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TOEFL exam duration gets shorter, to introduce best score feature

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019

The test duration has now been reduced to three hours as opposed to the previous three and a half hours, report Shivangi Mishra

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is set to undergo changes from August 2019. The duration of the test will get shortened and the introduction of ‘My best scores’ will highlight the sections in which the individual performed best if the exam is taken more than once.

The test time will be shortened by 30 minutes — to just three hours — with no changes in the overall test format, quality or paper pattern. “Shorter duration will lessen fatigue and improve focus and performance thus, helping aspirants perform better.”
 
“Over the period, we have collected data of TOEFL test takers, its review suggested that the test can be shortened without diluting the test quality or score validity. This was done by applying research to maintain test quality through various statistical procedures and application of advanced assessment technology,” Srikant Gopal, executive director of TOEFL programme, told Education Times.
 
In addition, the new scorecards will also have the ‘MyBest scores’ feature will combine test takers’ best scores for each section from all valid TOEFL scores from the previous two years.
 
All score reports sent after August 1, 2019, regardless of the test administration date, will automatically include ‘MyBest scores’ along with the traditional scores from the test taker’s selected test date.
 
“According to an ETS survey, nearly 75% of institutions in many key destination countries, including the US and Canada, preferred seeing the best scores in the various sections in addition to traditional scores. These changes provide a significantly better testing experience for students, while institutions can widen their pools of qualified applicants that meet their English-language requirements,” said Gopal.
 
With the change in duration of the test three sections—reading, listening and speaking —will have reduced questions. The writing section will remain the same.
 
To prepare for the upcoming tests, Gopal advises students to continue with their strategy as the type of questions asked will be the same. Conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS), also known for conducting Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test, TOEFL is a global test for the English language accepted by more than 10,000 institutions in over 150 countries including popular destinations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

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