Tag Archives: TOEFL

Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top Entrance exams for overseas study | Education Abroad

Overseas education is gaining a lot of prominence and it caters to students of varied academic backgrounds and interests. However, there are certain prerequisites that need to be met in order to gain admission into an overseas university. Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top entrance exams: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Some of the most popular and important international entrance exams include the GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS and PTE.  Students may be required to give a combination of one or more exams which may be unique to that country and its education system.

Given below is a brief introduction to the various entrance exams and respective paper formats:

  1. GRE: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test, is a prerequisite for gaining admission into a majority of graduate schools in the United States.  It was created as well as administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 1949. GRE aims to test verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills of students that have been developed over a period of time. Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree or want to study a specialized master’s course; MBA, MEM, MS or a doctoral degree can give the GRE Test. The computer-based GRE revised General Test consists of five sections. The first section of the test is the analytical writing section which consists of Issue and Argument tasks. The other five sections have two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or a research section.

  1. GMAT: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as the GMAT, is a computer-based examination used to measure skills that are necessary for the study of management. Its duration is 3½-hours, and it is designed to predict how students will perform academically in MBA programs. Based on the GMAT scores, graduate business schools make admission decisions. Several schools require GMAT scores from applicants, therefore preparing well for the test is important. The GMAT score is vital as it can be the deciding factor regarding acceptance or rejection to a program. The GMAT tests four major skills: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and integrated reasoning.  These skills are analyzed through four sections namely:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (one writing task, duration-30 minutes)
  2. Integrated Reasoning section (12 multiple-choice questions, duration-30 minutes)
  3. Quantitative section (37 multiple-choice questions, duration- 75 minutes)
  4. Verbal section (41 multiple-choice questions, duration-75 minutes)

A separate score and percentile rank are provided for all the exam sections mentioned above.

  1. SAT: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The SAT is a standardized and general test of verbal and quantitative reasoning which is required by many US colleges and universities as part of their admission process. Originally, it was called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and now it is known as SAT. The duration of the test is three hours, and it measures the verbal and mathematical reasoning skills that students have developed over time. Many colleges and universities use the SAT as one of the admission criteria among others such as class rank, GPA, participation in extracurricular activities, personal essay and letters of recommendation.

SAT consists of two different examinations:

  • The SAT Reasoning Test (Earlier known as SAT I)
  • The SAT Subject Test (Earlier known as SAT II)

The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour and forty-five-minute test which comprises of three sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. This test is designed to measure critical thinking and analytical skills. The SAT Subject Tests are a series of one-hour multiple-choice tests in subjects such as Literature, US and World History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

  1. TOEFL: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Students who wish to study abroad in an English-speaking country are required to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). It assesses your ability to speak and understand English by analyzing your English skills in terms of reading, speaking, listening and writing. It evaluates how well you combine these skills to perform academic tasks. TOEFL is accepted as proof of English proficiency in 9,000 colleges, and it is conducted more than 50 times in a year by Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a US-based non-profit organization. TOEFL has two versions: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). Both the versions of TOEFL test has four sections- Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing and takes about 4-hours to complete. Students can retake the TOEFL test as many times as they wish. It uses both human raters and automated scoring methods for evaluating a student’s performance.

  1. IELTS:

The International English language testing system (IELTS) is a popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. Its objective is to assess the ability and preparedness of students who wish to study or train in a foreign country. IELTS assesses the test takers English skills with respect to reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including schools, universities, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

The two versions of IELTS are- the Academic IELTS and the General Training IELTS. The Academic IELTS is usually for people who wish to study abroad, and the General Training IELTS is usually for people want to follow a non-academic course or for immigration. The duration of IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and it consists of four sections which test the candidates listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

  1. PTE:

PTE Academic (The Pearson Test of English) is a computer- based English language test designed to assess the readiness and ability of non-native English speakers to participate in a university-level program which is taught in English. PTE focuses on real-life English used in academic surroundings. PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. PTE is accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Yale. In the three-hour test, there are three main sections- Writing coupled with speaking, listening skills and reading. There are twenty different types of question formats, ranging from multiple choice questions to essay writing and information interpretation.

TOEFL vs. IELTS vs. PTE

TOEFL scores are accepted by a majority of universities in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The IELTS is mandatory for Indian and other non-native English speakers, especially in the Commonwealth countries. The PTE is accepted by several institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD.

While TOEFL and IELTS are more well-known, there are other tests like PTE, which is relatively new. All the three tests have a few characteristics that make them unique, but they also share a few similarities. The three tests have similar sections such as- Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, but they differ when it comes to assessing the speaking skills, scoring and evaluation criterion and format of the writing section. Unlike IELTS and TOEFL, PTE has several innovative question formats.

GRE vs. GMAT

The GRE is another examination which Indian students must give if they wish to study in the USA or Canada. It measures the verbal, mathematical and analytical skills of the student. It is a prerequisite for gaining admission into many graduate courses, particularly for engineering and the science field in USA. Students who wish to specialize in management courses (like MBA) must take the GMAT, which is an admission requirement for business schools in US and UK.

To sum it up, these top international entrance exams are a standard as well as reliable mode for assessing a large number of applicants who aspire to study abroad. Therefore, students must plan in advance and prepare well in order to get high scores in these exams and gain admission into the university of their choice.

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

One of the most important criteria for students who wish to pursue their further studies at an English-speaking university abroad is proficiency in English Language. Taking English Language Proficiency tests is essential for students from countries like India, where English is not the first language. The Proficiency of international students in English Language is assessed through certain popular standardized tests such as TOEFL, IELTS and the relatively new PTE. Due to the availability of so many options, students often get confused as to which test they should choose. Hence a comparative analysis of TOEFL, IELTS and PTE will enable students to understand all the aspects of these tests and make the right decision. TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

About the tests: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

TOEFL– The Test of English Language as a Foreign Language, popularly known as TOEFL, measures a student’s ability to use and understand English. It tests how well a student can combine the listening, reading, speaking and writing skills while performing academic tasks. TOEFL is the trademark of ETS and it is older than IELTS and PTE.

IELTS– The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English Language Proficiency Test, which is one of the most popular tests taken by students who wish to study abroad. It is owned by British Council, IDP, IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

 PTE– The PTE (Pearson Test of English) was launched in 2009. It assesses the English language skills of non-native English speakers. PTE is accredited by the QCA and is managed by Edexcel, which is UK’s largest examining body.

Test Versions: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

TOEFL consists of TOEFL PBT (TOEFL Paper-based Test) and TOEFL iBT (TOEFL Internet-based Test).  IELTS has two versions: Academic and General Training and PTE has three versions: Academic, General and Young Learner Test.  The Academic version is for students who wish to secure an admission into a university whereas the General version is for non-academic purposes. The PTE Young Learner Test aims to assess how well children can use language structures and communicate.

Basic information about tests: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

  • TOEFL has both paper-based and Internet-based tests, but the internet based test is more popular. Although a student can retake the test unlimited number of times, he cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. TOEFL scores are accepted by around 8,500 colleges and other institutions in approximately 130 countries. Students can register for the test either online or by mail, phone or in person. While registering online, by phone or in person, registration closes seven days before the test date and while registering by mail, registration closes four weeks before the test date.
  • Around 8,000 organizations accept IELTS scores as evidence of English language proficiency. IELTS is conducted on 48 fixed dates, the IELTS Academic Version being available on all 48 dates and the IELTS General Training Version being available on only 24 dates. Students can register for the test either online or via mail.
  • Since PTE is a relatively new test, the number of students giving this test and the number of universities accepting it might be lower than that of TOEFL and IELTS however, PTE Academic scores are accepted by top US and UK universities as well as certain government organizations. The PTE Academic test is conducted in a number of test centres across 46 countries. Students can register for the test either online or via phone.

 Test Sections: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

All the three tests have similar sections- Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing, however, there are certain features which differentiate them from one another.

In IELTS, during the speaking test, students are required to conduct a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner, which is then recorded into a digital recorder. Whereas in TOEFL and PTE Academic, students are required to speak into a microphone and the computer records the audio. In TOEFL, the Speaking test is evaluated by a human rater, while in PTE, the Speaking test is evaluated through a computer program. In TOEFL, during the writing section, students are required to write an essay based on reading and listening tasks. They are also required to support an opinion in writing. In IELTS Academic, questions are asked based on an argument or on a diagram, graph or chart. PTE includes a lot of innovative question formats, and it has an automated speech and writing scoring as well.

 Scoring: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

All the three tests have different scoring patterns. In TOEFL, scores are given to students on a scale of 0 to 120. In IELTS, students are given scores from 1 to 9 based on their performance and in PTE, students are assessed on a scale of 10 to 90.

Results:

Students receive the TOEFL score reports within two weeks, and IELTS score reports after 13 calendar days. In the case of PTE, students receive their results online in five days. If students have taken TOEFL and IELTS, then their scores are forwarded to 4-5 universities respectively for free. If students take PTE, their score reports as well as recorded speech samples are sent to the university’s admission committee. However, the TOEFL, IELTS and PTE Academic scores are valid for two years.

about the toefl exam

About the TOEFL Exam

What is TOEFLAbout the TOEFL Exam

Students who wish to study abroad in an English-speaking country are required to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This test assesses one’s ability to speak and understand English by analyzing his/her English language skills in terms of reading, speaking, listening and writing. It evaluates how well one can combine these skills to perform well in academic tasks. TOEFL is accepted as proof of English proficiency across 9,000 colleges and it is conducted more than 50 times in a year by Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a US-based non-profit organisation. About the TOEFL Exam

TOEFL test format: About the TOEFL Exam

TOEFL has two versions: TOEFL IBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). Both the versions of TOEFL test has four sections- Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing and takes about 4-hours to complete. Students can retake the TOEFL test as many times as they wish. It uses both human raters and automated scoring methods for evaluating a student’s performance.

  1. Reading Section– It consists of questions based on 4-6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length. The passages are based on academic topics, and it tests the student’s understanding of concepts such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. 36 to 56 questions are asked in this section which must be answered within 60-80 minutes.
  2. Listening section– It consists of questions on six passages which are 3–5 minutes in length. It includes two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. Each conversation and lecture passage can be heard only once. Students are allowed to take notes while they listen, and they may refer to their notes when they answer these questions. The questions measure the ability of the student to understand ideas, important details, implications, organization of information, the speaker’s purpose as well as attitude. 34-51 questions are asked in this section which must be answered within 60-90 minutes.
  3.  Speaking section– It consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated, which must be completed within 20 minutes. In the two independent tasks, students answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In the four integrated tasks, students are required to read a short passage and listen to an academic course discussion or a conversation about campus life and answer the questions based on what they read and heard. In the integrated tasks, students are evaluated on their ability to effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Students can take notes as they read and listen and can also refer to them while preparing their responses. The responses are then digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network and evaluated by three to six raters.
  4. Writing section– It measures a student’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent which must be completed within 60 minutes. For the integrated task, students are required to read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker. The student has to write a summary of the important points and explain how they relate to the key points of the passage. For the independent task, the student has to write an essay that states his opinion or choice and then explain it. The students’ answers are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least three different raters.

Registration and fees: TOEFL Registration can be Online, by mail, by phone and in person; however, a majority of candidates apply for TOEFL online.

  • Registration is available three to four months before the test date. It is advisable to register early to reserve a seat and prevent last minute rush.
  • The test fee depends on the location where the student will be taking the test.
  •  Generally, the registration deadline is seven days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test).
  • The last date for registration is three full days before the test date (not including the day of the test or the day of the request).
  • Registration payment methods:  About the TOEFL Exam
    • Credit/debit cards (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or Visa)
    • Electronic check (e-check)
    • PayPal About the TOEFL Exam
    • TOEFL voucher About the TOEFL Exam

What to bring on the test day? 

Students must bring two things to the test centre:

  1. Registration Number: The registration number is given on the Registration Confirmation in the online account the day before the test.
  2. Valid, acceptable identification (ID) document(s): It is advisable to bring at least two forms of acceptable ID each time students report to a test centre.

The ID document must include:

  • Original document; photocopies are not acceptable
  •  Student’s full name that matches the name they have used while registering
  •  A recent photograph of the student
  • Student’s signature

If a student does not bring a valid and acceptable ID, or if the name on the ID does not match the name given during the registration, then the student will not be permitted to take the test, and the test fee will not be refunded.

TOEFL Scores:  About the TOEFL Exam

 Scores are based on the students’ performance in the test. They must answer at least one question each in the Reading and Listening sections, write at least one essay, and complete at least one Speaking task to receive an official score. The scores will be posted online approximately ten days after the test date.

  • Students will receive a score ranging between 0 to 30 for all the four sections and a total score ranging between 0 to 120 for the entire test. These scores will be valid for two years after the test date.  The scores will be available in 10 days, and students can view them online easily.
  • A paper score report is also mailed if a student selects that option when he registers.
  • Scores can be sent for free to maximum four institutions which students select prior to their test day.
  • Students can take the test again to improve their scores. There is no limit to the number of times they can take the test, but they cannot take it more than once within a 12-day period.

Cancellation of Scores: 

  • If a student cancels his scores, the scores will not be reported to him or any of the institutions and his test fee will not be refunded. Cancelled scores are not added to the student’s permanent record. A student cannot cancel his scores for one section and have scores for other sections reported. However, there is no fee for cancelling the scores.
  • Cancelled scores can be reinstated for a fee, if a student’s request is received at ETS within 60 days after his test date. Reinstated scores are reported online about three weeks after receipt of his request and payment. His scores will then be provided to him and the designated institutions.

TOEFL scholarships are also awarded to students from Mainland China, India, Japan, Korea or Taiwan for achieving academic excellence and demonstrating English-communication proficiency.

How to register for the TOEFL iBT exam
HOW TO ADD SCORE RECIPIENTS for TOEFL

HOW TO ADD SCORE RECIPIENTS for TOEFL

|HOW TO ADD SCORE RECIPIENTS for TOEFL|
ETS allows students to send their TOEFL iBT scores to upto 4 Universities free of cost. The recipients need to be added latest one day prior to your exam date. HOW TO ADD SCORE RECIPIENTS for TOEFL

To help students understand how the recipients/universities are to be added, please refer to the steps given below.

Read More

TOEFL vs IELTS

TOEFL vs IELTS

|TOEFL vs IELTS – This is an article that compares the two examinations|

When you are striving to become part of a globally renowned university, you do not want to leave anything on a stroke of luck. Higher education aspirants from countries where English is not the first language need to exhibit required proficiency in English in order to become a part of an international classroom setting. There are predominantly two standardized English language testing which are widely accepted in most of the foreign universities i.e. IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). While both evaluate your English language skills based on four parameters of Listening, Reading, Writing and speaking, on-going debate of which test to take has become a moot point amongst the aspirants. Read More

What is a good score in TOEFL

This article is about understanding the TOEFL requirements of the Universities and thereby answering “What is a Good Score in TOEFL?” 

TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardised test to measure the applicant’s proficiency in English. TOEFL is recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and organizations and other TOEFL participating institutes across 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States.What is a good score in TOEFL

Each section has a score of 30, for a total overall score of 120. You don’t pass or fail the TOEFL. Sometimes universities require a specific score for each section of the test, for example 24 out of 30 in the speaking section. The score levels for the various sections are as mentioned below:

Sections Score Range Level
Listening Section 0–30 High (22–30)
Intermediate (15–21)
Low (0–14)
Speaking Section 0–30 Good (26–30)
Fair (18–25)
Limited (10–17)
Weak (0–9)
Reading Section 0–30 High (22–30)
Intermediate (15–21)
Low (0–14)
Writing Section 0–30 Good (24–30)
Fair (17–23)
Limited (1–16)
Total TOEFL Scores 0–120

The best definition of a good TOEFL score is that it should get you into your school of choice. Most colleges have a cut off TOEFL score, or a minimum score that you must meet in order for your application to be considered. Sometimes meeting this cut off score is enough for the school to feel confident about your English skills, but there are cases where it is recommended that you score higher than the cut-off score to improve your chances of being admitted. Some schools are more accommodating and flexible and ask for alternative requirements if you fail to meet their TOEFL cut-off score. Hence, before you begin studying for the TOEFL, it’s a good idea to know the score that you need to achieve. Here is a list of the minimum score required by some colleges in the USA. What is a good score in TOEFL

College Name Minimum Score
Arizona State University 61
Boston University 95
Carnegie Mellon University 100
Case Western Reserve University 80
Clemson University 79 – 80
Columbia University 100
Cornell University 100
Florida Institute of Technology 71
George Mason University 88-100
George Washington University 80
Georgia Institute of Technology 79
Harvard University 100
Illinois Institute of Technology 80
Purdue University–Indianapolis Undergraduate: 61

Graduate: 79

Johns Hopkins University 100
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 100+
Michigan State University 79 (No section below 17)
Michigan Technological University 79
New Jersey Institute of Technology 79
North Carolina State University–Raleigh 80
Northwestern University 111
Ohio State University–Columbus 71
Pace University Undergraduate: 88/89

Graduate: 90

Purdue University–West Lafayette
77* (*Writing 18 Speaking 18 Listening 14 Reading 19
Note that in addition to required minimum scores for writing, speaking, listening, and reading, the Graduate School also requires a minimum overall score that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined.)
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–New Brunswick 83 (*Writing 22 Speaking 23 Reading 21 Listening 17)
Stanford University 100
Stevens Institute of Technology 61
SUNY–Stony Brook 80
Syracuse University 80
Texas A&M University–College Station 100
University at Buffalo–SUNY 79
University of California–Berkeley 78
University of California–Irvine 80
University of California–Los Angeles 87 (Writing: 25 Speaking: 24 Reading: 21 Listening: 17) 

 Now that you have figured out what your minimum score should be here are some tips that will help you in your prep – What is a good score in TOEFL

  • When you are preparing for the TOEFL, it is not good enough to just listen to and read things that you enjoy and are interested in. You need to read extensively to build your vocabulary. Three excellent resources on the Internet areBBC News, NPR, and VOANews.
  • Learn how to take good notes. What is a good score in TOEFL

As you can hear the clip only once – take down the essential points. Try symbols and shorthand

  • Practice pronunciation. There are lots of videos freely available over the internet that will help you improve on your pronunciation.
  • Practice writing essays in the English format
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Take the test at least twice, if not more.

The above information would help you understand, plan and systematically work towards meeting your desired TOEFL scores. This would increase your eligibility for the desired program and help you get admission in your dream university.

References: What is a good score in TOEFL

The Wikipedia Article What is a good score in TOEFL

The Test Magic TOEFL FAQ

Score Use: Setting Score Requirements for the TOEFL iBT