TOEFL Test and Certification
The TOEFL is a test that measures the language skills of people who are non-native English speakers. The acronym stands for ‘Test Of English as Foreign Language’, and is required by certain colleges/ universities in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, where specific courses are only held in English. Certification may also be essential for some government agencies, student exchange programmes, or if you wish to obtain a scholarship for studies in an international location.
This test is extremely useful for those students and persons who are applying for study visa or work purposes in an English-speaking country. Every organisation/ institution requires a minimum score, so be sure to check what the score is before taking the test, so that you can plan your course in advance, and leave plenty of time for preparation and studies.
Advantages of TOEFL Certification?
- It is an assessment of your knowledge of English, and not a test in which you can ‘fail’.
- You can retake the test after just 12 days.
- It is recognized by universities, institutions and companies around the world.
- Registration for the TOEFL exam costs between €115 – €180 (depending on the examination center you select) .
Information about the TOEFL
The TOEFL test is supported by over 27 million people around the world, and is therefore a world-renowned qualification to obtain. The average proficiency of those who support this exam ranks among Intermediate and Advanced levels. It is important to understand that this exam has no fail mark, but is an evaluation of the level of English the candidate is at. The certificate is valid 24 months from date of issuance.
If your language level should improve further after receiving certification, nothing stops you to from registering again and opting to sit for the certification in order to achieve a higher score. The TOEFL exam tests the ability to combine the four columns of the English language: Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening. The duration of the exam is 4 hours.
The Two Versions of the TOEFL
You may opt to select either one of the choices that this exam offers: the iBT® or TOEFL PBT. The content between the two versions does not differ, and is the same for both exams. However, the iBT® is administered online via internet whilst the PBT is a paper-based exam. The PBT approach is no longer as popular a choice, and will be phased out, leaving just the iBT® version applicable for all.
TOEFL iBT® is available more than 50 times a year via the internet, and is an online-based exam. The exam takes place simultaneously throughout the world in more than 4,500 schools / language centers in at least 165 countries!
TOEFL PBT is currently offered only to those in places where, for technology reasons, the test via the internet cannot be issued.
1. Reading (60-80 minutes; 36-56 questions)
The TOEFL Reading section consists of reading 3 or 4 passages from college textbooks, in combination with a series of related questions. This is designed to evaluate the ability of understanding of texts and context of the passages provided. The types of questions vary, from open ended to close ended, and to probing questions that highlight your understanding of different texts in different contexts.
2. Listening (60-90 minutes; 34-51 questions)
The Listening section involves paying attention to conversations between multiple parties in combination with written responses. Conversations are focused on academic aspects, and the aim of the Listening section is to evaluate the ability to locate, elicit and acquire information and relevant details from a conversation. A sheet with test questions will be provided to you, which must be completed. During the dialogue, you are able to take notes which can be referred to when completing your responses.
3. Speaking (20 minutes; 6 exercises)
The TOEFL speaking section requires the candidate to express their views on a particular topic (familiarities, personal experiences, culture, expressions and so on). In addition, there are a number of references to the texts or conversations of previous exam sections, which must be answered orally in this section.
4. Writing (50 minutes; 2 exercises)
The Writing section TOEFL provides for the reading of a thematic text and then listening to the text being spoken. The passage will appear on a screen for a few minutes, at which point you will switch to reading the same text. A series of formulated questions have to be answered by the candidate. The candidate is then given an essay in which s/he would have to develop an argumentative text.
Exam Results for TOEFL
The results are published after 15 days from the date of examination, and are available in a reserved in an area on the ETS website which is dedicated to the candidates. The results are also sent to you via mail to your home address, and to foreign universities if this has been requested. The TOEFL certification is valid for 24 months.
TOEFL Preparation Courses
The goal of the TOEFL preparation courses is to make you assimilate the techniques required in order to achieve the best result in the examination. It provides you with a way to compare yourself to the desired levels requested by universities, institutions and businesses worldwide. It allows you to develop in specific areas that you will be assessed on during this evaluation, providing you with essential tools you will need if you wish to be successful in achieving your anticipated score.
Skills and Strategies
The mere knowledge of the language does not guarantee that you will achieve an excellent score in the TOEFL test. The exam is rather intense and detailed, for which you will need to enhance specific skills in order to achieve the best out of each section. The Preparation course is designed to target these precise skills, where you’ll learn to analyse the information and be aware of what you are required to do. There is extensive training on each of the four key areas that are evaluated during the exam. The course enables you to analyse conversations, written texts, practice your techniques of speaking and pronunciation and help you develop all aspects of the language that are pertinent to this exam. You will be trained by highly motivated and supportive teachers. Each student will have an individual meeting with your allocated teacher, where you can discuss your goals and expectations. Your teacher will evaluate your progress, help you identify and bridge the gap in your language weaknesses, and help you practice in a relaxed and friendly environment.
When can I take the TOEFL Test?
If you have started preparing a few months (some perhaps a few weeks) before the exam, then this may be sufficient in order to achieve a positive result. However, this does depend on your language level at the start, and on the goal you are aiming to obtain. Certification is not for an unlimited period and expires after 24 months, so you may wish to initiate the preparation but may choose not to take the exam right away. If you are entering a foreign university or a company wherein you must achieve a minimum TOEFL score, then we would recommend that you follow the Preparation course once you know what score you are aiming to achieve. At this point, you will be able to evaluate the level you are currently at, and plan on how to progress to the desired level accordingly.
How can I prepare for the TOEFL Test?
We would suggest that you follow a tailor-made preparation course, that encompasses sample papers of previous years and questions that have been developed by professionals of international certifications. Many of the most popular TOEFL preparation courses that are accredited are held abroad and are based on an educational course that is designed to prepare candidates for these particular examinations. With such a specific course, you are guaranteed to achieve a higher score than with any other method, as these have been explicitly and meticulously intended for the TOEFL exam.
Where can I attend a TOEFL Preparation Course?
We would always recommend attending a course such as this in a country where English is their mother-tongue. It is advised that you select a school or institution that is accredited and has a Preparation course specifically targeted for TOEFL candidates. There is a vast array of schools that offer this type of course, and there are 7 destinations we can propose ourselves! These are mainly based in the USA and Canada, and you can find more information by clicking on the destinations menu above.
How much does the TOEFL Test cost?
The cost of a Preparation course will depend on the duration and destination you would like to choose. You can take a look at our prices on each individual destination page, or you may also wish to check out our comparison chart.