Factor Structure of the TOEFL® Internet-Based Test Across Subgroups

Stricker, Lawrence J.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-08-66, TOEFLiBT-07
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
English-language study factor analysis Indo-European Kachru subgroups of test takers TOEFL iBT


This study assessed the invariance in the factor structure of the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ Internet-based test (TOEFL® iBT) across subgroups of test takers who differed in native language and exposure to the English language. The subgroups were defined by (a) Indo-European and Non-Indo-European language family, (b) Kachru’s classification of outer and expanding circles of countries (based on prevalence of English use in educational and business contexts), and (c) years of classroom instruction in the English language. The same factor structure (four first-order factors corresponding to the test sections and a single higher-order factor encompassing these factors) was identified in each subgroup. The results support the present scoring scheme for the TOEFL iBT assessment and suggest that the test functions the same way for diverse subgroups of test takers.

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