Difficulty level of TOEFL
Obviously, language skills are very individual and it depends on the skills of a person, how well he can cope with the 4 test parts.
In case of the abroad semester or Bachelor's degrees, many reputed universities need a test score of 79/80. This score is low and should be achievable with solid high school knowledge and little preparation.
For Master's program, specifically in the English speaking countries, a score of 90 or even above 100 is essential.
If your program needs more than 100 points, even possessing outstanding English skills, an intense plus careful preparation is indeed very essential.
The Reading Comprehension i.e.. RC is of around 60 − 100 minutes in the entire test. You will get 3 − 5 short texts (approx. 700 words) which is either from academic issues or can be from varied topics (e. g. Astronomic, history, biology etc.). After reading the text, you have to answer 12 − 14 MCQs regarding the content and the grammar.
Since the crucial points in the text are stated redundantly in various ways, you can judge the meaning of those words out of the context most of the times in case you are not aware with the exact meaning.
The Listening Comprehension part aims to evaluate your ability to understand academic related lectures and discussions, it is 60 − 90 minutes and you will hear 4 − 6 different lectures or discussions plus 2 − 3 conversations. Each listening part is about 3 − 5 minutes long. After listening, you have to answer 5 − 6 MCQs about the content of the conversation. Important information are repeated during the talk several times.
Speaking section is challenging for most students as compared to other tests (e. g. IELTS), where you get individually interviewed by an examiner, speaking section of TOEFL test is completely organized on the computer with a headset. Your answers are well recorded and later sent to and evaluated in a test center. The section is 20 minutes long with 5 minutes of actual speaking. It comprises of 2 independent tasks and 4 integrated tasks.
The writing section has two parts, first one is an integrated task where you read a short text and then listen to a conversation which is related to the text. After that you have 20 minutes to give a written answer to a question.
Second part requires some uniqueness and creativity with debatable topic and you will have 30 minutes to quote your view-points regarding that topic by using pros and cons of arguments.
Well-structured text is more important than the content or your actual opinion about the topic. Special focus is put to so-called linking words that you use to assimilate your thoughts, arguments and conclusions.