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Introduction to TOEFL iBT Stanley Currier, American Councils for International Education June 2007

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Introduction to TOEFL iBTStanley Currier, American Councils for International Education June 2007


Why take the TOEFL? TOEFL scores are accepted at over 6,000 universities and colleges in 110 countries, including:

US UK Canada Australia New Zealand

Topics of Discussion

What is the TOEFL iBT? Components of the test How does iBT differ from CBT or PBT? Further tips and resources How to register in Kazakhstan?


Introduced around the world in 2006, goal is to test all four language skills Four sections:Reading (60-100 minutes) Listening (60-90 minutes) Speaking (20 minutes) Writing (50 minutes)

TOEFL iBT, continued

Test takes about four hours, is delivered by the internet You can use notes throughout, however they will be collected and destroyed at the end of the test Language used is designed to sound like real conversations from university lectures and classes, and written passages are from real textbooks and everyday situations


New feature of iBT TOEFL Read, listen, then speak in response to a question Listen, then speak in response to a question Read, listen, then write in response to a question

Scoring on iBT

Listening 0-30 Speaking 0-4 points, converted to 0-30 score skill (3-6 evaluators evaluate scores) Reading 0-30 Writing 0-30 (responses judged by at least 4 certified evaluators)

Scoring, continued

ETS provides scoring information that includes four skill scores and a total score. You also receive performance feedback on your score report that states what you can do at your level and includes advice on how you can improve. Total possible: 120 (CBT is 300, PBT 677) Accepted scores: UGRAD 61-80, Graduate 80-110

Scores, contd.

Texas A&M Undergrad minimum score: 80 iBT, 213 CBT, 550 PBT Ohio State University: 71 iBT, 197 CBT, 527 PBT Stanford University Masters: School of Engineering: 89 iBT, other programs: 100 iBT (250 CBT, 600 PBT)


Measures the ability to understand academic reading material 36-70 questions involved 3-5 passages from academic texts, approximately 700 words long 12-14 questions for each passage Compare/Contrast, Cause and Effect

Reading example:

The deserts, which already occupy approximately a fourth of the Earths land surface, have in recent decades been increasing at an alarming pace. The expansion of desert-like conditions into areas where they did not previously exist is called desertification. It has been estimated that an additional one-fourth of the Earths land surface is threatened by this process.

Reading example, continued

The word threatened in the passage is closest in meaning to:Restricted Endangered Prevented Rejected


Measures your ability to understand lectures and conversations in English Tested on comprehension of general ideas and supporting details Identify a speakers purpose in making a statement, and attitude toward a topic You are allowed to take notes and use those notes when answering questions

Listening structure

There are two conversations and four lectures in this section of the test, time ranging from 40-50 minutes Identifying topic and main idea, determining attitude and purpose, categorizing information, listening for details, making inferences and predictions, summarizing a process

Listening, continued

Please pay careful attention to the short speech Stanley will deliver.

Listening exercise

What is the main purpose of the lecture?To illustrate the importance of extrinsic values To explain Aristotles views about the importance of teaching To explain why people change what they value To discuss Aristotles views about human happiness


There are six questions in this section, all appropriate for international students Important! You do NOT need special knowledge of any topics to answer questions in this area Two parts, independent task and integrated task

Speaking ,continued

Independent task:Talk about a familiar topic 15 seconds to prepare, 45 seconds to answer

Integrated task: 45 seconds reading, 60 seconds to respond 1-2 minutes listening, 30 seconds to prepare

Speaking example (15 seconds to prepare answer)

Some students study for classes individually. Others study in groups. Which method of studying do you think is better for students and why?

Writing section

Measures your ability to plan and write responses to questions in essay format Time: 50 minutes, two sections: Writing based on reading and listening (integrated task) and writing based on knowledge and experience (independent task)

Writing, continued

Integrated task: 3 minutes reading, 2-3 minutes listening on the same topic; then required to answer a question such as : Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how the cast doubt on points made in the reading passage.

Writing, continued

Independent task: You will be writing from your knowledge and experience, so youll be answering questions such as: Some young adults want independence from their parents as soon as possible. Other young adults prefer to live with their families for a longer time. Which of these situations do you think is better? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. (30 minutes to complete)

Tips for Preparation:

Use a dictionary and grammar book when studying for the exam Try to understand new vocabulary when you are reading in English. If you dont understand a word, look it up! Read widely in English, including newspapers and magazines, but also try to read academic texts

Tips for preparation, continued

Do internet searches on ESL, EFL, TOEFL websites to prepare for the examlots of free (and paid) resources exist online Utilize written sources for the exam as well Study for other exams such as IELTS as wellthe practice will help!

Grammar exercises1.

John is so shy. I know. Very rarely __________ to me. a) he speaks b) is he speaking c) does he speak d) he does speak

Grammar, continued2.

Did you go to the mall today? Yes, I bought one of those ___ books. a) good $5 paperback b) paperback good $5 c) $5 good paperback d) good paperback $5

Grammar, continued3.

Do you see Rachel much these days?No. _____ her only once since last summer. a) I have seen b) Have I seen c) Did I see d) I see

Differences with prepositions, American vs. British English

(A) We will need to check that before we make a decision. (B) We will need to check that out before we make a decision.

American vs. British English, continued

(A) Their office is open Monday through Friday. (B) Their office is open Monday to Friday.

(A) I am going to stay home tomorrow. (B) I am going to stay at home tomorrow.

Differences, American vs. British English

(A) We will meet with them tomorrow. (B) We will meet them tomorrow. (A) You need to fill in that form. (B) You need to fill out that form.

Spelling in American English

(A) You could order some new clothes from that catalogue. (B) You could order some new clothes from that catalog. (A) It will take many hours of labor to complete the project. (B) It will take many hours of labour to complete the project.

Spelling in American English, continued

(A) We like to see performances at the theatre. (B) We like to see performances at the theater. (A) You will need to initialise that software in order to use it. (B) You will need to initialize that software in order to use it.

Further resources TS/TOEFL_Tips.pdf (74 page document!)

Registration for iBT TOEFL in Kazakhstan Required to set up a profile, including your name, contact information, email address, etc. Process takes about 15 minutes, receive password Tests offered for the majority of summer on Saturdays Spots go very fast!