So you’ve heard about the TOEFL but you’re not quite sure what it is, huh? Basically, the TOEFL stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language. It’s an English language proficiency test which, as defined, lets you know how well your use of the language is.
It is a reliable, fair, and accurate measure of your command of the English language and because of this, it is widely used in school applications in foreign universities – especially where English is the main vernacular. The test is accepted in more than 9,000 institutions in around 130 countries. There are actually two types of TOEFL that are still being administered to this day called the TOEFL PBT (paper-based test) and the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) with the iBT being the most used. In the Philippines, the TOEFL iBT is offered the most. The examination would cost you around $200. Here’s a breakdown of the three main things you need to know before taking the TOEFL:
1. THE BENEFITS
Taking the TOEFL will most likely help you complete a school admissions application should you decide to study abroad as it is globally recognized. . It also gives you an accurate evaluation of one’s communication skills and at the same time get a better idea of which areas you need to improve on.
2. WHEN TO TAKE THE TOEFL
It is generally up to you when you want to take the TOEFL exam – depending on your purpose. For academic purposes, it is recommended that you take the exam at least six to eight months before your application deadline just so you can keep retaking the exam in case you want to get a better score than your first try. It is also worth noting that your TOEFL scores are only valid for two years so that’s something to remember before you schedule your test date!
3. MAIN DIFFERENCES WITH OTHER LANGUAGE TESTS
The TOEFL is often confused with another test administered by the same company, ETS, called the TOEIC. The main difference between the two tests is that the TOEFL is a four-part examination which covers Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. While the TOEIC lets you choose between being tested on your Reading and Listening or Speaking and Writing. Another test quite similar to the TOEFL is the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System. Just like the TOEFL, the IELTS tests your four communication facilities. The only difference is that for the speaking session, the TOEFL records your answers through a web camera into a computer, while the speaking section of the IELTS allows you to be interviewed face-to-face by an exam administrator.
Want to know more about the different requirements of academic institutions around the world? Check out our Study Abroad page learn about what different countries have to offer!
More TOEFL fast facts
- Top 5 Ways To Prepare for TOEFL
- 3 Effective Tips To Prepare For The TOEFL (tips and free resources from the TOEFL creators themselves)