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Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL)

TOCFL Listening Introduction

Overview
The Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) is a standardized language proficiency test developed for non-native speakers of Chinese. It is the result of a joint project of the Mandarin Training Center, the Graduate Institute of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, and the Psychological Testing Center of National Taiwan Normal University. The research project started in August 2001, and the tests started to be conducted in 2003. So far, it has served test takers from over 60 countries. The new version of TOCFL is developed since 2008, to become available in 2013.

The new version of the TOCFL has three proficiency bands: Band A, Band B, and Band C. Each of the bands has two levels. Therefore, there are a total of six levels: Levels 1 to 6. The items on the test of each level are 50 multiple choice items, to be answered in 60 minutes. Test takers can choose the test levels best suited to them based on their Chinese language proficiency and learning background.


Features
In drawing up level descriptions, designing test tasks, testing, and scoring, the TOCFL has been standardized and developed under strict scrutiny of researchers and scholars in the field of linguistics, and language teaching and testing.

The authentic materials used in the TOCFL are extracted from materials in daily life, such as advertisements, public announcements, notices, letters, memos, time schedules, and weather broadcasts. In addition, these diversified texts are derived from a variety of fields, including literature, science, art, astronomy, and history.


Benefits
TOCFL test takers who reach the level requirements will receive a certificate. The certificate can serve as a Chinese proficiency credential for:
• Applying for the “Taiwan Scholarship.”
• Applying for academic programs at colleges or universities in Taiwan.
• Serving as a reference of Chinese subject for University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students.
• Serving as a job-required proof of Chinese language proficiency.
Currently a lot of undergraduate and graduate programs in Taiwan adopt the certificate of TOCFL as the requirement for admission or as the evaluation of applicant’s Chinese proficiency. In addition, many international businesses in Taiwan, such as LG, adopt TOCFL as reference for their employee dispatch programs. Several overseas companies also refer to candidates’ TOCFL certificates when recruiting.

Conversion table

TOCFL CEFR ACTFL FSI/ILR

 

A1

NL, NM, NH

0/0+

Level 2

A2

IL, IM

1

Level 3

B1

Intermediate-high(IH)

1+

Level 4

B2

Advanced-mid(AM)

2/2+

Level 5

C1

Superior

3/3+

 

C2

Distinguished

4/4+



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How to Take the TOCFL


Test Instruction

TOCFL Listening Test is a computerized test. Test questions and possible answers are shown on the screen of the computer. Test takers should use the mouse to click on the correct answer. The questions in the listening section will be played from the headphones. Each question will be played twice in Band A tests, but only once in Band B and Band C tests. After that, there are five seconds given for test takers to click on the answer before the next test item is played.


Tips for Preparation
• Preparation

1. Be familiar with the test
Obtain information of the test, including the features, target test takers, test content, test procedures, and test regulations, so that you won’t get agitated when you are at the test.

2. Have a clear study objective
Constant practice is the key to learning a language. You will certainly have a better chance of passing the test if you have a clear study objective. You can watch movies on daily-life topics to get used to the speed and style of daily talk. You can also listen to radio programs or some listening materials that come with Chinese textbooks. It also helps you catch the main points of the talk if you practice taking notes on some keywords when listening. Many good listening activities are prepared in textbooks widely used in Taiwan, such as: Practical Audio-visual Chinese, Far East Everyday Chinese, Chinese Folktales, Mandarin Daily News, Mini Radio Plays, Newspaper Readings, Ideology and Society, Advanced Chinese Readers, etc.

3. Mock Test
You can practice taking the TOCFL mock tests, to feel how it is to answer the test items with time pressure. This also helps you get familiar with the types of test items and sharpen your answering skills.


• At the test

  1. Relax, but focus your attention to listen to the test items.
  2. Each question will be played twice in Band A tests, but only once in Band B and Band C tests. After that, there are five seconds given for test takers to click on the answer before the next test item is played. While listening, you can start to look at the possible answers displayed on the test booklet or the computer screen. This should give you more time to respond.
  3. Questions will be played in a fixed sequence. There is no way to return to the previous items. Do not spend too much time on any item, otherwise you may miss the next item.
  4. For test items in Band A tests, you may pay special attention to some transitional words or phrases. This may help you understand the relations between the sentences.
  5. For test items in Band B tests, the passages are longer, and each passage comes with several (2 to 5) questions. We suggest that you to listen carefully to the directions before each passage. You can also try to find clues to understanding by focusing on the transitional words, speech context, and the tones and intonation of the speakers, to grasp the overall meaning of the talk.
  6. In Band C tests, the passages are longer than those in other Bands, You are advised to take notes of some points while listening on the paper we prepare for you. However, please do not attempt to take down every word, as that is definitely impractical and not helpful at all.

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Test Regulation
1. Prior to the Examination:

  • A test-taker should present either a valid passport with his/her photo attached or an ARC card at the test room. If a test-taker does not have the forms of identification mentioned above, TWO other forms of photo identification may also be accepted, but the test-taker’s name on these IDs has to be consistent with the registration information. Those who fail to present the valid IDs are not allowed to take the test and will not be able to ask for a refund or reschedule the test.
  • Ensure to enter the test room on time. Admittance is not allowed more than 10 minutes after the test begins(based on the clock in the test center). Those who are late for the test may not request for a refund or reschedule the test.
  • Look up for your seat number on the graph of seat on the door before entering the test room. Sit in your assigned seat.
  • Do not bring anything valuable with you. Test centers assume no responsibility for candidates’ personal belongings.
  • Before entering the test room, please turn off your cell phone, alarm clock settings and any other electronic devices.
  • Look up for your seat number on the setting arrangement sheet on the door before entering the test room. Sit in your assigned seat.
  • Personal items other than Photo ID and stationery (2B pencil, eraser) are not allowed on the desktop. All your personal items must be put away at the front of the test room.
  • There is no smoking, drinking, eating, chewing gum or water in the test room.


2. During the Test Session:

  1. Your photo ID will be checked before you are admitted. The name that you used to register must match the name on the ID you present at the test center and the personal label on the desktop. If any information is incorrect or missing, inform the invigilators during the roll call.
  2. No breaks are given during the test. You are required to finish the test in time even if you are permitted to leave the test room for special reasons.
  3. You may turn in the Answer Sheet or leave the test room only when the listening section is finished.
  4. If your cell phone or any other electronic devices ring, vibrate, or make any noise during the test, you will not receive any scores for this test.
  5. Do not look around, discuss test content, make noise or cause any disturbance during the test session. Or you will not receive any scores for this test.
  6. If you attempt to take the test for someone else or have someone take the test for you, both of you will be dismissed from the test room and will not receive any scores for this test. Moreover, both of you may not be able to attend the TOCFL test in the next 2 years.
  7. It is not allowed to copy the test content by transcribing, recording or any other format during the test. If you do so, you will be dismissed from the test room and will not receive any scores for this test. Moreover, you may not be able to attend the TOCFL test in the next 2 years.
  8. The test center reserves the right, in case of any violation of the above regulations or misuse of computer equipment, to cancel the test scores(Listening/Reading Section). Test takers will not be allowed to re-take/postpone the test or have the test re-scored. Also, no refund will be available.
  9. If you fail to comply with the test administration regulations or the test administrator's directions, you will be dismissed from the test room and will not receive any scores for this test.

3. After the Examination:
  • You must leave the test room immediately once the test is finished. Return your Question Paper and Answer Sheet to the test administrator. Taking any of these away from the test room is a serious violation of the rule. If you do so, you will not receive any scores for this test and may not be able to attend the TOCFL test in the next 2 years.
  • After the test, hanging around, discussing or sharing the test content, or giving assistance to other candidates in any form is prohibited.
  • Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu reserves the right to take all actions for disruptive behavior or failure to comply with the test administration regulations or the test administrator's directions during the test session.


    Quote from The Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu (SC-TOP)

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