With the advent of the new TOEFL iBT® (Internet-based TOEFL) and its online delivery, a new and better era of language skill assessment has been introduced. The new TOEFL test includes voice-recording technology that more effectively measures your ability both to understand and to speak English. It is a better evaluation tool for assessing your overall communication skills in the English language. This Internet-based format will still test English language skills, but you should be aware of the changes. They may have an effect on your TOEFL preparation and your resulting TOEFL score.
So, what’s new? Well, almost everything!
The TOEFL iBT takes longer to complete
The computer and paper-based versions of the TOEFL test took about 3.5 hours. The TOEFL iBT is about 4 hours long. You will be required to complete all of the sections in one day, so you will not have to travel to the test center twice.
You should take notes during this TOEFL test
You can take notes throughout the test, and those notes will come in handy with the new format.
The questions that test English language skills are different
Because effective communication includes many skills, the TOEFL iBT introduces the concept of “integrated questions” that combine multiple language skills. You will be asked to:
- Read, listen, and then speak in response to a question
- Listen and then speak in response to a question
- Read, listen, and then write in response to a question
The TOEFL iBT is more like the real thing
The listening sections include longer, more authentic conversations and lectures instead of shorter dialogues. You can take notes while listening. Test questions will ask you to determine things like the attitude of the speaker, the point of the lecture, or the speaker’s motivation.
The Writing section is longer in the TOEFL iBT
You’ll be required to write a response to material that you hear and read, and to then compose an essay in support of an opinion. Your responses are scored by human graders, as well as by the ETS Online Scoring Network.
There is a Speaking section in the TOEFL iBT
Wearing headphones, you will speak into a microphone as you give verbal responses to six tasks. Your responses will be digitally recorded and transmitted to the ETS Online Scoring Network where human scorers rate them. The scorers are carefully monitored for accuracy, so you can be assured of the reliability of your Speaking scores.
There’s no Grammar section in the TOEFL iBT
Even though this section of the test is gone, your grammar will still be evaluated in your speaking and writing responses.
Your TOEFL score will describe your performance
You’ll get a description of your performance on key points of the test. This will help you to study for future tests and to increase your English-language ability.