English Language Competence, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Education in America
Applying to College

English Language Competence
In addition to the Scholastic Aptitude Test, prospective college students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is also administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The TOEFL test is recognized by most American colleges and many others around the world. At many locations, the test is given via special Internet connections rather than on paper.

The test consists of four sections. To examine your reading skills in English, the test gives several paragraphs on academic subjects and asks you questions about them. You will go through a similar exercise with audio files to test listening skills. You will also be tested on your speaking abilities by answering several questions out loud. Finally, you will be asked to give a written essay to test your English writing skills.

As with the SAT, many printed, in-person, and online preparation aids are available to help you study for TOEFL. Generally speaking, the more well rounded your English speaking experience is, the better you will do on the test.



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