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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-

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:
Late RegistrationUS $40
ReschedulingUS $60
Reinstatement of canceled scoresUS $20
Additional score reportUS $20 each
Speaking or Writing Score ReviewUS $80 each

Starting August 1,2019 TOEFL test has been shortened to 3 hours. It used to be 3 hours 30 minutes.

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

Finding the institution/department code for 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-
SectionTime LimitQuestionsTasksScore
Reading*54-72 minutes30-40 questions Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.0-30
Listening41-57 minutes28-39 questionsListen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.0-30
Break10 minutes
Speaking17 minutes4 tasksExpress an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.0-30
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasksWrite 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 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)

Retake TOEFL

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.

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:

Choosing between TOEFL and IELTS

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- 2023

TOEFL Practice Tests

TOEFL Prep - Tips

TOEFL Scores