Types of TOEFL Exam: IBT, PBT, CBT and More

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Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 15 April 2024 & Read Time 8 minutes

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 The TOEFL exam is well-known among students who want to study abroad. Its full form is the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam. It has three variations: paper-based PBT, computer-based CBT, and Internet-based iBT. Are you curious about the main distinctions between these versions and which one you should pick?

 

Reading this blog can clear your doubts regarding TOEFL iBT, TOEFL PBT, TOEFL home edition, TOEFL exam, and it can offer important, relevant information. So, continue reading for a thorough analysis contrasting different versions of the TOEFL test. 

 

What are the different types of TOEFL exams?

There are generally two types of TOEFL exam: PBT (Paper-Based Test) and iBT (Internet-Based Test), along with TOEFL assessments like ITP ( Institutional Testing Program). Let’s first discuss the details of the two main types of TOEFL.

 

Types of TOEFL Exam

 

TOEFL PBT

One of the most popular forms of the TOEFL exam, the Paper-based Test (PBT), is available offline. It is only accessible in areas that have no internet access, wherein the candidate has two hours and twenty-five minutes. The exam is split into three parts. Moreover, view the TOEFL PBT exam pattern, which is provided beneath:

Section

Number of Questions

Duration

Question Types

Reading

20 MCQs

35 minutes

Two passages of reading comprehension with ten questions each

Listening

28 MCQs

36 minutes

Two Conversations with three lectures and a total of twenty-eight  questions

Writing

2 Constructed Responses

29 minutes

1 Integrated Task & 1 Independent Task

TOEFL iBT

The internet-based TOEFL iBT evaluates a candidate's reading, speaking, listening, and writing abilities in all four areas of English proficiency. Since its introduction in late 2005, the computer-based exam (CBT) and paper-based test (PBT) formats have been increasingly superseded by the TOEFL Internet-based exam format.

 

However, certain regions continue to utilise paper-based testing. The TOEFL iBT exam was introduced gradually, starting in 2005 in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy and moving on to the rest of the world in 2006. New testing locations are added regularly. It is administered at approved testing sites once a week.

Sections

Task

Number of Questions

Duration

Score

Reading 

2 Reading Passages

20 Questions  

35 minutes 

0-30 

Writing 

2 Writing Tasks

2 Questions 

29 minutes 

0-30

Speaking 

4 Tasks 

4 Tasks

16 minutes 

0-30 

Listening 

Lectures &

Conversations

28 Questions

36 minutes

0-30 

Other kinds of TOEFL exam

After learning about the two primary TOEFL exam kinds, you need to know three other, less well-known variants to apply for programs overseas. These are the following:

  • TOEFL ITP: The Institutional Testing Program, or ITP for short, is widely used to evaluate non-native English speakers' English ability in academic surroundings.

  • TOEFL Junior Tests: These tests assess middle school students' English proficiency in those who are 11 years of age or older. They are available in two formats: computer-based and paper-based. The four primary components of this test are Speaking, Writing, Listening, and Reading Comprehension. 

  • The Computer-Based examination, or CBT, was a popular choice for the TOEFL exam until its discontinuation in 2006. The Internet-based examination has since replaced it.

 

TOEFL home edition

The TOEFL iBT and the TOEFL iBT Home Edition are nearly identical. However, the TOEFL iBT home edition can be taken from home with the help of a human proctor via screen sharing and a web camera that is usually installed on laptops.

 

Since the Home Edition was the only option available during lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, its popularity increased. However, many students need help with technical or security problems while taking the Home Edition examinations.

 

The ETS, or Educational Testing Service browser, administers the test and checks whether it is faulty. Most colleges and employers accept the TOEFL iBT home edition results if the test is accurately completed.

 

Although the ETS has various technical problems that are hard to record, because of the volume of complaints and the popularity of the Home Edition, students who get interrupted during the exam are likely to get a refund or be given a chance to reschedule for a new test.

 

Tips for preparing TOEFL Exam

The TOEFL preparation process must begin well in advance as your score is determined by how much you practice. So, study and practice diligently using the appropriate methods and a well-thought-out plan.

 

Here are some methods and preparation ideas that you can include in your study plan:

  • Get familiar with the format and content of the TOEFL exam. Make sure you fully comprehend the pattern and adjust your study schedule appropriately.

  • Try increasing the speed at which you read. Measure your reading speed as you go through the passages. Additionally, as you read, swiftly scan the passages, watching for the key theme.

  • Work on improving your note-taking skills. Make brief notes as you read or listen to any excerpt, and make this a regular practice.

  • Enhance and enrich your vocabulary so that you can create well-structured, impactful responses.

  • Learn how to write persuasive English essays to ace the writing component of the TOEFL. Also, allow yourself to think and then write, as you are going to have a specific amount of time to complete the essay.

  • To score better in the exam, solve sample questions and take practice exams.

 

Conclusion

To sum up, you should prepare well before your exam, invest in a solid preparation guide, and choose the appropriate study materials. Also, work on improving your note-taking skills. You can make brief notes as you read or listen to any excerpt and ensure regular practice. We hope you clearly understand the TOEFL PBT, iBT, CBT, and ITP from the above discussion. You can always choose which type of TOEFL exam you want to take and ensure you know the exam pattern.

 

If you want to know more about the types of TOEFL exams: IBT, PBT, CBT and More, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad. Get help with the application process, SOPs, and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011.

 

FAQs

1. How many types of TOEFL exams are there?

There are generally two types of TOEFL exam: PBT (Paper-Based Test) and iBT (Internet-Based Test), along with TOEFL assessments like ITP ( Institutional Testing Program). Let’s first discuss the details of the two main types of TOEFL.

 

2. Is the TOEFL test hard?

TOEFL is a tricky test, but if prepared dedicatedly with the proper methods, one can score well in the exam. It is an extended test and requires speed to solve the skill areas involved. So, you must build up your constancy and learn to pace yourself before the exam day.

 

3. Does the TOEFL certificate expire?

Yes, the TOEFL score is valid for 2 years. After this time, your score report expires and is not accepted by any international university.

 

4. What is TOEFL ITP?

The Institutional Testing Program, or ITP for short, is widely used to evaluate non-native English speakers' English ability in academic surroundings.

 

5. What is the TOEFL Junior Test?

These tests assess middle school students' English proficiency in those who are 11 years of age or older. They are available in two formats: computer-based and paper-based. The four primary components of this test are Speaking, Writing, Listening, and Reading Comprehension.

 

6. How is TOEFL iBT different from PBT?

The internet-based TOEFL iBT evaluates a candidate's reading, speaking, listening, and writing abilities in all four areas of English proficiency. Paper-based Tests (PBT) are available offline. The iBT is only accessible in areas without internet access and lasts two hours and twenty-five minutes, split into three parts.

 

7. Does ETS provide a free TOEFL test?

Yes, ETS does provide a free TOEFL test. It has one full-length TOEFL Practice test and practice sets for each section.

 

8. In which countries is the TOEFL accepted?

The TOEFL is accepted in over 150 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy.

 

9. What does the TOEFL iBT exam consist of?

The TOEFL iBT is primarily a computerised exam that lasts four hours. It comprises main sections: reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

 

10. Is the TOEFL simpler than the IELTS?

It's critical to realise that the purpose of both tests is to evaluate language skills and that each person's exam will vary significantly in terms of difficulty. The TOEFL exam was recently shortened to less than two hours, and some of its question formats were changed to make it simpler and more academic.

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