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TOEFL® Test Structure

The TOEFL iBT® test is administered via the internet and measures all 4 academic skills.

The revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test is no longer offered as of April 11, 2021, but scores are valid for 2 years after the test date. The test did not include the Speaking section, but was otherwise closely aligned with the TOEFL iBT test.

Here is a closer look at the structure of each test and how they compare.

Features TOEFL iBT Test revised TOEFL Paper-delivered Test
Skills tested
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
Total time 3 hours 2 1/2 hours
Integrated tasks Yes Yes
Note taking permitted Yes Yes
Reading section

3–4 passages

  • 700 words
  • multiple-focus passages (compare/contrast, cause/effect)
  • 10 questions for each passage

Time: 54–72 minutes

Score scale: 0–30

3 passages

  • 700 words
  • multiple-focus passages (compare/contrast, cause/effect)
  • 10 questions for each passage

Time: 54–72 minutes

Score scale: 0–30

Listening section

3–4 lectures, some with classroom discussion

  • each 3–5 minutes, 6 questions each

2–3 conversations

  • each 3 minutes, 5 questions each

Time: 41–57 minutes

Score scale: 0–30

3 lectures, some with classroom discussion

  • each 3–5 minutes, 6 questions each

2 conversations

  • each 3 minutes, 5 questions each

Time: 41 minutes

Score scale: 0–30

Speaking section

4 tasks

  • 1 independent task to express an opinion on a familiar topic
  • 3 integrated tasks based on what is read and heard
  • Up to 30 seconds to prepare the response
  • Up to 1 minute to respond

Time: 17 minutes

Score scale: 0–30 points

Not measured
Writing section

2 tasks

  • 1 integrated task based on what is read and heard
  • 1 independent task to support an opinion on a topic

Time: 50 minutes

  • 20 minutes for integrated task
  • 30 minutes for independent task

Score scale: 0–30 points

2 tasks
  • 1 integrated task based on what is read and heard
  • 1 integrated task to support an opinion on a topic

Time: 50 minutes

  • 20 minutes for integrated task
  • 30 minutes for independent task

Score scale: 0–30

Total score 0–120 No total score is provided.
Scoring
  • Responses from the Speaking and Writing sections are scored by a combination of AI scoring and ETS-certified raters.
  • Scores are available online approximately 6 days after the test date; a PDF of the test taker score report can be downloaded and printed within 8 days after the test date. Paper score reports are mailed within 11 days after the test date.

See Scores.

  • Writing section responses are sent to ETS and scored by certified raters.
  • Score reports are mailed approximately 5 weeks after the test date.

See Scores.

Administration
  • Taken on a computer, via the internet, in secure test centers.
  • Test takers are provided with noise-reducing headphones for listening to test material.
  • A microphone is provided for recording spoken responses.
  • Written responses are composed using a keyboard.
  • Taken with paper and pencil in secure test centers.
  • Playback equipment is used for the Listening section.
  • Test takers answer questions in a test book and mark their responses on an answer sheet.
  • Writing section responses are handwritten.