If you want to take the TOEFL iBT, then you should read this explanation.

Will the Chinese dragon bring you good (TOEFL) luck this year?
Will the Chinese dragon bring you good (TOEFL) luck this year?

S.T.E.A.L.T.H.–Michael Buckhoff’s 7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT

I want my TOEFL iBT Lessons now!


To understand the TOEFL iBT , The Test of English as a Foreign English, the Internet-Based Test, is to understand its purpose, its different parts, and its scoring system.

PURPOSE:  Since thousands of universities use this test to make important decisions such as admissions, scholarships, and decisions regarding graduate study and since millions of students take this test so that they can enter respected universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the TOEFL iBT is an important test. Moreover, whether it is passed or not will determine acceptance into an undergraduate or graduate program.

Administered at thousands of designated locations throughout the world, the TOEFL iBT consists of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. It takes about 4 1/2 hours to complete, and a 10 minute break is given after the listening section. The cost is approximately $150. Note-taking is allowed on all parts.

PARTS: The reading section takes 60-100 minutes and has three 750 word academic passages, with 36-70 questions measuring the test-taker’s ability of comprehension and analysis.

The listening section takes 60-90 minutes and has two conversations (3-5 minutes long) and four lectures (3 minutes), with 34-51 questions measuring the test-taker’s ability to understand what was heard.

The speaking section takes 20 minutes and has six speaking tasks. The first two speaking tasks ask a test-taker to either (1) express an opinion on a topic or (2) choose a preference between two choices. The last four speaking tasks require a test-taker (3) to read, listen, and speak in relation to a campus-related topic; (4) to read, listen, and speak in relation to an academic-related topic; (5) to listen and speak in relation to a campus-related topic; and finally (6) to listen and speak in relation to an academic-related topic. The test-taker is given 15-30 seconds to prepare and 45-60 seconds to give the responses.

The writing section, taking 50 minutes, has two tasks. In the first writing task, a test-taker is given 30 minutes to write on a familiar topic. In the second writing task, a test-taker is given 20 minutes to read, listen, and write an essay in response to the two academic sources.

SCORING SYSTEM: The scores on the TOEFL iBT range from 0 – 120, each section receiving a scaled score from 0 – 30. The scaled scores in the reading and listening sections are based on the number of correct answers. Human raters score the six speaking tasks from 0 – 4, the sum of which are converted into a scaled range from 0-30. Like the speaking section, human raters also score the two writing tasks from 0 – 5, the sum of which are converted into a scaled score of 0-30. Though each university sets its admission policies, generally a total score of 60-61 and 80-81 is seen by many institutions as acceptable for undergraduate or graduate study.

For more information, go here:

S.T.E.A.L.T.H.–Michael Buckhoff’s 7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT:

I want my TOEFL iBT Lessons now!

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14 thoughts on “If you want to take the TOEFL iBT, then you should read this explanation.”

  1. Pingback: TOEFL iBT Writing and Speaking: What Does It Take to Be Coherent? - Better TOEFL Scores Blog

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  3. Pingback: TOEFL iBT Grammar: Choosing an Appropriate Point of View :Better TOEFL® Scores

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  5. Johanna Budewig

    Leading universities in the world DO ACCEPT TOEFL iBT score. I took TOEFL iBT and GRE, then I went to graduate school in Chicago, Illinois. University of Chicago, is one of the best institution of the US. The only problem is, your TOEFL iBT score must be high enough.

  6. Nurlan:

    I am not sure about England. In fact, even in the United States, some universities will only accept the TOEFL iBT, while others will accept the TOEFL iBT and the TOEFL PBT and maybe even another type of standardized test. Your best bet is to call the university you plan on attending and ask an admissions official, “What is your policy regarding the TOEFL iBT?”

    Try this link from ETS, which lists the 7000 plus universities worldwide that accept TOEFL: http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/TOEFL/pdf/univ0708.pdf


  7. hi mr
    now i am studying in toefl prepartion in azerbaijan,,,,i have only 1 problem….i can not find which university are agree with toefl scores????????????and i want to study in englan ,,and in england which universities are agree with ONLY TOEFL scores,,,,

  8. Suha:

    I wish I could offer all my lessons for free. However, my job is a TOEFL teacher, so I get paid to teach. If I did not charge money for the lessons, I would not be able to support my wife, our baby, and me. I have done everything I can to make my TOEFL lessons as inexpensive as possible. For example, I could charge $75.00 an hour for each lesson. Instead, I am only charging about $20.00 an hour. So I am saving you a lot money by keeping the costs down. Imagine how much money you would spend if you were paying tuition to study at a TOEFL prep school. Instead of $5.00-$20.00 a lesson, you would be paying hundreds of dollars for each lesson! And my guess is that their instruction would not be as focused or as effective as mine.

    Best regards,


  9. My roblem is the money that needs to buy the lessons Iam employee and my salary is very little could I obtain and free lessons to improve my scores which is 66 only

  10. This video is a response to Amin’s comments: “Hi SIr
    I’m a 22 years iranian student,I want to apply for one of the american University but unfortunately I don’t have a suitable TOEFL Scor,because my English is really weak.my First TOEFL iBT Score was 42!!!!
    and my listening score was 0!!!listening is one of my big problems in my life!!!!!could you help me what I must do?”

    [kaltura-widget wid=”dcgiumdqyg” size=”comments” /]

  11. Hi SIr
    I’m a 22 years iranian student,I want to apply for one of the american University but unfortunately I don’t have a suitable TOEFL Scor,because my English is really weak.my First TOEFL iBT Score was 42!!!!
    and my listening score was 0!!!listening is one of my big problems in my life!!!!!could you help me what I must do?

  12. First, since the creation of the TOEFL iBT in 2005, ETS has been slow in facilitating the transition from the TOEFL PBT to the TOEFL iBT. Moreover, in those countries in which the TOEFL PBT is still administered, it makes perfect sense, for example, in your case, to encourage students and teachers to focus on the PBT.

    Nevertheless, in the US, the TOEFL iBT is accepted at more than 3,000 universities, so I am doing the exact opposite of what you do: I encourage teachers and students to focus on the TOEFL iBT. I have not used a TOEFL PBT book in more than four years.

    Admittedly, I should tell you that I have a bias toward the TOEFL iBT.

    1). Since the TOEFL iBT allows note-taking, tests speaking and writing, and tests integrated language skills such as speaking and writing about what you read and listen to, I strongly believe the test better measures academic proficiency. In effect, when I teach TOEFL iBT, I teach university study skills preparation. The purpose of my TOEFL iBT class to go beyond just helping them pass the test: it is to help them develop effective note-taking skills on academic and listening passages and then write and speak about them.

    2). Unfortunately, the TOEFL PBT is no longer a secure test (And ETS knows it but still allows it to be administered!). Therefore, students are able to see pirated versions of the PBT Online and study them extensively. As a result, an unknown percentage of students have simply studied the unsecured TOEFL PBT tests online, get a high score, and then get admitted to a university of their choice–at least those universities which still accept the PBT version. The scores that some of your students are getting may actually not be valid scores if they have had access to these pirated versions of the TOEFL PBT.

    We administer the TOEFL PBT at the end of every quarter at California State University, San Bernardino. While proctoring one of these official tests, I wrote down some key words from the listening, grammar, and reading sections. Afterwards, I googled those key words and found all the sections on that exact TOEFL PBT online. I contacted ETS, and they told me that they were already aware of the problem and that we should not be using the TOEFL PBT to make decisions regarding undergraduate and graduate study for international students. However, as you already know, ETS is contradicting itself by allowing the TOEFL PBT to still be used.

    In short, in an ideal world, there would not be all of these complexities. So what do I do? I try not to teach to the TOEFL iBT or the TOEFL PBT. Rather, I try to equip my students with the academic skills that will help them to succeed in whichever university they wish to enroll.

  13. There are a number of tier one universities world wide that do not accept a TOEFL-iBT test score, instead they require a score from the TOEFL Paper Book Test. I habitually recommend that my teachers and my students focus on the pbt as this is universally accepted. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get pbt testing done by ETS here in Vietnam, yet our students wish to have the opportunity to choose their foreign university of choice, rather than be limited to those institutions that accept the TOEFL-iBT. Until the TEOFL-iBT test score is accepted by the majority of tier one tertiary institutions, I would not recommend that students spend time studying to obtain a TEOFL-iBT score that is, as yet, not accepted by the leading global universities. In addition, there does not seem to be a universally accepted conversion score when attempting to convert a TEOFL-iBT score to that of a TEOFL-PBT score. Your comments would be appreciated.

    Ben Williams, c.c.w., B.Psychom., Ph.D
    International Languages Department
    Hong Duc University
    Thanh Hoa

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