The TOEFL Exam Overview

TOEFL Testing Dates and Locations

Image Credit: Toefl from

The TOEFL iBT Exam Is Made-Up Of Four Distinct Sections

Each section tests a persons ability to Comprehend, Integrate and Utilize various English skills in order to function in a University-type situation with a focus on American English.

What Makes the TOEFL iBT Exam Unique?

Unlike other English proficiency exams, the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) iBT (internet Based Test) exam does not focus on grammar.  It is assumed that the person taking this exam already has a high enough degree of English skills to be able to understand the questions and content of the exam.

What The TOEFL iBT Exam Does Test Is:

  • The ability to decipher a written text
    • To understand key words and phrases within the text
    • To understand implied meaning within a text
    • To be able to learn new concepts from reading a text
    • To understand basic vocabulary and sentence structure

  • The ability to decipher various spoken passages of different types
    • To understand general meaning of what was spoken
    • To understand meaning of what is spoken as a whole rather than translating individual words (phrases & implied meaning)
    • To understand tone of voice and voice inflection

  • The ability to use English to speak about various subjects with different purposes
    • To speak about personal interests, ideas, issues
    • To give a preference about certain ideas
    • To report about spoken conversation
    • To integrate and report about related information from both written and spoken texts
    • To report about what is spoken between others and to give an opinion or preference based on spoken information
    • To give a summary about spoken lectures

  • The ability to write effectively in different formats
    • To integrate related information from both a written and spoken source and to effectively write a summary of the information and how it is related
    • To write a short essay based on personal interests, ideas, issues

  • The ability to perform all of these tasks within a specified time-frame in an online exam setting

What Makes The TOEFL Awesome?!?!

Besides NO GRAMMAR Section, what makes The TOEFL iBT Exam probably the coolest sort of proficiency test available, is that it essentially tests your ability to learn!

So, considering that EVERYONE has the ability to learn (despite the incredible number of people who pretend that they can’t) it is a test that EVERYONE can “pass”, as long as he or she knows how to go about doing each task…  (This is where GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! comes in) 😉

The last thing that makes this test actually pretty awesome is that, since it tests AUTHENTIC English, there is no “pass” or “fail” – It is graded on a point system.

And an additional aspect of that is, since EVERYONE makes mistakes as a natural part of English (including – if not more-so – native English speakers), it IS possible to make a few mistakes on parts of this exam and STILL get a perfect score!!!

And it is for all of these reasons that I actually like this exam and thoroughly enjoy helping people to excel on The TOEFL iBT Exam.

If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.


Have An Excellent Day!





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  1. Hello Heidi,

    The length of the exam – time-wise – is about 4 hours, and it is broken into 4 sections. Each section has a different time, and it varies for the reading section. You can read all about here:

    & Here:

    And, yes, it USUALLY starts early in the morning, so that there can be a short break half-way through and so it will finish in the early afternoon. However, each testing center is different so you will have to inquire with them about start-times of the exam.

    As for registering, I highly recommend NOT registering on-line as the potential for problems is significantly higher, and the organization that created and administers the exam (like all large companies now-a-days) has less than adequate customer service. I suggest registering directly with the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    You can read about that in this blog post:

    As for the price in your country, it is currently: $220 (US Dollars) – but you should be able to pay in your local currency if you register at the testing center.

    And finally, here is some extra information that might prove to be very beneficial to your daughter:

    I hope that this helps.

    Good Luck To Your Daughter!

    P.S. You/She can read about other related topics here:

  2. Hi,

    My daughter needs to write the TOEFL exam in South Africa. What is the cost of the test here and do we pay online to the testing centre or how does payment work?

    Also, how long is the test and does it start early in the morning?


  3. Hello Amena,

    Thank you for the message.

    Your first question would take no less than 3 weeks to answer, and would cost you between $40 (for a text book) to about $150-300 for a training course. The best advice that I can give you is to start by reading these blog posts.

    For you next question, the price for the exam in Dar Es Salaam is: $180 (US Dollars) which you can pay in your own country’s currency if you register directly at the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    As for materials, that depends on what you mean. But if you are asking about preparation materials, then you will need to buy a text book, or ask the people at the testing center.

    As for your fourth question – that is basically the same as your first.

    As for the last question – You will find that answer at the 4th link above.

    I hope that helps.

    Have An Excellent Day

  4. Hello, i would like to do a toefl exam. please advice on how to go about it from the start to the end. i live in Dar es salaam. how much would it cost ? where can i get the material from ? how can i do the exam ? where can i do it?

  5. Hello Dineo,

    Thanks for the message.

    The price for the exam in Botswana is $195 (US Dollars) which you can pay in your own country’s currency if you register directly at the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    Good Luck!

  6. Hello Mbah,

    Thanks for the message

    The results become available on-line about 10 days after the exam.

    The results that they send to the institutions that you choose are available after about two weeks, but then it takes between a few days to over a week to mail them to the institutions; depending on where they are mailed to.

    So if you have to factor in a deadline for the exam results to be delivered, it would be best to factor about a month… just to be safe.

    I hope that helps.

    Have An Excellent Day

  7. Hello Catalino,

    The price of the TOEFL exam in the Philippines is: $200 (US Dollars) – which you should be able to pay in your country’s currency if you register directly at the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    Good Luck!

  8. Hello Sarah,

    The best idea for registering is to do-so directly at the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    First go to this page to see what dates are available:

    Then click the link at the bottom that says, “To Find The Testing Center In Your Area, Click Here”

    The cost of the exam in Kenya is $190 (US Dollars) which you should be able to pay in your county’s currency if you register at the testing center.

    Have An Excellent Day

  9. Hi,
    My name is sarah from Nairobi, i would like to register for the test. Kindly let me know where i can have it from, what is required and how much it costs. Thank you

  10. Hello Alex,

    The price for the exam is different in each country. I don’t know if you will be taking the exam in Uganda or Costa Rica, but the price in Uganda is: $180 and the price in Costa Rica is: $205

    You can pay that fee in your local currency if you register at the testing center that you will be taking the exam at.

    I Hope That Helps.

  11. Any one know how much it costs to take an exam? is it standard amount in all countries or it varies per country? Thanks.
    Alex Kyeyune
    Uganda – Costa Rica

  12. Greetings Reese,

    Thanks for your message.

    Unfortunately it ended up in my Spam folder, so I know that the time is already passed, but it also would not have been possible to do such a thing anyways, as registration is closed a week before the exam. Furthermore, the TOEFL and the IELTS are different exams, so attempting the TOEFL without any preparation is really not a good idea.

    It sounds like you need to fire and then sue your lawyer as he/she did not do his/her job of representing you, and as such, has put your immigration status in jeopardy. I hope that is not the case.

    I wish you good luck with everything.

    Have An Excellent Day,


  13. Hi there,,,
    I need an advise from you. My immi lawyer just informed me today that I should take the test this Saturday as I need to renew my working visa and my IELTS result was expired last April, But it means I only have time less than 8hrs (effective) as I full time employee.

    Do you think its possible? I have no confidence at all with the very limit time of preparation.


  14. Greetings Rachael,

    I am a little confused by your message.

    The free assistance that I offer is in the form of the information that is on the website already. I do not have the ability to offer my time for free as I am just one man and have to work a full-time job to support my family and pay for this website and the others related to it.

    I am working on training courses that will be available for as inexpensive as I can make them, but that is so that I can offer real training to people who need it, like yourself. If I was a wealthy man, I would certainly offer free lessons for those who deserve it, but I do not have the time nor finances to do that at this time. (Hopefully that will change soon.)

    It is for this reason that I posted the resources on The “TOEFL Free For All” page. That way I can at least provide information for people without them having to search all over the internet to find it.

    Furthermore, to prepare for the TOEFL iBT Exam would take far longer than 2 weeks, even for someone who already has excellent English skills and already knows about this exam.

    As for your comment about the payment methods, if “the payment methods are not accessible” then I don’t see how you can be registered. It is not possible to register for the exam without paying for it first.

    As for how to actually register, I highly recommend doing-so at the testing center that you will taking the exam at. You can find the information about the testing centers in Uganda by following this link:

    Besides being able to help you register for the exam, it is quite possible that the people at the testing center will have other resources for you to prepare for the exam, but I suggest giving yourself at least 3 months to prepare. You can read the blog post that I wrote about this here: “When To Start Preparing For The TOEFL iBT Exam”

    I hope that helps. Let me know if there is anything else that I can assist you with. I am always happy to help when I am able.

    Have An Excellent Day,


  15. thanks for the sacrifice to to offer free assistance.
    i just registered for toefl ibt today and the test will on 27th August (approx 15 days), i am kindly requesting you to help me be ready by then.

    secondly the payment methods are not accessible for us in Uganda, do you have an idea how i can do it.

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  19. Greetings Godana,

    Thank you for the message.

    First of all, in order to know the dates for the exam, you will need to go to the

    “TOEFL Testing Dates and Locations Page”

    There you need to click on the letter for the whichever country you are in. There you will be sent to a page that lists all of the countries that start with that letter.

    Once you click on the country that you are in, you will see a list of all the cities and towns that have testing centers and the dates that there will be an exam.

    At the bottom of that page, you will also see a link that will take you to the official site for registration and another link which will show you a list of the different testing centers in the country.

    As far as learning about the TOEFL this page that you commented on is a good start. Then it is also a good idea to subscribe to and read the blog posts here, as well as all of the other blog posts on GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

    I am in the process of creating a full training course as well, so keep coming back to check for updates as I will be posting many of the lessons for free.

    I hope that this helps. If there is anything else that I can help you with, please let me know. I’m always happy to help if I can.

    Have An Excellent Day,


  20. please if you can, inform me the and date to start learning and taking TOEFL exam.

  21. Greetings Nischal,

    Thanks you for your message.

    As there are – first of all, four sections to the exams – and then, the fact that each section has subsections, there is not a single easy answer to your question. It really depends on what areas: Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, that a person needs to work on the most.

    I will be posting more information about the scoring of each section very soon and I will send you a message as soon as I do.

    Beyond that, I suggest researching this post, and finding out what area you personally need to work on:

    If you have any more specific questions please let me know.

    Have An Excellent Day,


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