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Last Updated: November 27, 2023

Low TOEFL Score: What Comes Next?

TOEFL is a tough exam to crack! It could be quite challenging for those who are taking the TOEFL exam for the first time in their life. So, if one has taken the TOEFL exam and now dreads the pending result and is scared of poor scores on the exam? It takes specific knowledge to understand the TOEFL results and recognize if one has received a good or bad score.

If a candidate's TOEFL scores have already come out and if they have scored less than expected, then there is no need to sit back and remorse over what has already happened. Let us first identify if the score one has received is considered a low score in general.

What is a Low Score in TOEFL?

There is no particular low score for TOEFL. It depends upon the universities candidates have applied to, the major they have chosen, the country they intend to visit, etc. But there is, in fact, a certain criterion that is followed year after year in most places.

The highest scores in the exam are in the range of 110-120 by any standard. Attaining a score in this range is enough to get candidates into any university of their choosing anywhere in the world. But this is subject to the sub-score requirements that the best universities might have in place. Sub-score Requirements- This is a criterion that is set by Ivy League universities according to which candidates are required to have a particular score in any of the sub-sections apart from being in the total score range they mandate. If this is not met, then they have the right to deny them admission.

A score between 100-110 is considered extremely good and can get one into any Ivy League School out there since most of them require a score above 100.

When the score is in between 90-100, candidates might not be able to enter Ivy League Schools but can enter most other universities. This isn’t considered a low score in general.

Getting a score between 80-90 is still good if candidates are trying to enter into grad schools. These schools focus less on their proficiency in English and more on their research skills. This offers candidates a better chance of being admitted than other schools.

A score less than 80 is termed, in general, as a low score. Since there is no specific pass or fail in TOEFL receiving a score below 80 can be a drawback while trying to get admission.

What Next if my TOEFL Score is Low?

If a candidate has figured out that their score is below 80 or even below 90 and they aim to go for the best universities out there, they are not out of options yet. The different options that they have are listed below from which candidates can choose what is best for them.

Seek Out Favorable Universities

The first option that candidates should consider is to find a university that accepts their grades. The number of universities that accept low TOEFL scores is less, but not non-existent. Most universities accept students under a conditional admission basis where the student is expected to take additional courses to compensate for the low score.

Having a higher score, in that sense, helps candidates to have a minimum number of courses thereby ensuring that they can focus on the subjects that are relevant than adding courses to improve their overall score. But this is not an entirely bad thing since at the end of the day candidates have admission to a decent college.

Look Outside TOEFL Universities

Students who have scored poor marks on their TOEFL exam might also consider taking admission to any university that does not categorize their mode of selection based on the candidate's TOEFL scores. Why should students waste their time and money on preparing all over again if they can easily get admission to a university that does not limit its admission procedure to TOEFL scores? This applies to those candidates who simply wish to pursue their degree in English literature and become a professional in this discipline. Such students can make a list of the top of such universities that do not consider TOEFL scores for their admission process and apply for the same.

Taking IELTS

TOEFL is not the only English proficiency test accepted worldwide. Other important exams include the IELTS which can be attempted by the students if their TOEFL grades are not up to mark. Most students attempt both exams simultaneously just to ensure a seat in college. But some may take just one considering how expensive both these exams are.

IELTS score is accepted in almost all universities to show a candidate's English Language proficiency. If a candidate's score in TOEFL is low (below the cutoff required by most universities) then they can attempt IELTS. Remember that receiving a good TOEFL or IELTS score is the first step to getting started (unless candidates have an exceptional profile, some universities may grant, conditional admission and they might have to take some English courses).

Taking TOEFL Test Again

Retaking the TOEFL test might seem a little too difficult after receiving a low score. But retaking the test often provides results that candidates never expected. Candidates who retake the test generally have a greater probability of getting a higher score.

This option demands an investment of a considerable amount of time needed for the preparation. The students are also expected to prepare with a stronger zeal and dedication, far greater than the previous attempts.

Tips to Score Better in TOEFL

Students must not be disheartened by their low scores on the TOEFL exam. It is imperative to prepare in advance for the TOEFL exam to avoid such problems. Proper preparation entails hard work and dedicated study patterns to achieve success. The study model must also be supplemented with the use of the right study materials including good books and journals from expert writers.

Ensure that the study pattern candidates follow is tailor-made for them. Learning a language can be extremely challenging when compared to preparing for other competitive exams. Give themselves some time to master the language.

Mentor Assistance
Students might also take expert help from their subject professors to help them in subjects they might get stuck in. Getting private tutors to teach candidates the basics of the language will be useful if they are finding it hard to identify their weaknesses. Articulating their thoughts in a language will take time and proper guidance from someone who is well-versed in the language.

TOEFL Online Practice
Candidates can also prepare for their TOEFL exam by taking online help from the online study materials. Many online prep courses can help candidates achieve their goals. The online practice available is comparatively more flexible and suited to individual needs than other methods can be. But always choose the right online course by looking at detailed reviews of what each one offers.

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