Saturday, December 15, 2007

TOEFL Formats and contents

The computer-based test (CBT), divided into four sections, measures language proficiency in listening, structure (grammar), reading and writing.

1. Listening Comprehension
* Objective: To test the candidate's listening capabilities
* Type of Questions: Conversations between two or more people in academic environments. Short conversations between students, and lectures may be possible conversations. Questions are basically of the who said what type.
* Duration: 45-70 minutes
2. Structure
* Objective: To check the candidate's knowledge of English grammar.
* Type of Questions: Identify the erroneous words in the sentence. Fill in the blanks using the appropriate word.
* Duration: 15-20 minutes
3. Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary
* Objective: To test the candidate's reading and vocabulary skills.
* Type of Question: Three or four long passages, typically 300 words long are given, and questions based on the content, intent of the author, and ideas inferred from the passage. Generally prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer; though a priori knowledge may help.
* Duration: 70-90 minutes
4. Essay Writing
* Objective: To test the candidate's writing skills
* Type of Question: To write an essay on some general topic, and your position towards it. eg: "Is stem cell research necessary? Explain your stance?"
* Duration: 30 minutes.

The Listening and Structure sections are computer-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level of each question depends on the correctness of previous responses.

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