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TOEFL iBT Enhancements Emerging July 2023

 

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a globally recognized examination that assesses the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. TOEFL is widely used by educational institutions and professional organizations as a benchmark for evaluating an individual’s ability to understand and use English in an academic context.

The TOEFL exam is accessible almost everywhere in the world and holds the prestige to be accepted by more than 12,000 educational institutions spread across 160 countries. To stay relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of test-takers, the TOEFL iBT test is set to undergo significant enhancements starting from July 2023.

In this blog post, we will explore the forthcoming changes in the TOEFL iBT and their potential impact on test-takers worldwide.

 

Why is the TOEFL iBT Changing?

One of the most notable changes in the upcoming TOEFL iBT enhancements is the revised exam format. ETS (Educational Testing Service), the organization responsible for administering the TOEFL, has recognized the need to make the test more engaging and interactive. As a result, test-takers can expect a more dynamic and immersive testing experience that better reflects real-world academic and professional environments. The new format is designed to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of the test-taker’s ability to read, listen, speak, and write in English.

 

What is Changing in the TOEFL iBT?

From modifying the time-limit to changing the question type in the writing section, the test seems to be less stressful for the test takers. The exam format remains the same. Let us look at the changes.

  • The total testing time has been reduced from 3 hours to just under 2 hours.
  • The reading section would comprise 2 passages and a total of 20 questions to be completed in 35 minutes.
  • The Listening section would comprise a total of 28 questions to be completed in 36 minutes.
  • The types of questions, however, remain the same.

Writing section has undergone a major change.

  • A new, more modern Writing task, called “Writing for an Academic Discussion,” will replace the current Independent Writing task.
  • In this task students will be asked to state and support an opinion on a given topic in an online class discussion

Also, the unscored questions from reading or listening sections, will be completely removed. Speaking remains unchanged.

 

When Will the New Enhancements Come into Effect?

  • The new enhancements will come into effect from 26thJuly, 2023 for both TOEFL iBT home edition as well as the center-based test.
  • If a test taker has already started preparing for the current TOEFL iBT and are planning to take the TOEFL iBT exam after July 26, 2023, he/she doesn’t have to worry about changing preparation strategies completely as most of the question types are same.
  • The test has been given a slight modification keeping students’ prep in mind.
  • In addition to the updated TOEFL exam format, ETS has also announced changes in the TOEFL iBT registration process.
  • Test-takers will have access to a streamlined and user-friendly online registration system, making it easier to sign up for the test and choose preferred test dates and locations.
  • Moreover, the TOEFL registration process will be more flexible, allowing test-takers to reschedule or cancel their exams with greater convenience.

 

What is the Purpose of TOEFL Essentials?

To address the evolving needs of test-takers and improve their overall experience, ETS has also developed TOEFL Essentials™, a new preparation resource that offers comprehensive, affordable study materials. TOEFL Essentials™ aims to provide test-takers with a deeper understanding of the test structure, strategies for each section, and ample practice materials to help them succeed on test day. This resource will be particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer additional authentic resources or have limited access to traditional classroom-based preparation courses.

With these enhancements, the TOEFL iBT aims to further establish itself as a reliable and valid measure of English language proficiency. The changes not only address the evolving expectations of educational institutions and employers but also reflect ETS’s dedication to providing a fair and accurate evaluation of test-takers’ language skills.

In conclusion, the upcoming TOEFL iBT enhancements, set to emerge in July 2023, will bring about significant changes to the exam.

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