The TOEFL® (or Test of English as a Foreign Language) was originally developed at the Center for Applied Linguistics under the direction of Stanford University in the early 1960s to test the language abilities of non-native English speakers wishing to study at universities in the United States. Currently, the TOEFL® is used by over 8000 colleges and educational intuitions. In addition, it is used by a variety of licensing bodies, businesses, and governmental organisations in 130 countries. This makes it the most widely recognised test for assessing English language fluency in the world. A full list of organisations that accept the TOEFL® test can found in the TOEFL® Destinations Directory (PDF).
The TOEFL® can be administered through either an internet or paper-based format. The internet-based TOEFL® (TOEFL® iBT) can be administered at one of the 4,500 authorised test centers located in 164 countries. For those areas where the TOEFL® iBT is not available, a paper-based TOEFL® (TOEFL® PBT) can be administered. To find out the formats and test dates available in your area please visit the ETS website.
The exam is broadly divided into four sections:reading, listening, speaking and writing. TOEFL® scores are valid for two years, after which, the exam must be retaken.