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The TOEFL exam has changed, keep reading to find out why this is good news.

In August 2019, quite a few changes were made to the TOEFL test. These changes have reduced the total test time from three and a half hours to just three hours. 

Most sections of the test have been shortened by removing a number of questions. Here’s a table put out by ETS (the company that owns TOEFL) outlining these changes:

Test Section
Before 1st August 2019
After 1st August 2019
Reading
3-4 reading passages
12-14 questions each
60-80 minutes
3-4 reading passages
10 questions each
54-72 minutes
Listening
4-6 lectures, 6 questions each
2-3 conversations, 5 questions each
60-90 minutes
3-4 lectures, 6 questions each
2-3 conversations, 5 questions each
41-57 minutes
Speaking
6 tasks
– 2 independent
– 4 integrated
20 minutes
4 tasks
– 1 independent
– 3 integrated
17 minutes

Let’s see what these changes are and how will they affect your test experience.

Reading Changes

The main change in the reading section of the TOEFL exam is the number of questions following each passage. Now you will only have to answer 10 questions after each passage, instead of 12 to 14. There will still be 3 or 4 passages and no changes have been made to the different question types. Since the number of questions have been reduced, the time given to complete the reading section has also been cut down to 54 or 72 minutes depending on the number of passages. If you do some quick math, you’ll realise that this gives you around 1.8 minutes per question, which is about 20 seconds more than the time you would have had in the previous version of the test.

Listening Changes

The listening section is often the most nerve-wracking for students because of the need to stay focused and keep taking notes. Since this section is now 20 minutes shorter, hopefully, it will be less stressful for test-takers. The previous version of the test consisted of 4 to 6 lectures followed by 6 questions each. However, in the latest version, you will only have to listen to 3 or 4 lectures and answer 6 questions after each one. The number of conversations, the questions thereafter and the question types will remain the same as before.

Speaking Changes

The speaking section is now much shorter with only 4 tasks in total. One independent task (Task 1) and one integrated task (Task 5) have been removed, while Task 2, Task 3, Task 4 and Task 6 have been retained and renumbered to maintain sequentiality. Now, this section takes 17 minutes instead of 20. Although this means that you will have fewer chances to show how comfortably you can express yourself in English, if you have been studying hard and practising regularly, you will be just fine. On the bright side, you will have more mental energy for the next section which is often a drag for some students.

Writing Changes

No changes have been made to the writing section. This means that you would have to write an essay, in addition to an integrated summary of a reading passage and a listening audio. You will still have 50 minutes to complete these tasks. 

All in all, this is great news for anyone planning to take the test because these changes will help test-takers put their best foot forward. If you would like to prepare for the TOEFL, using updated teaching material to match the new format of the test, be sure to register for our live classes on E2language.

Written by Sayli Dabholkar

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