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 (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 (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 (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 (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. Reading score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  3. 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


What is the cost/registration fee for the TOEFL®?

The registration fee for taking the TOEFL® is USD 170.

How do I register for the TOEFL®?

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

How many times in a year is the TOEFL® exam held?

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

How many times can I take the 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.

What is the validity of the TOEFL® exam?

Your TOEFL® score will be valid for 2 years from the date the test was taken.

How soon do I get my score?

The scores are available online 2 weeks after the exam date.

How do I pass on my score to the college?

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.

Do universities consider photocopies of the TOEFL® scorecard? Do I have to send scores through ETS?

No, photocopies are not accepted. You have to send your scores only through ETS.

Do I need to have the TOEFL® score at the time of applying to universities?

Yes, you do need to have the TOEFL®  score with you at the time of applying

Is the TOEFL® mandatory for applying to undergrad programs outside India?

TOEFL® is mandatory for Undergraduate, MS, PhD 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 a proof that your Undergraduate degree had English as its mode of instruction.

What is the minimum TOEFL® score that I need?

For admission, one has to score over 80 for MS and Undergraduate programs, over 100 for PhD and MBA courses. Usually a score of 100 is required for students who are looking for financial aid/scholarships.