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TOEFL gets a new format
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November 08, 2006

A new four-hour internet-based version of the Test of English as Foreign Language,  called TOEFL iBT (internet based test), is being introduced worldwide. The paper-based TOEFL test, however, will continue to be offered until the internet-based test is made available.

The new format

TOEFL has two existing formats -- computer-based and paper-based. In the new format, changes have been made in the speaking and writing sections. The reading and listening sections remain the same.

~ The speaking section will now have six tasks where the students will be given two independent tasks to express an opinion on a familiar topic and four integrated tasks to speak, based on what is read and heard. Up to 30 seconds will be given to prepare the response and one minute will be allotted to respond.

~ The writing section will comprise two tasks -- writing, based on what is read and heard, and supporting an opinion on a topic. The time allotted for this would be 50 minutes.

~ There will be no grammar section in the new format. Grammar will be evaluated in speaking and writing responses.

All the four sections will be taken on the same day.

Scores online

The scores of the test will now be reported online. Those who take the test can view the scores, 15 working days after the test. Scoring guides and sample responses for both the writing and speaking sections are available at www.ets.org/toefl

The new test will be administered in secure internet-based test centres on fixed test dates. The fees will vary from country to country. TOEFL is an examination conducted by Education Testing Service, a private educational testing and measurement organisation. ETS also holds other exams like Graduate Records Examination, College Board's SAT, Advanced Placement et al. These exams are taken up by students and executives who wish to pursue studies abroad.

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