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TOEFL certificate and exam preparation courses

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) measures the ability of candidates to understand and use English language as it is heard, read and spoken in the university environment.

The test taken by more than 30 million learners in the whole world, who wish to demonstrate their level of proficiency in English.

Their average English skill level ranges from Intermediate to Advanced. The TOEFL certificate is needed for a number of reasons:

  • The test is accepted by a number of higher education institutions so students take it to prove their language proficiency
  • The TOEFL certificate can serve as an English-language learning program admission and exit
  • It is useful when applying for scholarships at universities
  • TOEFL certificate is accepted when applying for visa

Where is the TOEFL certificate accepted?

The TOEFL certificate is accepted in more than 130 countries. Over 10 000 colleges, agencies, and other institutions.

  • Immigration departments use TOEFL certificate in order to issue residential and work visas
  • Medical and licensing agencies use TOEFL certificate for their professional certification process
  • Individuals take TOEFL to measure their knowledge of English and broaden their employment possibilities
  • In case of Australia, TOEFL scores are accepted as the language requirement for students, post-studies, migration and business visas.

Where can the test be taken?

There are over 50 test dates per year when you can take TOEFL in a number of authorized test centres around the world. The TOEFL test can be taken by a candidate as many times as they wish but it is important to point out that within a 12-day period you can register for the test only once. This means that if you have a test planned for a given day, it is impossible to register for another day that is within 12 days for your existing appointment.

The dates you will find here:


TOEFL course

How long does it take to take the test?

All the parts are taken in one day. After listening candidates have a 10-minute break. The test takes around 4 hours, but it is advisable to arrive 30 minutes before the test start for check-in and registration.

What does TOEFL iBT contain?

TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test)

This test is delivered via the Internet.

The test measures student’s ability to use and understand English at the university level. Your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills will be assessed

TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) Content of the Test

The test composes of 4 sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

The test contains tasks that combine communication skills, such as:

  • Reading, listening and speaking in response to a question
  • Listening and speaking in response to a question


This section lasts about 60 – 80 minutes. There are 3 or 4 passages from academic texts, for each passage there are 12 – 14 questions.

The passages are excerpts from textbooks used at universities which are often used as introductions to a given discipline or topic. All the information needed to answer the question correctly is included in the passages, so candidates do not need to worry if they are not familiar with a given topic.


This section lasts about 60 – 90 minutes. There are 34 – 51 questions the candidate has to answer when listening to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations.

The listening sections concern academic lectures as well as longer conversations when the speech sounds natural. It is possible to take notes during the test.

The Listening section can be composed of

  • 4 – 6 lectures. Each of them is 3 – 5 minutes long, there are 6 questions per lecture
  • 2 – 3 conversations. Each of them is 3 minutes long, there are 5 questions per conversations

In Reading and Listening sections the test may include extra questions that are not taken into consideration in scoring. These questions serve two purposes; they enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or they can be new questions introduced which help to determine how they function under actual testing conditions.


This section lasts 20 minutes and includes 6 questions. The candidates are asked to express their opinions on a familiar topic, as well as speak on the basis of listening and reading tasks. The candidates speak into the microphone on their headset and their response is recorded

  • The first 2 questions are “independent speaking tasks”. They concern candidate’s own ideas, experiences, opinions.


1. Talk about a pleasant and memorable event that happened while you were in school. Explain why this event brings back fond memories. Preparation Time: 15 seconds Response Time: 45 seconds

2. Some people think it is more fun to spend time with friends in restaurants or cafés. Others think it is more fun to spend time with friends at home. Which do you think is better? Explain why. Preparation Time: 15 seconds Response Time: 45 seconds

  • The other 4 questions are “integrated speaking tasks”. They require candidates to integrate their English language skills- i.e. listening and speaking or listening, reading and speaking. The candidate listens / reads a passage and responds to a question related to the passage.


3. Read the following text and the conversation that follows it. Then, answer the question. The Northfield College Student Association recently decided to make a new purchase. Read the following announcement in the college newspaper about the decision. (Reading time in an actual test would be 45-50 seconds.)

“Good News for Movie Fans The Student Association has just purchased a new sound system for the Old Lincoln Hall auditorium, the place where movies on campus are currently shown. By installing the new sound system, the Student Association hopes to attract more students to the movies and increase ticket sales. Before making the purchase of the new equipment, the Student Association conducted a survey on campus to see what kind of entertainment students liked best. Going to the movies ranked number one. “Students at Northfield College love going to the movies” said the president of the Student Association, “so we decided to make what they already love even better. We’re confident that the investment into the sound system will translate into increased ticket sales.”

(Male student) I really think the Student Association made a bad decision.

(Female student) Really? Why? Don’t you like going to the movies?

(Male student) Sure I do. But this new purchase is just a waste of money.

(Female student) What do you mean? It’s supposed to sound really good.

(Male student) Yeah, well, I’m sure it does, but, in Old Lincoln Hall? I mean that building must be 200 years old! It used to be the college gym! The acoustics are terrible.

(Female student) So you’re saying there’ll be no improvement?

(Male student) That’s right. And also, I seriously doubt that going to the movies is the number one social activity for most students.

(Female student) Yeah, but that’s what students said.

(Male student) Well, of course that’s what they said. What else is there to do on campus?

(Female student) What do you mean? 19

(Male student) I mean, there isn’t much to do on campus besides go to the movies. If there were other forms of, uh recreation, or other social activities, you know, I don’t think most students would have said that going to the movies was their first choice.

Question: The man expresses his opinion of the Student Association’s recent purchase. State his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for holding that opinion.

Preparation Time: 30 seconds Response Time: 60 seconds


This section lasts 50 minutes, candidates are asked to complete two tasks. They support their opinions writing essay responses based on reading and listening tasks.

  • The first task is “integrated writing task” – this one should take 20 minutes; candidates are asked to read a short passage or listen to a lecture and write a response.
  • The second task is “independent talks” – this one should take about 30 minutes; candidates are asked to write an essay to a given topic

What does the day of the test look like?

It is always good to know what to expect during the day we sit the test. It will help you stay calm and confident. Have a look at the short video presenting the course of events during the test day.


Interested in our TOEFL exam preparation courses or to learn more about the TOEFL certificate?

Contact Cambridge School of English and ask for preparatory TOEFL courses.

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Tel: 22-622 30 19

TOEFL certificate and exam preparation courses

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