Test Preparation

GRE - Graduate Record Examination:

Acronym: GRE
Developer / administrator Educational Testing Service
Knowledge / skills tested Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning.
PurposeAdmissions to masters and doctoral degree programs in various universities.
Year started 1949
DurationAbout 3 hours and 45 minutes (includes 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after third section).
Score / grade range
QAnalytical writing: 0.0 to 6.0 (in 0.5 point increments),
Verbal reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments),
Quantitative reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments).
Score / grade validity 5 years
Offered Computer-based test: Multiple times a year (depends on availability of the test center).
Paper-based test: Up to 3 times a year in October, November and February.[1]
Restrictions on attempts
Computer-based test: Can be taken only once after 21 days from the day of exam in every year. (Applies even if candidate cancels scores on a test taken previously.)[2]
Paper-based test: Can be taken as often as it is offered.[2]
Countries / regions About 700 test centers in more than 160 countries.[3]
(Paper-based test offered only in areas where computer-based testing is not available.)[1]
Languages English
Annual no. of test takers Over 655,000 in 2012[4]
Prerequisites / eligibility criteriaNo official prerequisite. Intended for bachelors degree graduates and undergraduate students who are about to graduate. Fluency in English assumed.
Fee US$ 195 (Limited offers of "Fee Reduction Program" for U.S. citizens or resident aliens who demonstrate financial need, and for national programs in USA that work with underrepresented groups.[6])
Scores / grades used by Most graduate schools in USA, and some in other countries.
Website www.ets.org/gre

GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test

Acronym: GMAT
Type: Computer-based standardized test
Developer / administrator Graduate Management Admission Council
Knowledge / skills tested Quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, analytical writing.
Purpose Admissions in graduate management programs of business schools.
Year started 1953
Duration 3.5 hours[1]
Score / grade range
Quantitative section: 0 to 60, in 1 point increments (only 6 to 51 reported),
Verbal section: 0 to 51, in 1 point increments (only 6 to 51 reported),
Integrated reasoning section: 1 to 8, in 1 point increments,
Analytical writing assessment: 0.0 to 6.0, in 0.5 point increments.
Total score: 200 to 800.
Score / grade validity 5 years
Offered Multiple times a year.
Countries / regions 600 test centers in 114 countries.[2]
Languages English
Annual no. of test takers About 250,000 in a year[3]
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria No official prerequisite. Intended for bachelors degree holders and undergraduate students who are about to graduate. Fluency in English assumed.
Fee US$ 250
Scores / grades used by More than 2,100 universities/business schools in USA and other countries.
Website www.mba.com

SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926, and its name and scoring have changed several times, being originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now simply the SAT.
The SAT is owned and published by the College Board, a private, nonprofit organization in the United States. It is developed and administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service.[3] The test is intended to assess a student's readiness for college.
The current SAT, introduced in 2005, takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish, and as of 2014 costs US$52.50 (up to US$94.50 outside of the United States), excluding late fees.[4] Possible scores on the SAT range from 600 to 2400, combining test results from three 800-point sections: Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing. Taking the SAT or its competitor, the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many, but not all, universities in the United States.[5]
On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The exam will revert to the 1600-point scale, the essay will be optional, and students will have 3 hours to take the exam plus 50 additional minutes to complete the essay.[6]

Function The SAT is typically taken by high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.[7] The College Board states that SAT measures literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. They state that the SAT assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve problems—skills they learned in school that they will need in college. However, the test is administered under a tight time limit (speeded) to help produce a range of scores.
The College Board also states that use of the SAT in combination with high school grade point average (GPA) provides a better indicator of success in college than high school grades alone, as measured by college freshman GPA. Various studies conducted over the lifetime of the SAT show a statistically significant increase in correlation of high school grades and college freshman grades when the SAT is factored in.[8] A large independent validity study on the SAT's ability to predict college freshman GPA was performed by the University of California. The results of this study found how well various predictor variables could explain the variance in college freshman GPA. It found that independently high school GPA could explain 15.4% of the variance in college freshman GPA, SAT I (the Math and Verbal SAT sections) could explain 13.3% of the variance in college freshman GPA, and SAT II (also known as SAT subject tests; in the UC's case specifically Writing, Mathematics IC or IIC, plus a third subject test of the student's choice) could explain 16% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When high school GPA and the SAT I were combined, they explained 20.8% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When high school GPA and the SAT II were combined, they explained 22.2% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When SAT I was added to the combination of high school GPA and SAT II, it added a .1% increase in explaining the variance in college freshman GPA for a total of 22.3%.[9]
There are substantial differences in funding, curricula, grading, and difficulty among U.S. secondary schools due to U.S. federalism, local control, and the prevalence of private, distance, and home schooled students. SAT (and ACT) scores are intended to supplement the secondary school record and help admission officers put local data—such as course work, grades, and class rank—in a national perspective.[10]
Historically, the SAT was more widely used by students living in coastal states and the ACT was more widely used by students in the Midwest and South; in recent years, however, an increasing number of students on the East and West coasts have been taking the ACT.[11][12] Since 2007, all four-year colleges and universities in the United States that require a test as part of an application for admission will accept either the SAT or ACT, and hundreds of colleges and universities do not require any standardized test scores at all for admission.
SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. Each major section is divided into three parts. There are 10 sub-sections, including an additional 25-minute experimental or "equating" section that may be in any of the three major sections. The experimental section is used to normalize questions for future administrations of the SAT and does not count toward the final score. The test contains 3 hours and 45 minutes of actual timed sections;[15] most administrations (after accounting for orientation, distribution of materials, completion of biographical sections, and fifteen minutes of timed breaks) run for about four and a half hours. The questions range from easy, medium, and hard depending on the scoring from the experimental sections. Easier questions typically appear closer to the beginning of the section while harder questions are toward the end in certain sections. This is not true for every section (the Critical Reading section is in chronological order) but it is the rule of thumb mainly for math, grammar, and the 19 sentence-completions in the reading sections.
Critical Reading
The Critical Reading section of the SAT is made up of three scored sections: two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section, with varying types of questions, including sentence completions and questions about short and long reading passages. Critical Reading sections normally begin with 5 to 8 sentence completion questions; the remainder of the questions are focused on the reading passages. Sentence completions generally test the student's vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure and organization by requiring the student to select one or two words that best complete a given sentence. The bulk of the Critical Reading section is made up of questions regarding reading passages, in which students read short excerpts on social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, or personal narratives and answer questions based on the passage. Certain sections contain passages asking the student to compare two related passages; generally, these consist of shorter reading passages. The number of questions about each passage is proportional to the length of the passage. Unlike in the Mathematics section, where questions go in the order of difficulty, questions in the Critical Reading section go in the order of the passage. Overall, question sets near the beginning of the section are easier, and question sets near the end of the section are harder.
An example of a "grid in" mathematics question in which the answer should be written into the box below the question. The Mathematics section of the SAT is widely known as the Quantitative Section or Calculation Section. The mathematics section consists of three scored sections. There are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section, as follows:
• One of the 25-minute sections is entirely multiple choice, with 20 questions.
• The other 25-minute section contains 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. For grid-in questions, test-takers write the answer inside a grid on the answer sheet. Unlike multiple choice questions, there is no penalty for incorrect answers on grid-in questions because the test-taker is not limited to a few possible choices.
• The 20-minute section is all multiple choice, with 16 questions.
The SAT has done away with quantitative comparison questions on the math section, leaving only questions with symbolic ornumerical answers.
• New topics include Algebra II and scatter plots. These recent changes have resulted in a shorter, more quantitative exam requiring higher level mathematics courses relative to the previous exam.
Calculator use
Four-function, scientific, graphing and Computer Algebra System (CAS) calculators are permitted on the SAT math section; however, calculators are not permitted on either of the other sections. Calculators with QWERTY keyboards, cell phone calculators, portable computers, and personal organizers are not permitted.[16]
With the recent changes to the content of the SAT math section, the need to save time while maintaining accuracy of calculations has led some to use calculator programs during the test. These programs allow students to complete problems faster than would normally be possible when making calculations manually.
The use of a Computer Algebra System calculator is sometimes preferred, especially for geometry problems and exercises involving multiple calculations. According to research conducted by the CollegeBoard, performance on the math sections of the exam is associated with the extent of calculator use, with those using calculators on about a third to a half of the items averaging higher scores than those using calculators less frequently.[17] The use of a CAS calculator in mathematics courses, and also becoming familiar with the calculator outside of the classroom, is known to have a positive effect on the performance of students using a graphing calculator during the exam.
The writing portion of the SAT, based on but not directly comparable to the old SAT II subject test in writing (which in turn was developed from the old Test of Standard Written English (TSWE)), includes multiple choice questions and a brief essay. The essay subscore contributes about 28% to the total writing score, with the multiple choice questions contributing 70%. This section was implemented in March 2005 following complaints from colleges about the lack of uniform examples of a student's writing ability and critical thinking.
The multiple choice questions include error-identification questions, sentence-improvement questions, and paragraph-improvement questions. Error-identification and sentence-improvement questions test the student's knowledge of grammar, presenting an awkward or grammatically incorrect sentence; in the error identification section, the student must locate the word producing the source of the error or indicate that the sentence has no error, while the sentence improvement section requires the student to select an acceptable fix to the awkward sentence. The paragraph improvement questions test the student's understanding of logical organization of ideas, presenting a poorly written student essay and asking a series of questions as to what changes might be made to best improve it.
The essay section, which is always administered as the first section of the test, is 25 minutes long. All essays must be in response to a given prompt. The prompts are broad and often philosophical and are designed to be accessible to students regardless of their educational and social backgrounds. For instance, test takers may be asked to expand on such ideas as their opinion on the value of work in human life or whether technological change also carries negative consequences to those who benefit from it. No particular essay structure is required, and the College Board accepts examples "taken from [the student's] reading, studies, experience, or observations." Two trained readers assign each essay a score between 1 and 6, where a score of 0 is reserved for essays that are blank, off-topic, non-English, not written with a Number 2 pencil, or considered illegible after several attempts at reading. The scores are summed to produce a final score from 2 to 12 (or 0). If the two readers' scores differ by more than one point, then a senior third reader decides. The average time each reader/grader spends on each essay is less than 3 minutes.[18] In March 2005, Les Perelman analyzed 15 scored sample essays contained in the College Board's ScoreWrite book along with 30 other training samples and found that in over 90% of cases, the essay's score could be predicted from simply counting the number of words in the essay.[18] Two years later, Perelman trained high school seniors to write essays that made little sense but contained infrequently used words such as "plethora" and "myriad". All of the students received scores of "10" or better, which placed the essays in the 92nd percentile or higher
Style of questions
Most of the questions on the SAT, except for the essay and the grid-in math responses, are multiple choice; all multiple-choice questions have five answer choices, one of which is correct. The questions of each section of the same type are generally ordered by difficulty. However, an important exception exists: Questions that follow the long and short reading passages are organized chronologically, rather than by difficulty. Ten of the questions in one of the math sub-sections are not multiple choice. They instead require the test taker to bubble in a number in a four-column grid.
The questions are weighted equally. For each correct answer, one raw point is added. For each incorrect answer one quarter of a point is deducted.[20] No points are deducted for incorrect math grid-in questions. This ensures that a student's mathematically expected gain from guessing is zero. The final score is derived from the raw score; the precise conversion chart varies between test administrations.
The SAT therefore recommends only making educated guesses, that is, when the test taker can eliminate at least one answer he or she thinks is wrong. Without eliminating any answers one's probability of answering correctly is 20%. Eliminating one wrong answer increases this probability to 25% (and the expected gain to 1/16 of a point); two, a 33.3% probability (1/6 of a point); and three, a 50% probability (3/8 of a point).

Section Average Score[1] Time (Minutes) Content
Writing 487 60 Grammar, usage, and diction.
Mathematics 513 70 Number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; statistics, probability, and data analysis
Critical Reading 497 70 Vocabulary, Critical reading, and sentence-level reading

MThe SAT is offered seven times a year in the United States; in October, November, December, January, March (or April, alternating), May, and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month for the November, December, May, and June administrations. In other countries, the SAT is offered on the same dates as in the United States except for the first spring test date (i.e., March or April), which is not offered. The test was taken by 1,672,395 high school graduates in the class of 2014.[1]
Candidates wishing to take the test may register online at the College Board's website, by mail, or by telephone, at least three weeks before the test date.
The SAT costs $51 ($78 International, $99 for India and Pakistan, since the older testing system is in place).[4] The College Board makes fee waivers available for low income students. Additional fees apply for late registration, standby testing, registration changes, scores by telephone, and extra score reports (beyond the four provided for free).
Candidates whose religious beliefs prevent them from taking the test on a Saturday may request to take the test on the following day, except for the October test date in which the Sunday test date is eight days after the main test offering. Such requests must be made at the time of registration and are subject to denial.
Students with verifiable disabilities, including physical and learning disabilities, are eligible to take the SAT with accommodations. The standard time increase for students requiring additional time due to learning disabilities is time + 50%; time + 100% is also offered.
Raw scores, scaled scores, and percentiles
Students receive their online score reports approximately three weeks after test administration (six weeks for mailed, paper scores), with each section graded on a scale of 200–800 and two sub scores for the writing section: the essay score and the multiple choice sub score. In addition to their score, students receive their percentile (the percentage of other test takers with lower scores). The raw score, or the number of points gained from correct answers and lost from incorrect answers is also included.[21] Students may also receive, for an additional fee, the Question and Answer Service, which provides the student's answer, the correct answer to each question, and online resources explaining each question.
The corresponding percentile of each scaled score varies from test to test—for example, in 2003, a scaled score of 800 in both sections of the SAT Reasoning Test corresponded to a percentile of 99.9, while a scaled score of 800 in the SAT Physics Test corresponded to the 94th percentile. The differences in what scores mean with regard to percentiles are due to the content of the exam and the caliber of students choosing to take each exam. Subject Tests are subject to intensive study (often in the form of an AP, which is relatively more difficult), and only those who know they will perform well tend to take these tests, creating a skewed distribution of scores.
The percentiles that various SAT scores for college-bound seniors correspond to are summarized in the following chart:[22]

Percentile Score, 1600 Scale(official, 2006) Score, 2400 Scale(official, 2006)
99.93/99.98* 1600 2400
99+ ** ≥1540 ≥2280
99 ≥1480 ≥2200
98 ≥1450 ≥2140
97 ≥1420 ≥2100
93 ≥1340 ≥1990
93 ≥1340 ≥1990
88 ≥1280 ≥1900
81 ≥1220 ≥1800
72 ≥1150 ≥1700
61 ≥1090 ≥1600
48 ≥1010 ≥1500
36 ≥950 ≥1400
24 ≥870 ≥1300
15 ≥810 ≥1200
8 ≥730 ≥1090
4 ≥650 ≥990
2 ≥590 ≥890
* The percentile of the perfect score was 99.98 on the 2400 scale and 99.93 on the 1600 scale.
** 99+ means better than 99.5 percent of test takers.

The older SAT (before 1995) had a very high ceiling. In any given year, only seven of the million test-takers scored above 1580. A score above 1580 was equivalent to the 99.99 percentile.

IELTS - International English Language Testing System

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international standardised test ofEnglish language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council,IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment,[6] and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC and OPI/OPIc.

There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version. There is also a separate test offered by the IELTS test partners, called IELTS Life Skills:

• IELTS Academic is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
• IELTS General Training is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
• IELTS Life Skills is intended for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1 and can be used to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.
• IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world.

IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that they have worked to maintain their level. In theory, tests performed on native English speakers must show 9.0 results in 100%. However, this result has never been achieved.

Test Structure

The IELTS test has four parts:
Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes' transfer time)[14]
Reading: 60 minutes
Writing: 60 minutes
Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training versions of the test.

Listening The module comprises four sections, with ten questions in each section. It takes 40 minutes: 30 - for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet.
Sections 1 and 2 are about everyday, social situations.
• Section 1 has a conversation between two speakers (for example, a conversation about travel arrangements)
• Section 2 has one person speaking (for example, a speech about local facilities).
Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training situations
• Section 3 is a conversation between two main speakers (for example, a discussion between two university students, perhaps guided by a tutor)
• Section 4 has one person speaking about an academic subject.

Each section begins with a short introduction telling the test taker about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The questions are in the same order as the information in the recording, so the answer to the first question will be before the answer to the second question, and so on. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing test takers to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once.
At the end of the test students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet. Test takers will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar.

The Reading paper has three sections and texts totaling 2,150-2,750 words. There will be a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, short-answer questions, identifying information, identifying writer’s views, labeling diagrams, completing a summary using words taken from the text and matching information/headings/features in the text/sentence endings. Test takers should be careful when writing down their answers, as they will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar. Texts in IELTS Academic
• Three reading texts, which come from books, journals, magazines, newspapers and online resources written for non-specialist audiences. All the topics are of general interest to students at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Texts in IELTS General Training
• Section 1 contains two or three short texts or several shorter texts, which deal with everyday topics. For example, timetables or notices – things a person would need to understand when living in an English-speaking country.
• Section 2 contains two texts, which deal with work. For example, job descriptions, contracts, training materials.
• Section 3 contains one long text about a topic of general interest. The text is generally descriptive, longer and more complex than the texts in Sections 1 and 2. The text will be taken from a newspaper, magazine, book or online resource.

The Writing paper has two tasks, which must both be completed. In task 1-test takers write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes. In task 2 test takers write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes. Test takers will be penalized if their answer is too short or does not relate to the topic. Answers should be written in full sentences (test takers must not use notes or bullet points). IELTS Academic
• Task 1: test takers describe a graph, table, chart or diagram in their own words.
• Task 2: test takers discuss a point of view, argument or problem. Depending on the task, test takers may be required to present a solution to a problem, present and justify an opinion, compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications, and evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.
IELTS General Training
• Task 1: test takers write a letter in response to a given everyday situation. For example, writing to an accommodation officer about problems with your accommodation, writing to a new employer about problems managing your time, writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport.
• Task 2: test takers write an essay about a topic of general interests. For example, whether smoking should be banned in public places, whether children’s leisure activities should be educational, how environmental problems can be solved.
The speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an examiner. The speaking test contains three sections.
• Section 1: introduction and interview (4–5 minutes). Test takers may be asked about their home, family, work, studies, hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet.
• Section 2: long turn (3–4 minutes). Test takers are given a task card about a particular topic. Test takers have one minute to prepare to talk about this topic. The task card states the points that should be included in the talk and one aspect of the topic, which must be explained during the talk. Test takers are then expected to talk about the topic for 2 minutes, after which the examiner may ask one or two questions.
• Section 3: discussions (4–5 minutes). The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the test taker, generally on questions relating to the theme, which they have already spoken about in Section 2.

Conversion Table This table can be used to convert raw scores (out of 40) to band scores (out of 9). This helps test takers understand how many correct answers they need to achieve a particular band score. This chart is a guide only because sometimes the scores adjust slightly depending on how difficult the test is.

Band Score 9.0 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5
Listening raw score (Academic and General Training) 39–40 37–38 35–36 33–34 30–32 27–29 23–26 20–22 16–19 13–15 10–12 7–9 4–6 3
Reading raw score (Academic) 39–40 37–38 35–36 33–34 30–32 27–29 23–26 20–22 16–19 13–15 10–12 7–9 4–6 3
Reading raw score (General Training) 40 39 38 36–37 34–35 32–33 30–31 27–29 23–26 19–22 15–18 12–14 8–11 5–7

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in US universities. Many English – speaking academic and professional institutions, accept this test. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS.
TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization, which designs and administers the tests. The scores are valid for 2 years; then they are no longer reported.

Internet-based test: Since its introduction in late 2005, the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) format has progressively replaced the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT), although paper-based testing is still used in select areas. The TOEFL iBT test has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid. Initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to wait for months. It is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries.[8] The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills), and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once every 12 days.[9]
1. Reading
The Reading section consists of questions on 4–6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.
2. Listening
The Listening section consists of questions on six passages, each 3–5 minutes in length. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The conversations involve a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. The lectures are a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture passage is heard only once. Test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.
3. Speaking
The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by three to six raters.
4. Writing
The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. The test-taker then writes a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least 3 different raters.[10]

Description Approximate Time
Reading 3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions 60–100 minutes
Listening 6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions 60–90 minutes
Break Mandatory break 10 minutes
Speaking 6 tasks 20 minutes
Writing 2 tasks 50 minutes

One of the sections of the test will include extra, uncounted material. Educational Testing Service includes extra material to pilot test questions for future test forms. When test-takers are given a longer section, they should give equal effort to all of the questions because they do not know which question will count and which will be considered extra. For example, if there are four reading passages instead of three, then one of the passages will not be counted. Any of the four could be the uncounted one.

Paper-based Test
The TOEFL® paper-based Test (PBT) is available in limited areas. Scores are valid for two years after the test date, and test takers can have their scores sent to institutions or agencies during that time.[11]
1. Listening (30 – 40 minutes)
The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first one contains 30 questions about short conversations. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks.
2. Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)
The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors.
3. Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)
The Reading Comprehension section has 50 questions about reading passages.
4. Writing (30 minutes)
The TOEFL PBT administrations include a writing test called the Test of Written English (TWE). This is one essay question with 250–300 words in average.

• The TOEFL iBT test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points.
• Each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The scaled scores from the four sections are added together to determine the total score.
• Each speaking question is initially given a score of 0 to 4, and each writing question is initially given a score of 0 to 5. These scores are converted to scaled scores of 0 to 30.
Paper-based Test
• The final PBT score ranges between 310 and 677 and is based on three sub scores: Listening (31–68), Structure (31–68), and Reading (31–67). Unlike the CBT, the score of the Writing component (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; instead, it is reported separately on a scale of 0–6.
• The score test takers receive on the Listening, Structure and Reading parts of the TOEFL test is not the percentage of correct answers. The score is converted to take into account the fact that some tests are more difficult than others. The converted scores correct these differences. Therefore, the converted score is a more accurate reflection of the ability than the raw score is.
Accepted TOEFL Scores
Most colleges use TOEFL scores as only one factor in their admission process, with a college or program within a college often setting a minimum TOEFL score required. The minimum TOEFL iBT scores range from 61 (Bowling Green State University) to 110 (University of Oxford).
ETS has released tables to convert between iBT, CBT and PBT

German Language

German is used as the official language of Germany and of Austria. Historically, German falls into three main periods: Old German (c. 750—c. 1050); Middle German (c.1050—c.1500); and Modern German (c.1500 to the present). The earliest existing records in German date back to about 750. In this first period, local dialects were used in writing, and there was no standard language.

In the middle period a relatively uniform written language developed in government after the various chancelleries of the Holy Roman Empire began, in the 14th cent., to use a combination of certain dialects of Middle High German in place of the Latin that until then had dominated official writings.

History of the German Language

The Middle Saxon language is an ancestor of the modern Low Saxon. It was spoken from about 1100 to 1500, splitting into West Low Saxon and East Low Saxon. The neighbour languages within the dialect continuum of the West Germanic languages were Middle Dutch in the West and Middle High German in the South, later substituted by Early New High German. During the 18th cent. a number of outstanding writers gave modern standard German essentially the form it has today. It is now the language of church and state, education and literature. A corresponding norm for spoken High German, influenced by the written standard, is used in education, the theater, and broadcasting.

German dialects that differ substantially from standard German, not only in pronunciation but also in grammar, are found in regions of Germany, E France, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein; Lëtzeburgesch, an official language of Luxembourg, is a German dialect spoken by about 400,000 people there. In 1880, grammatical and orthographic rules first appeared in the Duden Handbook. In 1901, this was declared the standard definition of the German language. Standard German orthography subsequently went essentially unrevised until 1998, when the German spelling reform of 1996 was officially promulgated by governmental representatives of Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Since the reform, German spelling has been in an eight-year transitional period where the reformed spelling is taught in most schools, while traditional and reformed spelling co-exist in the media.

About the Language

The German language specifically, developed as its own language sometime in the late 19th-century. The following diagram, composed by linguistic scholars in an attempt to explain the phenomenon of different dialects of different geographical areas nicely illustrates this development. Linguists continue to stress, however, that a language tree as such may create very definite splits when in fact language dialects tend to be better defined as blends. If you need to write important documents in German but you are not able to do it, just contact professionals. Get any help with German essays, dissertations or editing at cheap essay writing service. It's the best way to have your documents perfect written.

And there are some other facts about German you might be interested in knowing. In no particular order, here are some of the numbers about German:
• German is the most widely spoken native language in the EU.
• Germany boasts a 99% literacy rate.
• German belongs to the three most learned languages in the world as well as the ten most widely spoken languages in the world.
• German is among the top five most widely used languages on the Internet.
• One fourth of the tourists in the U.S. are German speaking.
• Germany is the second most popular European destination for American tourists.
• German is the official language in seven countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, as well as parts of Italy and Belgium).
• Over 100 million people in the World speak German Language.
• With 22 %, German-Americans represent the largest ethnic group in America today (according to the 1990 Census). Some prominent examples include Albert Einstein, Levi Strauss, Henry Kissinger, and Werner von Braun.