A new test of language

The Education Testing Services is adding another TOEFL exam to its family. Here’s what you need to know...

May 29, 2021 10:31 am | Updated July 06, 2022 12:35 pm IST



The Education Testing Services (ETS) recently launched the TOEFL Essential Test, which is intended to facilitate a balance between academic and non-academic General English testing. TOEFL Essential will, therefore, examine students’ literary knowledge as well as test their English communication skills, which is an integral part of student internships and interviews.

What to expect

While the TOEFL Essential test mainly focuses on the four important English skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing, there are some key factors. First, the content of the paper will be 50% academic and 50% general English. Second, the format will be a multi-stage adaptive format with short, fast-paced tasks that adjust based on skill level. This 90-minute test can be taken at home with in-class human proctored security. The scoring will be based on a scale of 1-12. With each section being in the range of 1-4, the average score of all four will be the final score.


The TOEFL Essential test will require students to also submit a short video recording along with their tests, in which they have to express themselves and showcase their individuality. However, the video will not be scored. This feature will help universities know more about the candidates, apart from the detailed insights provided by the samples of the applicant’s writing and speaking test answers.

Who should take the TOEFL Essential?

Since the exam is new, not all universities have signed up to accept it. Those interested in this can confirm the status of the TOEFL Essential with the university he/she is applying to..

Remember that this test is NOT an alternative to TOEFL iBT. So, if you are keen on admissions to a university this year, you have to write the TOEFL iBT.

The TOEFL Essentials Test will be offered only once a week when it launches in August. Eventually, the ETS will open up more options with a goal of at least three days a week. Registrations for TOEFL Essential will commence on June 17 and the first batch will be able to take the test on August 21.

The writer is a Higher Education Expert at Yocket

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.