TOEFL » Test Pattern
TOEFL : Test Pattern
The test consists of four sections:
Objective: To test the candidate's listening capabilites
Type of Questions: Conversations between two or more people in academic environments. Short conversations between students, and lectures may be possible conversations. Questions are basically of the who said what type.
Duration: 45-70 minutes
Objective: To check the candidate's knowledge of English grammar.
Type of Questions: Identify the erroneous words(s) in the sentence. Fillup the blanks using the appropriate word.
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary
Objective: To test the candidate's reading and vocabulary skills.
Type of Question: Three or four long passages, typically 300 words long are given, and questions based on the content, intent of the author, and ideas inferred from the passage. Generally prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer; though a priori knowledge may help.
Duration: 70-90 minutes
Objective: To test the candidate's writing skills
Type of Question: To write an essay on some general topic, and your position towards it. eg: "Is stem cell research necessary? Explain your stand?"
Duration: 30 minutes.
The test was first administered 1964 and has since been taken by nearly 20 million students. A revamped version of the test is slated for adoption in September 2005. This has been dubbed the Next Generation TOEFL and will include diagnostic reports on a student's strengths and weaknesses.
Currently, the TOEFL does not include a test of speaking, although this will be introduced in 2005 when the TOEFL Academic Speaking Test (TAST) is integrated into the main TOEFL, replacing the current "Structure" section. Currently, a stand-alone TAST is available only as a practice test, which is taken using a telephone. With the upcoming retooled TOEFL, however, examinees will be asked to speak extemporaneously into a microphone; a digital recording of their speech will then be scored remotely. The purpose of the TAST is to assess a student's ability to speak English clearly and fluently.
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is similar, but it emphasizes British English and Australian English. It is recognized primarily by Commonwealth universities and organizations, but also by many U.S. institutions.