In areas where the iBT and CBT are not available, a paper-based test (PBT) is given. PBT tests essentially the same skills as the CBT, albeit with some differences, noticeably the number of questions (which is higher in the PBT) and the score scales.
● Final PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on three subscores:
- Listening (31-68), Structure (31-68) and Reading (31-67). Unlike the CBT, the score of the Writing section (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; instead, it is reported separately on a scale from 0 to 6.
ETS has released tables to convert between CBT and PBT scores.
TOEFL, like many standardized tests, has come under increasing scrutiny as a measure of the ability to use English effectively.
An increasing number of major English speaking universities only accept alternate tests or their own test as a measure of whether a student will be capable of using English in an academic milieu.
Read some of its weaknesses:
• Because English does exhibit some orthological patterns (such as the use of -ing on the end of many verbs), test takers can be taught strategies to look for the patterns without having an understanding of the underlying grammar involved.
• Native speakers of English who take the test often find themselves with mediocre results, even in multiple choice questions. Perfectly, a test for English proficiency should be simple and straightforward for a native speaker. Instead, such tests often focus on obscure rules of grammar and "proper" uses. For example, the use of "can" and "may" does have a formal use, but native English speakers not only ignore the formal use on most occasions, they are never confused when another speaker switches the two.
• Until recently, TOEFL did not test the ability to speak English. In most environments, the ability to speak intelligibly and without undue delay is vital. Hence, because TOEFL did not measure this, learners may neglect this part of their education to focus on the skills the test does measure. As a result, many universities request incoming teaching assistants who are not native English speakers to take additional tests (such as the Test of Spoken English or university-administered tests) to ensure their ability to communicate with their students. The TOEFL iBT, which does test speaking skills, seems to address this issue.
• Candidates complain about the TOEFL iBT mainly because of the speaking section as the noise level is raised very high since everybody has to respond orally to six questions.