Friday, February 3, 2017

What to Expect When Taking the TOEFL iBT and PBT

Colleges and universities located in English-speaking countries often require international students to submit evidence of their language proficiency before admission. Likewise, companies, licensing agencies and immigration offices also require a language assessment certificate for overseas employment, professional certification and immigration purposes, respectively.

Review Center For TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the world’s foremost English evaluation exams. It assesses an individual’s language skills as applied in an academic setting. The TOEFL exam has two versions: the Internet-based test (iBT) and the paper-based test (PBT). Nowadays, the PBT is only administered in locations where the iBT cannot be facilitated. Test takers are encouraged to attend training facilities such as TOEFL review centers in Davao to prepare for the exam. TOEFL review Philippines instructors not only guide students through the basics of the English language but also provide useful tips about the test.   

Aside from tests administration, the iBT and PBT also differ in their content focus and time allotment. To guide examinees through their preparation, here are the various components of each test type, which language skill they focus on and their respective time allocations:

TOEFL iBT Components 

Time Allotment (minutes):   60 to 80
Number of Questions:   35 to 56
Task Details:    Read and understand three or four lifted texts from various academic sources. Answer questions regarding the passages.
Exam Reminders:   Follow the time allocations specified for each text. Test takers who fail to maximize the given period may not be able to respond to all the questions.


Time Allotment (minutes): 60 to 90
Number of Questions:  34 to 51
Task Details: Listen to scholarly discussions and conversations. Answer questions regarding the audio recordings.
Exam Reminders:  Study the accents of the various native-speakers of English (e.g., UK, North America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand).

Time Allotment (minutes):  20
Number of Tasks:  6
Task Details:  Provide an opinion regarding a general subject.
                        Cite previous Reading and Listening activities.  
Exam Reminders:  Expect the inclusion of accented oral expressions.

Time Allotment (minutes):   50
Number of Tasks:  2
Task Details: Express a viewpoint based on the preceding components.
                       Use previous activities to support the essay.            
Exam Reminders:  Adapt a persuasive stance when writing the essay.
                                 Reinforce  opinions using given information.

 TOEFL PBT Components  

Time Allotment (minutes):   30 to 40
Number of Questions:
Task Details:  Listen to short and long group discussions.
                        Answer questions regarding the recorded conversations.
Exam Reminders:  Review grammar structures, idiomatic expressions and vocabulary.

Time Allotment (minutes):  25
Number of Questions:  40
Task Details:   Choose the best answer that would complete the sentence thought. 
Exam Reminders: Test takers must recognize and apply correct grammatical structure in given sentences.  

Time Allotment (minutes): 55  
Number of Questions: 50
Task Details: Read nontechnical materials.
                       Answer questions regarding nontechnical passages.
Exam Reminders:  Respond only to information given in the text.

Time Allotment (minutes): 30
Number of Topics:  1
Task Details: Accomplish an essay about a given subject during the exam.
                       Apply correct grammar and arrange ideas accurately.
Exam Reminders:  Utilize the technical aspects of the language effectively. Test
                                takers must deliver their viewpoints in a concise and
                                comprehensive manner. 

Preparation is key to TOEFL success. Enrolling in a review center is highly recommended for test takers of both exams. Aside from equipping examinees with necessary language techniques, the instructors of TOEFL review Philippines can also evaluate students’ English proficiency. Such specialists are found in credible training facilities, such as the TOEFL review centers in Davao, Cebu, Makati and Manila.

As shown above, the TOEFL iBT and PBT differ in a lot of ways. The iBT includes the four primary functions of the English language, while the PBT focuses more on its written application. They both have their scoring methods and respective time allocations.

All in all, examinees must determine which test they are to take for a more focused and successful TOEFL preparation.


"About the TOEFL® PBT Test." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"Frequently Asked Questions about the TOEFL® PBT Test." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"TOEFL IBT® Test Content." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"TOEFL IBT® Test Questions." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"TOEFL® PBT Test Content and Structure." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"TOEFL® PBT Test Sample Questions." ETS®. Accessed December 01, 2016.

"What Is the TOEFL IBT Test Content?" Language Link. Accessed December 01, 2016.

Hardin, Kate. "TOEFL Format." Magoosh TOEFL Blog. October 18, 2013. Accessed December 01, 2016.

Jha, Ashish. "TOEFL Test Pattern 2016." Careers 360: The Education Hub. January 14, 2016. Accessed December 01, 2016.


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