TOEFL Exam 2023: Latest Updates, Format, Registration Process

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TOEFL 2023

English language proficiency scores are among the key prerequisites if you are looking to study or immigrate to an English-speaking country. This prerequisite can be fulfilled by taking a language proficiency test. The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is one of the most popular language proficiency exams and aims to measure an applicant’s hold on the English language through a comprehensive evaluation of their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Through this blog, we will take you through the various features of TOEFL, its format, syllabus as well as preparation tips!

Exam  TOEFL 
Full-Form Test of English as a Foreign Language
Purpose  English language proficiency test
Conducting Body Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Generally accepted by Universities in the USA and Canada
Level of Exam International
Mode of Exam Internet-based and Paper-based
Sections  Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
Duration Around 3 hours and 30 minutes
TOEFL Fee TOEFL iBT fee: INR 16,900
TOEFL PBT fee: INR 16,900
Score Range Reading: 0–30
Listening: 0–30
Speaking: 0–30
Writing: 0–30
TOEFL Test Centers 4500 across the world
Official Website https://www.ets.org/toefl 
TOEFL Helpline 1-609-771-7100
1-877-863-3546
Fax 1-610-290-8972

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is widely accepted by over 11,000 universities and academic institutions in more than 150 countries, such as the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia as well as across Asia and Europe. Earlier there used to be two types of TOEFL exams, i.e. TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT. TOEFL iBT is a computer-delivered test that is conducted in online mode whereas TOEFL PBT was a paper-based test that is only carried out in those areas where the internet is not available. But from 11th April 2021 onwards, the official authorities- ETS have discontinued TOEFL PBT. This implies that TOEFL is now available in iBT i.e.,computer-based format and TOEFL iBT Home Edition.

Full Form of TOEFL

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, conducted by ETS. It evaluates each of the four academic English skills—reading, listening, speaking, and writing—in the same manner as colleges and universities utilise them in their classrooms. Candidates who want to study abroad in an English-speaking environment must submit their TOEFL scores as part of their application process.

Latest Updates on TOEFL Exam 

For the advantage of students who are going to take the TOEFL iBT, this section would cover the most recent updates pertaining to the ETS TOEFL exam.

  • Beginning on July 26, the TOEFL exam pattern will become shorter. The TOEFL exam will be shorter than 2 hours starting on July 26, 2023, thanks to changes made by ETS, the organisation that administers the test. The enhancements will only advance ETS’s goal of giving TOEFL English language test takers who want to study abroad a seamless experience.
  • The TOEFL exam is now more expensive as the fee rises to US$195 from US$190. Candidates planning to take the TOEFL iBT test must be aware of this. Candidates who wish to schedule their ETS TOEFL exam must pay a US$195 TOEFL Exam Fee.
  • A 25% (US$48) discount on your TOEFL iBT test is available for a limited time when you register for the GRE General Test through ETS, the organisation that oversees both the GRE and the TOEFL. ETS has announced an exclusive discount of 25% off the TOEFL iBT test registration fee when test takers register for the GRE Exam. This announcement is part of ETS’ ongoing efforts to offer test takers cheaper testing choices and study materials. Candidates should be aware that this offer is only good for a short period of time.
  • Starting July 1, 2021, ETS, the TOEFL exam’s administering body has stated that they would accept Aadhar Cards from Indian students who take the TOEFL exam if they do not have their passports as part of their student ID ready. Because of the pandemic, new passports have not been provided on a regular basis, therefore students who have not received their passports can temporarily use their Aadhar cards as evidence of ID. This service’s termination date has not yet been announced.
  • ETS has announced some more modifications recently for test takers as part of ongoing efforts to improve the standard of exams. The test format, scoring system, registration procedure, and other changes are among them. Here are a few of the changes made:
  • Shortened TOEFL-iBT:  The test now takes less than two hours to complete, compared to the previous version’s three-hour finishing time. Additionally, the reading part has been shortened and the unscored questions are eliminated.
  • New Task: ETS has added a new modern “Writing for an Academic Discussion Task”. This task will replace the writing task. 
  • Simplified Registration Procedure: The exam takers will have no trouble setting up an account and registering. The payment method has been localized.
  • Increased Score Transparency: Candidates will be able to see the release of their official score release date after they complete the exam. Along with that, the candidate will also receive real-time notification of the changes made to their score status.
  • Dedicated Customer Support Service: Customer service will be provided to Indian test takers. The customer care executives will be able to solve the queries of the candidates for 12 hours every day.

Click to know more about the latest TOEFL Exam updates

Types of TOEFL Exam

Here are some of the types of TOEFL exams:

TOEFL iBT

ETS has revived the TOEFL iBT Test on Paper in a few countries. The TOEFL iBT Test on Paper will test the same four skills as the TOEFL iBT Test on Computer but will be administered on paper and in two sessions. The TOEFL Reading, Listening, and Writing parts would be completed on paper at a testing centre. The TOEFL Speaking portion must be taken at home on a computer and monitored online by a human proctor within three days of the paper sections. The TOEFL exam on paper is available in a few countries, including India. Because the Speaking portion is administered at home, test takers must have a suitable environment and equipment before registering for the ETS TOEFL.

TOEFL Paper Based Test (PBT)

The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT), which was previously offered in locations with poor or limited Internet connectivity, measures candidates’ Listening, Reading, and Writing skills. The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT) consists of only three sections: listening, reading, and writing, with no spoken portion due to a lack of equipment. The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT) is no longer offered. The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT) should not be confused with the TOEFL Test on Paper. The TOEFL Paper Delivered exam is the offline counterpart to the TOEFL iBT exam. The TOEFL PBT (Paper-based) Test is no longer available as of April 11, 2021.

TOEFL iBT Home Edition

During the lockdown phase of 2020, ETS launched a special version of the TOEFL test – TOEFL iBT Home Edition. This version of the test allows you to take the examination from the comfort of your home provided that you have all the essential equipment required. Listed below are some of the essential pointers related to TOEFL iBT Home Edition- 

  • Generally, all the countries except Mainland China and Iran offer this format of the test
  • It is exactly similar in terms of content format and on-screen experience for a test taker when compared to a test center
  • It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human protector online through ProctorU
  • It is available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week and you can make an appointment as early as 24 hours after your registration 

Here are some of the essentials you need to have before you appear for this format-

  • Computer
  • Browser download and equipment check
  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Camera
  • Tabletop and seating

Comparison Between TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT

TOEFL PBT refers to a paper-based test, and TOEFL iBT means an internet-based test. We created the following table to compare TOEFL PBT with TOEFL iBT on a variety of criteria:

Category TOEFL iBT TOEFL PBT 
Expansion Internet-based test Paper-based test
Time duration 3.3 hours 3.4 hours
Frequency
of exam
Can be taken on specific dates. Check the ETS website for the same One or two times a month
Venue Online Offline
Fee in
India
USD 190 USD 180
Pattern Reading, writing, speaking, listening Reading, writing and listening are taken in one session and the Speaking section is taken at home separately within three days and is monitored online by a human proctor

TOEFL Eligibility Criteria

There are some prerequisites that the candidates must fulfil in order to appear for the TOEFL exams. The TOEFL eligibility criteria have been given a rundown below:

  • There is no certain age limit specified to take the TOEFL exam.
  • The candidate must have a 10+2 level of qualification from a recognized Indian board.

TOEFL Registration 2023

The TOEFL exam can be taken throughout the year but the exam dates are allotted on a first-come-first-served basis. You can choose the test date and centre as per your needs. Also, there is more than one way of registering for the test. The three modes for TOEFL registration are as follows:

  • Register Online: This is the most common and easy way of registration. Online facilities for registration are open 24*7. Seats need to be booked at least 7 days before the date of the exam.
  • Register on Call: Prospective applicants can also register through the phone. The TOEFL Registration number for Indian test-takers is 91-124-4147700.
  • Register through Mail: For those who can’t register through the above methods may choose to register through mail as well. For this, you must download the form from the official TOEFL website, fill it out with the correct details and send your form at least 4 weeks prior to your intended test date. You can check your nearest TOEFL centre on the official website and mail the form to the same address. A confirmation is processed after a successful registration.

The registration cost of TOEFL (iBT/PBT) is $195 (INR 15,962). Applicable taxes and fees are not included.

TOEFL Slot Booking 2023

When you decide to take the TOEFL exam, simply check the TOEFL iBT dates and TOEFL iBT test centres to reserve your spot. Those considering pursuing an international degree should prioritise taking the TOEFL iBT. Choosing dates is one of the most important elements because it is the first step in getting into your preferred school. It also depends on the college/university to which you are applying, as some have a single deadline by which candidates must submit their TOEFL score reports. Some colleges also have sliding admissions deadlines. Candidates can submit their TOEFL scores here at their leisure. So, throughout the registration process, select the TOEFL exam date and the TOEFL test venue based on your needs. In addition, the candidate must have a valid passport to show proof of identity.

TOEFL Exam Dates 

Test takers must register ahead of time according to the availability of TOEFL exam dates. TOEFL exam dates are distributed to candidates in the range of 50. Test takers might have taken examinations at the registered test centres prior to the pandemic outbreak. Test takers can now take online examinations at home while being watched.

TOEFL Country Wise Fee Structure

The TOEFL exam fee in different countries are provided below:

Country Cost
USA $255 (INR- 20,874)
India INR 16,900
Australia $273 (INR- 22,347)
Germany $265 (INR-21,791)
South Korea $220 (INR- 18,009)

TOEFL Services Fee

TOEFL Exam Services Fees
TOEFL Late registration fee $40 (INR 3,274)
TOEFL Rescheduling fee $60 (INR 4,911)
Reinstatement of cancelled TOEFL scores  $20 (INR 1,637)
Additional TOEFL score reports (per agency) $20 (each) (INR 1,637)
Speaking OR Writing section score review $80 (INR 6,548)
Speaking AND Writing section score review $160 (13,097)

ID Requirement for TOEFL Registration: For Indian applicants, a valid passport is an essential ID requirement needed at the time of TOEFL Registration.

TOEFL Exam Pattern

The iBT exam is a computer-based examination that aims at analyzing your English language fluency skills and for this purpose, the test is divided into four sections. You will have to complete it in a time of 3-4 hours. The following table elucidates the pattern in detail:

Section Duration Number of Questions
Reading 54-72 minutes 30-40
Listening 41-57 minutes 28-39
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 17 minutes 4 tasks
Writing 50 Minutes 2 tasks

Related Topics: TOEFL Scholarship

TOEFL Exam Duration in India

The TOEFL exam duration in India is 2 hours. However, students should plan for 2.5 hours, allowing 30 minutes for check in.

TOEFL Syllabus

Below we have elaborated the iBT exam syllabus in the following sections as per these new changes.

Reading

This section of the TOEFL evaluates skills in understanding long texts and comprehension. Further, it assesses how the candidate reacts to complex sentence structures, difficult vocabulary, the author’s motive and mood, various narration styles, unfamiliar content and a host of other things. The questions are based on excerpts from academic passages. The number of questions asked in the reading section has been reduced from 12-14 in each section to 10 from each section. The box at the end of the Writing section describes the changes in an elaborate way.

The reading section has a set of three formats on which the questions are based on, these are:

  • Traditional multiple-choice questions with four choices and a single correct answer. 
  • Sentence-insertion questions in a multiple-choice format wherein the test-taker is asked to choose the best phrase from the given four options that suit the sentence.
  • Questions that have more than four choices and multiple correct answers. One question of this type appears in every passage.

Speaking

This section helps evaluators in assessing your fluency in the English language. It is the most difficult section of the whole test as it requires quick thinking, analysis of ideas and replying accordingly. The speaking section tries to assess whether a person is comfortable with speaking and understanding class-level as well as real-life conversations. Further, if they are able to express their opinions clearly, participate in dialogues and reply. The test-taker is required to speak from their personal experience, assert opinions and make arguments. It is conducted online. The predefined question formats have been summarized below.

  • Independent speaking tasks wherein the speaker is asked to speak about their ideas, opinions and experience. These are introductory questions that try to know how a person introduces themselves, their attitude, speaking style and much more.
  • Integrated speaking tasks differ from the above tasks as they blend two or more skills of English such as reading and listening. The tasks can be from a campus situation or an academic course.

Don’t Forget to Practice these Exclusive TOEFL Sample Speaking Questions!

Listening

The TOEFL listening section aims at a comprehensive evaluation of how the test-taker understands spoken English. Typically, this section helps the evaluator assess how one will react in an academic environment where conversations and lectures involve diverse information, complex sentence structures, speaker intentions etc. Moreover, it examines one’s abilities to make connections between different topics, draw conclusions, judge the attitude and mood of the speaker etc. Due to recent changes in the format, the number of lectures has been reduced from 4-6 to 3-4.

Test takers hear recordings of lectures and academic conversations in natural speech. Based on the information from the recording, candidates are asked various questions that have been outlined below:

  • The traditional multiple-choice questions have four choices and a single correct answer.
  • Multiple choice questions but with more than four choices and more than one correct answer.
  • Ordering questions that ask test-takers to arrange the given events according to how they occur in the recording.
  • Matching questions that require test-takers to match categories with relevant text, objects and phrases.

Writing

The ability to write correct, error-free, and coherent passages is tested in this part of the TOEFL exam. Often, in an academic environment, you will be required to summarize, prepare notes, and write essays and papers based on a topic. This section assesses skills of idea phrasing, making relationships between bits of information, comparing perceptions, argument-formation and conclusion. The two types of tasks in this section have been mentioned below:

  • Integrated Writing Task: Test-takers hear 20 minutes of recording and read a 230-300 word passage. Based on the understanding of both, they have to write about how both relate to each other. Note-taking is allowed. There is no correct or incorrect answer. The suggested word limit is 150-225 words but you can write as much as you want as there is no penalty. 
  • Independent Writing task: This is an experience-based essay. An issue or topic is provided on which the test-taker expresses their opinions in a minimum of 300 words. Evaluators try to gauge skills of grammar, writing in an organized manner, capacity to support a claim with evidence, detailing, sentence construction, conclusion, etc.
@TSTPrep

Must Read: TOEFL Sample Essays

To understand the exam pattern and syllabus, take this TOEFL Sample Test!

TOEFL Exam Break

The TOEFL exam administrators will allow you to have a 10-minute break and it is mandatory for everyone. During this break, you are required to leave the room. Taking a break will help you to recharge up and get prepared for your next test section which is the Speaking and Writing sections. Use this time to walk around, stretch your legs, get a beverage or a snack and use the loo.

TOEFL Exam Scores & Results

Skill/ Score Range Level
Reading Score Range 0–30 Advanced (24–30)
high-intermediate (18–23)
Low-Intermediate (4–17)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)
Listening Score Range 0–30 Advanced (22–30)
high-intermediate (17–21)
Low-Intermediate (9–16)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)
Speaking Score Range 0–30 Advanced (25–30)
high-intermediate (20–24)
Low-Intermediate (16–19)
Basic (10–15)Below Basic (0–9
Writing Score Range 0–30 Advanced (24–30)
high-intermediate (17–23)
Low-Intermediate (13–16)
Basic (7–12)
Below Basic (0–6)
Total Score These are added together for a total score of 0–120.
Source – ETS

Scoring across the different sections of IELTS is done on the following scale:

  • Reading: 0 to 30
  • Writing: 0 to 30
  • Speaking: 0 to 30
  • Listening: 0 to 30
  • Total: 0-120

Note: The official TOEFL iBT score will be accessible to you within 6 days of the exam date, and test-takers who choose the Special Home Edition of the TOEFL exam will receive their results within 6 to 10 days after the test date. If a candidate requested a print copy of their score report prior to taking the exam, it will be mailed to them within 11 days after the test date. Delivery timeframes will be determined by local postal services.

How are TOEFL Exam Scores Calculated? 

TOEFL exam scores are calculated using both human raters and computerized scoring systems. This is done to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of the candidate’s ability. While the automatic scoring technique is neutral, it does not assess the efficacy of the language and content. Human raters must consider a broader range of factors, such as the quality of ideas and substance, as well as form. In addition, you are expected to answer at least one question in each area. You must answer at least one question for reading and listening. You must complete one task each for writing and speaking. For the online TOEFL iBT test, the result is four-scaled along with a total score.

ETS has offered 4 to 5 competence levels for each skill to make your exam experience more personalized and to help you understand your score better. So where your score falls within that range indicates your skill level for that ability. This will offer you a good sense of your performance, your strengths, areas that need to be improved, and so on. Please see the table below:

TOEFL PBT vs TOEFL iBT Score

TOEFL iBT Score TOEFL PBT Score Level of Expertise 
118-120 ≥ 645 Expert User
115-117 626 – 644 Very Good User
110-114 610 – 625 Very Good User
102-109 581 – 609 Good User
94-101 560 – 580 Good User
79-93 546 – 559 Competent User
60-78 530 – 545 Competent User
42-59 516 – 529 Modest User
35-41 490 – 515 Modest User
32-34 450 – 489 Limited User
0-31 400 – 449 Extremely Limited / Intermittent / Non-English User

Top Universities Accepting TOEFL Scores

TOEFL is one of the prominent English proficiency tests which is widely accepted by academic institutions in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, etc. One can also utilise their TOEFL scores for visa application in English-speaking countries as the test is also taken for immigration purposes though the required score range might differ as per the country.

Take a look at our comprehensive blog on Top Universities Accepting TOEFL Scores to know about the score range preferred to major academic institutions across the globe!

TOEFL Exam Centres

There are around 4500 TOEFL exam centres spread over 165 countries. Test takers in 59 cities throughout India can register for available exam centres based on their convenience. Some of these test centres include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Delhi, Fatehpur, Bhopal, Gandhinagar, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Allahabad, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Cochin, Nizamabad, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Indore, Mumbai, etc.

Here is the complete list of all the TOEFL exam centres in India!

How to Crack TOEFL in 3 Months?

One can efficiently prepare for the exam in 3 months if they have curated a preparation plan and strategy to cover the different sections of the exam. The first step of devising a study schedule is to familiarise yourself with the exam pattern and syllabus of the test and then plan accordingly while considering your strong and weak points.

Here is a well-defined preparation plan and study schedule on How to Crack TOEFL in 3 Months!

Preparation Tips

You must also go through the following TOEFL Preparation Tips that will guide you in acing each section of this exam!

TOEFL Preparation Tips

Study Material and Best Books

You may supplement your TOEFL preparation with a few books to ace your TOEFL exam.  Here are some famous book recommendations, along with links to where you can get them online!

Books  Author  Buy Here
ETS Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (4th Edition)  ETS Buy Here 
Cracking the TOEFL iBT Princeton Review  Buy Here
Official TOEFL iBT Test Volume 2 ETS Buy Here
Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier with 4 Practice Tests  Kaplan Test Prep Buy Here
The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment  Susan Thurman  Buy Here
Essential Words for the  TOEFL, 6th Edition (Barron’s Essential Words for the TOEFL ) Steven J. Matthiesen Buy Here
Practice Exercises for the TOEFL with MP3 CD  Pamela J. Sharpe  Buy Here
TOEFL Grammar Guide: 23 Grammar Rules You Must Know To Guarantee Your Success On The TOEFL Exam  Timothy Dickeson  Buy Here
240 Speaking Topics: With Sample Answers (Volume 2)  LIKE Test Prep Buy Here
240 Writing Topics: with Sample Essays  LIKE Test Prep Buy Here

TOEFL Exam Last Day Tips

We offer some of the top TOEFL exam day recommendations to help you perform well on your TOEFL exam day. When the test day arrives, the only thing you need to bring to your test facility is a valid and accepted ID, which is a legitimate passport for Indians taking the test; there are no exceptions to this requirement.

  • An original document (photocopies are not permitted).
  • Valid (papers that have expired are not permitted).
  • Include your full name, as entered during registration.
  • Include your photo (a current snapshot that corresponds to the test participants).
  • Your signature

Also, keep in mind that, aside from your ID, no other personal things are permitted within the testing centre and may be examined or confiscated.

FAQs

What is the TOEFL exam?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is an English proficiency test which is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). There are two versions of TOEFL, i.e. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). It is a widely accepted language proficiency assessment in more than 11,000 universities and academic institutions in over 150 countries.

How much does it cost to take TOEFL?

The test fee for this exam varies depending on the test location. In India, The TOEFL fee for both iBT and TBT is $190 (roughly 14,086 INR).

What is a good score on the TOEFL?

TOEFL scores in the range of 90-100 are considered as perfectly good while scores between 100-110 are considered as very good.

Is TOEFL easier than IELTS?

While both these tests vary as per the test-taker and how good their English language proficiency is, many test-takers have referred to TOEFL as a complex one for preparation while the reading section of IELTS is considered much easier than TOEFL.

Check Out a Detailed Comparison of IELTS vs TOEFL!

How long is TOEFL valid?

The validity of the TOEFL score is for only two years.

What is the fee of the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition test?

ETS has kept the fee of the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition test at par with the test centre rates, i.e. US$185. Any extra cost has been absorbed by ETS to make the test more accessible to the test taker.

How can I pass TOEFL?

There is no such thing as failing or passing the TOEFL exam. Every university would have its own TOEFL Score cut-off and students are required to achieve scores higher than the set grade. Candidates should note that higher TOEFL scores would automatically increase their chances of securing a seat in the university and also make them a front runner for any scholarships being offered by the university. A low TOEFL score would require the student to re-take the exam to improve his/her performance.

How many times can I take TOEFL?

The TOEFL test can be attempted as many times as the candidate wants, but to take a re-test the candidate has to wait for a 3-day period after attempting the first test. 

How many hours is the TOEFL test?

The duration of the total TOEFL test takes about 3 hours to complete, but candidates should plan for 3.5 hours, allowing 30 minutes for check-in. 

English language certifications are instrumental in securing admission to leading universities. Many of them require that you score the predefined marks so that you can be eligible to apply. In any case, a high score increases your chances of admission. Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college.

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