22 Sep 2023

Introducing a new TOEFL® test

If you’re looking to study abroad at an English-speaking institution, you need to take an English-proficiency exam. You may be familiar with the TOEFL iBT® test, but do you know about the TOEFL® Essentials™ test? If not, you’re in the right place! 

What sets the TOEFL Essentials test apart?

The TOEFL Essentials test is an English proficiency exam that measures the four core language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The test measures both general and academic English usage—it’s also taken fully online at home and has tasks that adapt to your proficiency level.

The TOEFL Essentials test offers an interactive experience for the Speaking section, featuring a simulated virtual interview with a pre-recorded interviewer. You also have a chance to let your personality shine and share your insights via an unscored, five-minute Personal Video Statement.

In short: The TOEFL Essentials test is a friendly and convenient English-language test that retains the quality that institutions trust and prefer.

Who should take the TOEFL Essentials test?

Are you a good student with a balanced approach to your education? Do you prefer a fast-paced test with shorter tasks and an engaging experience? Would you rather take the exam online, at home? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then the TOEFL Essentials test might be the right fit for you. 

Here are the key details about the TOEFL Essentials test: 


  • Academic and General Content. The test measures your English skills in a variety of environments, beyond academic settings.
  • Adaptive Format. The questions adjust to your skill level as you go through the test, showcasing your English-language strengths. 
  • Short, Fast-Paced Tasks. The exam uses a simple, flexible approach to create an engaging testing experience. 


  • Four Sections. The test measures the core skills of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Here’s a breakdown of each section:
    • Listening: This section consists of 30-45 questions and is 21-34 minutes long. You’ll be asked to answer questions about conversations and talks in various settings.
    • Reading: With 30-45 questions, this section takes 22-33 minutes to complete—you’ll answer questions about short academic and non-academic passages. 
    • Writing: This section takes 24-30 minutes to complete. It has 14-18 questions and 2 tasks that will showcase your ability to build sentences and write responses for everyday and academic situations. 
    • Speaking: This portion is the shortest of the four sections and consists of 3 tasks with 19 responses and takes about 13 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked to retell written and spoken input, as well as speak to a simulated interviewer. 
  • Personal Video Statement. The five-minute, unscored video lets institutions get to know you and see your unique personality. 
  • 90 Minutes Total Time. It's shorter than most English tests, but long enough to measure your skills accurately.  


  • Instant Scoring. See your unofficial Listening and Reading scores at the end of the test to evaluate your performance on the spot. 
  • Unlimited Score Reports. Send as many score reports to institutions as needed, at no additional cost. 
  • MyBest® Scores. All score reports include the combination of your best TOEFL Essentials section scores from all valid tests in the last two years. 
  • Foundational Skills. Score reports feature measures of Vocabulary Knowledge and Sentence Construction. 

No matter what your goals are, the TOEFL Essentials test is a great choice to help you get where you want to go. Ready to take the next step?

Accepted by 11,500+ institutions in more than 160 countries, the TOEFL iBT test is recognized as the gold standard of English-proficiency tests. Institutions trust TOEFL iBT scores because of the exam’s academic focus, established high standards of quality, and fair and unbiased scoring. Get more information about registering for the TOEFL iBT test here.

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Last update: 22 Sep 2023

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