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The TOEFL and SAT Tests- the Key to Academic Success

Preparation for the TOEFL and SAT is a strenuous process that requires strong motivation, determination and an investment of time, energy and dedication. There are several factors paramount in students’ preparation for the tests and their achieving optimal scores: effective management of time both during preparation period and the tests themselves; solid knowledge and proficient usage of English grammar, structure and lexicon; essential tools, academic language skills and test taking strategies necessary to achieve optimal scores on the exams.

About the TOEFL® Test

Undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs around the world require students to demonstrate their ability to communicate in English as an entrance requirement. The TOEFL test measures how well students use English, not just their knowledge of the language. Because it is a valid and reliable test with unbiased, objective scoring, the TOEFL test confirms that a student has the English language skills necessary to succeed in an academic setting. That’s why it has become the most popular and accessible English language test in the world.

Using the latest technology, the TOEFL test is given in an Internet-based format (iBT) that fully integrates all 4 language skills measured: listening, reading, speaking and writing. It emphasizes and measures English usage and communication ability in academic settings.

The new TOEFL iBT consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The entire test is about four hours long and all sections are taken on the same day. It is delivered on computer via the Internet at secure test centers around the world.

It tests all four language skills that effective communication requires: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. It emphasizes and measures English usage and communication ability in academic settings.

What’s New About the TOEFL iBT?

A Speaking section has been added. This section includes six tasks that require test takers to wear noise-cancelling headphones and speak into a microphone when they respond. The responses are digitally recorded and sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network. To ensure maximum objectivity and reliability, three to six certified ETS raters evaluate the responses on a scale of 0 to 4. The average rating is then converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. Raters are constantly monitored every time they score a test to ensure the highest accuracy and quality control possible. The Writing section has been expanded. The new test requires test takers to write a response to material they have heard and read. In addition, test takers must compose an essay in support of an opinion. Test takers’ typed responses to the writing tasks are sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network where two to four raters evaluate the responses on a scale of 0 to 5. The average rating is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. Some questions require the test taker to use more than one English-language skill and combine or integrate information from more than one source, the same way students use English language every day in the classroom. For example, sometimes test takers read a passage, listen to a short lecture about a topic, and then provide a written or spoken response. TOEFL iBT helps test takers prove they can combine their English language skills to communicate ideas effectively. This ability is the key to academic success. Note taking is allowed. Test takers can take notes on any section of the test the same way they would in a real college class. Test takers can use the notes when answering test questions. The notes are collected and destroyed before the test takers leave the test center. The time limit for each section varies according to the number of questions. Every test contains additional questions in the Reading or Listening Section.

Why Were Changes Made to the TOEFL Test?

• To assess the ability to...
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