TOEFL : Evaluation of Your English Language Proficiency

TOEFL abbreviated as “Test of English as a Foreign Language” is a firsthand appreciation to enter some reputed institutional premises recognized worldwide.

The dream to pursue some desired certifications from the top notch universities of the world is always groomed by students across the continents. TOEFL answers them all, as it being the most anticipated test for the English speaking natives around the globe.

It has got immense value because of its credibility in more than 9000 universities, governmental organization in more than 130 countries. It holds a privileged position in terms of admission criteria for any student desiring to get into an international level of education mass. It is a determining parameter to check the ability of students’ appearing for it. It is helpful in understanding the English language in terms of reading, written experience, hearing and speaking potential in the university classroom

The Historical Perspective

It was formally initiated by the Center for Applied Linguistics under the direction of Stanford University applied linguistics professor Dr. Charles A. Ferguson. Consequently the first ever test was conducted in 1964 by the Modern Language Association financed by grants from the Ford Foundation and Danforth Foundation. In the following year, the College Board and ETS jointly took over the responsibility for the ongoing process of the TOEFL program.

Subsequently, in the year 1973, a mutual arrangement was taken in regards to the same between ETS, The College Board and the Graduate Record Examinations board of advisers to work on the same and then executing the program. ETS did the administering of the exam with the guidance of the TOEFL board.

Where and What

Even Government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, and other functional institutions can also command for this test. There is a necessary range of score for this test which can further land up the candidate for some kind of scholarship as well.

TOEFL has been adequately developing as a trademark of ETS (Educational Testing Service), that being a private non-profit organization, which formulates the papers and conducts the tests. The results obtained as scores by the candidates are valid for a period of over two years which lapses after that.

Scholarship to Gain (Points to Remember)

-Resident of the present nation from where putting forth the application.
-Qualifying the test with a maximum range of at least 80 or higher on a 100-point scale or a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
-Possess a valid TOEFL test score to seek admissions for undergraduate or graduate program.
-Fundamental communication capability in English
-Well versed in leadership lines.
-Active participation in co-curricular works
-Full of innovation at thoughts

Formats to Clear 

The section is limited by 60-80 minutes in total where the student is expected to answer a range of 36-56 questions. The workouts are mostly on academic topics, which require thorough reading form students. Questions based on the central idea, augmentation and other rhetorical purpose are set to answer.

It covers almost 60-90 minutes of the entire test duration with an answering limit of 34-51 questions.

Mostly, the activities involve passages that may consist of two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions which are heard only once. Students should take a running note of that, while they listen and they may refer to their notes while answering.

With a break of 10 minutes the test is resumed by following next series of items.

It is scheduled to be completed within 20 minutes, with a series of six tasks. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. It mainly focuses on the speaking ability and conveying their ideas clearly and in a better way.

The section needs to be performed with a span of 50 minutes where two tasks are assigned.  It aims at deciding the student’s ability to write in an academic setting.

Types and Options

-Internet-based test

It came into account in late 2005, by then the iBT format has consequently replaced the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT). However, some regions do also have paper based test continuing as well. The series for the initiation of The TOEFL iBT test has been introduced in phases, starting from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid.

It has got score on a scale of 0 to 120 points.
(a) All the four sections i.e. (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) have a total mark of 30. The scores earned from all the four sections are added together to determine the total score.
(b) Again every speaking and writing question is initially given a score of 0 to 4 and 0 to 5 respectively. These values are next converted to scaled scores of 0 to 30.

-Paper-based Test

The final score for PBT is between 310 and 677 which are regulated based on three subscores: Listening (31–68), Structure (31–69), and Reading (31–67).

It is different to the CBT in terms of, the score of the Writing section (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; however, it is separately on a scale of 0–6.

With the establishment of internet and cyber activities the percentage of paper based test has bit slower down. Hence it has resulted in lesser number of centers with such kind of formats.

Acceptable Parameters

Mostly institutes take into consideration TOEFL scores as only one factor in their admission process. Sometimes, certain institutes/program within a same organization often has a minimum TOEFL score required.

The most complimenting behaviour TOEFL has is that of it being now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries which were a month long process previously.  The four-hour test has four sections, each attempting to calculate efforts on one of the basic language skills.

Every year the test is appeared by a huge chunk of student fraternity that provides them a welcome note to 9,000+ institutions. It has developed into the hottest choice among students on the major grounds as enlisted-
(a) All of the Russell Group in the United Kingdom
(b) All of the Group of Eight in Australia
(c) The Top 20 Universities in Canada
(d) The Top 100 Universities in the U.S.

Students planning to study abroad can accept the TOEFL test with proper well looked information to taste the successful endeavour for their future. Success in TOEFL depends upon lot of contributing factors as mentioned before. A careful and focused study can land you up at getting the desired scholarship with a promise for better career.

Priya Priyadarshini