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About the TOEFL Test

The TOEFL test is used to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English. In 1997-98, 930,000 people registered to take the TOEFL test. The scores are required for purposes of admission by more than 2,400 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. TOEFL is also used by institutions in other countries where English is the language of instruction. In addition, government agencies, scholarship programs, and licensing/certification agencies use TOEFL scores to evaluate English proficiency.

About Computer-Based TOEFL

The TOEFL test was introduced as a computer-based test in July 1998 in many parts of the world. It combines many of the same question types as the traditional paper-based test with new question types that can be offered only on the computer. There are several advantages to taking the computer-based TOEFL test:

  • testing at more than 300 test centers around the world
  • convenient scheduling
  • comfortable testing environment
  • fewer test questions than on the paper-based test
  • questions that are tailored to your ability level
  • immediate viewing of scores on screen
  • opportunity to choose up to four score recipients after seeing your scores
  • official score reports mailed 14 days after testing

The Four Sections of the Test

The computer-based TOEFL test has four sections. The first two sections of the test -- Listening and Structure -- are computer-adaptive, meaning that you will receive test questions targeted to your performance level. In these two sections, your first question will be of average difficulty. The question you receive next will be one that best fits your performance and the design of the test. In the Listening and Structure sections, you will be able to change your answer as often as you like until you have made your final choice, confirmed your answer, and moved on to the next one. Once you move on to the next question, you will NOT be allowed to go back to a previous question. Your answer to each question presented on the screen helps determine the difficulty level of the next question you will be given.

Reading -- Measures ability to read and understand short passages similar in topic and style to those that students are likely to encounter in North American universities and colleges. This section contains reading passages and questions about the passages.

Writing -- Measures ability to write in English on an assigned topic. In this section, you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write in English. This includes the ability to generate and organize ideas, to support those ideas with examples or evidence, and to compose in standard written English in response to an assigned topic.

On the day of the test, you will be given a topic and will have 30 minutes to write an essay on that topic. Before the topic is presented, you must choose whether to type your essay on the computer or to hand write your essay on an answer sheet.

Vancouver English Centre offers a very progressive
TOEFL Preparation Program.

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250 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 1E7  Canada
Tel.: 1-604-687 1600  Fax: 1-604-687 1660

© 2002 Vancouver English Centre

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