading system.
Do I have to take all the levels before I can take a higher level?
The short answer is no. You can take any exam at any time and you don’t have to take the lower levels before you take that exam. Meaning if the first exam you wanted to take was C2, this wouldn’t be a problem. You just might find it a bit difficult if you’re not used to the exam format.
Can I retake the TOEFL if I don’t pass first time?
Of course you can! If you don’t pass the TOEFL first time round, then there is nothing to stop you from taking this exam again. The only thing that might make you not want to do this is the fact you have to pay for the exam. But if money isn’t an issue then you can keep retaking the exam until you pass. This is something many students like to hear because it takes some of the pressure off them on the day of the exam.
Have you had any experience taking the TOEFL? Or are you thinking about taking the TOEFL sometime soon? Let us know in the comments below.
Also if you have any other questions regarding the TOEFL exam then please let us know and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.