The TOEFL exam made a few changes in July this year, but in case you missed it, let’s quickly go over what has changed together!

1. 4 Key Changes

Let’s take a look at the four key changes that were made this year:

  1. Shorter Test Structure = Shorter Test Time
  2. “Independent” writing was replaced with “Academic Discussion” writing
  3. No more 10min test break between Reading and Listening
  4. Dummy passages and questions were removed in Reading and Listening

These changes cut down the TOEFL’s total test time by 1 hour, but let’s dive in to see the detailed changes.

2. Reading

First up, Reading.

Before the changes, there used to be 10 questions per 3-4 passages, and we can all imagine how exhausting that must have been.

Furthermore, TOEFL used to have Dummy questions that didn’t even affect your score!


  • 3-4 passages ➡️ 2 passages
  • Total 20 questions
  • Total Section Time = 35 mins

Apart from those changes, the format and structure of the Reading section stayed the same.

If my readings are correct, it seems getting a high score is finally… possible.

<Tips to Get Your TOEFL High Score>

3. Listening

Next up, Listening. 

We hoped that Listening would get the same changes as Reading, but…

They only removed Dummy questions from each passage.

Apart from the Dummy questions, they maintained the same format of:

  • 2 dialogues
  • 3 lectures
  • Total questions of 28

Do you hear that?

That’s the sound of Listening getting easier for you to ace it.


4. Writing

Finally, TOEFL’s mini-boss level, Writing.

The Independent Writing that kept holding us down is now no more!

Can you believe TOEFL made us write five 300-word essays about ONE topic?! Madness.


  • 30 min Independent Writing ➡️ 10 min Academic Discussion Writing

Test takers will now have to write their opinion based on a discussion about a topic. The details are below.

5. Academic Discussion Writing

Test takers will listen to a professor’s lecture about a topic, then a discussion between two students about that topic.

Then your task is to write a 100-word opinion essay — note, opinion — about the students’ discussion.

More detailed tips to prep for and ace the Academic Discussion topic is coming soon~

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