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TOEFL® EssentialsTM

A friendly and convenient English-language test with the quality that universities respect

Select any step to learn more about your TOEFL® EssentialsTM journey.


TOEFL Essentials Test Content

The TOEFL Essentials test has four sections — Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking — plus a 5-minute, unscored Personal Video Statement.

Total test time

The test takes about 1.5 hours to complete, but you should plan on 1 hour and 50 minutes to allow 20 minutes for check in.

Test sections overview

Use the table below to view the breakdown of each TOEFL Essentials test section.


Section Time1 Questions1 Tasks


21–34 min.


Answer questions about conversations and talks in various settings


22–33 min.


Answer questions about short academic and nonacademic texts


24–30 min.

14–18 questions and 2 tasks

Build sentences and write responses for everyday and academic situations


13 min.

3 tasks with 19 responses

Retell written and spoken input, and speak to a simulated interviewer

Personal Video Statement

5 min.


Answer questions about yourself and your opinions (not scored)


Online Course: Understanding the TOEFL Essentials Test

For an even more in-depth look at the test, register for our self-paced course, Understanding the TOEFL Essentials Test, on the edX® platform.

1 The time and number of questions are approximate and can vary due to the adaptive format of the test. The test you take may include some unscored questions — either in the Listening and Writing sections, or in the Reading section. These questions are for research purposes and don’t count toward your score.