A standardized test, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL™) assesses the English proficiency of applicants, whose native language does not happen to be English. It tests the ability to understand North American English. Most educational institutes in US and Canada (approximately 2400) ask applicants for their TOEFL™ Scores. Most applicants take the TOEFL™ test as a prerequisite for admission into colleges and universities where English is used or required. In addition, many government, licensing, and certification agencies and exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL™ scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people for whom English is not their native language.

The TOEFL™ Internet-based Test (TOEFL™ iBT) tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. The structure of the TOEFL™ iBT is as follows:


Reading is (54-72 min) (30-40 questions) (0-30 scoring scale) 3-4 passages from academic texts; approx 700 word long with 10 questions per passage.


Listening is (41-57 min) (28-39 questions) (0-30 scoring scale) 3-4 lectures each 3-5 min long with 6 questions each; 2-3 conversations, each 3 minutes long with 5 questions each.


Speaking is (17 min) (4 tasks) (0-30 scoring scale) 1 task to express an opinion on a topic; 3 tasks to speak based on what is read and listened to.


Writing is (50 min) (2 tasks) (0-5 points converted to 0-30 scoring scale) 1 task to write based on what is read or listened to; 1 task to support an opinion on a topic.

The US-based “Educational Testing Service” (ETS), develops and administers the TOEFL™. ETS is responsible for setting questions, conducting the test, and sending score reports to each examinee. For detailed information about TOEFL, please refer to the official website of TOEFL™ www.toefl.org

What is the scoring scale for the TOEFL™ iBT Test?

  1. Scoring is between 0 (Minimum) and 120 (Maximum) with 1-point increment. Four scores are reported on the TOEFL™:
  2. The reading score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  3. The listening score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  4. Writing score reported on a 0-30 score scale
  5. Speaking score reported on a 0-30 score scale

Salient Features of TOEFL

  • The registration fee for taking the TOEFL® is USD 170.
  • You can register online or by phone or mail. The detailed information about registering for the TOEFL® can be found at  www.ets.org/toefl
  • TOEFL® is offered on specific days of the year. One can access the whole schedule which can vary depending on the country by following the given link https://www.ets.org/bin/getprogram.cgi?test=toefl
  • There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period.
  • Your TOEFL® score will be valid for 2 years from the date the test was taken
  • The universities only accept official scores sent directly by ETS. Scores to four colleges can be sent free of cost from the time of TOEFL® registration to 24 hours before the test date. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay $20.
  • TOEFL® is mandatory for Undergraduate, MS, Ph.D., and most MBA courses across the world. However, a few universities in the USA and all universities in the UK and Australia accept IELTS™ scores. The Top 15 colleges in the US might waive the TOEFL® requirement provided you are able to produce proof that your Undergraduate degree had English as its mode of instruction.
  • For admission, one has to score over 80 for MS and Undergraduate programs, over 100 for Ph.D. and MBA courses. Usually, a score of 100 is required for students who are looking for financial aid/scholarships.

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