TOEFL is one of the most recognized English language proficiency tests in the world, but can you distinguish between the two main types of exams - TOEFL iBT and TOEFL ITP?
The tips below will help you clarifying the differences and deciding which test suits your interests.
Surely you've heard about TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT before.
Forget the TOEFL PBT: this “Printed Based Test” no longer takes place in most countries. In 2012, it gave way to TOEFL iBT, the “Internet Based Test”.
This change does not compromise your application for a program abroad in any way, since iBT is yet the most requested test by international institutions and is currently chosen by 96% of those submitting to a TOEFL assessment.
TOEFL iBT testing format is divided by four assessment parameters: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each one of these sections has a score of 0-30, which, all added together, can reach a maximum score of 120 points.
ETS is TOEFL’s international representative organization, which benefits from agreements with test application centers across many countries worldwide. This means that, even if you’re living far away from your country’s capital, you can avoid travelling thousands of miles carrying the pressure on your shoulders. By accessing TOEFL's official website, you can check the dates and cities where the TOEFL examinations are conducted, as well as their costs.
If, in the past, this exam was mainly sought out by students wanting to study in the US or Australia, today’s reality is quite different: TOEFL iBT is widely accepted in over 30 countries, including the UK. All you need to do is to check the requirements of the programs of your interest before enrolling any test.
If you’re applying for a student visa, this exam can also ease the whole process. Usually, showing evidence of English proficiency is one of the requirements following a visa request.
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TOEFL ITP, Institutional Testing Program, is the one you should leave behind if you’re aiming to study abroad.
This exam is only suitable to those who want to measure their English level for personal reasons or within an academic context - to boost a job application or even to asseess the effectiveness of an English language course.
Of course, there are exceptions: some national exchange programs may accept both TOEFL iBT and ITP for certain cases. Also, some institutions based in countries where English is not the official language actually welcome all kinds of TOEFL. However, note that accepting TOEFL ITP during the admission process is not a very common practice among international institutions, especially in English speaking countries.
ITP’s questions and content are very similar to what you would find in a college exam. Assessments are made in oral and reading comprehension, plus structure and written expression. Therefore, this is a good option for those who struggle with their speaking skills, since that part is not analysed. Depending on the exam level you take, the scores may vary: 200-500 is the range for the begginer/intermediate level scale and 310-677 correspond to an intermediate/advanced level scale.
ETS is the association that owns the exam, but, just like TOEFL iBT, many institutions across the world offer TOEFL ITP tests and you only need to check if your city is on the list.