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All About TOEFL- IBT & PBT, Format, Structure, Pattern & Tips


TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign language.It is another English language proficiency test like IELTS. It is required for getting admission in American and many other educational institutes of English speaking countries. It was started in 1964. About 9000 organizations and educational institutes in over 130 countries accept TOEFL test. This test is taken in 4500 centers in over 165 countries all over the world. It is administrated by an American NGO Educational Testing Service (ETS).

It has two formats
1-Paper based test
2-Internet based test
Duration of both formats is also different. Duration of internet-based test (IBT) is 3 hours 10 minutes to 4 hours 20 minutes (Plus 10 minute break in-between, while duration of paper-based test (PBT) is 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes.


All About TOEFL- IBT & PBT, Format, Structure, Pattern & Tips

The structure of the TOEFL® iBT is as follows:

Reading (60-100 min) (36-70 questions) (0-30 scoring scale)
3-5 passages from academic texts; approx 700 word long with 12-14 questions per passage.

Listening (60-90 min) (34-51 questions) (0-30 scoring scale)
4-6 lectures,each 3-5 min long; 6 questions each.
2-3 conversations, each 3 minutes long; 5 questions each.

Speaking (20 min) (6 tasks) (0-4 points converted to 0-30 scoring scale)
2 tasks to express an opinion on a topic; 4 tasks to speak based on what is read and listened to.

Writing (50 min) (2 tasks) (0-5 points converted to 0-30 scoring scale)
1 task to write based on what is read or listened to; 1 task to support an opinion on a topic.

Test has 4 modules i.e reading, writing,speaking and listening.
Reading evaluates the ability to understand academic reading material
Listening assess the ability to understand English in American accent.
Speaking measures the ability to speak English in USA accent.
Writing measures the ability to write your expression and thoughts along with your academic writing skill.
Scoring pattern for each module is as follow.
Reading Module (Score of: 0–30)
Listening Module  (Score of: 0–30)
Speaking Module  (Score of: 0–30)
Writing Module  (Score of: 0–30)
Total Score (0–120)
There is no concept of pass and fail in this test too like IELTS. Every institute or agency have established different score requirements. Its score remains valid for two years.

We can compare the TOEFL and IELTS score with the help of following table.

IELTS Score    TOEFL Score
9                                 118-120
8.5                             115-117
8                                 110-114
7.5                             102-109
7                                  94-101
6.5                             79-93
6                                 60-78
5.5                            46-59
5                               35-45
4.5                            32-34
0-4                           0-31

Your score will be available after 14 days of your test date. Educational institutes do not accept photocopy of result. They only accept official score send directly to them by ETS. Students do not need to have TOEFL score at the time of applying in any institute but they are required to take the TOEFL before the closing date of admission.

Some colleges of USA waive the TOEFL requirement if you provide them proof that medium of instruction in your undergraduate degree was English. For admission, one has to score over 80 for master and undergrad degrees, over 100 for PhD and MBA courses. You need at least score over 100 if you are looking for Financial aid or scholarships. TOEFL IBT is conducted about forty times in a year while TOEFL PBT is offered six times a years in different centers around the world.


In Pakistan test is conducted in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.You need to get registered online with your credit card at least 7 days before your chosen test date. Please visit for online registration.You can ask any question about TOEFL on our website. Stay blessed and proud to be Pakistani.

1 thought on “All About TOEFL- IBT & PBT, Format, Structure, Pattern & Tips”

  1. TOEFL is a language test generally taken by those students who want to take admission in any foreign universities. The test score works as a proof of their language proficiency and knowledge.

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