Since its inception in 2005, the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) format has largely replaced the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT). With new centres being added regularly on an on- going basis CBT has become obsolete and in valid.
Initially students had to wait for long periods of time as centres were limited but now it has become possible to take the test within 1 to 4 weeks. It is a 4 hour test consisting of 4 modules namely reading, speaking, writing and listening with each analysing the basic language skills.Taking down notes is allowed in TOEFL iBT test but the test hecannot be taken more than once every 12 days.
The Reading section consists of questions on 4–6 passages, each passage is on academic topics. Passages are designed to analyse the students on various parameters such as cause-effect, compare-contrast, argumentation, sentence insertion, vocabulary etc.
The Listening section has six passages, each 3–5 minutes in length. There are two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The conversations can be between a student, professor or a campus service provider. Each conversation and lecture passage is heard only once and taking down of notes is allowed. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are designed to measure the student's ability to understand main ideas and important details.
The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently responses are digitally recorded.
The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. The test-taker then writes a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage.
The TOEFL® paper-based Test (PBT) is available in limited areas. Scores are valid for two years after the test date.