TOEFL iBT – All you wanted to know

TOEFL iBT – All you wanted to know

If you are planning to study abroad, you would have definitely come across the term TOEFL IBT. But, what exactly is TOEFL and IBT?. Let us understand it in detail below.

What is TOEFL?

“Test of English as a Foreign Language” is the long-form of TOEFL. This is a mandatory exam that evaluates the international student’s proficiency in English language. It tests the candidate’s acumen in 4 main facets of the language: Speaking,  Listening, Reading & Writing. TOEFL is conducted by The Educational Testing Services (ETS).

  • preparing for toefl

Exam Pattern– TOEFL IBT & PBT

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is held in two formats globally, TOEFL IBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). The TOEFL IBT is the most preferred of the two.

The PBT mode is available only in select areas where the internet or other resources are unavailable. We will discuss on the IBT format in details below.

As the name suggests, the TOEFL IBT mode is an online version of the test. The test is divided into the following sections:

SectionDescription of the tasksApproximate time
Reading 3 to 4 passages, each containing 10 questions54-72 minutes
Listening 5 to 7 passages, each containing 5–6 questions41-57 minutes
BreakMandatory recess10 minutes
Speaking4 tasks17 minutes
Writing2 tasks50 minutes


The Reading section is made up of questions on 3 to 4 passages, each about 700 words in length and with 10 questions. Passages test the students for rhetorical roles such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. In the latest pattern of the TOEFL IBT test, you are required to fill out tables or complete summaries.


The Listening section of the TOEFL IBT consists of questions on 2 to 3 discussions with 5 questions on each conversation, and 5 to 7 speeches with 6 questions each. The conversations are done with the student and a professor or the faculty member.

The lectures are drawn from a portion of an academic lecture and are self-contained. The listening questions are a way to measure your ability to understand main ideas, key details, inferences, judge the relationship between ideas, organization of information/data and analyze the orator’s attitude.


The Speaking section in TOEFL IBT consists of 4 tasks: 1 independent (Task 1) and 3 integrated (Task 2, 3, 4). In the first task, students answer opinion questions on familiar topics. Students are evaluated on their capability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and logically.

Students read a short passage, listen to an academic lecture or a discussion on day-to-day campus life in the second & third tasks. They have to answer a question by combining relevant information from the text and the discussion held above.

During the third task, students listen to an academic course talk and then respond to a question about what they have heard. In the combined tasks the students are assessed on their ability to appropriately synthesize and successfully convey information from the reading and listening material.

The responses are then digitally recorded and sent over to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by the panel.


The TOEFL IBT’s writing section measures the student’s ability to write in an academic context and includes two tests: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated method, students have to read a passage on an academic topic and a speaker initiates a discussion, which the applicant has to listen to. The student has to then write a summary about the significant points in the listening passage and clarify how these points co-relate to the important points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the students write an essay that brings forth their opinion and then describe it.

Registration process for TOEFL IBT

The registration process is an easy step by step process and can be done in any of the following ways.

  • Online registration through ETS portal
  • In-person
  • By phone
  • By mail

What are TOEFL IBT fees?

Till 2021, the registration fees for TOEFL IBT in India are $180.

Note that candidates may need to pay extra amount as below for certain services like:

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

The entire TOEFL fees needs to be done at the time the service is requested.

All credit or debit cards, electronic check, pay-pal accounts, bank cheques or money orders and Western Union Quick Pay services are acceptable modes for the payment of TOEFL Fees.

Further, the use of cash or demand drafts, post-dated checks & any currency other than US dollars are un-acceptable modes of payments.

  • preparing for toefl

Understanding TOEFL scores

Close to 10 days post your test date, you will receive an e-mail notifying you about your score result. After which you can view your result online.

To view your results, log in to your TOEFL account on the ETS website and click ‘view scores’.

Printed reports are usually sent through mail 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 transformed 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

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

All TOEFL scores carry a validity of two years from the date of the result declaration.

When applying for foreign universities, things can get pretty challenging. Through this article, we explained TOEFL IBT in detail so you can now make an informed decision in your quest for further studies abroad.

Apply Now

Leave a Reply

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