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Informations TOEFL

TOEFL iBT (The TOEFL Internet-Based Test)

The TOEFL assesses a candidate’s ability to use English in an academic context.  It is required for certain applications to universities abroad (notably the MICEFA programme) and strongly recommended for others (such as the TASSEP programme) - see “mobilité étudiante” on the Université de Paris-Sud website.  Among the skills assessed by the TOEFL is the candidate’s ability to understand lectures (= cours magistraux), seminars etc and to study in English.

The TOEFL is NOT a test for business/professional purposes. It is NOT the same as the TOEIC.

For the MICEFA programme, you will need to submit your application (together with your TOEFL score) by December at the latest.

If you intend to take the TOEFL before early December (which you will need to do if you want to apply for the MICEFA), make sure you register as soon as possible (by the end of September at the latest). Test centres fill up quickly so if you don’t do this, you might not get a place at a Paris test centre.  (There are other centres, but these fill up quickly too.)  NB: Our university is NOT a test centre and we do NOT deal with registration for the test.

Information about registration is on the TOEFL website:

There is also practice material on the site.

The following page is useful too (“frequently asked questions”):

Allow time between registration and your test date to check your registration is recorded: there have been administrative problems in the past.  Allow time to receive your score too: you can consult it online 10 days after the test date.  Printed score reports are also mailed to the universities or institutions you selected when you registered: this takes a while so allow time for delivery (information about this is on the TOEFL website).

The TOEFL test is now entirely Internet-based (TOEFL iBT): the old paper-based test has been phased out in France.

Books and CDs to help you prepare for the TOEFL are available in our multimedia room (room 240, Service des Langues, bât 336).  

Students intending to take the TOEFL in preparation for an exchange programme (see deadlines above) should start familiarizing themselves with the test and practising as soon as the multimedia room opens in September.  Try to pinpoint what you find difficult and work on those particular points: the Longman iBT Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test (available in our Multimedia Room ) goes through each skill one by one.

For a detailed presentation of the TOEFL iBT, visit the TOEFL website (see above).  Candidates have up to 4 hours to complete the test.  There are 4 sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing.  Each is worth 30 points, giving a maximum total of 120. (If you intend to apply for the MICEFA programme, you will need to obtain a score of at least 80/120.)

Reading: Texts on academic subjects, with questions on vocabulary and content, sentences to insert into the text etc.

Listening: Students listen to lectures and conversations. They take notes and answer questions on them. Sometimes they hear short sections of the document again and answer questions on these.

Speaking (this section is recorded):

  • Independent speaking (2 questions): Students are given a subject, then have 15 seconds to prepare their response and 45 seconds to speak.

  • Integrated speaking (4 questions): two questions (listening, reading, speaking) with 45 seconds to read a text (100 words approx), after which students hear a recording (1-2 minutes) on a related subject and take notes.  They are then given a question: they have 30 seconds to prepare their answer and 60 seconds to deliver it. Two further questions involve listening and speaking.


  • Independent writing: 30 minutes to plan, write and check an essay of 300 words minimum on a given subject.

  • Integrated writing: Students read a passage 250-300 words long.  They then hear part of a lecture on a similar subject, take notes while listening, then are given a question related to the 2 documents and have 20 minutes to plan and type their response (150-225 words).

NB  The TOEFL is expensive (US$240) and scores are valid for two years, so you should only take it if you intend to study abroad in the near future. Furthermore, the test is quite difficult, so we recommend that only intermediate to advanced-level students (B2-C2) should consider taking it.