Advertisement

TOEFL

From Academic Kids

The Test Of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced "toe-full", or sometimes just "toffle") evaluates the potential success of an individual to use and understand Standard American English at a college level. It is required for non-native applicants at many American and English speaking colleges and universities. The TOEFL is the product of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is contracted by the private, non-profit firm, the College Board to administer the test in institutions in the US; they also produce the SAT.

The test is usually taken on a computer in a test center, although paper versions are available where it is not possible to take it this way. TOEFL is administered worldwide.

The Computer Based Test for TOEFL called the CBT, is an adaptive test; meaning that your next question's difficulty level depends on the correctness of your response to the current question. This helps TOEFL to grade the person's knowledge on the English language; by assuming him/her to be of an average capability at the beginning of the test, and with the responses received at the every question the program decides to give you a tougher or easier question based on whether your question was answered correctly or not. The CBT follows computer adaptive test strategy for the Listening and Structure section alone. The reading comprehension and Essay writing are not computer adaptive.

The test consists of four sections:

  • Section I: Listening Comprehension
  • Section II: Structure and Written Expression
  • Section III: Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary
  • Section IV: Essay Writing
Contents

Sections

Listening Comprehension

  • 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

Structure

  • 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 necessary to come to the correct answer; though apriori knowledge helps, invariably.
  • Duration: 70-90 minutes

Essay Writing

  • 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.

Criticism

TOEFL, like many standardized tests, has come under increasing scrutiny as a measure of the ability to use English effectively. There are an increasing number of major English speaking universities that now only accept alternate tests or their own test as a measure of whether a student will be capable of using English in an academic milieu. Some of its weaknesses are:

  • Because English does exhibit some orthological patterns (such as the use of -ing on the end of many verbs), test takers can be taught strategies to look for the patterns without having an understanding of the underlying grammar involved.
  • Native speakers of English who take the test often find themselves with mediocre results, even in multiple choice questions. Ideally, a test for English proficiency should be simple and straightforward for a native speaker. Instead, such tests often focus on obscure rules of grammar and "proper" uses. For example, the use of "can" and "may" does have a formal use, but native English speakers not only ignore the formal use on most occassions, they are never confused when another speaker switches the two.
  • TOEFL does not test the ability to speak English. In most environments, the ability to speak intelligibly and without undue delay is vital. Because TOEFL does not measure this, learners often neglect this part of their education to focus on the skills the test does measure.

Score comparison

The following is the conversion table between paper-based and computer based scores [1] (http://www.chemistry.msu.edu/Graduate/TOEFL1.pdf).

  • 677 300
  • 673 297
  • 670 293
  • 667 290
  • 663 287
  • 660 287
  • 657 283
  • 653 280
  • 650 280
  • 647 277
  • 643 273
  • 640 273
  • 637 270
  • 633 267
  • 630 267
  • 627 263
  • 623 263
  • 620 260
  • 617 260
  • 613 257
  • 610 253
  • 607 253
  • 603 250
  • 600 250
  • 597 247
  • 593 243
  • 590 243
  • 587 240
  • 583 237
  • 580 237
  • 577 233
  • 573 230
  • 570 230
  • 567 227
  • 563 223
  • 560 220
  • 557 220
  • 553 217
  • 550 213
  • 547 210
  • 543 207
  • 540 207
  • 537 203
  • 533 200
  • 530 197
  • 527 197
  • 523 193
  • 520 190
  • 517 187
  • 513 183
  • 510 180
  • 507 180
  • 503 177
  • 500 173
  • 497 170
  • 493 167
  • 490 163
  • 487 163
  • 483 160
  • 480 157
  • 477 153
  • 473 150
  • 470 150
  • 467 147
  • 463 143
  • 460 140
  • 457 137

see also

external links

de:Test of English as a Foreign Language ja:TOEFL pl:TOEFL

zh:托福

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools