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EDUCATION REPORT - November 14, 2002: Foreign Student Series #9 >TOEFL - 2002-11-13

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

We continue our reports about how foreign students can attend an American college or university. This information also can be found on the Special English Web site, w-w-w dot voaspecialenglish dot com.

TOEFL (TOE-full) is an important test for foreign students who want to study in the United States. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. More than four-thousand American universities and other educational centers require students seeking admission to take the test. It measures a student’s ability to understand, read and write English.

The Educational Testing Service now produces two kinds of TOEFL tests. In most areas of the world, people take the test on a computer in special testing centers. TOEFL also offers a version of the test taken with paper and pencil.

Both TOEFL tests require listening, reading and writing in English. Some questions list a few possible answers. You must choose the correct one. The test also contains new kinds of questions. For example, you may be asked to respond to questions with more than one answer. Or you may be asked to connect a question with the correct answer from a list of possibilities.

A writing test measures your ability to write in English. All together, the TOEFL takes between three-and-one-half and four hours to finish.

You can take the TOEFL as many times as you wish. You must pay each time. Experts say it is a good idea to take it one or two times to experience it. They also say the best way to prepare for the TOEFL is to use English as much as you can.

For example, listen to English radio broadcasts. You already are doing this by listening to our Special English programs. Listen to V-O-A’s normal English broadcasts, too. Tape one of these broadcasts. Then tell what the broadcast was about.

You can also watch American movies. Read American publications. Speak English as much as you can.

You can learn more about the TOEFL test on the Internet’s World Wide Web. The address is w-w-w dot t-o-e-f-l dot o-r-g.

Or you can write for more information. The address is TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Services, Post Office Box six-one-five-one, Princeton, New Jersey, zero-eight-five-four-one, U-S-A.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach.