The TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS). Students aspiring to enroll at an English-speaking university take the TOEFL test as it serves as an admission requirement; some programs in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also require it as part of the prerequisite requirements. Immigration departments of various English-speaking nations use TOEFL scores when awarding work or residential visas to prospective immigrants.
The TOEFL exam comprises four sections: Reading, Listening, Structure and Written Expression and Speaking. Each of these tests measures different aspects of English proficiency; for instance Reading is scored two ways – correct answers plus number of grammatical errors; Structure and Written Expression involves writing essays from listening/reading materials as well as an independent task; while Speaking evaluation comprises six tasks including expressing opinions on familiar topics while using reading/listening materials to speak aloud about them.
The TOEFL iBT exam is administered annually across over 150 cities and costs $160 for each section, so students should carefully choose their date and time for taking it. It should be remembered that TOEFL exams are non-refundable; any changes require paying an administrative fee of $45 (should this occur). In addition, TOEFL scores are reported in raw points before being converted into scaled scores which account for variations in difficulty across questions on the test.