The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. Most people who take TOEFL are planning to study at colleges and universities where instruction is in English. In addition, many government agencies, licensing/certification agencies, as well as scholarship and exchange programs use TOEFL scores to evaluate English proficiency.
Currently more than 5,000 two- and four-year colleges and universities, professional schools, and sponsoring institutions in 90 countries accept TOEFL scores.
The TOEFL test measures English language proficiency in reading, listening and writing and is offered on computer in most regions of the world. In areas where access to computer-based testing is limited, a paper-and-pencil version of the test is administered.
In the beginning of September 2005, the TOEFL test will be offered via internet at authorized test centers.
Currently there are two kinds of taking TOEFL exam. As Paper-Based or Computer Based exam.
The computer-based TOEFL test is offered at institutional sites such as colleges and universities, or official at testing centers.
Once test takers arrive at the testing center, they are given a test book and a paper answer sheet on which to record their responses.
The paper-based test has three sections:
* Listening Comprehension measures the ability to understand spoken English.
* Structure and Written Expression measures the ability to recognize standard written English.
* Reading Comprehension measures the ability to read and understand non-technical material.
The paper-based TOEFL test takes about 3 1/2 hours to complete.
The Test of Written English (TWE) is also required for everyone taking the paper-based test. Test takers are given 30 minutes to write a short essay on an assigned topic. The essay is evaluated on the test taker's ability to organize and support ideas, and to use standard written English. Special knowledge of the topic is not needed to write the essay.
The computer-based TOEFL test has four sections:
* Listening measures the ability to understand spoken English.
* Structure measures the ability to recognize standard written English.
* Reading measures the ability to understand short passages that are similar in topic and style to academic texts.
* Writing measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic.
For more and detailed information, you can visit official TOEFL webpage at