The TOEFL test has been shortened with immediate effect. All test takers will now take the new, shorter version of the test. The scoring system remains the same. All sections of the test – reading, listening, speaking and writing – are scored out of 30, and the maximum total score is 120. The writing section has not been changed. All the other sections have been reduced in length.
The reading section now lasts 54-72 minutes, depending on whether you get 3 or 4 passages. The average time per passage is therefore now 18 minutes. There are 10 questions after each passage. The types of questions remain the same.
The listening section now lasts 41-57 minutes with 28-39 questions. There is a range of times and number of questions because some test takers receive a test passage in either the reading section or the listening section, but not both. The test passage does not count towards your score. However, you must treat every passage as “live” because the test passage is not identified.
The speaking section lasts 17 minutes. Part One is an independent task (the same as the old Part One task). There are three integrated tasks – Parts Two, Three and Four - (the old Parts Three, Four and Six). The independent task is merely giving a spoken response to a question you see on your screen and hear in your headphones. Parts Two and Three ask you to read something, listen to something, and then give a spoken response. Part Four asks you just to listen to something and then give a spoken response.
The test makers have also made another potentially useful change with the addition of what they call MyBest scores. This means that if you take the test more than once, your best score in each section can be combined to produce a higher overall score. Whether universities will accept this new scoring option is another matter, but at least the test makers offer it.
To save you time in your preparation, how about you take some lessons with us? These will get you to the score you need more quickly.