If you’re a foreign student planning to attend college or graduate school in the United States, chances are you are going to take the TOEFL—the Test of English as a Foreign Language. A non-native English speaker who wants to get admitted to foreign (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) universities must take either TOEFL or IELTS.Although IELTS is a British/Australian exam.
Until 2005, the TOEFL was administered as a paper-based test (PBT) or a computer-based test (CBT) at designated ETS test centers worldwide. (ETS is the Educational Testing Service, the agency that develops and administers the test.) A new version of the test, the TOEFL (IBT, or internet-based )TOEFL, was introduced in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Puerto Rico in 2005. Starting in March 2006, ETS began introducing the TOEFL (IBT) to other countries around the world, including selected cities in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
TOEFL would test English language skills by evaluating a person's reading, writing, and listening. Until the paper-based version is totally phased out, the TOEFL test will continue to evaluate your proficiency in this manner. However, the TOEFL (IBT) test has a new format that emphasizes your ability in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. During the test, you may be asked to read text and listen to a lesson, and then write or speak your response. You should take this into consideration as you plan your TOEFL preparation. During the Internet-based TOEFL test, test centers will record your speech, and also provide audio presentations during the testing—a first for a global standardized test! ETS refers to this new format as an "integrated tasks" test, and intends to provide a more complete assessment of your language skills.