The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized English test designed to test the English language skills of people whose first language is not English. The TOEFL examines your ability to understand and use English. Your TOEFL score is valid two years from the time you take your test. Your language skills will change rapidly, which is why your TOEFL score will no longer be valid after two years.
If you want to immigrate to the US, taking the TOEFL exam is an important step. If you want to study in the US, for example, the TOEFL is required by most schools, universities and colleges as proof that your English language skills are strong enough to allow you to study in English. To get a student visa, therefore, you might have to pass the TOEFL in order to show that you are qualified to study in the US. In fact, many English-language schools around the globe require a passing score from TOEFL as part of their admissions requirements.
Even if you do not want to study in the US, taking a TOEFL test may be important. Many licensing bodies, employers, and government agencies require you to pass the TOEFL. For example, even if you have your work authorization to work in the US, employers may want to see a passed TOEFL exam to determine that you have the language skills to work in the US. If you want to get a license for work in the US, you may need to pass the TOEFL test to show the licensing body that you have the language skills needed to work in your field or in order to pass the licensing requirements.
If you want to achieve US Citizenship or even permanent residency, showing that you want to learn English is an important part of the process. In fact, to become a US citizen, you must show that you have proficiency in English. Studying for the TOEFL and passing the English test is one way to do this. Even if your visa or immigration application does not require the TOEFL, taking the English test shows that you are serious about living in the US and contributing to US life. Quite simply, language skills are cultural skills. By taking the TOEFL and by trying to really learn English, you are making yourself more qualified for life in the US.
There are many ways to pass the TOEFL. There are TOEFL study guide books and TOEFL test prep programs available. You can find TOEFL study guide books in your library or can find TOEFL test prep programs on DVD or CD. You can also take ESL classes which prepare you for your English test and can give you more personalized attention from a qualified instructor. You may even choose several types of instruction to learn English more quickly.