skip to main content skip to footer

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

Stricker, Lawrence J.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Internet Based Testing (iBT), Factor Analysis, Population Subgroups


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.

Read More