TOEFL 2016 PATTERN & SYLLABUS
NATIONAL LEVEL ONLINE/OFFLINE TEST
TOEFL is an English Language Proficiency test conducted accepted globally by various prestigious Institutes/Universities for admitting candidates who are non-native English Speakers. TOEFL iBT Test is a trademark of ETS (Educational Testing Service), a private not-for-profit organization. Knowledge about the ToEFL Syllabus is necessary for candidates to excel in the exam.
|TOEFL APPLICATION FORM||TOEFL||TOEFL PRACTICE PAPERS||TOEFL RESULTS|
TOEFL Pattern is considered to be one of the most difficult by many language experts. Candidates usually have to undergo special classes/coaching for TOEFL Preparation as per the TOEFL Syllabus. The TOEFL Syllabus is designed to assess students in various skills of English Language such as reading, listening, speaking and writing.
The candidates should be updated with the TOEFL Syllabus & Pattern. The TOEFL Pattern comprises 4sections namely Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The test is conducted in online mode at designated specific ETS-approved test centers. The test is aimed to evaluate whether the candidates are ready to pursue academic courses and communicate with ease in proper English Speaking environment.
The important highlights of TOEFL Pattern are mentioned in the table below. Candidates should carefully go through the structure and pattern of the TOEFL before they start devising their preparation strategy.
|Mode of Test||Online mode via Secure Internet Gateway|
|No. of questions||36-56||34-51 questions||6 questions||2 questions|
|Time Allotted||60-80 minutes||60-90 minutes||20 minutes||50 minutes|
|Types of Questions||Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions||Listen to Lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, and then respond to questions||Express Opinion on a particular topic/ Speak based on reading and listening tasks||Write responses in the form of essay based on reading and listening tasks/ support the opinion in writing|
|Integrated Skills Required/Tested||Read, listen, and then speak in response to a question|
|Listen and then speak in response to a question|
|Read, listen, and then write in response to a question|
NOTE 1: There can be additional questions as per TOEFL Pattern in the Reading or Listening Section which are actually not considered for determining the overall score of candidates. Such questions are meant to enable ETS for comparing the test scores across different test administrations or else these are new questions that are meant to test their functionality in actual testing circumstances.
NOTE 2: There is a mandatory ten minutes break in the middle of the online testing session.
The Reading section in TOEFL Exam comprises 3-4 passages and 36-56 questions related to those passages. Candidates have to read those questions on the screen and then respond on the basis of related questions. Normally, there are 60-80 minutes allotted for answering the TOEFL Reading Section.
According to the TOEFL Pattern, there will be 12-14 questions related to each passage. Candidates would be judged on the basis of their fluency and speed at which the candidate is reading the paragraph.
Candidates are required to prepare well for the Reading exercise as the passages are set from formal English academic texts. Candidates are required to discern the main gist, important points and details in the paragraph, usage of grammar and vocabulary, etc. Also, candidates are required to understand various ideas connected throughout the passage.
There are primarily 3 question formats in the reading section. Candidates are required to answer the following questions:
NOTE: All the passages are accompanied with a “reading to learn” question. Such questions are aimed at testing candidate’s ability to comprehend the organization of a passage and complex relationships among various facts and ideas throughout the passage.
Candidates have to sort the information for such questions and place them in the form of category charts or summary. Summary questions are worth two points while for chart questions 3 points if the number of options provided are up to 5 and 4 points if the number of options provided are up to 7.
Candidates can make use of these helpful tips provided by experts and test providers to perform well in the TOEFL Reading Section:
The listening round comprises of recorded lectures, classroom discussions and conversations. Candidates have to comprehend the basic idea as well as other major related points. They have to gauge the speakers’ degree of certainty, attitude and function. All the conclusions are required to infer and draw conclusions on the implication of the photograph.
The TOEFL pattern and duration of the listening exercise is mentioned in the table below.
|Listening Material||Number of Questions||Section Duration|
|4-6 lectures; each 3-5 minutes long||6 questions per lecture||60-90 minutes|
|2-3 conversations; approximately 3 mins long||5 questions per conversation|
The lectures in the TOEFL iBT test are designed to reflect the kind of listening and speaking taking place in an actual classroom setting while the conversations are usually office meeting with a professor or teaching assistant, or during a service encounter with university staff. The listening activities are mostly academic in nature.
There are 3 types of questions in the TOEFL Listening section primarily.
Listening is usually one of the most neglected activity in our daily life. Candidates are required to practice listening as per TOEFL Pattern with the help of various listening activities.
The speaking activity in the TOEFL Pattern is designed to measure the ability of the candidate to speak in English in proper academic environment. The tasks are aimed at replicating real-life situations that situations would encounter in their everyday life.
Candidates would be required to speak on topics based on personal experience, campus-based situations and academic content. The speaking section is estimated 20 minutes long and includes 6 questions. The first 2 questions are called Independent Speaking Tasks based on their own experiences, ideas and opinions.
The remaining 4 questions are known as Integrated Speaking Tasks as they require the candidates to integrate their English Language skills listening and speaking, or listening, reading and speaking which actually emulate the real life scenarios.
The format of tasks in TOEFL Speaking section is mentioned in the table below. Candidates are required to perform the these tasks in the stipulated time period.
|TASK TYPEE||TASK DESCRIPTION||TIMING|
|1. Personal Preference||This question asks you to express and defend a personal choice from a given category—for example, important people, places, events or activities that you enjoy.||Preparation time: 15 seconds|
|Response time: 45 seconds|
|2. Choice||This question asks you to make and defend a personal choice between two contrasting behaviours or courses of action.||Preparation time: 15 seconds|
|Response time: 45 seconds|
|3. Campus Situation Topic: Fit and Explain||• A reading passage (75–100 words) presents a campus-related issue.||Preparation time: 30 seconds|
|• A listening passage (60–80 seconds; 150–180 words) comments on the issue in the reading passage.||-|
|• The question asks you to summarize the speaker’s opinion within the context of the reading passage.||Response time: 60 seconds|
|4. Academic Course Topic: General/Specific||• A reading passage (75–100 words) broadly defines a term, process or idea from an academic subject.||Preparation time: 30 seconds|
|• An excerpt from a lecture (60–90 seconds; 150–220 words) provides examples and specific information to illustrate the term, process or idea from the reading passage.||-|
|• The question asks you to combine and convey important information from the reading passage and the lecture excerpt.||Response time: 60 seconds|
|5. Campus Situation Topic: Problem/Solution||• The listening passage (60–90 seconds; 180–220 words) is a conversation about a student-related problem and two possible solutions.||Preparation time: 20 seconds|
|• The question asks you to demonstrate an understanding of the problem and to express an opinion about solving the problem.||-|
|-||Response time: 60 seconds|
|.6. Academic Course Topic: Summary||• The listening passage (90–120 seconds; 230–280 words) is an excerpt from a lecture that explains a term or concept and gives concrete examples to illustrate that term or concept.||Preparation time: 20 seconds|
|• The question asks you to summarize the lecture and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the examples and the overall topic.||-|
|-||Response time: 60 seconds|
|TOTAL 20 minutes|
Candidates are allowed to take notes during the speaking section and use it when they are responding to the questions. Responses would be recorded via microphone and forwaded to ETS online scoring Network.
Responses would be scored considering several parameters. The raters would be looking for following features while scoring the responses:
Some handy tips for TOEFL Speaking Section according to the TOEFL Pattern are mentioned below. For the speaking section, candidates are required to use a headset with microphone for giving response.
The final section of the TOEFL Exam is the writing section. TOEFL Writing section is aimed at assessing candidates’ ability to fluently write in English in a proper academic environment. Candidates must be able to relate their ideas in writing in a clear and concise manner in the writing test.
Candidates would be often required to engage in “integrated writing” methodology which is involves a combination of different types of skills such as Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The candidates would be often required to:
The writing test is also conducted on the online mode. Candidates are required to perform one of the following tasks as indicated in the table below.
|Integrated Writing Task Read/Listen/Write||• You read a short text of about 230–300 words (reading time: three minutes) on an academic topic.|
|• You may take notes on the reading passage.|
|• The reading passage disappears from the screen during the lecture that follows. It reappears when you begin writing so you can refer to it as you work.|
|• You listen to a speaker discuss the same topic from a different perspective. The listening passage is about 230–300 words long (listening time: two minutes).|
|• The listening passage provides additional information that relates to points made in the reading passage. You may take notes on the listening passage.|
|• You write a summary in connected English prose of important points made in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. Suggested response length is 150–225 words; however, there is no penalty for writing more as long as it is in response to the task presented.|
|Independent Writing||• You write an essay that states, explains and supports your opinion on an issue. An effective essay will usually contain a minimum of 300 words; however, you may write more if you wish.|
|• You must support your opinions or choices rather than simply list personal preferences or choices.|
|Writing from Experience and Knowledge||• Typical essay questions begin with statements such as:|
|– Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Use reasons and specific details to support your answer.|
|– Some people believe [X]. Other people believe [Y]. Which of these two positions do you prefer/agree with? Give reasons and specific details.|
Candidates are required to develop fundamental writing skills before they start focusing in more targeted practice. The following tips are prepared considering the TOEFL Pattern. It would help candidates to perform better in the TOEFL Writing Section.