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Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL

Hale, Gordon A.; Rock, Donald A.; Jirele, Thomas J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-89-42, TOEFL-RR-32
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, English (Second Language), Factor Analysis, Listening Comprehension, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


In a recent study, confirmatory factor analyses indicated that, for each of several language groups, TOEFL® performance can be characterized by two factors, associated with (a) the Listening Comprehension section and (b) the other sections of the test (Hale, Stansfield, Rock, Hicks, Butler, & Oller, 1988). This conclusion was inconsistent with that drawn in the most comprehensive previous factor-analytic study of the TOEFL test, which suggested a three-factor solution for each of several languages (Swinton & Powers, 1980). The present study investigated the inconsistency in conclusions drawn from these two studies and provided further information about the factor structure of the TOEFL test.

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