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ETS announces reduction in TOEFL test duration by 1 hour

ETS announces reduction in TOEFL test duration by 1 hour

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ETS has reduced test duration of TOEFL by an hour, starting July 26, 2023. Read on to learn about the changes in the TOEFL test pattern and the reasons behind these changes.

Mansi Bisht
Updated on:  25 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 1.52K | 3  min read

The Education Testing Service (ETS) announced on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, that the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will be shortened by an hour. Earlier, TOEFL used to have a duration of three hours but with this latest announcement, the duration will be reduced to two hours only. The implementation for the reduced time duration will be taking place from July 26, 2023. 

Accepted by more than 10,000 institutes in over 150 countries, TOEFL is a globally accepted English proficiency test for some popular study abroad destinations like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


Changes in the TOEFL test duration and pattern

ETS in their statement to the press has said that they have planned to achieve the shortened duration by doing the following things - 

  • list items Streamlining the instruction and navigation throughout the tests.
  • list items A new section will be introduced in the test pattern which will be called “Writing for an academic discussion”. This will replace the previous independent TOEFL writing section
  • list items TOEFL reading section will be shortened. The revised reading section is expected to have 20 questions that will take around 35 minutes. 
  • list items The revised TOEFL listening section will take approximately 36 minutes with 28 questions in it 
  • list items All the question that comes under the category of “unscored questions” will be removed.

All the points above are expected to reduce the TOEFL duration to 1 hour and 56 minutes.

Other changes to TOEFL

One of the biggest changes that are being brought with this announcement apart from shortened duration is that the test takers will be able to see their official test score release date upon completion of the test. Followed by it, they will also be getting real-time notifications in case there are any changes in the score status.

Continuing with the announcement by Amit Sevak, CEO of ETS, it was mentioned that a simplified registration will be made available in early July 2023. Test takers of TOEFL iBT will be able to make an account on the official website and choosing the date and other things will be quicker than usual.

“More localized benefits such as additional local payment options, effective immediately and expanded in the coming weeks. In addition to widely used global credit cards, test takers will have access to convenient local payment options such as locally issued credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and net banking. For the first time, test prices will be presented in their cart in INR,” added Sevak.

They are also planning to develop a dedicated customer service centre for Indian test takers which will be available for 12 hours a day throughout the week. Sevak also added that the test takers who have already registered for TOEFL iBT will be allowed to change dates for the test without any cost till April 30, 2023, via their TOEFL account. Additionally, an updated version of TOEFL iBT practice tests, both paid and free will be made available on the official website in the coming weeks.

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Reason behind changes in TOEFL test duration and pattern

Now, talking about the motivation of ETS for making all these major changes, was to improve TOEFL as an English proficiency test in relation to future assessments which will be more innovative and convenient for the test takers. Amit Sevak, CEO of ETS, said, “ETS is driving the future of assessment through product innovations across education and learning, and TOEFL is core to that effort. TOEFL has been an industry standard for nearly six decades, and these enhancements further underscore its position. Most importantly, these enhancements were developed through the lens of our customers and stakeholders.”

All these changes are expected to benefit lakhs of Indians who aspire to study abroad and have decided to take TOEFL as their English language proficiency test. There is no set syllabus for TOEFL but if you need help in finding some preparation books and other resources, then GyanDhan got you covered. Visit TOEFL Preparation Books to get all the essential resources.

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