Friday, September 19, 2008


The TOEFL Test—The Key to Academic Success
Undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs around the world require students to
demonstrate their ability to communicate in English as an entrance requirement.
The TOEFL test gives students the opportunity to prove they can communicate ideas effectively
by simulating university classroom and student life communication. The language used in
the test refl ects real-life English-language usage in university lectures, classes, and
laboratories. It is the same language professors use when they discuss coursework or
concepts with students. It is the language students use in study groups and everyday
university situations, such as buying books at the bookstore. The reading passages are from
real textbooks and course materials.
TOEFL Scores Open More Doors
The TOEFL test measures how well students use English, not just their knowledge of the
language. Because it is a valid and reliable test with unbiased, objective scoring, the TOEFL
test confi rms that a student has the English language skills necessary to succeed in an
academic setting. That’s why it has become the most popular and accessible Englishlanguage
test in the world. It has been administered more than 20 million times since 1964,
and is available in more than 180 countries. It is also the most accepted test in the world.
More than 6,000 colleges, universities, and agencies in 110 countries accept TOEFL scores.
That means that students have the fl exibility to use their TOEFL test scores worldwide.
First introduced in 2005, TOEFL iBT is being gradually introduced throughout the world.
The paper-based test continues to be offered to supplement the TOEFL iBT test center
network and in countries where the TOEFL iBT is not yet available. To view a list of TOEFL
test center locations, visit the TOEFL website at .

What’s New About the TOEFL iBT?
It tests all four language skills that effective communication requires: Reading,
Listening, Speaking, and Writing. It emphasizes and measures English usage and
communication ability in academic settings.
A Speaking section has been added. This section includes six tasks that require test
takers to wear headphones and speak into a microphone when they respond. The
responses are digitally recorded and sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network. To ensure
maximum objectivity and reliability, three to six certifi ed ETS raters evaluate the
responses on a scale of 0 to 4. The average rating is then converted to a scaled score of
0 to 30. Raters are constantly monitored every time they score a test to ensure the
highest accuracy and quality control possible.
The Writing section has been expanded. The new test requires test takers to write a
response to material they have heard and read. In addition, test takers must compose
an essay in support of an opinion. Test takers’ typed responses to the writing tasks are
sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network where two to four raters evaluate the responses
on a scale of 0 to 5. The average rating is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.
Some questions require the test taker to use more than one English-language
skill and combine or integrate information from more than one source, the same way
students use English language every day in the classroom. For example, sometimes test
takers read a passage, listen to a short lecture about a topic, and then provide a written
or spoken response. TOEFL iBT helps test takers prove they can combine their Englishlanguage
skills to communicate ideas effectively. This ability is the key to academic success.
Note taking is allowed. Test takers can take notes on any section of the test the same
way they would in a real college class. Test takers can use the notes when answering
test questions. The notes are collected and destroyed before the test takers leave the
test center.
The new test takes about four hours. Test takers complete all four sections of the test
in one day, eliminating the need to travel to the test center twice.
It is delivered on computer via the Internet at secure test centers around the world.
The new scores help explain a test taker’s English-language skill level. ETS
provides comprehensive scoring information, including four skill-section scores and a
total score. Performance feedback for each skill and level are available on page 56 of
this publication and the TOEFL website at . This feedback helps
explain what the new scores mean. Test takers also receive performance feedback on
their score reports to support English-language learning. The feedback describes test
takers’ language profi ciency levels and contains advice on how they can improve their
language skills in the future.
Scores are now reported online. Test takers can view their scores online 15 business
days after the test. They can also choose to receive a copy of their score report by mail.
Colleges, universities, and agencies can go online to view the scores of those students
who selected them as a score recipient. They also continue to receive scores in paper
and electronic formats.
Why Were Changes Made to the TOEFL Test?
To assess the ability to communicate successfully in an academic setting. The new
test helps test takers determine their academic readiness. It also helps institutions
identify and select students with the English-communication skills required to succeed.
To simulate university communication. The new integrated tasks, which require
more than one language skill to complete, refl ect the way language is used on campus
every day—from the classroom to the bookstore. By simply preparing for the new
TOEFL test, students will build the skills they need for academic success.

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