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Changes to the TOEFL® Test


Important future changes mean a new test in 2005.

There are some very important new changes to the TOEFL® language tests administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and we would like to give you a brief preview.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®)
is undergoing some important changes. In order to meet the challenge of providing a more comprehensive assessment of an applicant’s ability to understand and use the English language in an academic environment, the next generation TOEFL® has been developed to assess all four language skills - listening, reading, writing, and speaking. While some questions in each of the sections will be similar to questions found on the current computer-based TOEFL® test (CBT), others will be new. The scoring system will change as well. Each of the four language skills will now be reported on a scale of 0 to 25 and there will also be a total score. In addition, the next generation TOEFL® will no longer have computer-adaptive sections; it will be a linear assessment test covering a full range of question difficulty. Note taking will be allowed on the new TOEFL® in order to better reflect real-life academic situations. The new TOEFL® will take approximately four hours to finish.

Starting in July 2004, students will be introduced to this new version of the TOEFL® on the Internet. Full-length tests will be unproctored (i.e.: not supervised), and the scores will be given to the examinee only. In September 2005, the next generation TOEFL® will begin to be administered at official ETS test centers.

A very important change to the TOEFL® is the inclusion of a mandatory speaking component - the Academic Speaking Test (AST). This test will last approximately 20 minutes, and will take place over the telephone.Your responses will be recorded on tape and then reviewed later and given a score. During the test you will be asked six questions, two of which will focus on familiar topics. The other four will ask about short conversations, lectures, and reading passages. Both the questions and the reading passages will be printed in the test book. The time you have to prepare your response and speak will be printed below each question. The preparation time begins as soon as the question is finished, and you will be told when to begin speaking.

The new TOEFL® contains questions that integrate the four basic communication skills; thus, the test is an excellent measure of how well individuals are able to communicate in english in an academic situation. This integrated approach will help students prepare for success in the real academic environments they will be in once they begin their studies.

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