TOEFL: A Brief Description of the TOEFL iBT

The TOEFL iBT is the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test. The TOEFL exam determines if a student — whose native language is not English — has English-language skills that are strong enough to succeed in courses at a college or university in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

The TOEFL iBT debuted in 2005 and is being introduced into TOEFL test centers around the world by the Educational Testing Service.

The Internet-based exam contains four parts:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

The TOEFL iBT includes questions that combine your language skills where you will

  • Read, listen, and then speak to answer a question
  • Listen and then speak to answer a question
  • Read, listen, and then write to answer a question

The length of the test and time allotted to take it vary, based upon the number of questions. There is no computer tutorial. Each section has instructions for answering questions.

  • The Reading section takes from 60 to 100 minutes
  • The Listening section takes from 60 to 90 minutes
  • Break for 10 minutes
  • The Speaking section takes 20 minutes
  • The Writing section takes 50 minutes.

The time for the entire test, including a 10 minute break, is 200-270 minutes.

Take your time and relax. You can hide the clock on the computer's toolbar if it makes you nervous — look at the clock only to get a sense of how much time you have left in a particular section.