TOEFL Exam Pattern

TOEFL Exam Pattern

The TOEFL exam is one of the most widely used English proficiency exams for candidates seeking to study abroad. The TOEFL exam is intended to assess test takers' reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills in a university setting. For students planning to study abroad in an English-speaking country, the TOEFL exam is a required component of their university application. In this article, we will discuss the TOEFL exam pattern for candidates planning to take the TOEFL exam.

TOEFL Exam Pattern 2023

The TOEFL exam pattern 2023 includes four sections - Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing - as well as a total score. Candidates are always advised to practise more and more, as the more they practise TOEFL Sample Papers, the higher their scores will be. The ETS, the conducting body that governs the TOEFL exam, determines the TOEFL exam pattern. All of the preparation material has been created with the TOEFL test pattern 2021 in mind.


Time Duration

No. of Questions



60-80 minutes

36-56 questions

3-4 reading passages to answer questions


60-90 minutes

34-51 questions

Audio clips of 4-6 short lectures and 2-3 long conversations


10 minutes




20 minutes

6 Tasks

Need to speak on familiar topics or any academic-related issues


50 minutes

2 Tasks

Articulate opinion, logic, and argument after a comparison between a reading passage and classroom lecture


TOEFL Exam Pattern (Section Wise)

TOEFL Exam Pattern: Reading Section

The reading section appears first in the TOEFL test pattern. The primary goal of the TOEFL reading section is to assess the candidate's ability to understand English and provide an accurate response to it.

  • TOEFL reading test pattern is related to academic study materials; 3-4 reading passages of approximately 700 words are provided as prompts; 10 questions will be asked from each passage. 
  • The TOEFL iBT reading pattern has a time limit of 54 to 72 minutes. 
  • Adapted from university-level textbooks 
  • TOEFL reading passages cover a wide range of topics. 
  • Scores will be given in raw points before being converted to a scale of 30.

TOEFL Exam Pattern: Listening Section

Because one of the most important skills required for living abroad is the ability to  vunderstand not only the English language but also the various accents used around the world, TOEFL listening focuses on evaluating the aspirant's ability to understand not only the English language but also the different accents used around the world. Universities will have lectures, and workplaces will require constant communication - TOEFL listening measures every aspect of the test while it is being taken. Candidates who follow proper TOEFL Listening Preparation Tips can easily score above 25 on a scale of 30. 

The new TOEFL listening exam pattern is divided into two categories: Lectures and Conversations:

  1. 3 - 4 lectures of 3 - 5 minutes duration, followed by 6 questions per lecture; 
  2. 2 -3 conversations with 2 speakers of 3 minutes or less duration, followed by 5 questions per conversation; 
More details about the TOEFL's new listening pattern are as follows:

  • The total duration is 60-90 minutes; while playing audio clips, audio speakers will appear on the screen. 
  • The test taker can find a specific term written on the screen that was taken from an audio clip. 
  • Test takers can also hear different English accents in audio clips. 
  • The listening score will be calculated as the sum of raw points and then scored on a scale of 0 to 30.

TOEFL Exam Pattern: Speaking Section

Speaking in English becomes the most important skill when attending a lecture, enquiring about a topic, or presenting a PPT, and the TOEFL speaking test assesses the necessary skills to ensure fluency. The primary goal of the TOEFL speaking pattern is to determine the candidate's comfort level in speaking English in educational situations. Experts advise obtaining TOEFL Speaking Topics from recent years in order to understand the question format.

Few more crucial points to be noted about the new TOEFL pattern of speaking:

  • The TOEFL speaking section has a total time limit of 20 minutes. 
  • For the first two independent tasks, test takers have 45 seconds to express their thoughts on familiar topics. 
  • The test taker is given a total time allotment of 60 seconds for each audio clip and reading passage. 
  • The TOEFL speaking section is graded on a scale of 0 to 4. 
  • This speaking section is later converted to a scale of 0-30. 
  • The speaking section assesses how well test takers articulate their opinions using a variety of reasons and examples. TOEFL Exam Patterndddddddd    eee                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Typically, a score of 22 or higher is considered a good score for the speaking section.
  • Before speaking, 15 to 30 seconds of preparation time is allotted. 
  • The response time should be between 45 and 60 seconds. 
  • You will be asked to speak into a microphone, and your response will be recorded and sent to ETS. 
  • You will be required to choose one of two situations and speak on it in your independent task. 
  • Integrated speaking task - Question 2 consists of reading and listening passages; the speaker's opinion must be focused on, as well as how their statements affect the reading passage. 
  • Question 3 of the integrated task will always be focused on a specific academic term from the first year of university. 
  • Question 4 of the integrated task focuses on an excerpt from a scholarly topic.

TOEFL Exam Pattern: Writing Section

Writing a proper answer or report is required to excel in the university or the workplace. English-speaking countries are also very strict about English writing. As a result, the TOEFL writing pattern focuses not only on testing through an essay but also on similar cross-functional tasks such as integrated writing.
A few more points to consider about the TOEFL 2023 and 2024 writing patterns:

  • Test takers are required to write two essays in 50 minutes. 
  • The test taker is given a time limit of 20 minutes for Task 1, and a total time limit of 30 minutes for Task 2. 
  • For each essay, test takers will be graded on a scale of 0 to 5. 
  • The number will be converted to a scale of 30 after two essay scores. 
  • A score of more than 25 on the TOEFL is considered a good score. 
  • Test takers will have 3 minutes to read an academic text of around 300 words for the Integrated writing task. 
  • It will be followed by a two-minute audio clip of the lecture.
  • After reading and listening, test takers must explain how an audio clip from a lecture and a passage will help them articulate any opinion or logical argument. 
  • Task 1 will take 20 minutes to complete in 150-225 words. 
  • While writing the answer, test takers can keep an eye on the reading passage on the side. 
  • Task 2 is an independent writing assignment in which there will be no reading passages or audio clips to listen to. 
  • In this section, test takers have to write on a particular opinion on their own 
  • Within 30 minutes, test takers have to complete Task 2 in 300 words 
  • Typically, for Task 2, test takers are given familiar topics to write about in order to express their opinions.