Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most popular English ability exam accepted at North American universities. TOEFL tests the international students’ usage and understanding of North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university. The TOEFL test is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which arranges the questions, conducts the test, and refers each examinee the score report. Frequently, students are confused if they want to prepare only for TOEFL or other exams are also necessary for admission to the US and Canadian universities. How many examinations you requirement to prepare entirely depends on the type of course you are applying to. For all undergraduate courses in the US and some in Canada, student has to prepare for SAT. For MBA courses GMAT scores are a requirement; in the same way, for MS courses GRE scores are relevant. Along with all these exams, you have to take either IELTS or TOEFL. Sometimes international students don’t recognise how to select between IELTS or TOEFL, as universities overseas ask for either exam scores. Since TOEFL syllabus is planned to test your understanding of North-American English, it should be your primary choice if you are applying to universities in US and Canada. For any other countries, specifically the UK and Australia, IELTS is frequently the more favoured language exam, but TOEFL is also accepted. TOEFL test is conducted round the year and has more than 50 test dates per year. You can retake the exam as many times as you request, but to take a re-test you have to wait for a 12-day period after attempting the first test.

TOEFL Exam Pattern

TOEFL exam pattern is as follow – four sections, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing – along with the total score. It goes without saying that the more you practice TOEFL sample papers, the better your scores will be. The total score is the calculation of the scores of the four skill areas. Scores will be displayed online 10 days after the test date. ETS will send up to four official score reports directly to the institutions the student selects.

TOEFL Result

Result would be 10 days after your test date. You can log in to your TOEFL iBT account on the TOEFL Registration website to see your scores. Printed score reports will be mailed approximately 13 days after your test date. Your scores are valid for two years and can be sent to other higher education institutions during that time.


Your target date for taking the TOEFL exam should be at least a month before your first application deadline. This will provide you sufficiently time to work on your applications, and in case you need to retake the exam you can do so after 12 days of the first attempt.

TOEFL Preparation Tips

There are two techniques all exam-takers prepare for TOEFL i.e. self-study and attending coaching classes. Both these proceduresof studying have unique advantages and no one way is better than the other. If money is the prime consideration, then self-studies through TOEFL books and resources may be the better option. Similarly, if you need professional guidance to ensure you have some advantage in TOEFL exam preparation, then enrolling for a TOEFL coaching centre is the better option.