Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test an individual's ability to use and understand English in an academic setting. It has become an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities. TOEFL is accepted by many countries and organizations worldwide, including colleges, agencies and employers. It evaluates how well an individual could combine listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.
For TOEFL, the exam is separated into four sections, which are listening, speaking, writing and reading respectively. The main format for TOEFL would be IBT (Internet Based Tests).
Students would answer questions based on the type of audio that they have heard, ranging from academic-type conversations and lectures to classroom discussions.
Students would answer questions based on 3-4 academic reading extracts. The extracts within the exam could originate from any source, including : magazines, textbooks, lecture notes etc.
Students would answer questions based on the reading and listening pieces that they have read and heard. In the second piece, students are require to support the opinions given on a specific statement or topic.
Students would have to give their personal opinions towards a given topic. At all times, the speaking tasks would be based on both the reading and listening tasks that the student completed.
Another English proficiency test named International English Language Testing System (also known as IELTS) , which is similar to TOEFL, provides English standardized testing for non-native English speakers. Same as TOEFL, the IELTS exam consists of four sections - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The only difference between TOEFL and IELTS lies upon the fact that there are two formats that IELTS applicants could take, depending on the ultimate outcome of the exam.
The two formats of IELTS are IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training respectively. Both of these formats share identical characteristics in terms of format and content. However, in the reading section, the reading passages chosen for General Training would require applicants to read extracts from different sources of text including : company handbooks, magazine etc. In addition,,for the writing section, the nature of Task 1 for both formats are extremely different - graph analysis / summary for TOEFL Academic and situational letter for TOEFL General Training.
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