TOEFL Exam Pattern 2021

Updated by: Subhashri Roy on Aug. 23, 2021, 2:57 p.m.

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TOEFL Exam Pattern

The TOEFL 2021 exam pattern includes four sections including Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing which are aimed at testing the academic English skills of the candidates. In all of these four sections, an individual is asked to perform tasks that combine the four major English communication skills in 3 hours with 30 additional minutes provided to complete the check-in process.

In order to prepare effectively for the test, it is imperative that a candidate has a clear idea of all the sections and the exam pattern for TOEFL 2021, and secure a good score to pursue their dream of studying at a prestigious university abroad.

TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language, an English language proficiency test, approved by thousands of universities in more than 150 countries, has a set exam pattern prescribed by ETS. Some of the popular universities include Chester University, Dublin City UniversityWolverhampton University, Dublin City UniversityGeorge Mason University and more.

Want to Score 100+ on TOEFL iBT?

Also Read:

Over 11,000 Universities, Organisations Accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition Test: ETS List of Entrance Exams to Study Abroad
IELTS or TOEFL? Which Exam Should You Take to Study Abroad? Top 10 Books to Polish Your English Language Skills

Highlights of TOEFL 2021 Exam Pattern

The TOEFL 2021 exam pattern highlights outlined in the table below will provide the candidates with a detailed knowledge of the test:

TOEFL Exam Duration

3½ hours, including 30 minutes for check-in

Total Number of Sections

4: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing

Total Number of Questions


Mode of TOEFL Exam


Medium of Instruction


Integrated Tasks Yes

Negative Marking


Note Taking Allowed Yes

Section-wise TOEFL 2021 Exam Pattern

Here is the section-wise exam pattern for TOEFL 2021:




Type of Questions



54–72 minutes

30–40 questions

3-4 Passages:

  • 700 words

  • Multiple-focus passages (cause/effect, compare/contrast)


Read passages and respond appropriately to questions


41–57 minutes

(each 3 minutes, 5 questions each; each 3–5 minutes, 6 questions each)

28–39 questions

  • 3–4 lectures, some including classroom discussion
  • 2–3 conversations


Answer questions related to concise lectures or classroom discussions


10 minutes


17 minutes

(Up to 30 seconds to prepare the response; Up to 1 minute to respond)

4 tasks

4 tasks:

  • 1 opinion-based independent task

  • 3 integrated tasks based on what is heard and read

Speak about a topic and discuss material you have read and listened to


50 minutes

2 tasks

2 tasks:

  • 1 Integrated task based on what is heard and read

  • 1 opinion-based independent task

Read a passage, listen to a recording that will be played, type your answer

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How Is the TOEFL Test Scored?

Highlighted in the table below are the scores that have been assigned to each of the four sections the TOEFL 2021 test:


Score Range









Total Score


How is the TOEFL iBT Administered?

The TOEFL is conducted with the measures mentioned-below in place:

  • Administered on a computer in secure test centres, with internet connection.

  • Candidates are provided with noise-reducing headphones for listening while attempting the test.

  • Candidates are provided with a microphone for recording responses.

  • Written responses are to be recorded using a keyboard.

TOEFL Exam Pattern FAQs

1. Into how many sections is TOEFL 2021 divided? 

TOEFL is divided into four sections, viz. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

2. Is TOEFL 2021 a Paper-Based Exam?

Currently, TOEFL 2021 is being conducted in two different modes, i.e. Paper-Based and Internet-Based.

3. What is the total duration of a TOEFL Exam?

The total duration of a TOEFL 2021 Exam is 3 hours, with 30 minutes provided additionally to complete the check-in process.

4. Is there any change in the TOEFL 2021 Exam Pattern?

No changes have been made to the TOEFL 2021 Exam Pattern by ETS.

5. How many questions will be asked in the TOEFL 2021 Exam?

A TOEFL 2021 test will consist of a total of 64-85 questions.

6. Is there any negative marking in TOEFL 2021?

ETS does not penalise students with negative marking for incorrect answers in TOEFL 2021.

7. How much time is allocated for the TOEFL Writing Section?

Students attempting the TOEFL Writing section will be given 50 minutes.

8. How is the TOEFL Speaking Section Evaluated?

The Speaking section of TOEFL 2021 is scored on a range of 0 to 30. The examiner judges a candidate on the basis of his/her fluency in spoken English and his/her interpretation and convincing abilities.

9. What modes are available for TOEFL 2021 Exam?

The TOEFL 2021 is conducted in two modes Internet-Based and Paper-Based.

10. What is the maximum marks I can score in TOEFL 2021?
Each section of TOEFL is scored on a score of 0-30. This will bring the total score of TOEFL 2021 to 120.

Have Further Queries About TOEFL Test Structure?

Admission 2021

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