What is the TOEFL?
The initials stand for – Test of English as a Foreign Language. The test’s purpose is to measure students’ English language ability whose native language is not English. Its inception began in 1962 when a national council of thirty government representatives and private organizations addressed the issue. U.S. universities needed the means to ensure that non-native applicants were proficient in English. In 1964, the Council launched the test, and in 1973, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) assumed responsibility for administering the exam.
The TOEFL test extends beyond learning institutions; work and immigration are other applications in addition to over 11,000 universities in more than 150 countries. Visitors to the ETS site will see that you can choose Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States from the list of destinations.
Teachers can use the TOEFL ITP test in foreign countries to determine if students sixteen and over are adequately fluent in English to succeed globally. There is also a TOEFL Junior Test for students eleven and over and a Primary Test for learners aged eight or above.
What does the TOEFL iBT assess?
The test has four sections:
- Reading: Consists of 3 or 4 passages, about 700 words each, with ten questions per reading passage. Students have 54 to 72 minutes to complete the answers. The material is college-level text, although you do not need prior knowledge of the subjects.
- Listening: A measure of an individual’s comprehension of conversations and lectures. Test takers listen to 3-4 lectures, each 3-5 minutes, then answer six questions for each. There are 2-3 conversations, 3 minutes each, and five questions per conversation.
- Speaking: It consists of four tasks to assess a person’s ability to speak English in an academic setting. This section takes seventeen minutes to complete.
- Writing: You have two tasks called integrated writing and independent writing. The former requires listening to a short passage, then writing a response within 20 minutes. The latter is a personal opinion on a topic, which takes 30 minutes to finish.
Is the TOEFL mandatory at U.S. colleges and universities?
No. There are exceptions, which require prospective students to research those where the TOEFL is not part of the admission process. Typically, the admission requirements for undergraduate degrees are the same as graduate programs for international students. The University of Redlands in California, for example, requires non-native-speaking students to demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting scores from their list of national tests.
The term generally refers to those held in high esteem by reputation, a specific department, or discipline. At the master’s level in biology, some of the recognized schools are the University of California-Berkeley and Los Angeles, Stanford, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M, and many more. Texas A&M, for example, lists proof of English proficiency for international students, except those who are citizens of its extensive list of countries. This requirement applies to all incoming students, regardless of degree level. At this institution, a minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the i-BT is necessary. In contrast, TOEFL submission or similar test scores to prove English proficiency is optional at Harvard for first-year and transfer students. Conversely, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University requires all master’s and Ph.D. applicants to provide their TOEFL scores.
Any discussion involving competitive programs should include Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. It has an admission rate of 11.5%, which means that for every 100 applicants, 12 receive acceptance. The average GPA of first-year students is 3.92, and the average SAT is 1505! The Krieger School of Arts & Sciences international applicants to submit either the TOEFL or IELTS scores. More than 3,400 American institutions trust the International English Language Testing System to prove English speaking and writing abilities. Regarding the application to Harvard master’s in biology, the score cannot be more than two-years-old.
Similar to Texas A&M, Johns Hopkins has a long list of exempt countries for students who completed at least two full years of study in one of these.
Another reputable biology program is named above – the University of California, Berkeley. Admissions accept only TOEFL scores administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Currently, TOEFL ITP scores from Mainland China are unacceptable. The IELTS is permissible as managed by the British Council, Australia, and the University of Cambridge.
International students should plan on taking the TOEFL or IELTS exams. As outlined, there are exempt countries at some learning institutions. Logically, anyone pursuing a master’s degree in biology at a competitive school in the United States will be fluent in speaking, reading, and writing English.