About the TOEFL iBT® Test

The TOEFL iBT® test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

TOEFL iBT® Test Content

The TOEFL iBT® test is given in English and administered via the internet. There are 4 sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) which take a total of about 4 ½ hours to complete, including check-in.

Combining All 4 Skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing

During the test, you are asked to perform tasks that combine your English communication skills, such as:

  • 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

TOEFL iBT Test Sections

 

Section

Time Limit

Questions

Tasks

Reading

60–80 minutes

36–56 questions

Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.

Listening

60–90 minutes

34–51 questions

Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.

Break

10 minutes

—-

Speaking

20 minutes

6 tasks

Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.

Writing

50 minutes

2 tasks

Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score. These are either questions that enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or new questions that help ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions.

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score. These are either questions that enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or new questions that help ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions.

Please read the timing instructions for the Reading Section carefully. The instructions will indicate how many passages you will receive and the amount of time you have to respond to questions for those passages. Be sure to pace yourself so that you have time to answer all the questions.

A standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. We recommend that you practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard before taking the test.

Native-speaker English Accents

The Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT test include other
native-speaker English accents in addition to accents from North America. You may hear accents from the U.K., New Zealand or Australia.

ETS added these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad.

Below are examples similar to what you might hear in the Speaking and Listening sections.

Listening Section

Listen to a talk about the greenhouse effect (MP3). The lecturer is from Great Britain.

Speaking Section

In the Speaking section, only items 1 and 2 of the 6 tasks may have accented speech. Below are two examples similar to what you might hear. The speakers are from Great Britain. In each instance, the example is 15 seconds long, and you would have 45 seconds to respond.

Audio File

Transcript

Item 1 (MP3)

If friends from another country were going to spend time in your country, what city or place would you suggest they visit? Using details and examples, explain why.

Item 2 (MP3)

Some people enjoy taking risks and trying new things. Others are not adventurous; they are cautious and prefer to avoid danger. Which behavior do you think is better? Explain why.

TOEFL iBT® Test Fees

Details on our fees and payment policies:

Item

Fees

Registration

Fees vary by country.

Late registration

US$40

Rescheduling

US$60

Reinstatement of canceled scores

US$20

Additional score reports (per institution or agency)

US$20 each

Speaking or Writing Section score review

US$80

Speaking and Writing Section score review

US$160

Fees are subject to change without notice. The above amounts are inclusive of any Value Added or similar taxes that ETS is liable to pay. In jurisdictions where the customer is required to account for any local taxes due, the price remitted to ETS excludes those taxes. In those circumstances, it is the sole responsibility of the customer to pay those taxes to the local tax authority. ETS is not responsible or liable for collecting and remitting those taxes on the customer’s behalf.

Payment Policies

Please make sure all payments for tests and services:

  • are paid in full at the time the service is requested
  • have the correct numeric and written dollar amount
  • have appropriate signature(s)

Any outstanding balances from prior ETS tests or services must be paid in full before you register. Services or test scores may be withheld for non-payment.

If you do not submit the correct fee, your registration form or request for service will be returned.

Payment methods are subject to change without notice.

Forms of Payment

Accepted forms of payment and currencies are subject to change without notice.

  1. Credit/debit card — American Express®, Discover®, JCB®, Mastercard® or VISA®Note: American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard and e-checks are not accepted for the following locations: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo. Only VISA cards are accepted for those locations.

Note: When you select credit/debit card as your payment method, you have the option to pay in select local currencies instead of U.S. dollars. You can change your selection at any time before your click “Submit” to process your payment. The system will display available local currencies and the credit card types supported for each.

  1. Electronic check (e-check) — drawn on a bank in the United States or its territories, in U.S. dollars only. E-checks can be used to register online or by phone.
  1. PayPal® account — payment can be made via PayPal.
  2. Paper check or money order — must be in U.S. dollars and made payable to ETS-TOEFL.
  3. Western Union® QuickPay® — for mail orders only. When you complete the form, use the following under “Pay To:” Company Name: Educational Testing Service; City Code: TOEFLPROGRAMNJ; Country: U.S.A. You must send the original receipt marked “Agency’s Copy” with your form. Copies, facsimiles or receipts marked “Customer’s Copy” will not be accepted.

Forms of Payment Not Accepted

  • cash or demand drafts
  • post-dated checks
  • any currency other than U.S. dollars
  • receipts for bank checks
  • UNESCO coupons

Instructions/details for Paying by Electronic Check (e-check)

Please provide the following information from the bottom of your paper check:

  • bank account number
  • ABA/bank routing and transit number

Note:

  • Your bank account may be debited the same day we receive your request.
  • You will not receive a canceled check.
  • When paying with an e-check, you authorize ETS to make a one-time deduction from your checking or savings account.

Instructions/details for Paying by Paper Check or Money Order

The check must be signed by the account holder or authorized signer. Typewritten payer name and address, in place of signature, is not acceptable.

The following information must be preprinted on the check:

  • bank name
  • bank address
  • check or money order number
  • payer’s name and address

Note:

  • Post-dated checks are not accepted.
  • Check dates cannot be more than 90 days old when received by ETS.

Refunds

If you are taking the test in Korea, see the specific refund policy for test takers in Korea.

To receive a refund, you need to cancel your registration by the deadline (4 days before your test date). For example, if your test is on Saturday, you must cancel by Tuesday.

Refunds are in U.S. dollars for half of the original test fee paid. The balance is retained to cover expenses for processing your registration and holding a seat for you at the test center.

  • Cash refunds are not available.
  • Refunds will not be given if registration procedures were not followed or you failed to present the required identification documents at the test center.
  • If you paid by credit/debit card or e-check, the refund will be credited back to the original credit/debit card or bank account.
  • If payment was made with a personal check drawn on a U.S. domestic bank, please allow 8 weeks for processing.
  • Refunds are not available for other services.

Fee Reduction Service

The TOEFL Fee Reduction Service is designed for high school seniors in the United States with financial need who are applying to colleges and universities where TOEFL scores are recommended or required.

The cost of the fee reduction voucher is 1 half of the regular test fee. Please review the fee reduction guidelines (PDF) and the fee reduction voucher request form (PDF) for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about the TOEFL iBT® Test

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