TOEFL is an examination conducted by ETS to evaluate English language proficiency in non-native English speakers. Unlike GRE, this exam does not have subjects or reasoning skills section and is purely an exam to thoroughly test your English speaking, writing and listening skills. TOEFL scores are considered for university admission tests where English is the common language as well as for career opportunities in majority English speaking countries. A good score on this test helps be in for a good chance to take your future to the next level.
With TOEFL being an important milestone on one’s dream path, it is important to enter it with a clear head free of doubts. On this page, we attempt to answer some of the frequently asked questions on TOEFL.
1. What is TOEFL?
TOEFL is expanded to be “Test of English as a Foreign Language”. It is a test designed by ETS to use as a standardized measure to evaluate English skills for people looking to continue their education in English speaking universities or further their careers in English speaking countries.
2. What is the difference between TOEFL online test and the paper-delivered test?
The TOEFL online test or the TOEFL iBT test is conducted at online testing centres and consists of reading, listening, speaking and writing skills.
The TOEFL paper-delivered test is an offline model available at limited centres where internet connectivity is an issue. The test model is the same except for the lack of listening section due to technology limits.
3. What is the frequency of the test being conducted?
The TOEFL test is conducted 50 times a year on selected dates and the list is available test-centre wise on the ETS official website.
4. How many times can I take the TOEFL test?
TOEFL test can be retaken any number of times as per convenience. However, the test cannot be retaken within three days of a previous test date.
5. Are there any special accommodations for students with a disability?
ETS is striving to be an inclusive test environment. For people who have disabilities or any specific health-related needs, there is a separate registration process to capture the needs to take necessary and feasible regarding the same.
6. Why should I take TOEFL?
TOEFL is a unique test that prepares the test taker for the English speaking environment they may encounter at their workplace or university shortly. It is also true that having a good TOEFL score is seen as a very favourable outcome for many universities and countries. The list of TOEFL accepting universities and countries has also gone up steadily reflecting the popularity and importance of the test.
7. How long is the test for?
TOEFL test is a 3-hour long test with an added time of 30 minutes for initial check-in processes. However, sometimes the test may take a little longer depending on how you perform in different sections.
1. What is a typical TOEFL score like?
TOEFL has a maximum score of 120 with each section having a maximum score of 30.
2. What TOEFL score is needed for admission to a preferred university?
Most universities/visa-issuing countries that have TOEFL as a standardized measure determine their own benchmark TOEFL score. However, it would be safe to say those top universities would expect a score of 90 or higher. For example, MIT has a requirement of 90 whereas NYU, MIT and Boston prefer a score of 100 and higher.
3. How are TOEFL scores sent?
TOEFL gives you listening and reading scores right at the test center whereas for the other two sections you can view them online via web or app 6 days after the test. An official copy of the scores or printed scores will be sent to your email approximately 11 days after the date of the test.
4. How long are TOEFL scores valid for?
TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the day of the test and they won’t be accessible or applicable once the date is crossed. This is to ensure that the skill being tested is current and updated.
5. Can I apply for a Score review of the speaking/writing section?
Yes, you can apply for a review of your Speaking and Writing section scores with the necessary fee. If you wish to review the score of a single section, the fee would be $80 and you would have to pay $160 for reviewing both the sections. The review results would take 1-3 weeks to be processed and shared post the receipt of payment.
6. What are MyBest scores?
MyBest Score feature was added in TOEFL in 2019 and the score reports would feature your best score from each section from all valid TOEFL scores as a way to represent your overall test performance.
7. How many score reports are included in my test and how to avail more?
The TOEFL registration fee includes the fee for your online score, a paper copy of the scores which are sent via mail and a downloadable PDF copy. You also have the facility to send your scores to 4 selected universities. In case you need more score reports, you can have them sent to universities with an additional $20 per report. This can be ordered via the ETS website or the TOEFL app. 2
1. How do I register for TOEFL?
You can register for TOEFL via the ETS Website or the TOEFL official app. The registration needs to be done 7 days before the test date and the process is as follows:
Log in to your ETS Account or create one. Ensure that the name on the account is the same as the one on the identity documents that would be produced at the time of the test.
Complete the payment via the available payment methods such as credit/debit card, PayPal, and e-check (for US bank account holders). Money orders and Western Union is available in select countries for mail orders only.
2. What is the late fee? When is it applicable?
In case you have missed registering for the test 7 days prior, you can still register 2 days before the test date by paying a late fee of $40.
3. How can you correct the mistake in your name in your admit card?
If you have made a mistake entering the name or date of birth during registration, this may create an issue on the day of the test. It is best to content TOEFL support and get them changed beforehand.
Phone: 1-877-863-3546 (Toll-free for test-takers in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Canada) +1-609-771-7100 (all other locations)
September–May: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–7:45 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, except for U.S. holidays
June–August: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5:45 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, except for U.S. holidays
4. When will I receive my admit card?
You will be receiving a confirmation of your registration on the registered email ID. This can be viewed on the TOEFL app as well. These would contain the details of the test.
5. Can I cancel or reschedule my test appointment?
Yes, the test can be cancelled or rescheduled subject to the conditions. The cancellation charges would be 50% of the total test cost and the rescheduling charges would be $60.
6. How much does the TOEFL test cost?
The TOEFL fee depends based on the location of the test. To know the fee, you have to visit the ETS website and select the preferred test centre from the list.
7. Is the TOEFL registration fee refundable?
If you cancel your test 4 days before the test date(not including the test date), you will be eligible to avail of a partial refund on the test fee paid to ETS. The refund is subject to various conditions such as:
1. Cash payments are not eligible for refund
2. A refund will not be applicable if the cancellation is due to a lack of documents to be presented at the test centre or any other violation.
TEST AND PREPARATION
1. When should I take the test?
The test should be taken a minimum of 3 months before the admission deadline so that you have enough time to retake the test, review your scores if needed, and also have your scores sent to your preferred universities beforehand.
2. How long should I prepare for the test?
An ideal preparation time would depend on the candidate’s existing knowledge of the English language and proficiency level. A minimum of 8 weeks of preparation is recommended to achieve your desired score. You can also take the online practice test available on the ETS website to gauge your level and prepare accordingly.
3. How can I prepare for the test?
There are various study materials available online for the preparation of TOEFL. You can access the material via the TOEFL official app, and the ETS website’s online resource centre. In case you are not familiar with the test pattern or the language, you can also avail training from a reputed TOEFL training institute.
4. What skills are tested in the different sections of the TOEFL test?
TOEFL has four sections: Reading, speaking, listening and writing.
Reading: This section tests your reading skills and requires you to read passages and answer questions based on them. Typically, the answers are available in the paragraph itself.
Speaking: This section has 4 questions and would require you to Speak in English on a topic and also answer some questions based on your English speaking, writing and reading skills.
Listening: This is similar to the reading section however you would have to listen to the text being spoken and answer questions based on those. You may take notes while listening to the text.
Writing: Writing sections test your proficiency in writing and require you to write on an independent topic as well as express your thoughts based on a text you read or listened to.
We hope we covered most of your doubts in this section. In case you have any further doubts, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us.