The TOEFL Paper-Based Test
The TOEFL paper-based test (PBT) is a four-section assessment that is offered in places where the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) is not available. The PBT is taken by just 3% of students who choose the TOEFL for their English-language requirements. Many colleges and universities will still accept PBT scores, but some will consider the iBT only. The PBT evaluates reading, listening, and writing skills along with knowledge of English conventions through four test sections: listening comprehension, structure and written expression, reading comprehension, and the Test of Written English. Total timing for the PBT is 140-150 minutes, which includes 140 questions and one essay topic
The Listening Comprehension Section of the TOEFL PBT
According to ETS, the PBT’s listening comprehension section is intended to “measure the ability to understand spoken English.” Test-takers are given 30-40 minutes to answer 50 questions. The questions in this section are all multiple choice, and they are based on audio recordings of conversations and lectures. Correct answers are converted to a scaled listening comprehension section score of 31 to 68.
The Structure and Written Expression Section of the TOEFL PBT
The structure and written expression section of the PBT “measures the ability to recognize language appropriate for standard written English,” and it covers 40 questions in 25 minutes. Structure and written expression questions are also multiple choice. Two types of exercises are included: questions in which test-takers must complete sentences with the best word choice, and questions that require test-takers to choose which underlined word or phrase must be changed in order to correct the given sentence. Scaled structure and written expression scores are reported from 31 to 68.