According to the official website, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), is the most commonly administered exam in the world of college and university admissions. The TOEFL test is what it sounds like: a test designed to measure the English proficiency of students whose first language is something other than English.
The TOEFL test is administered in two distinct manners. Prior to 2005, the TOEFL was administered both as a CPT (computer-based test) and as a PBT (paper-based test). However, starting in 2005 the TOEFL began to make the shift to iBT (Internet-based testing). Since the introduction if iBT, many countries have largely phased out the PBT in deference to the more accessible iBT testing setup.
The TOEFL test is the most common test used to measure the proficiency of English as a second language (ESL) students applying to English-speaking colleges and universities. ESL job applicants may also find that their potential employers require them to undergo TOEFL testing before they are offered a position. A passing grade on the TOEFL serves as proof of English fluency and can open many doors in both the academic and professional worlds.
The TOEFL test is divided into several distinct subsections, all intended to measure proficiency in written and spoken English and English comprehension. The four sections of the TOEFL exam are reading, listening, speaking and writing. Each of these sections is scored separately, resulting in the final score that is disseminated to test subjects and the universities to which they apply.
With the advent of the iBT, the TOEFL can be accessed and taken from nearly any location. If you possess a computer and Internet access, you will be able to set up a TOEFL testing date and sit for the test. If, however, you are not in possession of either a computer or an Internet connection, you can still arrange to take either the PBT or CBT at a traditional testing center. Go to the official TOEFL website at the Educational Testing Service to find a testing location near you.
Like any other standardized test, the TOEFL is much easier to face when you are properly prepared. There are countless TOEFL test prep courses available to help you prepare to face the TOEFL test. However, if you are confident in your written and spoken English and English comprehension, you may be able to take the TOEFL exam without spending an exorbitant amount of time concentrating on your preparation for the exam. Familiarize yourself with the exam before your test date to make sure that you will be comfortable and confident when you face the test for the first time.