TOEFL® PBT Test Content and Structure

The TOEFL® PBT test, administered in a paper-based format, takes about three and one-half hours to complete. There is also a 30-minute writing test, called the TWE® test, which is required of everyone who takes the paper-based test. The total time to take both tests will be about four hours.

As you can see in the table below, the TOEFL PBT test has three sections plus the TWE writing test, all of which are mandatory. At least one question in each section must be answered and one essay must be written to earn a score.

Test Section Description Time Limit No. of
Questions
TOEFL PBT Listening Comprehension Measures the ability to understand spoken English 30-40 minutes 50
TOEFL PBT Structure and Written Expression Measures the ability to recognize language appropriate for standard written English 25 minutes 40
TOEFL PBT Reading Comprehension Measures the ability to understand non-technical reading material 55 minutes 50
TWE Test of Written English Measures the ability to write in English 30 minutes 1 topic