Are you a student preparing to enroll in a college or university where English is the primary language? If you are – and if English is not your first language – then you need to know about the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or the TOEFL. It’s administered by a company called ETS. Their mission is to provide high-quality testing and assessment services, and the TOEFL is an important part of that.

The Goal of the TOEFL

Why is the TOEFL important for incoming college students? When you’re learning a new language, attaining true fluency can be difficult. English is a notoriously tricky language, full of contradictions and exceptions – and tons of irregular verbs. That can make learning it a chore.

Attending a college or university requires an extremely strong grasp of English in written and spoken form. As a student you must be able to speak fluently, understand a wide range of regional accents, and have a high degree of reading comprehension if you want to be able to read college texts and academic papers.

The TOEFL is designed to ascertain your readiness to attend a college or university where English is the primary language used. The test is accepted by more than 9,000 colleges and universities, making it the gold standard for academic English language testing.

What Does ETS Do?

Now let’s talk about what ETS does, and the role they play in developing and administering the TOEFL.

ETS has been in existence for more than 70 years. The company is a not-for-profit organization that prides itself on high quality standards. Their mission is to ensure that students who enroll in English speaking colleges and universities are truly prepared for their experience. In addition to the TOEFL, they are responsible for creating a wide range of other tests, including the SAT, GRE, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

To develop the TOEFL, ETS employs a wide range of test developers and researchers who work to ensure that the tests they offer are fair and do a good job of assessing the talents and capacities required for attendance at a college or university.

ETS is also responsible for administering the tests. They schedule testing times throughout the year. It is important to note that testing opportunities tend to fill up quickly due to high demand, so you should plan on registering at least six months in advance of the date you want to take the test.

Understanding the ETS Website

Because ETS is responsible for both developing and administering the exam, it should come as no surprise that their website is a great resource for students who are preparing to take the exam. On their site you can find all of the following:

  • An overview of the TOEFL, including sample test questions
  • A complete list of colleges and universities that accept the TOEFL
  • Easy online registration, including a schedule of upcoming test times
  • An explanation of the test scoring system
  • Comprehensive TOEFL preparation materials to help you get ready for the test
  • Online practice exams to give you a clear picture of what to expect when you take the test

A visit to the TOEFL ETS website is a must for everybody who is preparing to take the TOEFL. While there are certainly plenty of other resources available to you online as you get ready for your testing date, the best possible resource is the company that actually creates and administers the test. The information they provide can give you everything you need to prepare – and ace – the TOEFL.