The changes include streamlined instructions and navigation, removal of unscored questions, a shortened Reading Section and a new Writing for an Academic Discussion task.
The TOEFL iBT score scale remains unaltered, while the improvements, developed with feedback from ETS customers and stakeholders, address the needs of test takers and help them save time and ease test day stress.
So far, the TOEFL iBT test’s changes have garnered positive feedback from students with varying goals.
Mun So-yeon, a high school student preparing for an undergraduate degree in Japan, said that she had struggled with the lengthy test-taking time in the past.
“Personally, I really loved the shortened TOEFL and how it reduced fatigue and improved my concentration throughout the test,” she said after taking the test on the day it launched.
“However, those who were accustomed to the mandatory 10-minute breaks that were offered after Reading and Listening sections should prepare themselves for the new test without a break.”
Kim Poo-reum, a 17-year-old studying TOEFL to become a psychology major in Australia, said she was a bit worried about the new writing task that is replacing the old question type.
“To prepare myself for the new question type, I worked with the 28 free practice questions and scoring services that are available on the official website. After reviewing ETS feedback on my sample responses, I was able to understand how to improve my writing skills and get ready for the new question type,” Kim said. “I am happy to see that my test date scores on July 26 improved compared to my last TOEFL test. There was really no reason to worry too much about the change if you are prepared.”
Another test taker, Han Seung-min who is a junior at Hanyang University, said he needed a TOEFL score higher than 80 to apply for the exchange student program at his school.
Preparing for the shortened TOEFL iBT test, he said, “TOEFL Practice Online was very helpful for me as it provides an experience of what it’s like to take the real TOEFL iBT test in the way how it was enhanced.”
He added, “I want to tell others to make sure they are accustomed to the new writing task. For me, writing a 100-word response in 10 minutes was not easy at all.”
To aid test takers like Han, ETS offers free preparation options ― TOEFL iBT® Free Practice Tests and Practice Sets, as well as Writing for an Academic Discussion Practice Questions and TOEFL® Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide.
To learn more about the TOEFL iBT enhancements, visit www.ets.org/toefl/ibt-enhancements. To create an account, register for a test, access test prep resources, and more, visit www.ets.org/toefl.