TOEFL is the most popular English proficiency exam accepted at North American universities. The full form of TOEFL is Test of English as Foreign Language. TOEFL tests the international students’ usage and understanding of North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. The TOEFL test is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report.
Often, students are confused if they need to prepare only for TOEFL or other exams are also required for admission to the US and Canadian universities. How many exams you need to prepare completely depends on the type of course you are applying to. For all undergraduate courses in the US and some in Canada, you need to prepare for SAT. For MBA courses GMAT scores are a requirement; similarly, for MS courses GRE scores are relevant. Along with all these exams, you have to take either IELTS or TOEFL.
Often international students don’t know how to choose between IELTS or TOEFL, as universities abroad ask for either exam scores. Since TOEFL syllabus is designed to test your understanding of North-American English, it should be your first choice if you are applying to universities in US and Canada. For rest of the countries, especially the UK and Australia, IELTS is usually the more preferred language exam, but TOEFL is also accepted.
TOEFL test is conducted round the year and has more than 50 test dates per year. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but to take a re-test you have to wait for a 12-day period after attempting the first test.
TOEFL Eligibility Criteria
ETS, the body that conducts TOEFL, have not specified any specific eligibility criteria for giving the TOEFL exam. It is a language proficiency test which is taken by those who want to move to a foreign land in order to pursue study or work and gain global exposure. This is generally given for getting admission in colleges, universities or organizations of English speaking countries. Generally, candidates who cleared high school or equivalent appear for the TOEFL exams.