The only article you'd need for TOEFL Exam pattern

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The TOEFL exam is taken by many foreign candidates applying to the US or a Canadian University. This is because the TOEFL exam is one of the most common English proficiency exams attempted by students. Test of English as a Foreign Language or as we commonly know it as TOEFL, test the students for their expertise and grasp of English. The TOEFL Exam is designed to test you on all the factors, such as understanding the language and writing ability. Many universities and colleges have made it mandatory for Non-English students to attempt this exam as part of their eligibility criteria. Thus, making this exam very crucial. To get a good score range this well, you should know about the TOEFL exam pattern and various other factors that come along with it. This article will tell you about the TOEFL exam pattern and the TOEFL Exam syllabus, the eligibility criteria for the exam, and TOEFL PBT.

TOEFL Exam Pattern

We all know how important the TOEFL Exam is to get admission into an international college. At this date, most of the universities and colleges in the US and Canada have made it an eligibility requirement to provide the test scores of TOEFL exams. Thus, making the TOEFL exam very crucial. To get a good score range well in these exams, one needs to know all about them, especially the TOEFL Exam pattern. The TOEFL exam pattern consists of four major sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking. By using this TOEFL Exam pattern, the test can assess your English proficiency on all levels. The TOEFL exam pattern is designed by the ETS and is updated by them every year. ETS is the governing body and controls all the aspects of the exam. 

You would be surprised to know that the TOEFL test scores are declared only after six days from the commencement of the exams. The TOEFL exam also allows the participants to send their scores to any four institutions when the results are declared. The selection of institutions can be made during the TOEFL registration submission. After realising the TOEFL exam’s importance and the facilities it provides a student with, let us talk about the TOEFL Exam Pattern. 

The first section you will see in the exam would be the reading section. The TOEFL Reading Section comprises approximately 30-40 questions. The candidates are generally given 55-70 minutes to finish this section. The task for the TOEFL Reading section is pretty simple. All that candidate needs to do is read the given passages and answer all of the question types that have been based on the text provided. Thus, assessing students on a comprehension level of the English language. The next section is the listening section. It comprises 30-40 questions, and the students are given 40-60 minutes to complete the section. In this section, the applicants will either dictate a paragraph or listen to a conversation and answer question types based on their listening abilities. By doing this, the exam will test the applicant's understanding abilities.

After the previous two sections, a 10 minutes break is provided to all the candidates. Then, the speaking section will commence and will have a time limit of 17 minutes right after the break. This section consists of four tasks and involves candidates speaking on a familiar topic and presenting their opinions on the topic. Then at the end of the exam, we have the writing section. This section has only two tasks and will last for 50 minutes. In this section, the candidates need to write essays based on their reading and listening tasks and support their opinions about the given topic.

TOEFL Exam Syllabus

After reading about the importance of this exam and the role, it plays in getting admitted into a college. The TOEFL Exam syllabus consists of candidates attempting four sections to showcase their expertise in the English language. The sections in the TOEFL exam syllabus are, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Thus, the exam can test an individual on various levels and showcase the skills the candidate possesses. Here is a summary of all the sections included in the TOEFL Exam pattern:

  1. Reading Section- This section is the first thing you will see while giving the exam. The reading section will require you to read 4-5 passages and answer 13-14 question types based on each passage. This section will test your understanding and reading ability, as it is a comprehension based section. You will get a score range depending on the number of responses you get right about all the question types. You are given a time limit of 55-70 minutes to complete all the tasks, and you will have to attempt approximately 40 questions in this task.
  2. Listening Section- The next section in line is the listening section. This section involves the candidate listening to a short and long conversation. After hearing the short conversation, you will be asked to answer a list of question types. These questions are multiple-choice questions and will require you to choose the right answer. This section will have a time limit of 40-50 minutes and have about 30 questions for the first short conversation and more than 40 questions for the second round.
  3. Speaking Section- This section is one of the most difficult as many students lapse under pressure. You will have to give crisp and clear answers asked by the examiner to get a good score range well in this section. Try to hold a long and sustainable conversation with the examiner to get a great score range in this exam. The total time limit given for this section is 17 minutes, and a total of 4 questions are asked to the students.
  4. Writing Section- In this section, you are expected to write an essay on a given topic. Therefore, you should make sure that the topic is included well in the topic and is written clearly. In addition, all your points should be well delivered and should also be well organised to create a deeper impact. You should also try and showcase your writing skills using a wide range of words if you possess a versatile vocabulary. This section has a time limit of 50 minutes and will have a total of two questions.

TOEFL Exam Test scores

After learning about the TEFL exam pattern and exam syllabus, you need to know how each section is scored. You would be surprised to know that only after six days of giving the examination do the candidates receive a letter informing them about when their test scores will be available. You can also check your TOEFL Exam test scores online on the official portal. The printed score reports are sent to you by mail in 11 days by the ETS. Here is the TOEFL Exam pattern for test scores of each section:

  • Reading- The test scores for the reading section lies between 20-30, depending on the number of questions asked. You should remember that the TOEFL Exam pattern keeps on updating every year, and you should keep in touch with that to get the relevant results for your exams.
  • Listening- The test score for the listening section is 15-30. This range of test scores also depends on the number of questions asked in the given section.
  • Speaking- For the speaking section, the test scores range between 20-30, and like others, it also depends on the number of questions asked. If you want to consider, one figure takes out the mean for the given range.
  • Writing- the test scores for the writing section ranges between 20-30, thus making 120 points by the end of all sections. The exact figure might vary depending upon the number of questions asked to a student.

TOEFL Exam Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the TOEFL Exam. The exam is given by all the individuals seeking admissions into international colleges and must appear for the exam to apply to an institute. As many students apply to universities for a graduate degree, thus most of the applicants possess an undergrad degree. You should also pay the registration fee for the exam to take the test. The fee payment might be the only eligibility criteria for the TOEFL Exam. Although the TOEFL Exam might not have any strict eligibility criteria, you should also check out the institute you are applying for. Most institutes have a list of eligibility criteria to apply to them successfully. You should also check out the TOEFL Exam pattern and exam syllabus to better understand and prepare for the exam.

TOEFL Exam Registration Process

The registration procedure for the TOEFL Exam is pretty simple as we all know that the TOEFL Exam is one of the most renowned English proficiency exams in the world and has been standardised by many institutions and countries. Thus, making it very important for you to know about the TOEFL Exam pattern and the registration procedure. To register for the TOEFL Exam, just follow the simple steps mentioned below:

  1. Official portal- Visit the online portal and check out the next date that is convenient for you.
  2. Online application- After creating an online profile, click on apply and submit your application after selecting the test centre.
  3. Payment- Now, pay the necessary registration fee, and the portal will successfully register your application. You can take a printout or save your TOEFL confirmation page or fee receipt. The confirmation page will also have the prefered exam centre ad date you have applied for and might come in handy in future.

TOEFL Exam Dates

The TOEFL Exam is held every month between January to June. You can also look at the official TOEFL online portal for exact dates, as they change every month. You will find a slot for yourself on the given dates as there are 6-7 dates available for every month. This is because the ETS keeps on changing the dates as the curriculum gets updated every year. You would also be surprised to know that the declaration of the result is made after 11days of you attempting the exam. The official scores are also sent to you via mail to get printed and sent to the institutes you have applied to. You should also look at the TOEFL Exam pattern to get a better understanding of the exam.

TOEFL Exam Preparation Tips

The TOEFL Exam is one of the most crucial eligibility criteria declared by many institutes. Thus making the exam very competitive and important to know about. Even though it is an English proficiency exam, you should be well prepared to gain successful admission to your favourite college. Here are some of the tips you should know about before attempting the TOEFL Exam:

  1. Practice thoroughly- You should try and look at the sample papers for previous year TOEFL Exams to get a better idea of the TOEFL Exam pattern and where you fall short. By doing this, you will be well prepared and will score well in the exam.
  2. Grammar and Vocabulary- As the TOEFL exam is an English proficiency exam, it will test your grammar and vocabulary. You should try and build a strong vocabulary that you can use in the various sections of the exams. The TOEFL Exam likes to test its candidates on various aspects of English, and we all know that having strong grammar is the foundation to scoring well. Therefore, all the candidates should try and perfect their grammar and vocabulary skills.
  3. Look back at your mistakes- You should try and look back at the common mistakes you make and prepare accordingly. You should not only focus on your strengths but counter your weaknesses. By doing this, you will leave no room for errors and perform well in the exam.


1- What are the fees for the TOEFL exam?

The candidate needs to submit a fee of $185 to register for the exam successfully.

2- What is a good score for the TOEFL exam?

Having a score of 100 or above, with 26 points in each section, is considered good. Although, you should check out the average score for the institute you are applying for and aim for that. As the accepted score varies on the level of competition to get into various colleges.

3- Is the TOEFL exam difficult?

The TOEFL Exam is considered easy compared to all the other exams such as SAT, ACT, etc. The exam only tests you on the English language, and you can perform quite well if you have a great grasp of the language. You should also try and look at the TOEFL Exam pattern to better understand the exam.


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