The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT is a crucial exam for millions of non-native English speakers seeking to study, work, or immigrate to English-speaking countries. As the world evolves, so does the TOEFL iBT, with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) continuously working to improve the test’s accuracy and relevance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the latest changes to the TOEFL iBT, highlighting what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve and succeed on the updated exam.
A Shorter Test Experience
One of the most significant changes to the TOEFL iBT is the reduction in test duration. Previously, the test took approximately 3 hours to complete, but the updated version now takes around 2 hours[^1^]. This change makes the TOEFL iBT more convenient and less exhausting for test-takers, allowing them to better showcase their English language skills.
An Updated Writing Section
The Writing section has seen a notable change, with the introduction of a new task called “Writing for an Academic Discussion.” This task replaces the previous Independent Writing task and asks test-takers to state and support an opinion on a given topic in an online class discussion[^2^]. The new task aims to better assess a test-taker’s ability to write effectively in an academic context and adapt to the growing trend of online learning.
Enhanced Listening and Speaking Sections
The Listening and Speaking sections have also been updated to better reflect real-life situations and improve the test’s overall relevance. For example, the Listening section now includes more authentic conversations and lectures, while the Speaking section features tasks that require test-takers to speak about familiar topics and engage in integrated tasks that combine listening and speaking skills[^3^].
Improved Test Preparation Resources
To help test-takers adapt to these changes, ETS has introduced new test preparation resources, including updated versions of the Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT® Test and TOEFL Practice Online (TPO). These resources provide test-takers with valuable insights into the updated test format, question types, and scoring criteria, ensuring they are well-prepared for the new TOEFL iBT experience[^4^].
The latest changes to the TOEFL iBT reflect ETS’s commitment to providing a more accurate, relevant, and user-friendly test experience for English language learners worldwide. By familiarizing yourself with these updates and taking advantage of the new test preparation resources, you can ensure that you’re well-prepared to succeed on the updated TOEFL iBT.