Major changes are coming to toefl from August 2019

A brief introduction to TOEFL 2019 Changes in TOEFL 2019
Finally, the TOEFL iBT format is changing a lot. Some of the changes will make the test easier and in some other cases, it will open more room for error. In this article, you’ll learn about several new TOEFL format changes. A couple of them are quite significant in that it’s making TOEFL significantly easier to achieve your target TOEFL score! Having said that, the other changes, introduced recently, makes the TOEFL only slightly more difficult. Changes in TOEFL 2019

What is TOEFL? TOEFL 2019 guide
TOEFL is an abbreviation of Test of English as a Foreign Language. As we told earlier it is outlined to test the linguistic ability of non-natives who are ambitious to study mainly in North America i.e. the USA. Changes in TOEFL 2019

Since 1964, TOEFL is working as evidence for your linguistic abilities in more than 5200 universities around the globe.


While testing your four main skills of writing, reading, speaking and listening. TOEFL offers you its two types-



But in this particular article, our whole sole concentration will be on the new changes on the changes of TOEFL iBT in 2019.

Know the difference between paper-based and computer-based TOEFL.

New TOEFL Format Starting August 1st Will Make TOEFL Easier
We have exciting news for you! TOEFL is becoming easier and it starts August 1st, 2019. Over the last few years, TOEFL has seen a decline in the total number of tests taken per year and it was concluded that TOEFL was TOO difficult. Changes in TOEFL 2019

So how did ets make TOEFL easier? Changes in TOEFL 2019
ETS has made a very easy solution. Shorten the test and give test takers more time to complete questions. The following is an excerpt taken directly from ets TOEFL, which indicates exactly what they are changing starting August 1st, 2019.

“TOEFL iBT test time will be shortened by 30 minutes, to just 3 hours, with no changes to the overall test format or question types. In other words, it’s the same fair, reliable, preferred test, just with fewer questions in the Reading, Listening and Speaking sections. You can still finish the test in half a day with no need to return for a second day.”

And here is a break down of the TOEFL changes before and after the August update

Test Section Before August 1, 2019 (Longer Version) After August 1, 2019 (Shorter Version)
Reading 3–4 reading passages
12–14 questions each
60–80 minutes80/14*4 = 1.4 min per question 3–4 reading passages
10 questions each
54–72 minutes72/10*4 = 1.8 min per questionTherefore, you have about 40 more seconds per question, which is an extra 16 minutes to answer all the questions in the reading section

Listening 4–6 lectures, 6 questions each
2–3 conversations, 5 questions each
60–90 minutes90/(36+15) = 1.8 min per question 3–4 lectures, 6 questions each
2–3 conversations, 5 questions each
41–57 minutes57/(24+15) = 1.5 min per questionThere is less time than before per question, but the reduced amount of lectures will help you stay focused during the speaking and writing sections.

Speaking 6 speaking tasks, 20 minutes

– Speaking Independent Task 1

– Speaking Independent Task 2

– Speaking integrated Task 3

– Speaking integrated Task 4

– Speaking integrated Task 5

– Speaking integrated Task 6

4 speaking tasks, 17 minutes

– Speaking Independent Task 1

– Speaking Independent Task 2

– Speaking integrated Task 3

– Speaking integrated Task 4

– Speaking integrated Task 5

– Speaking integrated Task 6

The 4 remaining tasks will be renumbered 1-4, accordingly.

There are no major changes to the writing section. You will still complete two writing tasks in 50 minutes: One integrated and one independent.

The above changes will help reduce fatigue and lower stress, helping you achieve higher scores in most sections.

How to Prepare for the New TOEFL Format? Changes in TOEFL 2019
The most frequently asked question so far has been: “What do I need to do to practice for these changes coming August 1st?”. The simple answer is NOTHING! No seriously, you don’t have to do anything. Because no question types are being removed from reading and listening sections, you MUST continue practising all question types to prepare for whatever 10 question types you’ll be given during your test. Changes in TOEFL 2019

But what about the TOEFL speaking changes?
The great news is speaking task 1 is almost identical to speaking task 2 and speaking task 5 is basically the same as speaking task 3, except you don’t read a notice before listening to the conversation. Therefore, practising with speaking task 1 and speaking task 5 WILL help you prepare for speaking task 2 and speaking task 3. Because of this, you don’t need to do anything differently. In fact, preparing with the longer version will help you more than preparing with the shorter version due to managing your fatigue and time. If you can do well on the longer version, you will be able to perform even better on the shorter version.


These changes are great for everyone and will help you score higher, but what if you make a mistake significantly lowering your score in a single section? Well with the new score report improvements, this situation is no longer as devastating as it once was.

By the way: We have built the world’s best online TOEFL preparation course; It was developed by English professors from Harvard and Yale. Start a free online TOEFL practice test and get 1-on-1 speaking and writing scores and detailed feedback.
New TOEFL Format for Independent Speaking Questions
There have been some changes in the TOEFL speaking section but they are not huge changes. The good news is that you can still practice for TOEFL speaking section just like the previous methods. The sections have been shortened but the question pattern remains the same.

This may not seem like much, but having longer questions means more time reading and less time preparing. It also means more chance of misreading the question.

Let’s have a look at both TOEFL format versions, before and after the most recent TOEFL speaking changes. Changes in TOEFL 2019

Older TOEFL Speaking Multiple Choice Question Format

“Your degree requires that you should choose a history course. Which of the following courses would you prefer?

  • Art history
  • Twentieth-century world history
  • Science history

Include details and examples to support your answer.”

New TOEFL Speaking Multiple Choice Question Format

“Which of the following courses would you prefer?

  • A course about Art History, the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts.
  • A course about Twentieth-century World History, the study critical understanding of major political developments.
  • A course about Science History, the study of the development of science and scientific knowledge.

Include details and examples to support your choice.”

Again, answering these questions is the same, so don’t worry too much. What’s important here is to get used to reading a longer question. Understanding them shouldn’t be too difficult, if you want, you can practice a Newly Formatted TOEFL Speaking 1 Practice Question Now or continue reading on to the next TOEFL speaking change.

Before, you would be given a simple scenario like:

“What are the advantages and disadvantages of a standing desk?”
Now let’s see how they could deceive you. The question might mention two scenarios, but specifically, ask you about only one of them. If not careful, you could end up answering the wrong scenario. Let’s add the TOEFL speaking changes to the previous standing desk question.

“Some people prefer standing desks, while others prefer sitting at their desk. Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of standing desks. Use details and examples in your answer.”
Is it a big change for the TOEFL Speaking section? Changes in TOEFL 2019
If you notice carefully there are not a lot of changes in the TOEFL speaking section but there are lots of scope for small and stupid errors. If you are underprepared for the TOEFL speaking section, you will be getting less score. But scoring is much easier in this format if you practice a lot with the new TOEFL part. The success for TOEFL is in your hand and the more you practice the better you score. You can also try to use some of the TOEFL books which will be helpful for the TOEFL preparation.

ETS has not only made changes in the TOEFL speaking section but also in the independent TOEFL writing section.

New TOEFL Format for the Independent Writing Questions
Similar to the TOEFL speaking section, there is only 1 change in the TOEFL writing section.

TOEFL Speaking Change #2; The new independent writing question format is longer and more confusing.

Let’s have a look at a writing question with the change applied:


“Often we are asked to collaborate in team projects at events, school, and even work. Sometimes we are required to work with a group of people who share our opinions and ideas. However, sometimes we need to work with groups of people who have entirely different opinions then us.

Which do you prefer? Use reasons and examples to support your answer. Do not use memorized examples.”

The previous format was much simpler.

“Would you prefer to work with people who share similar opinions or people with different opinions?”
The new TOEFL reading section forces you to read more

There are not many strategies that you can use to here, the only thing you have to read a lot and practice. You have to get used to the new format and practice a lot before you take the exam.

Changes in the TOEFL iBT scorecard
In order to help you achieve your score and forget about the bad score, ets has made a great change. ETS TOEFL has altered it’s scorecard to include iBT MyBest score in the final report card. Changes in TOEFL 2019

How does it work?

ETS will select the best scores from the previous 2 years each TOEFL section and combine them to create the best possible score.

For example, let’s say you took the TOEFL 4 times in the last 2 years.

Reading Listening Speaking Writing Total
19 20 15 20 74
29 22 18 22 91
27 27 23 20 97
19 25 26 25 95
Now, on the score report, your program would see the following:

Report Reading Listening Speaking Writing Total
Most Recent 19 25 26 25 95
IBT MyBest™ 29 27 26 25 107
Many universities have requested this, but please be aware, it is not guaranteed your program will accept it, so you’ll need to contact them and ask if they do.


As is with all our TOEFL prep suggestions, practice is key to preparing yourself for this new TOEFL speaking changes and TOEFL writing changes.