There are two formats for the TOEFL test. The format you take depends on the location of your test center. Most test takers take the Internet-based Test (iBT). Test centers that do not have Internet access offer the Paper-based Test (PBT).
In Pakistan only the Internet-based Test (iBT) is offered.
Internet-based Test (iBT)
Since its introduction in late 2005, the Internet-based Test (iBT) has progressively replaced both the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT), although paper-based testing is still used in select areas. The iBT has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid.
The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment.
The Reading section consists of 3–4 passages, each approximately 700 words in length and questions about the passages. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the iBT require filling out tables or completing summaries.
The Listening section consists of six passages 3–5 minutes in length and questions about the passages. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. A conversation involves two speakers, a student and either a professor or a campus service provider.. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.
The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent tasks and four integrated tasks. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard.
The Writing section measures a test taker’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated task and one independent task. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states, explains, and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices.
The TOEFL PBT test is a paper-based test that measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write English while performing academic tasks.
The TOEFL paper-based Test (PBT) is being planned out beginning in mid-2012. In some areas, the last administration was in May 2012. Scores are valid for two years after the test date.
Listening (30 – 40 minutes)
The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first one contains 30 questions about short conversations. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks.
Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)
The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors.
Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)
The Reading Comprehension section has 50 questions about reading passages.
Writing (30 minutes)
The Writing section is one essay with 250–300 words in average.