TOEFL test

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an English language proficiency test for non-native speakers or individuals who consider English their second language. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, and in Arabic, it is known as a test for English as a second language. The test is administered by a global center in the United States called the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Importance of TOEFL

Many universities around the world, where English is the language of instruction, require students to pass the TOEFL as a basic condition for admission, especially for international students in the United States. The main purpose of the TOEFL is to measure a student’s skills and abilities in understanding spoken and written English, and to assess their English proficiency at the university level. Over 35 million people globally have taken the TOEFL to demonstrate their English proficiency.


TOEFL is important for:

Students may take the TOEFL in one of two formats:

Internet Based TOEFL (iBT)

This newer method is conducted via computer and is considered easier compared to the paper-based version due to the variety of question formats. However, it does not allow examinees to review the questions they have answered.

Paper-Based Testing (PBT)

This traditional method uses paper and pen, potentially providing more accurate results for assessing a person’s English language proficiency.

Details of the TOEFL

The test is divided into four sections


This section assesses the student’s language ability in reading and vocabulary knowledge, where the examinee answers 30-40 questions based on 3-4 written passages within 54-72 minutes. Questions typically relate to the content, author’s intent, or ideas presented in the passages, and also include vocabulary terms found in the passages.


In this section, the examinee listens to conversations between two or more people. After hearing the conversation, they answer questions on a response sheet. This part ends after the last conversation, with adequate time given to answer the questions about it, often revolving around university life. It includes 28-39 questions answered within 41-57 minutes.

After completing the Reading and Listening tests, the examinee takes a 10-minute break


Examinees engage in a conversation and express opinions on a general topic, lasting up to 17 minutes.


This section tests the student’s writing skills and proficiency in using English vocabulary and terms. The examinee is asked to write an essay within 50 minutes, detailing their viewpoint.

International TOEFL

The international TOEFL is conducted on specific days at specialized centers in 180 countries, including the U.S. This is the official or “international” test recognized worldwide, with a list of centers available in the free information booklet at TOEFL offices, U.S. embassies, U.S. services offices, IIE centers, or AMIDEAST centers.


Many schools, colleges, universities, and private agencies conduct the Local TOEFL, which is similar in length, format, and difficulty to the International TOEFL but has different dates and objectives. This test is used for student admissions, placement, or to determine their eligibility to continue their studies or take on a job, within the institution conducting the test.

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