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Last Updated: December 14, 2023

TOEFL Essentials Test

The English proficiency test known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, evaluates a person's reading, speaking, and listening skills in the language. To study abroad in English-speaking nations, students from non-English-speaking nations must pass an English proficiency exam. There are three different ways to take the TOEFL: at home, at the testing facility, or using pen and paper.

TOEFL Essentials is one of the TOEFL tests. The TOEFL Essentials exam attempts to give candidates a more laid-back and adaptable atmosphere. This exam evaluates test takers' proficiency in speaking, writing, reading, and listening in English outside of the classroom. This test is shorter and contains one extra section than the TOEFL at-home test, but it is still fairly comparable.

Who can Apply for TOEFL Essentials?

There is no prerequisite to take the TOEFL exam to take advantage of it. Typically, students who are eligible for college are the ones who apply to take the TOEFL exam. Native English speakers don't need to take the test because it is an assessment of one's English proficiency. The following individuals typically take the TOEFL:

Cost of Taking TOEFL Essentials

The test's cost varies depending on the country, so there is no set fee. Usually, the price ranges from US$100 to US$120. The following is the cost of additional services:

Late RegistrationUS $20
ReschedulingUS $30
Reinstatement of cancelled scoresUS $20
Returned PaymentUS $30
Additional Score ReportsUS $20

How to Register/Apply for TOEFL Essentials Test?

To take the test, there are three ways to register. These are:

Test Dates for TOEFL Essentials

Test appointments are offered one day a week, 24 hours a day (more days to be added). Candidates can find appointments within 24 hours of registering. Before registering, candidates are advised to verify that they meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements as they will be taking the test at home.

What is Tested on TOEFL Essentials?

The five sections of the TOEFL Essentials test are Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening. There is also a five-minute, unscored Personal Video Statement.

Test Structure for TOEFL Essentials

The TOEFL Essentials test consists of four sections: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. Additionally, there is a five-minute, unscored Personal Video Statement. It takes roughly 1.5 hours to finish the test. The following is the breakdown of questions and time for each section:

SectionTime AllotmentNumber of Questions
Listening21-34 min30-45 questions
Reading22-33 min30-45 questions
Writing24-30 min14-18 questions and 2 tasks
Speaking13 min3 tasks with 19 responses
Personal Video Statement5 min2 questions

NOTE: The test's adaptive format may cause variations in the time allotted and the number of questions. There might be some unscored questions on the test in the Reading, Writing, or Listening sections. These are research questions, and they have no bearing on the candidates' final scores.

Understanding the TOEFL Essentials Score Report

At the conclusion of the test, candidates will be able to view their unofficial Reading and Listening section scores to get a sense of how they performed. After candidates take the test, scores are available online about 4-6 days later. They will receive an email informing them when their scores are available if they give a working email address at the time of registration. Within 11 days of the test, or sooner depending on the method each institution uses for delivering scores, candidates' designated recipients will receive their official score reports.

Candidates will be assigned a band score ranging from 1 to 12 for each of the four test sections. The average of the four-section band scores is used to determine the overall band score. The total band score is rounded to the nearest whole or half band, with steps of 0.5 from 1 to 12. MyBest scores are included in their score report as well. These results represent the highest section scores attained in the previous two years across all test administrations. Furthermore, the score report offers details regarding two fundamental abilities, namely Sentence Construction and Vocabulary Knowledge.

Additional Score Reports

Candidates may request free additional score reports to be sent to as many universities as they choose. A maximum of 20 score reports is allowed for each transaction. Candidates can order score reports online. Once candidates submit their request, designated institutions cannot be added, altered, or removed. For US$20, candidates can request a copy of their additional score report.

Cancelling and Reinstating Scores

Upon completion of the exam, candidates can choose to either report or cancel their results. Candidates or any score recipients won't be notified if candidates decide to cancel their scores. If candidates cancel their scores, they will not be refunded.

Candidates may request the reinstatement of their canceled scores if they change their minds after the test, provided that the request is received by ETS no later than 60 days from the test date. They can use their ETS account to place online orders. There is a $20 reinstatement fee. Within three weeks of receiving the candidate's request and payment, the candidate's scores will be restored and reported.

Test Day Guidelines

Candidates must ensure that they abide by all test rules and regulations as the test is recorded for ProctorU and is administered by a human proctor; otherwise, the proctor may cancel the test. The following are some rules that students should abide by on test day:

Cancelling and Rescheduling Test

Candidates have to give at least four days' notice before the test date if they need to reschedule or cancel their appointment. Candidates who take this action will be refunded 50% of the initial test fee they paid. Candidates will not receive a refund for their test fee if they do not request to cancel at least 4 days in advance. Regular mail or email cannot be used to reschedule or cancel the test appointments. Rescheduling costs US$30.

How TOEFL Essentials is Different from TOEFL iBT?

The comparison and similarities between TOEFL iBT and TOEFL Essentials are as follows:
BasisTOEFL iBTTOEFL Essentials
Number of Sections4 sections and a Personal Video Statement4 sections
Time AllottedAlmost 2 hours1.5 hours
Time per section
  • Reading- 35 minutes
  • Listening-36 minutes
  • Speaking- 16 minutes
  • Writing- 29 minutes
  • Listening- 21-34 min
  • Reading- 22-33 min
  • Writing- 24-30 min
  • Speaking- 13 min
  • Personal Video Statement- 5 min
Score reviewAllowedNot allowed
Number of questions per section
  • Reading- 20 questions
  • Listening- 28 questions
  • Speaking- 4 tasks
  • Writing- 2 tasks
  • Listening- 30-45 questions
  • Reading- 30-45 questions
  • Writing- 14-18 questions and 2 tasks
  • Speaking- 3 tasks with 19 responses
  • Personal Video Statement- 2 questions
Language Domain100% academic English context 50% academic English and 50% general English context
Test deliveryAt a test center, or at homeAt home
What is measured?Provides comprehensive, direct measurement of communicative language ability in an academic contextMeasures foundational elements of English proficiency

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