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TOEFL iBT Scoring and Test Structure

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, January 24, 2013

Your TOEFL iBT® (Internet-Based TOEFL) scores will provide accurate information about your ability to participate and succeed in academic studies in an English-speaking environment. The TOEFL iBT will test English language skills in four areas, and your TOEFL score report will contain five scores: one total score on a scale of 0 to 120, and four skill scores, each on a scale of 0 to 30.

  • Listening (0 to 30 points)
  • Reading (0 to 30 points)
  • Speaking (0 to 30 points)
  • Writing (0 to 30 points)
  • Total Score (0 to 120 points)

Your scores will be available online 15 business days after you take the TOEFL test. You will be able to view them for free (as will the schools you chose to receive your scores). You’ll also be mailed a paper copy of your score report 15 business days after your test date.

Due to the gradual phasing in of the TOEFL iBT, if you take the computer-based (CBT) or paper-based TOEFL (PBT), your scores will be valid for two years after the date you take your TOEFL test. For a while, anyone who has taken more than one form of the test will receive a TOEFL score report with two or three sets of scores reported on the three different score scales. Scores for the new Internet-based test will appear as TOEFL iBT to distinguish them from the CBT and PBT scores.

TOEFL iBT Test Structure

Listening

  • Length: 60–90 minutes
  • 4–6 lectures, each 3–5 minutes long with six questions apiece
  • 2–3 conversations, each 3 minutes long with five questions apiece
  • Tip: Introduces more than one native English accent
  • Scoring: 0–30 points

Speaking

  • Length: 20 minutes
  • 2 independent tasks: speak about a familiar topic
  • 4 integrated tasks: speak based on what you read and hear
  • Tip: You have 30 seconds to prepare and one minute to respond
  • Scoring: 0–4 points, converted to a 0–30 score scale

Reading

  • Length: 60–100 minutes
  • 3–5 passages from academic texts, each about 700 words long
  • 12–14 questions per passage
  • Tip: Includes a glossary to define key words
  • Scoring: 0–30 points

Writing

  • Length: 50 minutes
  • 1 integrated task: write based on what is read and heard
  • 1 independent task: support an opinion
  • Tip: Typing is required
  • Scoring: 0–5 points, converted to a 0–30 score scale

Depending on your previous experiences with English and your comfort level in each of the four language skills areas, you may want to focus your TOEFL preparation so it address any areas of weakness.

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