Huge changes are coming to the TOEFL iBT in July.  Here’s what you can watch for:

  • The test will be shorter.  It will take just about two hours to complete the whole test.
  • The reading section will have just two passages (twenty questions in total)
  • The listening section will be the same (but no unscored questions)
  • The speaking section will be the same
  • The independent writing question will be eliminated, but the integrated essay question will remain.
  • There will be a new “academic discussion” writing question.
  • There will be no unscored questions.
  • There will be no break during the test

I’m happy about all of these things.  I think test-takers will like them too.

If you are curious what the “academic discussion” question looks like, I’ve created and uploaded some samples for you.  Each contains a question and a sample response.  You might recognize it from the TOEFL Essentials Test!  Update:  I have also put together a guide to this question.

In addition to the aforementioned changes, the instructions given during the test will be streamlined and the test software will be improved.  Those will also result in some time savings.

Best of all, the user experience will be improved.  The test registration process will be made shorter and easier, and the user account will be modernized.  It should be a lot easier to find essential information in the account now.  Both of those things make me really happy.  As regular readers know, I’m really interested in improved test-taker experience.

This is scheduled to begin on July 26, but of course that date could change.  ETS will make an official announcement of all this stuff on April 11.  You don’t have to take my word for it… just check the TOEFL website on that date!

I’ve summarized these changes in a YouTube video as well!

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