TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language.  Administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), this language test measures how well non-native speakers can use and understand English (American English) for academic purposes. The test is divided into 4 sections:

    - Reading

    - Listening

    - Speaking

    - Writing

Each of the 4 sections comprises a total score of 30, with a cumulative score of 120 for the entire test.

History of TOEFL

The TOEFL pBT (paper-based-test) was launched in 1964, having a cumulative full score of 667. The PBT comprised of 4 sections: listening, structure (error identification), reading and writing. The first three sections (listening, structure and reading) add up to a total score of 667, whilst the writing section (essay) has an independent scoring system of 0-6.

After the paper-based test, the ETS introduced a cBT version (computer-based-test) of the TOEFL test in 1998. The cBT version shared the same format as the pBT (listening, structure, reading and writing), but was administered on the computer rather than on paper as the name itself suggests. The cBT was a computer adaptive test, where scoring was adjusted depending on the level of difficulty of the questions. In other words, correct answers to difficult questions weighed more towards the final score. The total score in the first three parts add up to a total score of 300, with a separate essay score of 0-6. 

Then in 2006, the most recent version of the TOEFL test was introduced. It's a modification of the cBT where the test is linked to the internet. This test is known as the TOEFL iBT (internet-based-test).    

So let's take a closer look at what the test is like.

TOEFL iBT (Internet-based-test) Test Sections







3-4 Academic Passages

12-14 Questions per passage (Total of 36-56 Questions)

60-80 Minutes



4-6 Lectures/Discussions

6 Questions per lecture/discussion

60-90 Minutes


2-3 Conversations

5 Questions per conversation

(Total of 34-51 Questions)

----------10 Minutes Break-----------


Independent: Express an opinion on a familiar topic

2 tasks/topics

20 Minutes


Integrated: Speak based on reading & listening tasks

4 tasks

(2 for reading, 2 for listening)


Integrated: Write an essay corresponding to a reading and listening task.

1 task

50 Minutes


Independent: Write an essay to support an opinion on a familiar topic.

1 task


3 – 4.5 Hours



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Score Acceptance

Universities accept scores ranging from 61 to 120. Most Universities will have a required minimum score, and this minimum score will differ from university to university. However, a minimum score doesn't guarantee acceptance. In reality, in order to get accepted into reputable universities, we recommend that you have a TOEFL iBT score of at least 100.


Key note/question: Should I take IELTS or TOEFL?

Nowadays most universities around the world are beginning to accept IELTS test scores as well as TOEFL test scores, both tests being rather interchangeable. That being said, many people start to contemplate whether they should take the IELTS test instead of the TOEFL because they have an assumption that the IELTS test is easier.

In our opinion, we think that there are different challenges in different sections of both tests. Many people find the Listening and Reading sections more challenging in the IELTS test in comparison to the TOEFL test. This is because the Listening and Reading sections in the IELTS comprise of different types of tasks (ie. Multiple choice, completion, labelling, true/false/not given, matching, etc). In the TOEFL however, the Listening and Reading sections only comprise of multiple choice type questions.

On the other hand, there are people who find the Speaking and Writing sections in the TOEFL test more challenging in comparison to the IELTS test. This is because the Speaking and Writing sections in the TOEFL test demands ‘integrated’skills (eg. Having to listen to a monologue prior to providing an opinionated response.) Furthermore, in the TOEFL Speaking section, test takers are required to speak into a recording headset/microphone instead of a live-examiner like that of the IELTS test. Preference may vary from individual to individual, whilst some may prefer a face-to-face conversation with an examiner, others may find it more comfortable to speak into a microphone.


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TOEFL Schedule and Registration



Tel: 081-555-5873

Address: 281/32 Surawong Road, Bangrak, 10500 Thailand.

(Next to Neilson Hay’s Library)
5 Minutes from BTS Saladaeng and BTS Surasak
5 Minutes from MRT Hua Lampong