What’s New About the TOEFL iBT?

It tests all four language skills that effective communication requires: Reading,
Listening, Speaking, and Writing. It emphasizes and measures English usage and communication ability in academic settings.

A Speaking section has been added. This section includes six tasks that require test takers to wear headphones and speak into a microphone when they respond. The responses are digitally recorded and sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network. To ensure maximum objectivity and reliability, three to six certifi ed ETS raters evaluate the responses on a scale of 0 to 4. The average rating is then converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. Raters are constantly monitored every time they score a test to ensure the highest accuracy and quality control possible.

The Writing section has been expanded. The new test requires test takers to write a response to material they have heard and read. In addition, test takers must compose an essay in support of an opinion. Test takers’ typed responses to the writing tasks are sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network where two to four raters evaluate the responses on a scale of 0 to 5. The average rating is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.

Some questions require the test taker to use more than one English-language skill and combine or integrate information from more than one source, the same way students use English language every day in the classroom. For example, sometimes test takers read a passage, listen to a short lecture about a topic, and then provide a written or spoken response. TOEFL iBT helps test takers prove they can combine their English language skills to
communicate ideas effectively. This ability is the key to academic success.

Note taking is allowed. Test takers can take notes on any section of the test the same way they would in a real college class. Test takers can use the notes when answering test questions. The notes are collected and destroyed before the test takers leave the test center.

The new test takes about four hours. Test takers complete all four sections of the test in one day, eliminating the need to travel to the test center twice.

It is delivered on computer via the Internet at secure test centers around the world. The new scores help explain a test taker’s English-language skill level. ETS
provides comprehensive scoring information, including four skill-section scores and a total score. Performance feedback for each skill and level are available on page 56 of this publication and the TOEFL website at
www.ets.org/toefl . This feedback helps explain what the new scores mean. Test takers also receive performance feedback on their score reports to support English-language learning. The feedback describes test takers’ language profi ciency levels and contains advice on how they can improve their language skills in the future.

Scores are now reported online. Test takers can view their scores online 15 business days after the test. They can also choose to receive a copy of their score report by mail. Colleges, universities, and agencies can go online to view the scores of those students who selected them as a score recipient. They also continue to receive scores in paper and electronic formats.

Source: www.ets.org/toefl/tips