Planning For TOEFL in 2021

Planning For TOEFL in 2021

Are you planning for TOEFL in 2021? If yes, then here is the ultimate guide you will need to accelerate your exam preparation. Be fully informed about the examination before you start your preparation.

What is TOEFL?

The TOEFL® test is the most prevalent English-language proficiency test that helps you get noticed by a majority of the universities worldwide.

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language.

TOEFL prepares and tests the international students acumen with usage and understanding of English as it is spoken, written and heard during the lectures conducted and university surroundings. It is conducted by The Educational Testing Services (ETS) & is responsible for setting the questions, conducting the test, and dispatching each examinee their scorecard.

  • preparing for toefl

If you have just started out and are planning for your education abroad, this process can be quite confusing. Read on and we will help simplify things around the process of

Firstly, Eligibility criteria for TOEFL

Secondly, Exam Structure & Syllabus for TOEFL Preparation for TOEFL

Thirdly, Registration process for TOEFL Exam Fees

Lastly, Passing Criteria for TOEFL and scores

Why should you give TOEFL?

First of all, TOEFL is one of the most widely accepted exams for admissions in American, Canadian, and the rest of the global universities. It is accepted in more than 10,000 colleges, universities, and institutions in more than 130 countries across the globe. Thus, TOEFL is the stepping stone for your foreign education.

However, if you have not passed the examination at one go, You need not worry. The candidates can re-appear for this exam frequently. So, never stop preparing for the examination.

On top of that, the TOEFL score remains valid for a period of two years. So, if you decide to join the foreign university a little later, you definitely can.

Lastly, the TOEFL is taken by close to 2.3 million users per annum in 4500 test centers in 165 countries around the world. Thus, this examination is for all, irrespective of their native country.

How to know if you are eligible for TOEFL?

To begin with, the ETS has not mentioned any specific criterion for the students on the minimum or maximum age limit. Thus, we can say that the examination is accessible to all.

However, the applicant must pass his/her high school examination. It is only then that he/she can take the TOEFL test.

What is the TOEFL Format and Syllabus?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is held in two formats worldwide: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). The iBT mode being the most preferred amongst the two. However, the PBT mode is available only in select areas where the internet or other resources are unavailable. Let’s take a detailed look into each of these two modes:

TOEFL-Internet Based Test

As the name suggests this mode is an online version of the exam. This mode consists of the following sections:

TaskDescriptionApproximate time
Reading3 to 4 passages, each containing 10 questions54-72 minutes
Listening5 to 7 passages, each containing 5–6 questions41-57 minutes
BreakMandatory recess10 minutes
Speaking4 tasks17 minutes
Writing2 tasks50 minutes

TOEFL-Paper Based Test

To begin with, this is the traditional way of taking the test with a pen-paper method. This model is available mostly in remote locations with the unavailability of required resources like the internet & computers. Moreover, this model of the test does not have the speaking test included. To conclude, it consists of the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, with scores that are on the same scale as the Internet-Based Test.

TOEFL Syllabus

The latest 3-hour test consists of four sections, each focused on measuring one of the basic language skills and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. On top of that, the sections also test the students for combining multiple skills required in language processing.


The Reading section consists of questions on 3 to 4 passages, each about 700 words in length and with 10 questions. Moreover, the passages test the students for rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. On top of that, some new types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. However, no prior knowledge of the subject is necessary to arrive at the correct answer.


The Listening section consists of questions on 2 to 3 conversations with 5 questions each, and 5 to 7 lectures with 6 questions each. The conversations involve a student and either a professor or a faculty member. Moreover, the lectures are a self-contained portion of an academic lecture. The listening questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, key details, inferences, the relationship between ideas, organization of data, and analyzing the speaker’s attitude.


The Speaking section consists of 4 tasks: 1 independent (Task 1) and 3 integrated (Task 2, 3, 4). In task 1, students answer opinion questions on familiar topics. On top of that, they are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In task 2 and 4, students read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life, and answer a question by combining suitable information from the text and the talk.

Additionally, in Task 3, students listen to an academic course lecture and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, they are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Lastly, the responses are digitally recorded and sent over to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN). The panel then evaluates the responses.


The Writing section measures the student’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, students have to read a passage on an academic topic and a speaker discusses, which the applicant has to listen to. The student then writes a summary about the significant points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the students write an essay that states their opinion and then explain it.

TOEFL Preparation and practice

TOEFL preparation can be done in one of the two ways: self-study and by attending coaching classes.

The choice majorly depends on the background that the student comes from. If you have a good sense of the English language and are ready to dedicatedly spend time studying from books and resources available online, then self-study is a good option.

However, if you need professional coaching and ensure that you are better prepared in all aspects, attending coaching classes should be a considered option.

ETS, the conducting panel of the TOEFL exam provides relevant free and paid study material including practice tests which are easily available on their website here.

Registration process for TOEFL

The registration process is a simple step by step process and can be done in one of the following ways. Online registration through ETS portal

Steps To Follow

1: Create a new account or log in to an already existing account if you have one on the official ETS website.

2: Fill in all the relevant details required in the profile.

3: Select their TOEFL Exam Date as per your convenience from the calendar. The candidates have the liberty of taking the exam anytime in the year as per their convenience. The important thing to note is that the candidates can reschedule their next attempt only after 12 days of taking the first attempt. A candidate is only allowed five attempts in one year.

4: Select a Test Centre that as per your locality and convenience.

5: Once the test centre and date are selected, you would be redirected to the exam payment gateway page to proceed towards exam payment charges. You should be careful & check all the details of the examination credentials before proceeding with the payment. Once the payment is done, every change later made would incur additional charges.

6: Once the payment is confirmed, you can take a print out of the acknowledgment receipt. It is also available on your account dashboard.


You can also register in person at a TOEFL Resource Centre near you. By phone

You can call the Regional Registration Centre on this number – 91-124-4147700. Payment can be done through credit/debit cards as directed over call. Make sure you spell your name and other details correctly and that they match the details on your passport.

By mail

You have to download and print the registration form, fill out the details. Send the form with your payment to the address on the form. Also note that forms should be received at least four weeks before your test date.

What is the exam fees for TOEFL?

The registration fees for TOEFL in India are US $180.

Also, note that candidates may also need to pay extra for other services like late registration, rescheduling the exam or score review, if required as below:

Additional Requirements of CandidatesCharges
TOEFL Registration Fees$180
TOEFL Late Registration Fees$40
TOEFL Re-scheduling Fees$60
Re-instatement of Cancelled TOEFL Scores$20
Additional TOEFL score reports (per institution or agency)$20 each
Speaking or Writing Section score review$80
Speaking and Writing Section score review$160

The entire payment is needed to be done at the time the service is requested.

ETS accepts all credit/debit cards, electronic check, pay-pal accounts, paper check or money order and Western Union Quick Pay for the payment of TOEFL Fees.

Please note that cash or demand drafts, post-dated checks & any currency other than US dollars are not accepted as modes of payments.

Passing Criteria for TOEFL and Scores

At around 10 days after your test date, you will receive an e-mail notifying you about your score result availability. Post which you will be able to view your result online.

For this you have to log in to your TOEFL account on the TOEFL website and click ‘view scores’ to see the scores. Printed reports are often mailed 12-13 days after your test date.

TOEFL scores are divided as below:

SectionScore rangeLevel
Reading0–30Low (0–14) Intermediate (15–21) High (22–30)
Listening0–30Low (0–14) Intermediate (15–21) High (22–30)
Speaking0–4 points converted to 0–30 score scaleWeak (0–9) Limited (10–17) Fair (18–25) Good (26–30)
Writing0–5 points converted to 0–30 score scaleLimited (1–16) Fair (17–23) Good (24–30)
Total Score0–120

An average TOEFL score is considered at around 90. It usually varies from 85 to 95. Any score above 100 points is considered as a very good TOEFL score.

All TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the date of the declaration.

  • preparing for toefl

What documents are candidates required to carry on the day of the exam?

At the exam center, candidates are required to carry their TOEFL Registration Slip or their TOEFL Admit Card along with a valid photo ID.

To conclude the topic, we are hopeful that we have simplified the process which can be daunting to you when you decide to take up TOEFL.

Now that you are well informed, take these necessary steps above to appear for your test and we wish you all the best & success for your exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How much time does it take to prepare for the TOEFL?
Ans.  Generally, it is effort that counts, and for thorough practice, you must begin your plans early. Start your studies 2-3 months prior the exam.
Q2. Is 2 weeks sufficient time for the TOEFL?
Ans. Yes, only two weeks is sufficient time to study the TOEFL structure and take a few complete practice examinations.
Q3. What is the lowest TOEFL score required for admission to Harvard?
Ans. HGSE encourages candidates with Internet-based TOEFL grades of 104 or above, with individual parts grades of a minimum of 26.

For any further consultation and information in seeking the best colleges globally you can contact us. At ForeignAdmits, we understand how important this decision is. We are here to help you every step of the way, from finding the right school to getting admitted and securing scholarships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *