Toefl means the teaching of English as a Foreign language.
It is an English language proficiency test which is score based and has a validity of upto two years.
There are three different types of Toefl test – Internet Based Text (IBT), Computer Based Text (CBT) and Paper Based text (PBT).
The Test is intended for anyone for whom English is not their first language.
The main aim of Toefl is to support student application and entry into American University but it is also commonly used as a means to test ability and comprehension of English for university/job placement or interview and also immigration and residency.
Toefl is not fun to do. It is intensive and laborious. It is academic orientated. It is not a conversation course and it is definitely not for beginners looking to learn English for the first time.
There are selected Toefl centres in every country. The Test itself will take about two-three hours, depending what type of Toefl Test is taken.
There are three parts to the Toefl Paper Based Test (PBT) which is still used by many Colleges and Universities in Indonesia. The parts of Reading, Listening and Structure/Written Expression.
The Reading part comprises 50 questions during 55 minutes.
The Listening part comprises 50 questions during 35 minutes.
The Structure/Written Expression comprises 40 questions during 25 minutes.
All questions are multiple choice with four possible answers.
There is no Speaking Test, no actual test on Grammar and no Free writing such as writing an email, an essay or a report.
The Test is continious for the three sections with no permitted break. The Test itself takes about two hours but allow three hours for the time before during and after.
As it is an academic language test of comprehension, it is assumed that you have studied English previously and have a basic grasping on such topics as history, geography, science, mathematics, sport, politics, economics, literature and lifestyle.
Every student should have a basic comprehension of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions and conjunctions.
You will be tested on idioms, subject-verb agreement, uncountable nouns, the passive and active tense, modal and phrasal verbs, words of same and opposite meaning called Synonyms and Antonyms, the Verb infinitive and Gerund.
The student should interact and engage with English as much as possible in order to know and understand English better. Know the historical source of English from Latin, Greek, German, French and even Hindi while recognizing word patterns which strengthen the vocabulary base.
Do not underestimate getting help for your Toefl Test. Attend a Toefl course perhaps for one month or three or even over a whole semester. Follow the instructions and guidance of your teacher and any other mentor such as friends or family who may have already taken the course and test.
Nearly everyone today has easy and immediate access to the internet. Use the internet regularly to help you during the course and for the test itself. You will no doubt be using a recognized publication during your Toefl course such as Longman Barrons or Cambridge.
Do one or more practice tests beforehand and know the Toefl format thoroughly. It goes without saying that you should revise for the Toefl test and arrive early on the test day, properly prepared and wearing comfortable clothes.
The Toefl test will cost you money, time and energy to do but it will be worth it if you apply yourself correctly and are motivated.
English is important, as we all know, in education, commerce, science, medicine, transportation, economics and politics. The Toefl Test looks to challenge your comprehension of English in such a way as to prepare you for a better future.
Toefl is not, of course, the only academic language test available for foreigners and students may prefer to take IELTS or a Cambridge course which is more suitable for your needs.
Good luck to every student who undertakes a Toefl course. You will certainly need it. But that is not all. You will need a sense of faith, belief and confidence plus a functional comprehension of English which will serve you for a lifetime long beyond the Toefl Test.