2019 TOEFL Changes

Haven’t TOEFL test structure changes from last year been for the better? The test is shorter than before with more detailed score reporting, to your benefit, and ETS has published answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs about the shorter TOEFL.)

Are the changes after August 2019 advantageous? Yes. Be confident the key changes in the reading, listening and speaking sections summarized below (and on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) site last year) still work to your advantage.


3 hours with break and administration (no longer 3.5 hours)



Each passage only has 10 questions (no longer 12-14 questions per passage.) The same questions types will exist, and the number of passages (3-4) and style of passages will be the same, with no question types taken out.


52-74 minutes (no longer 60-80 minutes) with average time of 54 minutes

Average of 1 minute 48 seconds per question



3-4 lectures only (no longer 4-6 lectures) — 2-3 numbers of conversations (no change) with standard length of 2 conversations

Questions – 5 – no change

Number of 5 questions won’t change, and the question types will not change either


41-57 minutes (no longer 60-90 minutes with the old standard being 60 minutes) with standard time of 41 minutes

Average of 35 seconds for each question (not including time spent listening to audios)


Questions – 4 Tasks

4 questions (no longer 6.) 1 independent question and 3 integrated questions will be the same as before.

1 Independent Task

3 Integrated Tasks

old Question 1 (express a personal preference) and old Question 5 (problem/solution; campus situation) have been removed, so you do not see those.


17 minutes (no longer 20 minutes)


Writing – no changes (according to ETS)


2 tasks (same)

Note: independent task question–recent trends on the independent task have been noticeable such as longer ‘multiple’ choice questions, the plagiarism warning, the note about selecting more than one option in multiple choice questions.


50 minutes (no change)

Scoring – no change

Still, the score will be out of 120 points, with each section having equal weight of 30.

MyBest Scores change

If you have not yet taken advantage of MyBest Score from August 2019, be sure to next time you take the exam. ETS’ big change on the TOEFL report is called MyBest Scores report. It lists your best score in each section. Take advantage of this feature to tally a higher overall score.

These structure changes are positive ones since the overall test time is less. Consider that you’ll be less tired when it comes time to speak in the speaking section or write in the writing section! Take into account that the level of difficulty is about the same as it was before since the content did not change, and it still evaluates your English language development.

Tapping into Resources


ETS added free preparation with the same number of questions and the same format as on the updated August 2019 exam, which you can demo now (full-length.) Also, PDF TOEFL practice (free and matching the new changes) was added by ETS, however, those sets do not have audio. In addition, the ETS practice Listening material and the Integrated preparation for both Speaking and Writing are unfortunately only transcripts. ETS’ free previous older resources were removed from the website, but ETS updated the TOEFL Practice Online tests (the paid ones) though no new editions of the updated practice books have come out just yet. Soon.


The free Edx course, TOEFL® Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide, has video lessons and practice activities.

We’d like to hear your comments giving details on results if you reported MyBestScores. If you liked this post, follow and read about TOEFL Skills Value for Life.

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