angle-up angle-right angle-down angle-left close user menu open menu closed search globe bars phone store

TOEFL® Test Structure

The TOEFL® test is administered in 2 formats.

  • The TOEFL iBT® test, administered via the internet, measures all 4 academic English skills.
  • The revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test is available in areas where internet testing is not, and it does not include the Speaking section because of the technology required to capture spoken responses. It is otherwise closely aligned with the TOEFL iBT test.

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

FeaturesTOEFL iBT Testrevised 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.