The Different Formats Of TOEFL Test – Which One Should You, Take?

TOEFL Test Preparation - GT Prep

Types of TOEFL Test


The TOEFL ITP is the least frequently used format of TOEFL as it is not eligible for being used to showcase your English proficiency as a part of your college application. The TOEFL ITP is given by teachers in classes to evaluate their students for English proficiency. It is most likely a test you will be taking if you are already in the USA and have been asked to sign up for an ESL or English as a second language class


Here IBT stands for the internet-based test. It is the primary form of TOEFL, and more than 95 percent of test-takers attempt the TOEFL in this format. Almost all the information, as well as online resources on TOEFL, will be related to the IBT.  The IBT is comprised of four sections, which are: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. All four sections need to be completed on a computer, which is equipped with a microphone. The unique thing about this test is that it does not have a separate grammar section. The candidate’s knowledge of grammar is tested as a matter of course in the reading and writing sections.  You can give the TOEFL IBT anywhere there is a test center with access to the internet.


The TOEFL PBT is a paper-based test and as the name indicates it is taken with paper and pencil. It is usually taken by students who live in an area where they do not have access to an internet-based test center. This format of the test is slowly being phased out as more and more test centers are acquiring internet capability. It is expected that the PBT will be completely replaced by the IBT in the near future.

The PBT has a slightly different format from the IBT in that it also contains an essay section. The listening section has recordings that are shorter than the ones set for the IBT. Another significant difference is in the way the tests are scored.

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