TOEFL iBT FAQ

TOEFL iBT FAQ

The TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. More than 9,000 institutions and agencies in more than 130 countries accept TOEFL scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English. The admissions committees of colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and many other countries require that foreign applicants submit TOEFL scores along with transcripts and recommendations in order to be considered for admission. In addition, many government, licensing, and certification agencies and exchange and scholarship programs worldwide use TOEFL scores to assess the English language skills of people for whom English is not their native language. Finally, many multinational corporations and even those Moldovan companies that work with foreign partners would like to see the TOEFL scores of their job applicants in order to measure the ability of the latter to use and understand English.

The TOEFL is currently administered in more than 4,500 test centers located in 165 countries, including the Republic of Moldova, making it the most accessible test in the world. Almost one million students register to take the TOEFL every year. Some of them do not score well because they do not understand enough English. Others do not score well because they do not understand the examination. The following questions are frequently asked by students enrolled in the TOEFL Preparation Program at Terra Nova as they prepare for the TOEFL iBT.

TOEFL PROGRAM
What is the history of the TOEFL Program?
What versions of the TOEFL are administered in the Republic of Moldova?
What is the TOEFL iBT?
Why was the TOEFL iBT introduced?
Is the TOEFL iBT more difficult than the previous TOEFL formats?
What is the structure of the TOEFL iBT?
How are test questions created?
Where can I get writing topics found on the independent writing task for the TOEFL iBT?


TOEFL iBT REGISTRATION
How do I register for the TOEFL iBT?
How do I create my profile in the TOEFL iBT registration system?
How do I register for the TOEFL iBT online?
Will my TOEFL iBT registration be confirmed?
How do I select my score recipients?
Where can I find a free TOEFL iBT Registration and Information Bulletin?
Where is our Regional Registration Center?
When should I register for the TOEFL iBT?
May I reschedule or cancel my registration?


TOEFL iBT FEES
What are the fees for the TOEFL iBT?
How may I pay the fees for the TOEFL iBT?
Will I receive a refund if I cancel my registration?


TOEFL iBT ADMINISTRATION
How is the TOEFL iBT administered?
In what room is the TOEFL iBT offered?
What should I take with me to the test room?
What must I bring to the test center?
What are test center guidelines, policies, and procedures?
Can I be dismissed from the test center?
How long is the testing session?
Which computer keyboard is used in administering the TOEFL iBT?
What should I do if there is no testing due to conditions over which I have no control?


TOEFL iBT EXAMINATION
What kinds of questions are found on the TOEFL iBT?
Are there any sample questions?
Are TOEFL iBT questions the same everywhere on the same date?
Why are some of the Reading and Listening sections longer?
May I choose the order of the sections on my TOEFL iBT?
May I take notes?
May I change an answer?
If I am not sure of an answer, should I guess?
What should I do if I cannot hear the audio for the Listening section?
What should I do if I have a personal problem during the test?
Are breaks scheduled during the TOEFL iBT?
How often may I take the TOEFL iBT?
If I have already taken the TOEFL, how will the previous scores affect my new score?
May I keep my test?
What happens to someone who cheats on the TOEFL iBT?


TOEFL iBT SCORE REPORTS
What should I do to earn a score on the TOEFL iBT?
How is the total TOEFL iBT score calculated?
What TOEFL iBT scores are considered acceptable?
How do the scores compare on the iBT, CBT, and PBT formats?
How and when do I get my scores?
May I cancel my scores?
How can I send additional score reports?
Is there a direct correspondence between proficiency in English and a TOEFL score?
How long are TOEFL iBT scores valid?
Can I estimate my TOEFL iBT score before I take the actual test?
How is the Speaking section scored?
How is the Writing section scored?


ETS
What is ETS?

TOEFL iBT SUCCESS
Will I succeed on the TOEFL iBT?

Answers:
What is the history of the TOEFL Program?
The TOEFL Program was launched in 1962 when the National Council on the Testing of English as a Foreign Language was formed. Its members were representatives of more than 30 private organizations and government agencies concerned with the English proficiency of nonnative speakers of English who wished to study at colleges and universities in the United States. The council supported the development of the TOEFL for use starting in 1963-1964. Financed by grants from the Ford and Danforth Foundations, the TOEFL Program was first administered by the Modern Language Association. In 1965, the College Board and Educational Testing Service (ETS) assumed joint responsibility for the program. Because many who take the TOEFL are potential graduate students, a cooperative arrangement for the operation of the program was entered into by ETS, the College Board, and the Graduate Record Examinations Board in 1973. Under this arrangement, ETS is responsible for administering the TOEFL program with guidance from the TOEFL Board.

The test originally contained five sections. As a result of extensive research, a three-section test measuring listening comprehension, structure and written expression, and reading comprehension was developed and introduced in 1976. In July 1995, the test item format was modified somewhat within the same three-section structure.

Throughout the 1990s, various constituencies called for a new TOEFL that would (1) be more reflective of communicative competence models; (2) include more constructed-response tasks and direct measures of writing and speaking; (3) include tasks that integrate the language modalities tested; and (4) provide more information than the paper-based TOEFL (TOEFL PBT) about the ability of international students to use English in an academic environment. Accordingly, the TOEFL Board initiated a broad effort under which language testing will evolve in the twenty-first century. The introduction of the computer-based TOEFL (TOEFL CBT) in July 1998 was the first incremental step in this broad test-improvement effort.

The next step was the introduction of an Internet-based version of the TOEFL (TOEFL iBT) in September 2005. The test was first administered in the United States on September 24, 2005. In October 2005, it began in Canada, France, Germany, and Italy. Since then, the TOEFL iBT has been gradually rolled out worldwide. The test assesses all four language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) that are important for effective communication. The TOEFL iBT emphasizes integrated skills and provides better information to institutions about students' ability to communicate in an academic setting and their readiness for academic coursework. As the TOEFL iBT was introduced in an area, the TOEFL CBT was discontinued after a period of overlap in order to ensure a smooth transition to the TOEFL iBT. The final administration of the TOEFL CBT was held in September 2006. The TOEFL PBT will continue to be offered on a limited basis to support the TOEFL iBT testing network.

On November 1, 2011, ETS introduced timing and navigation enhancements to the TOEFL iBT Reading Section. In response to test takers' feedback about the length of the section, ETS decreased the maximum number of reading passages from five to four. Test takers now have either 60 minutes to complete three reading passages and questions, or 80 minutes to complete four reading passages and questions. In addition, the Reading section is no longer divided into separately timed parts. Instead, all of the Reading passages and questions are made available in a single block of time. This change allows test-takers to pace themselves throughout the entire Reading section. It also allows navigating within the entire Reading section so that test takers can skip questions, go back to review and change responses, or respond to questions that they may have skipped.

Beginning in March 2013, the Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT test may include other native-speaker English accents in addition to accents from North America. In the Speaking section, only items 1 and 2 of the six tasks may have accented speech. Test takers may hear accents from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, or Australia. ETS added these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad.

What versions of the TOEFL are administered in the Republic of Moldova?
The paper-based TOEFL had been administered in the Republic of Moldova on a regular basis until the Internet-based TOEFL was introduced in September 2006. The last TOEFL PBT was administered in Chișinău on May 13, 2006. The computer-based TOEFL, which is no longer administered in the world, was never administered in our country. The administration of TOEFL iBT in Moldova started on September 23, 2006. The Internet-based TOEFL is administered at three ETS-certified test centers in Chișinău at least once a month. To get a schedule of times and test centers, visit the Test Takers section of the TOEFL website or ask your TOEFL instructor.

What is the TOEFL iBT?
The TOEFL iBT tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The content on the test is authentic, and the language is consistent with that used in everyday academic settings. The test is delivered via the Internet in secure test centers around the world. The TOEFL iBT is approximately four hours long. All test sections are completed on the same day. There is no longer a Structure (Grammar) section, which was part of the PBT and the CBT. Still, grammar is tested both directly and indirectly throughout the whole examination, especially in the Speaking and Writing sections.

The TOEFL iBT READING SECTION measures the test taker's ability to understand university-level academic texts and passages covering a variety of different subjects. Besides traditional multiple-choice format questions, the TOEFL iBT Reading section has questions that ask test takers to select the answer choice that most accurately paraphrases a sentence from the passage, to insert a sentence where it fits best in the passage, and to categorize information and fill in a chart or complete a summary. Test takers can click on certain words and phrases in the reading passages to view their definitions or explanations.

The TOEFL iBT LISTENING SECTION measures the test taker's ability to understand spoken English. Listening material includes academic lectures and long conversations. The lectures in the TOEFL iBT reflect the kind of listening and speaking that occurs in the classroom. The conversations on the TOEFL iBT may take place during an office meeting with a professor or teaching assistant, or during a service encounter with university staff. Even though the lectures and conversations are long, test takers can take notes. Actually, notetaking is allowed throughout the entire test. The speech in the listening material sounds more natural, and one lecture per test may use a British, Australian, or New Zealand accent. In addition to traditional multiple-choice questions with four answer choices and a single correct answer, the TOEFL iBT Listening section includes questions that measure understanding of a speaker's attitude, degree of certainty, and purpose, or require test takers to order events or steps in a process or to match objects or text to categories in a chart.

The TOEFL iBT SPEAKING SECTION, which measures the test taker's ability to speak effectively in academic settings, includes two independent and four integrated tasks. Test takers wear noise-cancelling headphones and speak into a microphone when they respond. The responses are digitally recorded and transmitted to ETS's Online Scoring Network, where human raters, who are trained and certified by ETS, evaluate them.

The TOEFL iBT WRITING SECTION, which measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting, has two tasks, integrated and independent. The TOEFL iBT requires that test takers write a response to material that they have heard and read and compose an essay in support of an opinion. Human raters also evaluate the responses to the Writing tasks via ETS's Online Scoring Network. eRater automated scoring technology is used with human ratings to score the independent and integrated writing tasks. Using both human judgment for content and meaning with automated scoring for linguistic features ensures consistent, quality scores. The Writing section requires typing. If you cannot type, you should learn how to type as soon as possible.

Why was the TOEFL iBT introduced?
The TOEFL iBT better measures what colleges and universities need to know: a prospective student's ability to use English in an academic setting. The new Speaking section evaluates a person's ability to use spoken English, and the new integrated Writing and Speaking tasks measure the ability to combine information from more than one source and communicate about it. The new integrated tasks that combine more than one skill are designed to reflect how we really use language. By preparing for the TOEFL iBT, students are building the skills that they need in order to use language in an academic setting and communicate with confidence. In the past, language learning focused on learning about the language (especially grammar), and students would receive high scores on tests without necessarily having the ability to communicate. Now teachers and learners understand the importance of learning to use English to communicate, and activities that focus on communication and integrating (combining) skills are very popular in many English language programs.

Is the TOEFL iBT more difficult than the previous TOEFL formats?
Although the TOEFL iBT Reading and Listening sections contain longer passages, the questions are not very different from those on the previous TOEFL formats. The integrated tasks on the TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing sections may be considered more challenging. However, to succeed academically in English-speaking colleges and universities, students need to be able to combine their language skills in the classroom. The integrated tasks in the TOEFL iBT help learners build the confidence needed to communicate in the academic environments they plan to enter.

What is the structure of the TOEFL iBT?
The test includes four sections and takes about four hours to complete. The chart below shows the timing for each section and the range of questions. The time limit for each section varies according to the number of questions. If the Reading section is short, the Listening section is long, and vice versa.

Section Description Testing Time Questions Score Scale
Reading 3-4 passages from academic texts; approximately 700 words long; 12-14 questions per passage. 60-80 minutes 36-56 questions 0-30
Listening 4-6 lectures, some with classroom discussion; each 3-5 minutes long; 6 questions each. 2-3 conversations; each 3 minutes long; 5 questions each. 60-90 minutes 34-51 questions 0-30
Break ... 10 minutes ... ...
Speaking 6 tasks: 2 independent and 4 integrated. 2 tasks to express an opinion on a familiar topic; 4 tasks to speak based on what is read and listened to. 20 minutes 6 tasks 0-4 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Writing 2 tasks: 1 integrated and 1 independent. 1 task to write based on what is read and listened to; 1 task to support an opinion on a topic. 50 (20+30) minutes 2 tasks 0-5 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Total Score ... ... ... 0-120


How are test questions created?
Language specialists prepare TOEFL test questions and follow rigorous, standardized procedures to ensure that test material is of consistent high quality. Each question is reviewed by several ETS staff members. The TOEFL Committee of Examiners - an independent group of professionals in the fields of linguistics, language testing, and language teaching that reports to the TOEFL Board - establishes guidelines for test content. After test questions have been reviewed and revised, they are administered in trial situations and assembled into tests. Tests are reviewed according to ETS and TOEFL program procedures to ensure that all tests are free of cultural bias. Statistical analyses of individual questions ensure that all items provide appropriate measurement information.

Where can I get writing topics found on the independent writing task for the TOEFL iBT?
Many of the topics that were previously published for the CBT or the PBT are similar to the types of topics found on the independent writing task for the TOEFL iBT. The library section of this website has a list of the actual independent writing topics that were eligible for use on former versions of the TOEFL. What should you do with this list of topics? To prepare for the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT, you should choose topics from the list and practice writing essays in response. After completing your essays, ask your TOEFL instructor to evaluate them against the scoring criteria (writing rubrics, available in the library section of this website) and to give you feedback.

How do I register for the TOEFL iBT?
Walk-in registration is not available for the TOEFL iBT. You may register either online (a credit card, an e-check, or a PayPal account is required), or by calling our Regional Registration Center (a credit card, an e-check, or a PayPal account is required), or by completing and sending by mail the TOEFL iBT Registration Form. The Registration Form is available online on the TOEFL website or can be found in the TOEFL iBT Information and Registration Bulletin. The Registration Form must be received at least four weeks before your test date. If you register by mail, do not forget to include payment. Terra Nova recommends online registration for the fastest, safest, and most convenient service. Online registration is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can register by yourself with your credit card (VISA or MasterCard, which can be obtained from most Moldovan banks) or you can register at Terra Nova for a small additional fee of U.S. $10. To register for the TOEFL iBT online, you must first create your profile in the TOEFL iBT registration system, either online (preferred) or through a call service representative, to access all your information in one place. Create your profile before registering for a test. This will allow you to complete your registration more quickly.

How do I create my profile in the TOEFL iBT registration system?
Complete all of the required sections highlighted with an asterisk (*): country/location of residency, first/given name, last/family name, address, native country, native language, country of citizenship, username, and password. For security reasons, you must also select and answer three challenge questions that are easy to remember but that others do not know. If you forget your user name or password, you must answer one of these challenge questions to verify your identity. The information you provide will be kept completely confidential. The spelling of your name must exactly match the name printed on the identification document(s) you will present at the center. You must create your username and password according to the following rules. Usernames must be between 6 and 16 characters long and may contain both letters and numbers. The username may NOT contain any special characters like !, $, #, or %. Passwords must be between 8 and 16 characters long. For added security, they must also contain three of the following four character categories: UPPERCASE CHARACTERS (A through Z), lowercase characters (a through z), numeric characters (0 through 9), special characters (for example, !, $, #, %). Your password is case-sensitive. Only English characters are allowed and your password cannot contain your username, first/given name, or last/family name. If you have difficulty creating your profile in the TOEFL iBT registration system, turn to your TOEFL instructor.

How do I register for the TOEFL iBT online?
To register for a test online, you must select a test center, choose recipients for your test scores (this step can be skipped), set your score reporting preferences, answer demographic questions (this step can be skipped), review your order, and make your payment. Once you begin the registration process, do NOT use your browser's back button to return to a previous page. Do NOT browse any pages outside of the test registration system. Do NOT double-click any of the buttons, especially while submitting payment.

Will my registration be confirmed?
After you make your payment, the registration confirmation page will appear. The registration confirmation contains the time the test will be given and the exact test center address. Print out your registration confirmation and bring it with you to the test center. You can also e-mail yourself a copy of the registration confirmation. You will NOT receive an automatic confirmation of your registration by e-mail. The registration confirmation page will also let you view, print, and e-mail yourself a copy of your order receipt if you want confirmation of payment.

How do I select my score recipients?
It is best to select your score recipients (designated institutions to receive your scores) at the time of online registration. In this case, ETS will send your scores to 4 selected score recipients free of charge. You may update this information online free of charge up until 10 p.m. (local test center time) the evening before the test day. After that, a charge will be imposed. You will not be able to select your score recipients at the test center. See the code list for colleges and universities. This list is available during online registration.

Where can I find a free TOEFL iBT Registration and Information Bulletin?
This important bulletin includes the information that you will need to register for the TOEFL. It can be downloaded free of charge from the TOEFL website. The latest TOEFL iBT Registration and Information Bulletin can also be downloaded from the library section of this website.

Where is our Regional Registration Center?
Regional Registration Centers (RRCs) support the test sites and counseling centers in their region. They are listed on the TOEFL website. Our Regional Registration Center (Region 12) is located in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland; its registration phone number is 00-31-320-239-540 (if you call from Moldova); its fax number is 00-31-320-239-541 (if you fax from Moldova). You can also reach it by completing and submitting an easy-to-follow online form that can be accessed on PROMETRIC's Contact Us page. Your submission will be forwarded to a PROMETRIC representative, who will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

When should I register for the TOEFL?
Because test centers fill rapidly during desirable times, it is a good idea to register several months in advance. Registration is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The regular registration deadline is seven days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test). Late registration closes three days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test). Registrations received after the regular registration deadline incur a late fee of U.S. $40. For example, if your test date is October 14, the deadline to register without a late fee is October 7. If you are registering by mail, your registration form must be received at least four weeks before your earliest test date choice. If you are taking the TOEFL iBT as part of the application process for college or university admission, you should plan to take the test early enough for your score to be received by the admission office before the application deadline.

May I reschedule or cancel my registration?
To receive a refund, you must reschedule or cancel 4 full days before your test date (not including the day of the test or the day of your request). For example, if your test is on Saturday, you must call our iBT Regional Registration Center or use the TOEFL iBT online registration system to reschedule or cancel your registration by Tuesday. If your request is not received at least 4 full days in advance, your full test fee will be forfeited. Test administrators are not authorized to make schedule changes. To reschedule, you must provide your registration number and the full name that you used to register. The fee for rescheduling your appointment is U.S. $60. Payment must be received prior to rescheduling. If you cancel your registration by the deadline, you will receive a refund equivalent to half of the original test fee. The remainder of your payment will be retained to cover expenses for processing your registration and holding space at the test center. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Cash refunds are not available. Refunds will not be given if you do not follow proper registration procedures and/or fail to present the required identification documents at the test center.

What are the fees for the TOEFL iBT?
The TOEFL iBT registration fee varies by country. The fee for testing in the Republic of Moldova is U.S. $180. It includes one examinee score record (if requested) and four score reports sent to institutions designated when you register. The late registration fee is U.S. $40. If you reschedule your appointment, you will be charged a U.S. $60 rescheduling fee. The reinstatement of canceled iBT scores costs U.S. $20. Additional score report requests (per recipient) cost U.S. $20. TOEFL iBT Speaking or Writing section rescoring costs U.S. $80. TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing section rescoring costs U.S. $160. The fee for returned checks (paper or electronic; per check) is U.S. $20.

Fees are subject to change without notice and do not include VAT or other taxes. All payments for tests and services must be paid in full, be made within 90 days, have the correct numeric and written dollar amount, and have appropriate signature(s). You must submit payment in U.S. dollars, Euros, or any other acceptable currency (the list of acceptable currencies is available from the TOEFL website). Payments submitted in other currencies will not be accepted and will be returned.

How may I pay the fees?
The easiest, fastest, and the safest method of payment for the TOEFL iBT is by using VISA, American Express, JCB, MasterCard, or Discover cards (VISA and MasterCard bank cards in U.S. dollars or Euros can be obtained from Moldovan banks. If you decide to pay by credit/debit card, you will need to provide your first/given and last/family names (as they appear on the card), your billing address, and credit/debit card information (card type, number, security ID, and expiration date). Your VISA or MasterCard security ID (card verification code), which makes your credit or debit card transactions more secure, is a 3-digit code that is not embossed like the card number, and is always the final group of numbers printed on the back signature panel of the card. After you submit your credit/debit card information, a screen will appear showing that your order has been paid.

IMPORTANT:
Terra Nova can register you for the TOEFL iBT for a small fee of U.S. $10 in addition to the test fees. In this case, you will not need to obtain Visa or MasterCard and will avoid possible registration problems.


Will I receive a refund if I cancel my registration?
If you cancel your registration by the deadline (4 days before the test date, not including the day of the test or the day of your request), you will receive a refund equivalent to half of the original test fee. The remainder of your payment will be retained to cover expenses for processing your registration and holding space at the test center. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Cash refunds are not available. Refunds will not be given if you do not follow proper registration procedures and/or fail to present the required identification documents at the test center. If payment was made by credit/debit card or e-check, the refund will be credited back to the original credit/debit card or bank account. Taxes will be added where applicable.

How is the TOEFL iBT administered?
The TOEFL iBT is offered on a schedule of dates in a network of secure Internet-based test centers throughout the world. Internet-based testing makes it possible to expand the number of test centers in what is already the world's largest testing network. Most areas where the TOEFL iBT is offered have 30 to 40 administrations a year, but the number varies based on the number of test takers and test center capacity. In the Republic of Moldova, the TOEFL iBT is administered at three test centers in Chișinău at least once a month. Test location information is posted on the TOEFL website and is updated regularly. Information about test centers in Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine is provided in the TOEFL section on Terra Nova's website and is regularly updated.

In what room is the test offered?
The room in which the TOEFL iBT is administered is usually a computer lab or a language laboratory. It may be a classroom with about 10-15 computers at least 4 feet apart. When you arrive, you will be assigned a seat. Report to the test center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. If you arrive late, you may not be admitted, and your test fee will be forfeited. Testing premises are subject to videotaping.

What should I take with me to the test room?
You are NOT permitted to take anything with you when you enter the test room. No cellular phones, paper, dictionaries, pens, or pencils are allowed. The test supervisor will give you a headset, paper, and pencils. All scratch paper must be returned to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Before the test, you will receive instructions from test center staff regarding where you must deposit personal items. You will not have access to your personal items during the test or during breaks. Any violation of this procedure during the test or breaks may result in cancellation of your scores, dismissal by the test center staff, or banning from future testing.

What must I bring to the test center?
You must bring the following to the test center:

In the Republic of Moldova, the best identification documents accepted for admission to the TOEFL are your valid passport or your national ID card. If you do not have a passport or national ID card, you may refer to the TOEFL website for special directions. Your photograph will be taken at the test center and reproduced on all official score reports, along with your signature. Be sure to use the same spelling and order of your name on your registration materials, the test center log that you will sign when you enter and leave the test area, the forms on the computer screens, and any correspondence that you may have with the TOEFL office. You should also use the same spelling on applications for schools and documents for agencies that will receive your score reports. Even a small difference can cause serious delays or even denial of the applications.

What are test center guidelines, policies, and procedures?
The following information will help you understand test center guidelines, policies, and procedures.

Can I be dismissed from the test center?
You may be dismissed from a test session and/or your scores may be canceled for:

ETS reserves the right to take all action - including but not limited to, barring you from future testing and/or canceling your scores - for failure to comply with test administration regulations or the test administrator's directions. If your scores are canceled, they will not be reported and your fees will not be refunded.

How long is the testing session?
The TOEFL iBT takes about 4 hours to administer, including the time required for giving directions and the break between the Listening and the Speaking sections.

Which computer keyboard is used in administering the TOEFL iBT?
The TOEFL iBT is administered on a standard English-language (QWERTY) computer keyboard. QWERTY is the most common modern-day keyboard layout on English-language computer keyboards. It takes its name from the first six letters displayed at the top of the keyboard. We recommend test takers practice typing on a QWERTY computer keyboard before taking the TOEFL iBT.

What should I do if there is no testing due to conditions over which I have no control?
On occasion, weather conditions or other circumstances (for example, electrical power, equipment, or Internet failures) may result in a delayed start or rescheduled test. If your test session is canceled or if it is impossible to report your scores, you can take the test again free of charge or receive a full refund. To register for another test date or claim a full refund, contact ETS by phone or e-mail as soon as possible.

What kinds of questions are found on the TOEFL iBT?
The majority of the questions on the TOEFL iBT are multiple choice. Some other types of questions are also on the iBT. These questions have special directions on the screen. The questions that ask test takers to integrate (combine) two or more skills are probably the most distinguishing feature of the TOEFL iBT. Questions that assess integrated skills require test takers to:

These questions measure the ability of test takers to use English to communicate effectively and succeed in an English-speaking academic environment.

Are there any sample questions?
Terra Nova's TOEFL iBT class book provides you with model TOEFL iBT tests for practice and a comprehensive review of all TOEFL iBT sections. Sample questions are also available on the TOEFL website and in the TOEFL section of this website. You can tour the test free of charge and see sample questions for each of the 4 sections. You can also join TOEFL Practice Online for a fee. Additional sample TOEFL iBT tests are also available free of charge from Terra Nova.

Are TOEFL iBT questions the same everywhere on the same date?
The test is the same for everyone at a given time - no matter where you are located. On the same date, test takers in Canada or the United States and test takers in the Republic of Moldova are taking the same test. The only difference is that some of the examinees will have a longer Reading section, while others will have a longer Listening section.

Why are some of the Reading and Listening sections longer?
The test developers include experimental questions for either the Reading or the Listening section on most TOEFL forms. You must do your best on all the questions because you will not know which questions are experimental and which are test questions that will be scored. For example, you may be taking the iBT with someone who has experimental questions in Reading, but you may have experimental questions in Listening. For this reason, your friend's test may have a longer Reading section, and your test may have a longer Listening section. The experimental questions may be at the beginning, middle, or end of the section.

May I choose the order of the sections on my TOEFL iBT?
NO, you may not choose the order. Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing are tested in that order on the TOEFL iBT, with a 10-minute break between the Listening and the Speaking sections.

May I take notes?
YES, you are permitted to take notes and use them to answer the questions on the TOEFL iBT. This is consistent with what many students do when they attend academic lectures. You will be given paper for that purpose when you enter the test room. Your notes will be collected and shredded after the test.

May I change an answer?
On the Listening section, you can change your answer by clicking on a new answer. You can change your answer as many times as you wish until you click on the Confirm Answer button. On the Reading section, you can change your answer by clicking on the new answer. You can change your answer as many times as you wish, and you can go back to previous answers within the whole section. On the Speaking section, you will be cued with a beep to begin and end speaking. Everything that you say during the recording time will be submitted. You cannot change an answer. On the Writing section, you can revise your essays as much as you wish until the clock indicates that no time is remaining. If you submit your essays before time is up, you cannot return to them.

If I am not sure of an answer, should I guess?
If you are not sure of an answer, you should guess. The number of incorrect answers is not subtracted from your score. First, eliminate all the possibilities that you know are NOT correct. Then, if you are almost sure of an answer, guess that one. If you have no idea of the correct answer for a question, choose one letter and use it for your "guess answer" throughout the entire examination. The "guess answer" is especially useful for finishing a section quickly.

What should I do if I cannot hear the audio for the Listening section?
You will receive your own headphones with a microphone attached. Before the Listening section begins, you will have an opportunity to adjust the volume yourself. Be careful to adjust the volume when you are prompted to do so. If you wait until the test begins, you may not be able to adjust it. If there is a problem with your headset, raise your hand, and ask the test supervisor to provide you with another headset.

What should I do if I have a personal problem during the test?
If you become ill or you are being disturbed by the behavior of another person in the room, tell your test supervisor immediately. If you think that your score may be affected by the problem, ask the supervisor to file an Irregularities Report.

Are breaks scheduled during the TOEFL iBT?
A mandatory 10-minute break is scheduled between the Listening and the Speaking sections. If you exceed the time allotted, you may be dismissed or your score may be canceled. To leave your seat at any time other than the break, raise your hand. Timing of the test section will not stop. If you must leave the testing room, you are required to show the administrator your identification document(s) before you leave the room and when you return. You cannot have access to your cellphone during the test or during breaks.

How often may I take the TOEFL iBT?
You may take the TOEFL iBT more than once to score to your satisfaction. If you could take the PBT and the CBT once a month, you are now permitted to take the TOEFL iBT once within a 12-day period (the Repeat Policy for the TOEFL iBT was changed twice in January 2013 and January 2014; before it was allowed to take the TOEFL iBT test once in 7 and 21 days, respectively). If a test taker has an existing test appointment, he or she cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of the existing appointment. Violation of this policy will result in your scores being canceled, your test fee will be forfeited, and you may be banned from future testing. There is no passing or failing test score - score requirements are set by each higher education institution or agency.

If I have already taken the TOEFL, how will the previous scores affect my new score?
TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years. If you have taken the TOEFL more than once but your first score report is more than 2 years ago, the first score will not be reported. If you have taken the TOEFL more than once in the past 2 years, a report will be sent for the test date that you request.

May I keep my test?
NO, you can neither save your test to a compact disk or a USB flash card nor send it to an e-mail address. If you try to do so, ETS may take legal action.

What happens to someone who cheats on the TOEFL iBT?
Entering the room with false identification, tampering with the computer, using a camera, giving or receiving help, or trying to remove test materials or notes is considered cheating. Do NOT cheat. In spite of opportunity, knowledge that others are doing it, the desire to help a friend, or fear that you will not make a good score, do not cheat. Cheating on the TOEFL iBT is a very serious matter. If you are discovered, you will be dismissed from the room, your score will be canceled, and you may not be able to take the test again on a future date.

What should I do to earn a score on the TOEFL iBT?
To earn a score on the TOEFL iBT, you must do all of the following:

How is the total TOEFL iBT score calculated?
The iBT has converted section scores for each of the 4 sections. The range for each section score is 0-30. When the scores for the 4 sections are added together, the total score range will be 0-120.

What TOEFL iBT scores are considered acceptable?
You cannot pass or fail the TOEFL iBT. Each institution that requires TOEFL scores decides for itself what scores or ranges of scores are acceptable. These requirements vary from institution to institution, depending on such factors as your field of study, your financial situation, your level of study (graduate or undergraduate), whether you will be a teaching or research assistant, and whether the institution offers special courses in English as a foreign or second language. If you have questions about how your scores have been used or interpreted, contact the institutions or agencies that received your test results directly. Many universities are setting minimum requirements for each section. The following range of requirements is typical of admissions policies for North American colleges and universities. This assumes, of course, that the applicant's documents other than English proficiency are acceptable.

How do the scores compare on the iBT, CBT, and PBT formats?
The following chart compares TOEFL scores on the 3 most recent formats - the Internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT), the computer-based TOEFL (TOEFL CBT), and the paper-based TOEFL (TOEFL PBT). More detailed charts are posted on the TOEFL website and are available from Terra Nova.

iBT CBT PBT
120 300 677
110 270 637
100 250 603
90 233 577
80 213 550
70 193 523
60 170 497
50 143 463
40 120 433
30 93 397
20 63 350
10 33 310
0 0 310


How and when do I get my scores?
Your TOEFL test payment entitles you to 1 printed (only if you request a paper copy) and 1 online examinee score record and up to 4 official score reports that ETS will send directly to the institutions or agencies you designate while registering for the test. Scores are posted online approximately 10 days after the test date (with a few exceptions) and then mailed to you and your designated score recipients. Score reports are mailed to recipients approximately 13 days after the test date. A score report posting schedule for each test administration is available on the TOEFL iBT website. Test results cannot be given any sooner than 10 days after the test date. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery of mail within the continental United States and at least 2-3 weeks for delivery of mail from the United States to the Republic of Moldova.

May I cancel my scores?
At the end of the test session, you will be given the option to cancel your scores. You cannot cancel your score for one section of the test and have the scores for the remaining sections reported. Although you have the option to cancel your scores, consider very carefully before doing so. Your scores will be reported to institutions only at your request. If you cancel your scores, they will NOT be reported to you or any institutions, and no refund will be made. If you cancel your scores, you may have them reinstated, provided that your request is received at ETS within 60 days of your test date. The reinstatement of canceled iBT scores costs U.S. $20. Reinstated scores are reported online about 3 weeks after your request is received. Your score report will then be mailed to you and your designated institutions.

How can I send additional score reports?
If you need more than 4 score reports, which are provided as part of your test fee, you may order more at $20 each. Order online (preferred) or mail in the order form that you will find in your TOEFL iBT Registration and Information Bulletin. Reports are sent in 4-7 business days when you order them online. Allow at least 2 weeks for mail orders. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery of mail within the continental United States and additional time for delivery to other areas.

Is there a direct correspondence between proficiency in English and a TOEFL iBT score?
There is not always a direct correspondence between proficiency in English and a score on the TOEFL iBT. Many students who are proficient in English are not proficient in how to approach the examination. That is why your TOEFL iBT preparation at Terra Nova is crucial for your success on the test.

How long are TOEFL iBT scores valid?
TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years. Because language proficiency can change considerably in a relatively short period of time, scores more than 2 years old cannot be reported or verified. If you took the TOEFL more than 2 years ago and need to submit scores to an agency or institution, you must take the test again to have your scores reported.

Can I estimate my TOEFL iBT score before I take the actual test?
After you take 3 TOEFL iBT simulations administered at Terra Nova during the last two months of your 15-week TOEFL iBT preparation program, your TOEFL instructor will provide you with a reliable estimate of your TOEFL iBT score.

How is the Speaking section scored?
The responses to all Speaking tasks are digitally recorded and sent to ETS's Online Scoring Network. The responses from each test taker are scored by 3 to 6 different certified raters. The response for each task is rated on a scale of 0 to 4 according to the standards (speaking rubrics, available on Terra Nova's website). The average of all 6 ratings is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. Raters evaluate the test taker's ability in topic development, delivery, and language use. For topic development, raters consider whether the test taker has addressed the task and conveyed relevant information. They also consider whether the test taker has effectively synthesized and summarized the information in the integrated tasks. Raters evaluate if the delivery of the response is clear and smooth, and whether the delivery is consistent throughout the response for overall intelligibility. Lastly, raters evaluate the range and accuracy of the test taker's vocabulary and grammar. It is important to note that raters do not expect test takers' responses to be perfect. Even high-scoring responses may contain occasional errors and minor problems in any of the 3 areas described above.

How is the Writing section scored?
The responses to all Writing tasks are sent to ETS's Online Scoring Network. Each task is rated by 2 to 4 certified raters on a score scale of 0 to 5 according to the standards (writing rubrics, available on Terra Nova's website). The average of the scores on the 2 writing tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. The response to the integrated writing task is scored on the quality of writing (organization, appropriate and precise use of grammar and vocabulary) and the completeness and accuracy of the content. The independent writing essay is scored on the overall quality of the writing: development, organization, and appropriate and precise use of grammar and vocabulary. It is important to note that the raters recognize that the responses are first drafts. They do not expect test takers to produce a well-researched, comprehensive essay. For that reason, test takers can earn a high score with a response that contains some errors.

What is ETS?
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the world's largest private, nonprofit educational testing and measurement organization, operating on an annual budget exceeding U.S. $1 billion. The mission of ETS is to advance quality and equity in education for all people worldwide by providing fair and valid assessments, research, and related services. ETS helps teachers teach, students learn, and parents measure the educational and intellectual progress of their children. ETS develops various standardized examinations primarily in the United States, but it also administers tests such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examination) in most nations. Many of the assessments it develops are associated with entry to U.S. undergraduate and graduate educational institutions. ETS develops, administers, and scores more than 50 million tests each year in the U.S. and more than 180 other countries. Much of the work carried out by ETS is contracted by a private, nonprofit organization called the College Board. The most popular of the College Board's tests is the SAT, taken by more than 3 million students annually. As well as test development, ETS also carries out internationally recognized educational research. The international campus-like headquarters of ETS is in Princeton Township, New Jersey; processing, shipping, customer service and test security is in nearby Ewing, New Jersey. It also has offices in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Washington, D.C. More than 2,500 employees work at ETS's offices throughout the United States and the world. Of these, more than 1,100 of ETS's professional staff have training and expertise in education, psychology, statistics, psychometrics, computer sciences, sociology, and the humanities. Six hundred have advanced degrees, and 250 hold doctorates.

Will I succeed on the TOEFL iBT?
You will receive from your study what you give to your study. Terra Nova can give you the information that you need to succeed. Now, it is up to you to devote the time and the effort. More than 1,350 students from the Republic of Moldova and several other countries have succeeded by taking the TOEFL Preparation course at Terra Nova. You can be successful too.