University Admissions: Why take the TOEFL? | Top Universities

University Admissions: Why take the TOEFL?

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By Staff Writer

Updated February 22, 2021 Updated February 22, 2021

Find out about the advantages of taking the TOEFL exam when applying to university, and how to access the test, courtesy of the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) demonstrates you have the English communication skills needed to succeed at universities around the world, including the UK and most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, many Asian countries, the US and Canada.

In effect, the TOEFL test opens doors to 6,000+ institutions in 110 countries.

Taking the test

The TOEFL test is offered in three formats: computer-based, paper-based and now an internet-based test (TOEFL® iBT). Eventually replacing the other formats, the new TOEFL iBT will be phased in during 2006, and become available at more than 2,000 test centers in 180 countries.

The TOEFL iBT consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Given in one day, the entire test is about four hours long. You can take notes during the test, just as you would in a real academic course.

The test is unique in that it asks you to combine more than one language skill. For example, you are asked to read a passage, listen to a short lecture about a topic, and then speak or write in response. This method of testing:

  • Replicates real university and classroom life
  • Confirms you are prepared to begin your academic studies
  • Demonstrates you have the English-language skills to succeed  

TOEFL iBT provides fair, unbiased testing by having multiple raters score your writing and speaking responses. You can view your scores online 15 working days after you test, and receive useful feedback on how to improve your skills even more.

For more information about the TOEFL test, including test dates and locations, registration procedures or to view the list of more than 6,000 institutions that accept TOEFL scores visit the ETS website.

Copyright © 2006 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved.ETS, the ETS logo and TOEFL are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service. TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE is a trademark of ETS.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in February 2021

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