TOEFL ON THE WEB
The road to studying
in America is anything but easy. There are many tests
you need to take and more applications to write before
you get going to the land of the Stars and Stripes.
One of the prerequisite tests is TOEFL which is short
for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test
is administered worldwide by Educational Testing
Service and is available worldwide in three forms –
the paper-based TOEFL, computer-based TOEFL (CBT) and
the newly introduced the internet-based TOEFL (iBT).
iBT was first administered on September 24, 2005. It
is now being introduced in phases in different parts
of the world. It won’t be long before iBT tests will
be conducted in your country as well.
Today we take you in depth into this new system of
testing English and explain what you need to know
about the iBT.
The Internet-Based TOEFL measures all four language
skills such as reading, listening, speaking and
writing. The testing of these four skills is done in
four different sections. The inclusion of the speaking
section has been newly introduced and the structure
secton of the test which is included in the
computer-based TOELF has been removed.
There are some major changes made to iBT in the hope
of providing colleges/institutions a better picture of
the English language proficiency of the student. In
this regard, lectures and conversations in the
Listening section are lengthened, but note-taking has
been allowed. In fact, in iBT, note-taking is allowed
throughout the test.
The speeches in the listening material are made to
sound more natural, and one lecture may use a British
or Australian accent. Also, there has been an
inclusion of new questions that measure understanding
of speaker’s attitude, degree of certainty, and
purpose. The Reading section has a few alterations
too. New questions that ask test takers to categorize
information and fill in a chart or complete a summary
has been added. In the Writing section, you no longer
have the option of writing your essay on paper. Typing
The score change
While the computer-based TOEFL had a total score of
0-300, the iBT has a score that ranges from 0-120. You
will receive four sub-scores from each of the Reading,
Listening, Speaking and Writing sections, each marked
in between 0-30 and the sum of all these will be your
The cost for the iBT is same as that of CBT, US n$140
(as mentioned on toefl.org). This included one
examinee score record and four score reports to
institutions of your choice.
Is iBT more difficult than CBT?
The integrated tasks on the TOEFL iBT Speaking and
Writing sections may be considered challenging because
they have been newly introduced to the test. However,
candidates should not be intimidated by this inclusion
as these integrated tasks in the new test only help
learners build the confidence needed to communicate in
the academic English speaking environments.
Benefits of iBT
TOEFL iBT has many benefits. The first being the
standardized capture of speech and score responses of
the test which ETS hopes to provide with better
information to institutions about students’ ability to
communicate in an academic setting and their readiness
for academic coursework.
Although you won’t get a score range after your test
like you did in a computer-based TOEFL, taking iBT
means you can view your scores online 15 business days
after the test date. However, remember this will not
be your official score. You will be mailed one via
post. Online registration and online score reporting
are also available.