TOEFL Syllabus 2021

Syllabus

 

Digging Deep into TOEFL Exam

The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, is a standardised English proficiency test used to measure a non-native English speaker’s English ability. TOEFL scores are accepted by a number of universities throughout the world, and they are also used to screen job applicants and immigration applicants to English-speaking nations.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the body that conducts the TOEFL exam with an aim to measure the level of proficiency of a non-native English speaker to communicate in English in all forms, whether reading, writing, speaking or listening.

To assess your ability to communicate, the test is divided into four sections, namely Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing which extend over the duration of four and a half hours.

The overall TOEFL score ranges from 0 to 120.

The overall score and sectional scores will be sent to you after you complete the test.

As a test taker, you will be 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 the questions or summarize depending on the section. Let us have a synopsis of each of the sections.

 

TOEFL Syllabus

TOEFL 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 the passage which need to be answered.

 

TOEFL Reading Question Types

Factual Information and Negative Factual Information: The major ideas, supporting facts, and definitions are targeted by the Factual Information question structure. The main distinction between negative factual information questions and factual information questions is identifying the single wrong answer from a list of 4. When answering negative factual information questions, keep the words ‘NOT’ and ‘EXCEPT’ in mind.

Inference and Rhetorical: The TOEFL exam pattern and reading syllabus inference questions are intended to explain and identify the ambiguous statement of the passage. Words like ‘INFERRED,’ ‘IMPLIES,’ and ‘SUGGESTS’ can help you identify inference questions. Rhetorical purpose questions are very similar, with the exception of answering the question ‘WHY,’ which states the purpose.

Recognizing Vocabulary: Probably the easiest questions to answer, vocabulary questions in the TOEFL latest reading pattern require candidates to discover and answer the meanings of particular highlighted words in the passage.

Sentence Explanation: These type of questions in the TOEFL reading pattern requires candidates to detect the difference between two very similar sentences and choose the one that is explained in a simpler manner.

Insert Text: The purpose of this sort of reading question is to evaluate the logical placement of ideas in a specific reading passage. In each of the reading portions, there is one insert text question.

Prose Summary: These type of questions in the TOEFL reading question pattern requires applicants to identify the major concepts and relevance of the reading passage.

 

TOEFL Listening:

  • Duration: 60-90 minutes
  • Score range: 0 to 30
  • Total number of questions: 34 to 51
  • You will be required to carefully listen to audio recordings of academic lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations
  • Each recording will have questions based on the lectures/discussions which will need to be answered.

 

TOEFL Listening Question Types

Gist Content/Purpose: The gist content requires you to provide the main idea of the recording you just listened to. The gist purpose, on the other hand, asks you to identify the main purpose of the recording. This question type is identified by terms such as ‘MAINLY ABOUT’, ‘MAINLY DISCUSSING’, ‘WHY DOES THE STUDENT’, and ‘WHAT IS THE MAIN PURPOSE.

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TOEFL Speaking:

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Score range: 0 to 30
  • Total number of speaking tasks: 6
  • You will be required to express your opinion on a familiar topic
  • You will be required to speak based on the listening and reading tasks
  • 3 sections with 2 questions in each section.

Section 1 –

Part 1: Personal Preference

Part 2: Choose an option. You will get a few seconds to prepare and then speak.

Section 2 –

Part 1: Campus Conversation – Reading + listening and then speaking – You will be required to read a short passage, listen to a conversation between two people on the topic read and then speak. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the body that conducts the TOEFL test with an aim to measure the level of proficiency of a non-native English speaker to communicate in English in all forms, whether reading, writing, speaking or listening.

Part 2: Academic Lecture – You will be 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 – You will be required to listen to a conversation and then speak about the problem discussed and provide your opinion on the problem discussed.

Part 2: Academic Lecture – You will be required to listen to an academic lecture and summarize the lecture.

 

TOEFL Speaking Questions Types

The TOEFL iBT speaking exam pattern consists of two tasks:

Question 1: Independent Task: In this task, test takers are asked to present their own ideas, opinions, and experiences.

Questions 2: 4 Integrated Task – This is a cross-functional task that includes listening, writing, and reading skills in addition to speaking skills.

 

TOEFL Writing:

  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Score range: 0 to 30
  • You will be required to write essay responses based on the reading and listening tasks
  • You will be required to support an opinion in writing
  • Total number of writing tasks: 2.

Task 1 – You will need to read a passage on a specific topic, listen to a lecture about the topic read and then write an essay summarizing the points in the passage and the lecture.

Task 2 – You will be required to provide your viewpoints or provide a response as required for the specific task.

You will get a mandatory break for 10 minutes after the Reading and Listening sections. According to a certain modification done in March 2013, the Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT include different accents of Native English speakers besides those from North America. You may listen to people with different accents from the UK, New Zealand or Australia. The test and scoring patterns remain unchanged and are consistent across the globe. The TOEFL does not follow any particular TOEFL syllabus, so the test-takers need to focus on developing the skills required to complete the modules/sections successfully and need not refer to any particular subject.

 

TOEFL Writing Questions Types

TOEFL writing pattern is classified into two types:

Integrated Writing Task: similar to the speaking test, this requires applicants to thoroughly read a paragraph, listen to a brief lecture, and then respond to the listened and read materials.

Independent Writing Task: As with the speaking task, the candidate must present their own ideas, opinions, and experiences through writing.

Related Blog: How to Crack TOEFL Exam.

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