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TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is a product of ETS, a nonprofit organisation (TOEFL®). It’s a popular English proficiency test for non-native English speakers to evaluate their ability to Read, Write, Speak, and Listen to English.

There are two formats for the TOEFL – TOEFL iBT and Paper-based Test (PBT). Most test takers take the TOEFL iBT test but test centers that do not have Internet access offer the PBT. In India, it is the TOEFL iBT that is conducted in various test centers across the country.

More than 35 million from all over the world have taken TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. Thousands of universities, colleges, agencies and other institutions worldwide, including universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K., U.S., Europe and Asia accept TOFEL test score. Other organizations that rely on TOEFL scores are Immigration authorities to issue residential and work visas, Medical and licensing agencies for professional certification purposes, and also Individuals use them to measure their progress in learning English.

  • Preferred in the United States. 9 out of 10 U.S. universities prefer TOEFL test over other English-language tests, and U.S. universities receive more TOEFL scores than all other English-language tests combined.

  • More popular in Canada. More than 80% of graduate programs in Canada prefer the TOEFL test over other English-language tests. Canadian universities receive more TOEFL scores than all other English-language tests combined.

  • 100% accepted in Australia and New Zealand. TOEFL scores are accepted by all Australian and New Zealand universities and for all Australian and New Zealand immigration purposes.

  • Preferred in France and Germany. French and German universities prefer the TOEFL test and receive more TOEFL scores than any other English-language test.

  • Widely accepted in the U.K. More than 98% of universities in the U.K. accept TOEFL scores, including 100% of the elite Russell Group universities, providing a fair and unbiased alternative to IELTS.

The TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) can be taken at any of the ETS authorised test centres located in any of the 43 cities across India. The Registration fee for taking TOEFL in India is $180. Other fees are:

  • Late registration Fees – $40
  • Rescheduling Fees – $60
  • Reinstatement of cancelled TOEFL IBT scores – $20
  • Additional score reports (per institution or agency) – $20 each
  • TOEFL IBT Speaking or Writing Section rescore – $80
  • TOEFL IBT Speaking and Writing Section rescore – $160
  • Returned personal check (paper or electronic) – $20

There are three ways to register for the TOEFL :

  • Online, at the ETS website
  • Through E-mail
  • By phone


The online registration can be done anytime, registration is open 24/7 and closes seven days before the actual test date and three days prior in case of last-minute registration with an additional late fee of 40 USD extra. Registration can be completed by paying the registration fee of 180 USD (in India) using a VISA credit or debit card.

  • Sign-up on the ETS website
  • Enter name as in the identification document
  • Create a profile
  • Receive confirmation
  • Login using the username and password and click on ‘Register for a Test’ on the home page

  • Go through the information & click on ‘I Agree’
  • Choose test date and centre
  • Select universities where TOEFL scores are to be sent, maximum four

  • Can add more universities with additional payment of 20 USD each

  • Please note that the TOEFL Registration System only works on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on Mac or Windows 7 and higher systems (Mac users, please note that this system does not work on Safari)


  • Download the TOEFL Registration Form from the ETS website.

  • Fill up the information with black or blue ink.

  • Choose a method of payment.

  • Send the form to the address mentioned on the form or to the Regional Registration Center with the payment.

  • Last date for receipt of the forms is four weeks before the test date.

  • When the form is received, a confirmation will be sent.

  • If the confirmation is not received until within three days of the registration deadline, please call the regional registration centre.

  • In case of registration by mail, certain codes are required, so remember to mention the codes accurately.


  • Call the TOEFL Regional Registration Center to register for the TOEFL at least seven days before the test date or before 5 pm on the day before the test date with an additional late registration fee of 40 USD.

  • The payment can be made through VISA credit/debit card.

Valid Identification Documents for the TOEFL test

For the TOEFL test, as in all tests, the test taker must carry a valid document of identification which should meet the following criteria:

  • It should be an original document issued by the Government of India, and which is recognised in India.

  • Photocopied documents and soft copies on mobile phones or other electronic devices are inadmissible.

  • The document should be valid and the date of expiry should not be less than six months.

  • Use a recent photograph.

  • Signature on the ID and the signature on the Registration form must match.

  • In India, a valid identification document is only a valid passport.

The TOEFL iBT® test is given in English and administered via the internet. The test is divided into four sections: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing which extend over the duration of almost four hours. The overall TOEFL score ranges from 0 to 120. Test taker is required to solve integrated tasks that combine more than one skill. For example, a section might have a passage to read after which an audio recording of a lecture or a discussion based on the passage will be played and then you might be asked to verbally answer questions or summarise depending on the section.

1. READING: Duration: 60-80 minutes

Score range: 0 to 30
Total number of questions: 36 to 56

May have three or four passages. Each passage is followed by a set of questions based on it. Generally there are 12 to 14 questions per passage. Passages are excerpts from university-level textbooks used in introductions to a discipline or topic. The passages cover a variety of different subjects.

2. LISTENING: Duration: 60-90 minutes

Score range: 0 to 30
Total number of questions: 34 to 51

Includes audio recordings of academic lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations. Each recording have questions based on the lectures/discussions that need to be answered. The test is composed of:

  • 4-6 lectures, each 3-5 minutes long, six questions per lecture.

  • 2-3 conversations, each 3 minutes long, five questions per conversation.

3. SPEAKING: Duration: 20 minutes

Score range: 0 to 30
Total number of speaking tasks: 6

Candidate is required to express opinion on a familiar topic and to speak based on the listening and reading tasks. There are 3 sections with 2 questions in each section.

Section 1

  • Part 1: Personal Preference
  • Part 2: Choose an option. Get few seconds to prepare and then speak.

Section 2

  • Part 1: Campus Conversation – Reading + listening and then speaking. Required to read a short passage, listen to a conversation between two people on the topic read and then speak.

  • Part 2: Academic Lecture – Required to read a short passage about a specific topic, listen to a lecture related to the topic read and then speak or summarize the topic that was read and heard.

Section 3

  • Part 1: Listening and Speaking – Campus Conversation – Required to listen to a conversation and then speak about the problem discussed and provide opinion on the problem discussed.

  • Part 2: Academic Lecture – Required to listen to an academic lecture and summarize the lecture.

Recorded responses are sent to ETS Scoring Network, where three to six certified human raters score them holistically on a scale of 0 to 4. The average score on the six tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. Raters do not expect responses to be perfect and pronunciation does not need to sound like that of a native speaker of English. They are listening for the communication effectiveness and the ability to accomplish given tasks.

4. WRITING: Duration: 50 minutes

Score range: 0 to 30

Total number of writing tasks: 2. An integrated Writing task and an independent Writing task.

  • Integrated Writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture. Then write response to what you read and listened to.

  • Independent Task (30 minutes) — write an essay in response to a Writing topic.

There is a mandatory break for 10 minutes after the Reading and Listening sections.

The TOEFL test has changed in 2019 and has now become shorter. We are discussing this here to ensure that you must learn as per the new syllabus and standards set out by the test agency. We realised that many coaching centres have not realised this and are still coaching students on the same old pattern and syllabus, which is detrimental to students interests – this will no longer be tested. This will never happen at Career Guru since we always ensure up to date information acquisition, incorporation and sharing with all our counsellors, but we are still giving the changes made for our readers who are only visiting our website and may not be in a position to physically come and meet us. If you can, come and meet a Career Guru expert or give us a call!

Sections Tests Before August 1, 2019 Tests After August 1, 2019
(fewer questions per passage)
3-4 reading passages
12-14 questions each
60-80 minutes
3-4 reading passages
10 questions each
54-72 minutes
(fewer lectures)
4-6 lectures, 6 questions each
2-3 conversations, 5 questions each
60-90 minutes
3-4 lectures, 6 questions each
2-3 conversations, 5 questions each
41-57 minutes
(fewer tasks)
6 tasks
2 independent
4 integrated
20 minutes
4 tasks
1 independent
3 integrated
17 minutes
(no change)
2 tasks
1 independent
1 integrated
50 minutes
2 tasks
1 independent
1 integrated
50 minutes
  • The question patterns remain unchanged.
  • If Reading has maximum passages, one of them would be research-based. On the contrary, if Reading has minimum passages, one lecture and one conversation from Listening would be research-based.

The TOEFL does not follow any particular syllabus, so the test-takers need to focus on developing skills required to complete the modules/sections successfully. Career Guru advises you to take practice tests – as many as you can. They will make you aware of the test format, building up your confidence to take the actual test and enabling you to understand where you make mistakes and will help to find your strengths and weaknesses. Practice as much as possible in the same format at the pace required in the real test. This is of critical importance because you don’t want to suffer for want of speed.

Latest information on the availability of test centres, date, time, fees, documents, official announcements click here.

You can also take the IELTS as an alternative to TOEFL as both tests are recognised and accepted worldwide. We have found students who are more comfortable with one over the other and score higher in one compared to the other. It is eventually a matter of what’s most comfortable for you. Come speak to our experts at Career Guru and we will help you decide what works best for you – IELTS or TOEFL. For a comparison of TOEFL and IELTS, see our section on IELTS


Career Guru offers the TOEFL Total program to help you ace the TOEFL. Career Guru employs only the very best instructors and certified trainers. All our trainers have years of experience guiding students in TOEFL and are certified for proficiency. As an organisation run by academics from world-class educational institutions, we take our academics very seriously. We understand that our success lies directly in your success, and the only way we will succeed is if you succeed. Our expert instructors and trainers will guide you through the widest range of text, content, offline and online material, books, practice drills and mock tests to ensure you get the highest TOEFL score to achieve your dream university or job offer. We will provide you resources to develop skills across all sections so that not only you ace the TOEFL Exam, but also become proficient for leading a meaningful and productive professional and personal life abroad.