TOEFL is a test that is supposed to measure your ability to understand, use and communicate in English. TOEFL stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language. TOEFL was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and this is the official organization that administers the test. When you take the official TOEFL test, you will register and send your money to ETS.
Since 1964, several generations of students have had to take the TOEFL test in order to satisfy admission requirements for North American universities. TOEFL has existed in three versions: PBT (paper based test), CBT (computer based test) and IBT (Internet based test). The one that you need to pay attention to is the IBT version. Anyone who wants to study at a university or college or work in a country where English is the primary language must take the TOEFL test. Why? Because the universities want to have some proof that your English level meets their minimum requirements before they take your money and let you in. The worst thing that can happen is that they accept you and then you fail your first year and go home! ETS has convinced more than 7,000 colleges and universities that a TOEFL score is proof of your English skills.
The point is, you don't have a choice if you want to attend a university in North America. You should begin by taking a free TOEFL test to get a sample score. You will see that TOEFL contains Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections. You will also see that the TOEFL content is very focused on academic English. These are the types of articles and conversations that ETS believes you need to master as a first year university student.
See how hard the TOEFL is? If you haven't had at least five years of intensive English study in your high school, you should forget about TOEFL. Forget about going to America to study. Save your money and attend a local university instead.
But if you scored at least 18 in Reading and 18 in Listening, then you should proceed. With extra study and practice, you have a good chance to improve your score to meet the minimum university requirements.
You can only take the official TOEFL test from ETS. ETS offers it 30-40 times a year and in countries all over the world. In most countries, finding a testing center is easy. Finding a date that suits your schedule is harder. Test locations tend to fill up their seats quickly, so we recommend that you register with ETS as soon as you know when you would like to take TOEFL. Go to the ETS website. The price of the official test varies from country to country. In the USA, it will cost you about $170. Refer to the ETS website to find the cost for your country.
Next up, you will learn more essential details about the TOEFL IBT test.