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Posted on July 29 2022

All you need to know about TOEFL Exam pattern

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023


The test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an internationally recognized standard test that requires various months of study and preparation. If you are willing to study in a foreign country, you need to provide English language proficiency skills. TOEFL is a widely used language score used by international students to get admission to foreign universities.

Understanding TOEFL pattern

Knowing the TOEFL pattern is mandatory before taking the test and this understanding is the preparation for the test. Studying effectively and getting a good score that you need to study. Every TOEFL test has four sections in total and has certain questions and tasks.

Some of the questions look like never been seen, and tasks are also never seen in your English classes. Therefore, students must practice before going to your test day. The TOEFL test has a format, which never gets changed.

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Essentials required for Shortcut to high score for TOEFL test

The Four Major Sections of the TOEFL

The Reading section (60-100 minutes long) : This section evaluates the student's ability to interpret written texts on topics like science and academic discussions.

The reading section presents you with three to five academic passages, each roughly 700 words long. The passages may deal with a certain topic or about analyzing several points of view. Those topics can be scientific, historical, and even philosophical.

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Each text will be followed by 12-14 questions. These questions will help you finish the following tasks:

  • Define a word: This is a concept to test your vocabulary.
  • Identify an idea or argument: that will test your understanding.
  • Find a false statement: This concept tests overall comprehension.

This section requires 60 to 100 minutes to complete this section, depending on the number of passages and accompanying questions.

The reading section is a significantly demanding one. Sometimes it is more difficult because the questions you will get are often complex. You must never expect an easy passage with easy vocabulary.

Sometimes you need to read long and complex paragraphs. One should learn to work with unexplored words to provide proper meaning. Texts interpreted in the Reading section might have different emphases and arguments. The clock ticking will also create difficulty, so you have to read fast.

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Grammar rules to rise your TOEFL score

The Listening section (60-90 minutes long) : This section will help you understand the information that is given to you orally. It has four to six lectures and queries that test your take on the content, and also your understanding of the dynamics of the voices and emotions of speakers.

The student will get an opportunity to work on two different types of audio:

  • Recordings of Lectures
  • Recordings of Conversations

You can anticipate hearing the four to six lectures that dispense with academic topics. Conversations are more natural, so there are generally only two to three of these.

Every audio that appears will be in three to five minutes, which is followed by five to six questions. The questions comprise the contents of the recording. The questions also consist of what happened before or what could happen after. Mostly the why and how type of questions may appear.

Every audio lecture or conversation only once. Except for some of the questions, you can play back a part of the audio to listen again. You cannot depend on this feature, as it may not be available every time. So you should anticipate hearing the audio only once.

The major constraint to working with the Listening section is hearing the audio only once. So always take good notes and make a proper guess for the questions you get to see. Understanding conversational English sometimes is the hardest task for most students; that is why it is important to adjust

To acknowledge conversational English is a tough task for most English students; that is why it is very crucial to listen to many types of talks and dialogues. TOEFL has the policy to include different English accents in the Listening section like British, American, Australian English, and New Zealander in the test. Listening to all the different accents of English before taking the test.

To understand the accents you can take the help of English language movies, YouTube videos, and TV shows in the Listening section. Listen to the recordings of oration and have a good practice of taking notes. You can get acquainted with many kinds of English accents by watching American news and listening to British radio. By regularly practicing these things, you will improve your listening skills.

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Steps to practice writing TOEFL Test

Take a Break...

Yes, TOEFL allows you to take a 10-minute break in the middle of the exam. The test suggests it is mandatory, which means you need to stop at that instruction and you will be asked to leave the room and you have to go out.

You can utilize this time to walk around, and stretch your back and legs. If needed you can eat your snack and drink your beverage, and get freshened up.

These 10 minutes are needed to rest, rejuvenate, and get ready for the second part of the test. These 10 minute breaks will help you increase your pace for the next part of the test. By this time you have completed the Reading and Listening sections, forget about them, and after the break, concentrate on the Speaking and Writing sections.

The Speaking section (20 minutes): This section contains six tasks to finish by speaking into the mic during the test. This section is used to measure to understand your expression of thoughts and ideas in English.

The speaking section is an important part of the test. It determines your ability to speak better English and sometimes it can be quite hard. There will be no interviewer to ask you the questions and listen to your answers; you will just have a microphone. Your voice will be recorded and someone will listen to your recorded answers later.

You will be given very less time to answer each question, and you will get very less time to answer for the preparation and before even you start talking in the microphone. Speaking is regarded as one of the hardest parts of any language during the learning phase. If you know what is in your way, you can do better.

You are provided a total of six Speaking tasks. Out of those six tasks, two of them will ask you to express an opinion on a day-to-day topic. This is called the Independent speaking section. For each Independent speaking section, you are supposed to answer a question, and you no need to listen to a long recording or look through any passage.

Now you have 4 more tasks remaining which expect you to discuss something that you have read and heard. This is an Integrated Speaking section. For Integrated Speaking, you need to read a short comprehension or listen to a recorded audio which is followed by a question. You will get 30 seconds to prepare an answer and record it for a length of 1 minute by speaking into the microphone.

For some of the tasks in this section, taking notes will help you the most. The moment you hear a question, make some points as ideas that will help you while speaking. It's good to practice your timing, but do not increase your pace, though you are nervous. Always remember, your accent is not important; it is important for you to speak clearly and provide some good ideas while giving answers.

The Writing section (50 minutes): The Writing section illustrates the usage of your English language while writing. In this section, you will get a good opportunity to apply your knowledge of grammar and English vocabulary and make understanding sentences and paragraphs.

All the skills that you have in the English language will have to come together for the last section of TOEFL. This section will measure your writing abilities, vocabulary usage, and knowledge of grammar.

This section consists of two tasks.

1 integrated writing task and 1 independent writing task. The integrated writing task expects you to write an opinion on a casual topic. You will be given a question to answer without any audio to listen to.

Writing Section consists of two important tasks: Integrated and Independent Writing tasks. Whereas for the integrated task, you will need to write an essay that is based on some additional reading and listening material. To finish this, you will get 30 minutes to spend on the independent task than on the Integrated task as it gets only 20 minutes. You are expected to write a very good essay on the previous one i.e., an independent task. Taking notes and making a framework for your answer is good practice for the writing section. The more you practice this section, you will get used to the framework creation and answering them properly in time.

*Willing to study abroad? Talk to Y-Axis overseas career consultant.

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TOEFL Exam pattern



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