ETS has revealed a new TOEFL test: TOEFL®️ Essentials™️.

This information comes from the first TOEFL Essentials announcement released by Inside Higher Ed on February 22nd, 2021, along with all the information ETS has released about the newest TOEFL exam.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the TOEFL Essentials test:

  1. Registration is expected to open in May 2021, with the first tests to be administered by August 2021. So the new test might be an option for you if you need a TOEFL score for the end of 2021 or later.
  2. This English proficiency test will take only an hour and a half.
    That’s 90 minutes compared to the 180 minutes of the full TOEFL exam.
  3. The price is estimated at around $100 to $120, which is about half of the cost of the full TOEFL.
  4. TOEFL Essentials will test “academic English and conversational English in a variety of settings.” (ETS) This is similar to the full TOEFL.
  5. The test difficulty is adaptive. This means question sets will change as you take the test. The test will analyze your skill level, then generate related questions based on your level of proficiency.

The exam will still cover all 4 Language skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, but here’s the twist —

  1. TOEFL Essentials will have more tasks, and each task will be shorter.
  2. One completely new task is that you will have to record a 5-minute, unscored, personal statement video.

ETS has announced that this video response will allow institutions to “directly view test-taker responses to 2 general questions.”

This is potentially a major new challenge for many test-takers, so we’ll make sure to keep you updated as ETS releases more information.

Then there are some additional changes to the way that results are reported:

  1. A new scoring system is introduced with a 1 to 12 number range. This new scoring range will be confirmed later in May 2021 (and we’ll update this blog post too).
  2. You can send an unlimited number of scores to any institution of your choice.

And finally, perhaps the most important point

TOEFL Essentials will not be available at test centers. It will only be available online.

TOEFL Essentials has similar testing requirements to the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, so keep this in mind when you’re planning to take the TOEFL Essentials.

This new TOEFL exam will follow the same rubrics and will be monitored by human proctors, just like TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition tests.

While ETS has no plans to remove the traditional TOEFL exam, TOEFL Essentials will be more time and cost-friendly for people who are worried about the length of the test time and the test price.

ETS has not confirmed that every institution will accept TOEFL Essentials yet, so it’s best to keep an eye out for any updates to your institution’s test requirements.

Here are some updates and new information about TOEFL Essentials:

  1. The institution can choose the second question you’ll answer for your personal video statement
  2. Each section will be graded from 1-12, (1 being not good and 12 being the best), and your final score will be an average of all section scores.
  3. Both academic and non-academic tasks will be weighed the same (so it’s important to study for both!).
  4. Study materials will be released starting May 2021 on the TOEFL Essentials website.
  5. There will be no breaks during the whole 90-minute test.
  6. TOEFL Essentials will only be available 4 times in August 2021 (only given once a week). ETS is planning to open test times to 3 times a week.

Here is our YouTube video with more details about the TOEFL Essentials:

Video: TOEFL Essentials 2021

It’s a recent development for both ETS and every TOEFL study guide out there, so let’s prepare together.

What do you think about the new TOEFL announcement?
Would you like to study for a shorter TOEFL exam on TestGlider

Let us know in the comments below and as always —

Good luck with your studies,
from your TestGlider team.


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