TOEFL: Paving the Path for Indian Students to Study Abroad
If you wish to study abroad, taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an important stepping stone towards achieving your dreams. This standardised test assesses your proficiency in the English language, and it is recognized by universities and colleges worldwide. In fact, TOEFL is the most popular test, accepted by more than 12,000 universities and institutions in over 160 countries. To give you a reference, the other popular English proficiency test IELTS is only in 11,000 institutions in over 140 countries. In this blog, we will explore why TOEFL is essential in your study abroad journey, the test format and some tips to ensure success in this transformative journey. We will also cover the recent updates to the TOEFL-iBT test and how it is now the shortest among the three most commonly used English proficiency tests.
Why Take the TOEFL?
TOEFL opens the doors to many opportunities for students and professionals worldwide. Below are a few of the reasons why taking the TOEFL is an essential step in your abroad journey:
Most English-speaking universities and colleges require TOEFL scores as a minimum requirement for the admissions process for international students. A good TOEFL score improves your chances of acceptance into your dream university.
Many countries use TOEFL scores as proof of English language proficiency when processing student and work visas. A high TOEFL score may strengthen your visa application.
Employers abroad often use TOEFL scores to assess language skills in their job applications, particularly in multinational companies and industries requiring English proficiency.
Scholarships and Grants
Many educational institutions and organisations offer scholarships and grants to students, one of the criteria they look for is high TOEFL scores, further highlighting its importance.
Understanding the TOEFL Format
It is essential for Indian students to familiarise themselves with the TOEFL format to prepare effectively for the exam:
- Reading: This section evaluates your ability to comprehend academic texts similar to the material you will encounter in university courses.
- Listening: The listening section assesses your understanding of English in academic settings, such as lectures and discussions.
- Speaking: In this section, you will express your opinions and engage in conversations based on provided prompts.
- Writing: The writing section tests your ability to construct coherent essays based on given topics.
New Changes in TOEFL Format
|TOEFL iBT Section||Old Format||New Format (26 July 2023 onwards)|
|Listening||34-51 questions, 41-57 minutes||28 questions, 36 minutes|
|Reading||3-4 passages, 12-14 questions each, 54-72 minutes||Two passages, 10 questions each, 35 minutes|
|Writing||2 tasks, 50 minutes||Two tasks, 29 minutes|
|Speaking||4 tasks, 17 minutes||Two independent tasks, two integrated tasks, 16 minutes|
|Total Time||Over 3 hours||Under 2 hours|
Reading Section: This section comes with only two reading passages with 10 questions each.
Unscored Test Question: All unscored test questions have been removed.
Writing section: A new writing task called ‘Academic Discussion’ replaces Writing Independent Task 2. In this task, students will be asked to state and support an opinion on a given topic in an online class discussion.
TOEFL Test Prices
|TOEFL iBT Test Fees||India Price (INR)|
|Registration for TOEFL iBT||₹ 16,900|
|Late Registration||₹ 3,900|
|Test Rescheduling||₹ 5,900|
|Reinstatement of Cancelled Scores||₹ 1,990|
|Additional Score Reports||₹ 1,950|
|Speaking or Writing Section Score Review||₹ 7,900|
|Payment Return||₹ 2,900|
Advantages of TOEFL
- Widely Accepted
TOEFL scores are accepted by over 12,000 universities, colleges and institutions in more than 160 countries. Making it the most widely recognized English language proficiency test, making it one of the best choices for students looking to study abroad.
- Credibility and Fairness
The TOEFL is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), a reputable organisation known for its standardised testing expertise. All tests are scored using a combination of human and Artificial Intelligence scoring.
- A Better Test Experience
- More Opportunities to Register: You can register online for your test up to two days before the scheduled date.
- Free Practice Test: Get ready for your test day by taking a complete practice test.
- Shorter Test: It takes approximately three hours (paper-based) or under 2 hours (internet-based) to complete all the necessary tests.
- Instant Scores. You can check your unofficial Reading and Listening scores once your test is complete.
- Faster Official Scores: You can receive your complete and official test scores within 4-8 days after taking the test (or 11-13 business days for the Paper Edition).
- MyBest Scores: Display your top overall test performance with MyBest scores, which merges your highest section scores from the last two years.
- Enhanced English Proficiency
While preparing for TOEFL, you can significantly improve your English language skills, making you more confident and proficient in academic and professional settings.
- Option to take it from Home
You can take the TOEFL-iBT from the comfort of your own home. If you have decided to take it from your home, do make sure your computer and the room you are taking the test in meets ETS’s minimum requirements.
- Test Security
ETS has robust security measures to maintain the integrity of TOEFL. This ensures that all the test takers have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities without any unfair advantage.
- Access to Preparational Materials
ETS offers a wide range of official preparation materials, including mock tests, study guides and online resources. These materials will help you familiarise yourself with the exam format and improve your skills.
TOEFL Exam Preparation Strategies
To score high in TOEFL and get admission to your dream university abroad, consider the following strategies:
1. Start Early: Begin your TOEFL preparation well in advance to allow ample time for practice and improvement.
2. Emphasise Language Skills: Focus on developing all aspects of language skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Regularly practise with study materials and engage in conversations with native English speakers.
3. Join TOEFL Training: Enrol in TOEFL coaching and preparation programs tailored for students. These courses offer insights into the exam format, strategies, sample tests and tips for scoring higher.
(Can provide a link to the TOEFL coaching page)
4. Online Resources and Practice Tests: Utilise online resources, TOEFL mock tests, and official TOEFL practice materials to become familiar with the test format and build confidence.
5. Study in a Group: Collaborate with peers who are also preparing for the TOEFL. Group study sessions can offer valuable feedback and motivation.
6. English Language Immersion: Immerse yourself in English media, such as movies, books, podcasts, and news articles, to enhance your language proficiency.
7. Set Realistic Study Goals: Create a schedule that allows regular practice and review. Set achievable milestones to track your progress.
8. Simulate Test Conditions: Take practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the exam environment and improve your time management skills.
The TOEFL acts as a gateway to many global opportunities, giving you a chance to pursue higher education abroad, expand your career prospects and experience different cultures. Adequate preparation, dedication and perseverance are vital to achieving your desired TOEFL score. Remember that succeeding in TOEFL is about memorising English words and mastering the language. This will pave your way to a bright future and enhance your study abroad journey.