What is the TOEFL?
About the TOEFL and its added value
English communication skills are an important factor in achieving academic success in many higher education programs offered in the U.S. A college and graduate school student in the United States will require ability to understand, read, write and speak English. For this reason, colleges and universities in the U.S. measure English proficiency in non-native English speakers, to admit them to academic programs. The TOEFL is the instrument most institutions use for this purpose.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an extensively accepted English language test, which helps foreign students become eligible for admissions in U.S.A. As mentioned by the admission office of the Yale University “Yale focuses on the student’s competency in understanding quick, idiomatic English to communicate in a better way in both spoken and written English”. The TOEFL is suggested to those students whose first language is not English. It serves the purpose to evaluate students’ ability of spoken and written English. This test is also required for students with at least two years of secondary education in a non-English environment.
According to Monica N. Floyd, Preceptor in the Institute for English Language Programs, Harvard University, “The students from non-English speaking countries have to show their skills not only in reading, writing, speaking and listening but also their expertise in computers”. Students with a high TOEFL score have better opportunities for gaining acceptance to universities where English is the language of study.
Similarly, as stated by the admission office of the Northwestern University, non-U.S. citizens have to follow the same application process like U.S. students but they have to show a TOEFL score to demonstrate their English language proficiency.
Some schools require particular English proficiency tests, aside from the TOEFL. As stated in guidelines of the official website of Columbia University, “nonnative speakers of English have to pass a test of American Language Program (ALP) at Columbia to show their English skills.” It further states that if the students outside the U.S. are being admitted on the basis of TOEFL they need to validate their scores of TOEFL by taking the ALP test at the school.
Through TOEFL test preparation, you can develop English skills to communicate effectively in your social group, once you enter college. Preparing for the TOEFL will polish your listening skills for lectures and communicating effectively with classmates and/or teachers, reading skills to understand and grasp text books, and writing skills to complete academic assignments. Learning English skills will also help you perform computer-related tasks more efficiently, as you are able to conduct online searches much quicker, while understanding all content much better.