TOEFL iBT Exam Details

The TOEFL iBT is the newest version of the older TOEFL test. It stands for TOEFL Internet-based Test, because this exam is delivered completely over the Internet in secure testing centres worldwide. You work only on a computer and do not need to meet or talk to a live examiner.

Some other terms you might also have heard are:

TOEFL CBt which stands for computer-based test

TOEFL PBt which stands for paper-based test.

These tests were used in the past, but today ETS is phasing out the other tests and replacing them with the TOEFL iBT in most countries.
The TOEFL iBT differs from previous TOEFL exams in four important ways: First, the new TOEFL includes integrated as well as independent questions. The exam covers all four language skills – reading, listening, speaking and writing. However, in the past, these four sections were each tested independently. The new TOEFL test combines the skill areas to ask integrated questions. For example, in the writing section, test takers will have to read, listen, and then write a short essay in response to a question. In the speaking section, they must read, listen, and give a 60-second oral response to a question. These integrated tasks are new features of the TOEFL iBT and are meant to reflect how English speakers really use the language.
It is thus important to note that you cannot study for the TOEFL iBT using the old TOEFL textbooks. Ideally, you should purchase at least one of the new TOEFL iBT textbooks -- Delta, Barron's, Longman, ETS, or Cambridge -- and have access to the others.

Second, test takers now have to complete two writing responses, one of which is an integrated task. This demands additional academic skills such as notetaking, outlining, and summarizing in English.

Third, students are allowed to take notes at any time during the test.

Fourth, the TOEFL iBT has no separate grammar section, as in the past. However, grammar is tested indirectly through the writing and speaking sections of the test.

These are just a few of the critical points you need to be aware of to do well on the TOEFL iBT.


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