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Breaking Down the TOEFL

About the TOEFL iBT® Test

The TOEFL iBT test, administered via the Internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills. Let’s take a closer look as we breakdown the TOEFL below.

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. There are two formats for the TOEFL test. The format you take depends on the location of your test center. Most test takers take the TOEFL iBT test. Test centers that do not have Internet access offer the Paper-based Test (PBT). The iBT test is most common.

In addition, the test includes a writing sample portion, which asks you to respond to a topic statement. Your essay is not graded, but a copy accompanies each SSAT score report you have sent to a school or consultant.

Who Takes the TOEFL iBT Test?

More than 27 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced. It’s very common for students to enroll in a quality TOEFL prep program to improve their skills and boost their scores. Who are they?

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

Who Accepts TOEFL iBT Test Scores?

More than 8,500 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.

Where and When Can I Take the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL test has more test dates (30-40) and locations (4,500 test centers in 165 countries) than any other English-language test in the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish.

What Are the Minimum Score Requirements for Schools or Universities?

These vary with each school. Some schools that offer ESL courses (English as Second Language) do not require TOEFL scores; or the requirements are not very strict. Schools that do not offer ESL typically require a minimum TOEFL score that indicates the student is proficient enough in English to successfully integrate into the school’s academic program. Most schools suggest scores based on the iBT test, which for example ranges from 0 – 120. Scores are based on the following four sections: reading, speaking, listening and writing, each 30 points. Many of the top boarding schools and universities have a minimum score requirement of 100.

What Is the TOEFL Junior™ Test?

The TOEFL Junior tests, intended for students ages 11 to 15, provide real insight into your students English communication skills to help you make the best decisions and guide them on a path to success. To better meet the expectations of English-language programs worldwide, the TOEFL Junior tests are being rolled out in two testing modes and measure a range of skills:

  • TOEFL Junior Standard test — a paper-based test that measures Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, and Language Form and Meaning
  • TOEFL Junior Comprehensive test — a computer-based test that measures Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, Speaking and Writing

Score Reporting

Your score will be displayed in your personal profile on the NEEA/TOEFL iBT Registration website in about 15 business days (with few exceptions) after the test day. Printed copies will be mailed via express mail service to the address you submitted during registration. The tracking number of the score report shipment will be displayed in your profile.

Four free score report recipients can be added or deleted through the NEEA/TOEFL iBT registration website until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day prior to the test date. You will not be allowed to change four score report recipients after the 10 p.m. deadline. If you select your recipients after the 10 p.m. deadline, you will be charged a fee of $20 (or 120 RMB for Chinese students) for each score report. If you have already selected your recipients, your test cannot be rescored.

You may order additional official score reports for the same fee shown above per institution after finishing the test. Once you log in to the system and get to your home page, click on the “VIEW ORDER(s) link”. Select the “Request an additional score recipient” button. Reports are mailed approximately 4 to 7 days after your request by ETS.