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Revised TOEFL iBT Test Format


If you plan to take the TOEFL iBT test after July 26, 2023, prepare for some exciting changes! The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization responsible for administering the TOEFL, has recently announced significant revisions to the test format. These changes aim to enhance the test-taking experience, streamline instructions, and better assess a candidate's English language proficiency. Let's delve into the essential modifications that will be in effect starting from July 26, 2023

Revised TOEFL iBT Test Format
Source: Google Images

1. Reduced Test Duration: From 3 Hours to 2 Hours

One of the most noteworthy changes is the reduction in the test duration. The TOEFL iBT will now be completed in just 2 hours instead of the previous 3-hour duration. This decision aims to make the test less time-consuming and more convenient for test-takers.

2. Writing Section: New Task for Academic Discussion

In the writing section, there's an exciting new addition. The independent writing task, where candidates had to express their personal opinions on a given topic, has been replaced. The new "Writing for an Academic Discussion" task simulates an online class discussion. Test-takers will read a discussion post by a lecturer or professor and other students' responses on a specific topic. They will then be required to write their own response, expressing their opinions within a time limit of 10 minutes and at least 100 words. This change reflects the real-world communication skills required in academic environments.

3. Reading Section: Fewer Questions and Passages

The reading section has undergone changes in the number of questions and passages. The total number of questions has been reduced to 20, down from the previous 30-40 questions. Additionally, candidates will now encounter two passages instead of the previous three. These modifications have also reduced the total time for this section, now set at 35 minutes, compared to the previous 54-72 minutes. However, the types of reading passages and questions remain unchanged, ensuring test-takers familiarity with the format.

4. Listening Section: Fewer Questions and Lectures/Conversations

Similar to the reading section, the listening section has seen a reduction in the total number of questions. Candidates will now answer 28 questions based on 3 lectures and 2 conversations instead of the previous 28-39 questions based on 3-4 lectures and 2-3 conversations. Consequently, the overall time allotted for this section has been reduced to 36 minutes from the previous 41-57 minutes. As with the reading section, the types of questions in the listening section remain the same.

5. Overall Test Changes

Apart from the section-specific changes, ETS has also made some overall test improvements. Unscored questions have been removed, ensuring that every question now contributes to the final score. Additionally, task instructions have been streamlined to make them more transparent and more user-friendly, leading to a smoother test-taking experience.

TOEFL iBT Paper Edition Test Unaffected

It's essential to note that these changes are specific to the TOEFL iBT test format and do not apply to the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition test. The paper edition remains precisely the same before and after July 26, 2023.

As with any test format update, prospective test-takers need to familiarize themselves with the new structure and practice accordingly. ETS provides official preparation materials, including sample questions and practice tests, to help candidates successfully adapt to the revised format.


The revised TOEFL iBT test format, effective from July 26, 2023, brings exciting changes to enhance the test-taking experience and better assess English language proficiency. With a reduced test duration, new writing tasks, and streamlined instructions, ETS aims to provide a more focused and efficient evaluation for candidates worldwide. To prepare successfully, check out the official blog post by ETS and seize the opportunity to showcase your language skills confidently.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming, so we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From preparing for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

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