The Language Test We – and U.S. Universities – Love
The above title is inspired by the excellent scores Romanian students get in the TOEFL test. Clear indication that the test is well loved in Romania. The TOEFL is very versatile and more than 8,500 colleges, agencies, and other institutions in over 130 countries accept it. It is commonly required for admission to U.S. study programs for international applicants whose mother tongue is not English as it measures their ability to use English at university level.
What Is the TOEFL Like?
According to the official website, the test is administered in English, via the Internet and it includes the following four sections, which take about four hours and a half to complete:
- Reading: measures the ability to understand academic reading material; takes 60-80 minutes and includes 36-56 questions around 3 or 4 passages from academic texts;
- Listening: measures the ability to understand spoken English as used in colleges and universities; takes 60-90 minutes and includes 34-51 questions. Tasks include listening to lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations;
- Speaking: measures the ability to communicate orally in an academic context; requires you to solve six tasks in 20 minutes, most of them relying on language skills integration. Prepare to express an opinion on a familiar topic and to speak on topics inspired by reading and listening tasks;
- Writing: measures the ability to write at college/university level. You will have to write an integrated task in 20 minutes and an independent task in 30 minutes.
There will be a 10-minute break between the Listening and Speaking sections.
The test emphasizes integrated language skills. For example:
- Read, listen, and then speak in response to a question;
- Listen and then speak in response to a question;
- Read, listen, and then write in response to a question.
Each section is scored from 0 to 30, and the total score ranges from 0 to 120.
According to the official website, for research purposes, the test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score.
When & Where Can You Take the Test in Romania?
According to www.ets.org/toefl, in Romania the TOEFL test is only administered in the internet-based format (iBT) at the testing centers in Bucharest, Arad, Baia Mare, Brasov, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca, Galati, Oradea, and Timisoara. EDMERICA can help with registration guidance and details.
In Bucharest the TOEFL iBT is currently offered by a number of language and test centers. Contact EDMERICA for comprehensive information.
Please note that NOT all the test centers in Romania administer the TOEFL year-round. Please visit the official website www.ets.org/toefl to see which test centers are available where and when you are planning to take the test.
Check with EDMERICA for acceptable documents that meet the ETS requirements for admission to the testing center on the test day.
How Much Does the Test Cost?
Test fees vary by country. According to the information on the official website www.ets.org/toefl, the test fee in Romania is $205 for the iBT version and entitles you to one score report – for your information – plus score reports for 4 institutions you will designate by 10 PM local time the night before taking the test. For each institution that you select after the test, you will have to pay a $19 fee as additional score report. ETS will send the scores two weeks after the test date.
How to Register for the Test?
Registration varies according to the payment method: debit/credit card or bank check. If you pay by card, you can register online or by phone. Registration guidance is available on the official site and with EDMERICA.
Key points on the official website www.ets.org/toefl:
- Regular online registration closes seven days before the test date;
- Late online registration closes three days before test date;
- Late telephone registration closes at 5:00 pm local test center time on the business day before the test.
If you register after the regular registration deadline, you will have to pay a late fee.
EDMERICA Insights and Advice
As with all important documents you should photocopy the registration form, the bank check if applicable, and keep them for reference.
You will be assigned a test date, time, and location based on the information you provided. As a rule, you will be sent the test date and the address of the testing center in your registration confirmation letter that you will get by e-mail or regular mail.
What should you do if you do not receive the registration confirmation letter? Ask EDMERICA.
For any problems you may experience concerning registration, receipt of the admission ticket, etc., you need to contact Thomson Prometric that administers the TOEFL throughout Europe. Visit www.prometric.com/en-us/contact-us for contact information of Regional Registration Centers around the world.
What to Expect on Test Day?
Some recommendations from ETS-TOEFL:
When Are the Official Scores Available?
According to the official website, scores are posted online within 10 days of the test date. Printed score reports will be mailed to you and your designated institutions after two weeks.
TOEFL scores are valid for two years.
How to Ace the Test?
Once you register for the test you have free access to a TOEFL iBT Sampler.
You can also watch the TOEFL TV Channel for practice purposes:
Further practice is available on the sites below, some free, some for a fee.
ETS points out that the TOEFL-prep products are delivered over the Internet. You need to check your system is compatible, as no refunds are available in case of system incompatibility.
$44.95 for a complete test (four tests available);
$24.95 for Speaking and Writing sections (three tests available);
$21.95 for Reading and Listening sections (three tests available).
Free iBT full test and full, mini and fragmented tests for sale: $2.95-$29.95.
Free practice for Reading comprehension, sentence completion and correction, plus information on the test.
Overview for the listening section: 50 lectures and 50 conversations, scripts available for free, audio mp3 to buy. Vocabulary exercises also available for free.
Check with EDMERICA for additional testing practice.
And finally a complete guide to English grammar for you to excel on the test!