The TOEFL PBT test was discontinued in April 2021.

The TOEFL Paper-Based Test was an older version of the TOEFL and was only available in certain countries. It was by far the least common of the two versions of the TOEFL. The TOEFL PBT was an entirely different test from the online TOEFL, called TOEFL iBT. Some of the main differences were that the test itself is shorter, it didn’t include a speaking component, and it was scored on a different scale.

Test structure

The TOEFL PBT lasted 2.5 hours and was divided into 4 sections. The listening section was first and lasted 30 to 40 minutes with a total of 50 questions. The first part of the listening section had short recordings and questions about them. The second part had longer recordings.

The second section of the TOEFL PBT had no equivalent on any of the other standardized English tests. This was a Structure and Written Expression section, in which the student had to fill in blanks in sentences and find errors in written texts. This section lasted 25 minutes.

The third section was reading comprehension and it lasted 55 minutes. It contained several reading passages of different lengths and questions about the passages.

The final section of the TOEFL PBT was the writing section. It lasted just 30 minutes and was a single essay prompt.


TOEFL PBT was scored on a scale of 310 to 677 which included only the first three sections of the test. The writing section was not included in the overall score, it was instead reported separately on a scale of 0 to 6. TOEFL PBT scores were valid for 2 years and could be used at any university that accepted TOEFL iBT scores. Most universities in the United States have a minimum TOEFL iBT score required for admittance. ETS publishes a conversion table so that universities can easily convert PBT scores to iBT scores.