Last Updated: January 22, 2022
What is TOEFL?
TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is an exam required by most US and Canadian universities to prove one’s proficiency (especially for international students coming from countries where English is not a native language) in English. It measures one’s listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills to perform academic tasks in English. Many Universities in Europe and other countries also accept TOEFL though IELTS
is more popular outside the USA. The popularity of TOEFL is growing and its score is accepted for immigration to New Zealand and Australia.
More than 10,000 colleges in 100+ countries accept TOEFL score.
There are two formats for the TOEFL test. The format one takes depends on the location of their test center. Most test-takers take the TOEFL iBT (iBT stands for Internet Based Test) test. Test centers that do not have Internet access offer the Paper-based Test (PBT).
Who can Apply for TOEFL?
Students who qualify for university education are generally the ones that apply for a TOEFL examination. Since it is an examination to prove one’s English proficiency, native speakers of the language are not required to take the examination. The people that generally take the TOEFL include-
- Candidates who have to prove language proficiency for academic purposes
- Candidates who have to prove language proficiency for visa purposes
- Candidates who have to prove language proficiency for scholarships.
Eligibility Requirement for TOEFL
There is no eligibility requirement for taking the TOEFL examination. Candidates will be able to attempt the test irrespective of their age or nationality. Students who are non-native English speakers and candidates whose target university/college is in an English-speaking country will have to prove their proficiency in English. TOEFL scores will be required for such candidates.
Cost of Taking TOEFL
TOEFL cost ranges from US$180 to US$300 (depending on country/location). But the additional charges incurred for other services are as follows:
Starting August 1,2019 TOEFL test has been shortened to 3 hours. It used to be 3 hours 30 minutes.
|Late Registration||US $40|
|Reinstatement of canceled scores||US $20|
|Additional score report||US $20 each|
|Speaking or Writing Score Review||US $80 each|
How to Register/Apply for TOEFL iBT?
The TOEFL iBT test can be taken at test centers or one’s home depending on the candidate and the facilities they have at hand. Candidates who choose the Home Edition test will be able to register for the exam and book a time slot by logging into their ETS Account. There are other ways in which students can apply for a TOEFL iBT examination. Students will be able to register
- using their ETS Account- Candidates will have to create their ETS Account, and select a testing method after which they will be prompted to choose a location, date, and time for their examination. They will be able to make the payment online once the details have been chosen and confirmed.
- by Phone- Candidates will be able to call their Regional Registration Center in order to find the phone number they are supposed to call for registration. Students who are from the US, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Canada will be able to call +1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-468-6335. They will have to make the call by 5 pm on a business day 7 days before the test to not incur a late fee.
- by Mail- Students who are registering by mail will have to download and complete the Registration Form and mail it to the mailing address mentioned against the payment method if they reside in the US, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, or Canada. If they are from other countries, they will have to contact their Regional Registration Center to find the mailing address.
Finding the institution/department code for TOEFL
- TOEFL Departmental code list https://www.ets.org/s/toefl/pdf/dept_code_list.pdf
- TOEFL Institution/University code can be searched from http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/search-who-accepts-toefl
Test Dates for TOEFL
The TOEFL test dates differ based on the format in which it is taken. Generally, the test dates will be provided earlier by the test center if the candidate is taking a paper-based test. The paper-based test/PBT is provided only 1-2 times a month at test centers in Columbia, India, Mexico, and the US.
The more popular form of taking the test is the TOEFL iBT which is the computer-based test taken in test centers. The TOEFL iBT test is provided over 60 times a year. Students will be able to find the test date available to them by choosing the nearest test center in their ETS account to view the available test dates.
Students will also be able to take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition Test which is available 24 hours a day for 4 days a week. They will be able to book their test session as early as 24 hours after the registration has been completed.
Test Structure for TOEFL Test
The TOEFL test has different sections for testing the proficiency of the candidate in reading, listening, writing, and speaking the language. The question paper format and time division are as follows-
|Reading*||54-72 minutes||30-40 questions ||Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.||0-30|
|Listening||41-57 minutes||28-39 questions||Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.||0-30|
|Speaking||17 minutes||4 tasks||Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.||0-30|
|Writing ||50 minutes|| 2 tasks||Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing. ||0-30|
Calculate TOEFL Score
Each section of TOEFL has a max score of 30; the total maximum score is 120. Most universities require a TOEFL score ranging from 80 to 100. Scores will be posted online within two weeks of the test date. Candidates will be able to view the score online at ets.org by logging into their ETS Account. They will be able to select up to four institutions to send their scores for free (it's included in TOEFL Test fees). Candidates will be able to send their scores to as many institutions as they choose for a fee of US$20 per report. Scores are mailed approximately four to seven days after receipt of the request and payment.
The last question in the reading section (in each set) is worth 2 points, and it may have up to 3 correct answers (out of 6 choices)
- For 0/1 correct answers one will get 0 points
- For 2 correct answers one will get 1 point
- For 3 correct answers one will get 2 points
Candidates will be able to retake the TOEFL test as many times as they want to as long as they take it only once in 12 days.
Validity of TOEFL
TOEFL score is valid for two years. Within these two years, candidates can order additional reports at the cost of $20 per institution. They can apply for additional score reports through the ETS Account, by Fax, and by Mail.
- ETS Account- Login to the ETS account online or through the TOEFL official app and click on the “Send Additional Score Report” option. Candidates will have to pay using a credit/debit card or a PayPal account if they have one. While applying through this method, candidates will receive their score report within 3-5 business days.
- Fax- Candidates can download the TOEFL iBT Additional Score Report Request form , fill it out without errors and fax it with their appointment number and payment information to +1-610-290-8972. They will mail the report 10 days after the request has been received.
- Mail- Download the TOEFL iBT Additional Score Report Request form and mail it with the payment to
P. O. Box 6153
Princeton, NJ 08541-6153 USA
They will mail the score report 10 days after they receive the request.
Sending TOEFL Scores
Candidates are allowed to send scores to 4 Universities for free. They need to select those universities before the test. One can send additional reports for a fee of $20/report. Candidates will have the option of changing the recipient’s information until 10 p.m. on the day before the test. This can be done either through their ETS account online or through the TOEFL official app.
Time Taken by ETS to Send Official TOEFL Scores/Reports
The reports/official scores will be sent to schools/colleges in around 13 days after the candidate has taken the test (remember they are sent via mail and sometimes it may get delayed). Depending on how they send the score, the time it will take for colleges to receive the report are as follows:
- If it is sent through the ETS Data Manager, the score report will reach within 6-8 days after the test date.
- If sent through the Scorelink Service, it will take around8-10 days to reach the destination.
- The scores can be sent through the Postal Mail as well, and then it will be received within 9-11 days with an additional 7-10 days as mailing time. Refer to standard mail delivery timings for more information.
Well, most Universities worldwide accept both these days, but TOEFL is more popular in the US, and IELTS is popular in Australia, Canada, and Europe. IELTS is now widely accepted in the US. It is recommended that candidates check their target universities and take the test that corresponds to the requirements.
TOEFL sample tests with answers
Things to Remember
- TOEFL iBT test can be taken on fixed dates. It happens multiple times in a year. Candidates might have to check the ETS website for the exact date and timing of their desired location.
- The official scores can be sent to up to four universities for free if the candidate selects the universities before the test.
- The test responses are scored holistically on a scale of 0 to 5. The average score on the two tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.
- TOEFL may not be required by students from countries where the native language is English.
- Candidates are given the option of canceling their scores at the end of their test session
- Candidates will be able to reinstate their scores if their request is received at ETS within 10 days of their test date, for a fee of US$20.