Why Should You Take the TOEFL Test?

By: Amy Nutt

TOEFL, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is a test that measures your ability to speak, read, and write in English at a college or university level. This test is one of the best measures of whether or not you are ready to attend college at an English-speaking school. Even though you may think that you speak and write English well, doing so on the college level is entirely different, especially if you have learned it as a foreign language.

What Is Contained in the TOEFL?  The test is either Internet-based or paper-based. Both test the same things, but in a slightly different format. These assessments test your ability to read, listen to, speak, and write English. You will be asked to read passages and then answer questions on them. You will also be asked to listen to a lecture that is a college-level lecture, followed by more questions. A few tasks will require a verbal answer, and you will be asked to write two passages. The lectures, reading passages, and questions are all designed to reflect the types of tasks you would be asked to perform at the college level.

Who Needs the TOEFL? Students who wish to attend an English speaking university or college but have learned English as a foreign language should take the TOEFL before applying to their chosen school. Many schools require the scores from this test for admission. Even if your school does not require it, having a good score can help you have an advantage over other applicants if there are limited openings available.

Outside of the admission requirements, the TOEFL will help you assess whether or not you have the skills necessary to deal with academic situations in your chosen school. You will need to be able to hear lectures, write papers, and communicate verbally with teachers and classmates. The TOEFL will show you whether or not you have attained this level of English fluency. If you need more practice, preparing for the test will give you that practice.

Benefits of the TOEFL - The TOEFL is the English language fluency assessment accepted by over 6,000 institutions. You might assume that all of these are in America or the United Kingdom, but they are actually spread across the world in 110 countries. Almost every university in the major English speaking countries, such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, use TOEFL scores to determine whether or not non-English speakers can be admitted to their programs, receive scholarships, or enter graduate school.

Another benefit of the TOEFL over other English proficiency tests is the fact that there are over 4,000 test centers you can use. If you do have to travel, you will save time and money because the test can be completed in just one day.

Finally, this test gives you an unbiased measure of your English speaking ability. Tests are scored anonymously, and no interviews are included as part of the process. If you know English well, you will score well, plain and simple. The TOEFL is the best measure of your ability to succeed in an English speaking college program.

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