TOEFL is an internet based Test and it measures what colleges and universities need to know: a prospective student's ability to use English in an academic setting.

Use of Internet-based testing (iBT)?

Internet-based testing makes it possible to capture and score test-taker speech in the most efficient, standardized, and objective manner. Internet-based testing will also make it possible to greatly increase the number of test centers, which is good for test takers. Lectures and conversations in the Listening section are longer, but note-taking is allowed. In fact, note-taking is allowed throughout the entire test. The speech in the listening material sounds more natural, and one lecture may use a British or Australian accent. Also, there are new questions that measure understanding of a speaker's attitude, degree of certainty, and purpose.


The new TOEFL differs is important ways from previous versions of the test, for example...

It tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

It will be delivered via the Internet in secure test centers around the world.

Some tasks require test takers to combine more than one skill.

Integrated questions or tasks in the new test help learners build confidence needed to communicate in the academic environments they plan to enter the new integrated tasks ask test takers to read, listen and then speak in response to a question.Listen and then speak in response to a question. read, listen and then write in response to a question.

TOEFL Reading

The TOEFL Reading section includes 3 to 5 reading passages, each approximately 700 words long. There are 12 to 14 questions per passage. You have from 60 to 100 minutes to answer all questions in the section.

Passages are excerpts from college level text books that would be used in introduction to a discipline topic. The excerpts are changed as little as possible because the goal of the TOEFL is to assess how well students can read the kind of writing that is used in an academic environment.

TOEFL Reading Question types

- Basic information and Inferencing questions 11 to 13 questions per set
- Factual information questions
- Negative factual information questions.
- Inference questions
- Rhetorical purpose questions
- Vocabulary questions
- Reference questions
- Sentence simplification questions
- Reading to learn questions
- Prose summary
- Fill in a table

The passages are mainly expository. In other words, they explain something. However, some passages may be narrative (telling the story of an event or a person) or persuasive (arguing in favor of or against some point or issue). Passages may employ various patterns of organization and development: cause and effect, comĀ­parison and contrast, definition, classification, and analysis.

The vocabulary used in the Reading Section is sophisticated but not unrealistically difficult. Some specialized vocabulary is "glossed" in other words, it is marked with a blue underline, and you can get a definition by clicking on the word or phrase. If there are words that you don't know that are not glossed, sometimes you can guess the meaning from the context of the sentence. And remember that it is not necessary to understand every word in the passage in order to answer the questions correctly.

The Questions

Multiple-Choice Questions

Most of the questions in the Reading Section are multiple-choice questions. There are eight main types as shown in the following chart. The chart also shows you in which lesson in The Guide you will find more information and practice for this question type.

Standard Multiple-Choice Reading Questions


What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English Language Proficiency Test, mandatory for non-native students for studying in nations where the mode and medium of instruction is English. Many Universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada accept the IELTS. It is a prerequisite for students desirous of studying in Australia - an Australian Student Visa, granted without an IELTS Score is unheard of. All other Universities require students to either take the TOEFL or IELTS.Most Centers provide a testing session about thrice a month. Candidates are advised to contact their nearest center to find out the date of the next date and collect the IELTS Handbook and an application form.

IELTS is jointly managed by: University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council, and IDP: IELTS Australia

The test has four components - Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking. You will receive a band score for each component as well as a global band score.

The Academic Module

This module is intended for candidates seeking entry to a university or institution of higher education offering degree and diploma courses (i.e. those seeking undergraduate or postgraduate courses).

The General Training Module

This module is meant for candidates seeking immigration to an English speaking country.

The two versions do not carry the same weight and are not interchangeable. All candidates are tested on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Whereas the speaking and listening sections are common for the Academic and General versions of the test, the Reading and Writing sections are different.


Section Subject Questions Time
I Listening 4 Sections of Listening Speeches 28 - 30
II Written 2 Quest of 20 & 40 Minutes 60
III Reading 3 Passages 38-40 Questions 60
IV Speaking Introduction + Cue Card 10 - 12

There is no fixed pass mark in IELTS.

The acceptability of a score is totally at the discretion of the institute-applied or govt. body (immigration). However, as a general rule, scores below Band 6 are considered to be too low and above Band 6.5 are deemed to be adequate and good. Band 6 scores are borderline. An overall score of Band 6.5 is mostly accepted as a good score. The individual module's Band score is considered as per the requirement.

9   Expert User
8   Very Good User
7   Good User
6   Compotent User
5   Modest User
4   Limited User
3   Extremely Limited User
2   Intermittent User
1   Non User
0   Did not attempt the test

When is the IELTS Test held?

The IELTS examination is held thrice, once a month.

The individual module's Band score is considered as per the requirement. The Band score obtained is valid up to two years. While obtaining admission to an educational institute, the latest IELTS score is considered.

Eligibility and Fees

IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16. The test is valid for 2 years, test reports older than 2 years would only be accepted as evidence that the student tried to improve his English Proficiency.

In India, the fee is Rs. 6,500, payable at the time of registration.

You can pay INR by means of a Nationalized bank draft payable to the British Council.


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