What is the TOEFL exam pattern and syllabus 2022-2023?

Updated on: Dec 2, 2022
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Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is a popular English assessment examination for candidates looking to study in major English-speaking countries like the U.S. or Canada. It helps the university comprehend student's ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.

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The Educational Testing Service (ETS) conducts the TOEFL exam to measure the proficiency level of a non-native English speaker in communicating in English.

TOEFL Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2022

The TOEFL exam is available in three formats:-

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-based test) - The candidates should reach the test centre and take the test online.
  • TOEFL at Home (home-based test) - The candidates can take the test at home.
  • TOEFL Paper delivered test (paper based test) - The candidates can take the test on paper both at the TOEFL test centre and at home.

The TOEFL exam is divided into four sections - Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each section analyses specific skills of the individual regarding the English language.

SectionTotal QuestionsDurationDetails
Reading36-56 questions60-80 minutes3-4 reading passages with questions.
Listening34-51 questions60-90 minutes3-4 audio recordings of lectures, discussions, and conversations
Writing2 tasks50 minutesFirst task - Read or listen to a passage or a lecture to write answers. Second task - Write an essay on a given topic.
Speaking6 tasks20 minutesFace-to-face conversation on familiar topics or any academic-related issues.

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TOEFL Exam Reading Section

The Reading section appears first in the TOEFL exam. The main focus of this section is to assess the candidate's capability to understand English. It tests comprehension skills and involves passages around everyday issues, usually from high education textbooks.

There are 3-4 passages containing 10-12 questions. After reading each passage, the candidate has to answer a set of questions based on his understanding of the passage.

  • Total Duration: 60-80 minutes
  • Number of passages: 3-4
  • Total questions: 36-48

TOEFL Exam Reading Question Types

There are different types of reading questions that the candidate has to answer in the reading section. Some of the questions that are generally asked in the reading section are:

  • Factual and Negative Factual Information: The factual information questions targets the major ideas, facts, and definitions. In the negative factual information questions, the candidate has to identify the wrong answer from 4 options.
  • Inference and Rhetorical: In interference questions, the candidate has to identify the ambiguous statement of the passage, while in rhetorical questions, the candidate has to state the purpose or the 'WHY'.
  • Vocabulary: In vocabulary questions, the candidate has to answer the meanings of particular words in the passage.
  • Insert Text: These questions test the logical placement of ideas in a particular passage. There is at least one insert text question in each reading section.
  • Sentence Explanation: In the sentence explanation questions, the candidate has to choose the sentence that is explained in simpler form from two similar sentences.
  • Prose Summary: In prose summary questions, the candidates must identify the passage's main ideas.

TOEFL Exam Listening Section

The TOEFL exam listening section focuses on evaluating the candidate's ability to understand the English language and the different accents used worldwide. It tests a candidate's ability to comprehend the audio and correctly summarise the information.

The listening section consists of 3-4 audio lectures and 2-3 audio conversations, followed by questions based on each audio clip. The audio could be of a speech, general discussion, or conflict resolution. 

  • Total Duration: 60-90 minutes
  • Number of lectures: 3-4
  • Number of conversations: 2-3
  • Total questions: 34-50

TOEFL Exam Listening Question Types

There are different types of listening questions that the candidate has to answer in the listening section. Most listening section questions are from the reading section passages. So, the candidates must pay attention to understanding the passage's tone. Some of the questions that are generally asked in the listening section are:

  • Gist Content/Purpose: The gist content questions are about the main idea or purpose of the audio.
  • Detail Questions: In detail questions, the candidate has to provide the factual details derived from the audio.
  • Function: The function questions require the candidate to determine the actual meaning of the context.
  • Attitude: In attitude questions, the candidate has to determine the attitude or expression of specified words.
  • Inference: In the inference questions, the candidate has to determine or infer the underlying meaning of the lecture.
  • Connections: In the connections questions, the candidate has to find the connections between the ideas in the lecture.
  • Organization: The organization questions require the candidate to determine how the lecture is structured.

TOEFL Exam Writing Section

The TOEFL Writing section tests the ability of the candidate to express opinions and views by writing in the English language. It focuses on testing the candidate’s writing ability through an essay and equivalent cross-functional tasks like integrated writing.

  • Total Duration: 50 minutes
  • Number of tasks: 2 (integrated and independent)
  • Integrated task: reading, listening, and writing tasks
  • Independent task: writing essay

TOEFL Exam Writing Question Types

There are two types of tasks in the TOEFL Writing section. These are:

  • Integrated writing task
  • Independent writing task

Integrated writing task: In the integrated writing task, the candidate has to read a passage on a particular topic, listen to a lecture about the topic, and then summarize the main points in the passage and the lecture. The candidates will get 3 minutes to read a passage of around 300 words, followed by listening to an audio clip of 2 minutes. After reading and listening, the candidates should explain how the passage and audio clip support each other.

Independent writing task: In the independent writing task, the candidate has to present their own views, opinions, and experiences through writing. There will not be any reading passage or audio clip. The candidate has to write 300 words about a particular topic on their own within 30 minutes.

TOEFL Exam Speaking Section

The TOEFL speaking section focuses on evaluating the candidate's ability to speak the English language fluently. This section requires the candidates to present their views on a given topic. 

The speaking section tests how well the candidate articulates opinions and speaks about them. It is considered the most difficult section of the TOEFL exam. This test is evaluated by a human and an AI-based rater. 

  • Total Duration: 20 minutes
  • Number of tasks: 4 (1 - independent, 3 - integrated)
  • Independent task: 15 sec preparation time and 45 seconds response time.
  • Integrated tasks: 30 sec preparation time and 60 seconds response time.

TOEFL Exam Speaking Question Types

There are two types of questions in the TOEFL speaking section. These are:

  • Independent task: There is one independent task where the candidate has to present their own thoughts, views, and experiences.
  • Integrated task: There are four cross-functional integrated tasks where the candidate's speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills are integrated.

Tips to Ace your TOEFL Exam

Here are the top 7 tips to help you score well in the TOEFL exam.

  • Thoroughly understand the format of the TOEFL test
  • Pick up a good study guide
  • Read different source materials like a newspaper every day 
  • Practice speaking, note taking, and timed writing
  • Take Mock tests
  • Build your vocabulary
  • Follow a study routine and track your progress

Summary of TOEFL Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2022

SectionsReading, Listening, Writing, Speaking
Total Duration3 hours
Score Range0 - 120
Mode of ExamOnline and paper-based
Validity2 years

With the TOEFL exam pattern and syllabus known, it's time to kickstart your TOEFL exam preparations. Connect with Edvoy today for complete guidance on the English assessment tests and enrolling in your preferred university.

FAQs

What are the different sections in the TOEFL exam pattern and syllabus 2022?

The TOEFL exam pattern has four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Each section analyses specific skills of the individual regarding the English language.

Is the TOEFL test harder than IELTS?

Although both IELTS and TOEFL are English language proficiency tests, TOEFL is considered a bit harder test than IELTS. The reading section of TOEFL is generally a bit tougher than IELTS.

What are the passing marks for the TOEFL test?

There are not any passing marks mentioned for TOEFL. Each university has its own score for admission purposes. The TOEFL test score ranges from 0 to 120. The average score for undergraduate students is 74.2, and for graduate students, it is 82.6.

How many times can I take the TOEFL test?

There is no limit on the number of times you can take the TOEFL test. In fact, you can retake the TOEFL iBT test every 3 days.

What is the validity of the TOEFL score?

The TOEFL score has a validity of 2 years after the declaration of the result.

What are the maximum marks for each section?

The maximum marks for each section are 30. So, the overall maximum mark you can score in the TOEFL exam is 120.

What is the duration of the TOEFL test?

According to the TOEFL exam pattern 2022, it takes about 3 hours to complete the test.

Are there any changes in the exam pattern of TOEFL iBT at the center and at home?

No, there are not any changes in the exam pattern of TOEFL iBT at the center and at home. The exam pattern of both TOEFL iBT at the center and at home are kept the same to maintain the consistency of the test.

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