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If you need to take the TOEFL for study or visa purposes, you may be wondering what to expect. has the answers to your burning questions and all the resources to help you ace the test.

What’s the TOEFL?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language, otherwise known as TOEFL, is a standardised English language test that can be used to enrol in universities in English-speaking countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. Some of these countries even accept it for migration purposes.

What’s the TOEFL format like?

The TOEFL is divided into 4 sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing. All sections are conducted on the same day and will take a total of 3 hours. The reading and listening tests will be conducted first, followed by a 10-minute compulsory break, and then you will sit the speaking and writing components.


The reading section of the TOEFL includes 3 or 4 academic passages. You will be given 54 or 72 minutes to read the passages and answer 30 or 40 questions.

The reading texts come from academic sources and vary in subject matter.  However, no particular subject knowledge is needed as all necessary information is included in the text. Terminology and technical words will always be explained in a glossary.


The listening section consists of 3 or 4 academic lectures and 2 or 3 campus-related conversations. Each lecture is followed by 6 questions, while each conversation is followed by 5 questions. So, you have to answer a total of 34 to 51 questions in 41 to 57 minutes.


The speaking test takes about 17 minutes and includes 4 tasks. Of these four, one is independent and three are integrated.

The first task includes expressing and supporting your ideas and opinions about a familiar topic. The remaining 3 are integrated tasks, which means that you will be required to use your reading and listening skills in addition to your speaking skills. 

The speaking section of the test is automated which means that you will be given a headset along with a microphone. Your answers will be recorded and sent to an examiner for assessment.  


You will have 50 minutes to complete the writing test. This section includes an integrated and an independent task as well. 

For the first task, you will read a short academic text and then listen to part of a lecture on the topic that you read. Then you will be asked to synthesise information from both sources by essentially writing a summary between 150 to 225 words. You will be given 20 minutes to write your response. 

The second task is traditional essay writing. You will have 30 minutes to write an essay on the given topic.


Each section of the TOEFL is scored out of 30 with a total score of 120. The Reading and Listening sections are auto-marked, while your Speaking and Writing responses are scores by human examiners.

Further Information

We hope you have a better idea of what to expect on test day.  For quality TOEFL courses, you need not look further beyond E2Language’s brand-new TOEFL course