These days there are so many tests to take and requirements to meet that it feels nearly impossible to keep all these details in your head. Well, we can’t help with every single test out there, but we can certainly help you learn more about the TOEFL.
If you are looking for answers about the TOEFL, this is the place to start. Basically, as a beginner, you will learn what the TOEFL test is, who should take it and how it will look on test day.
Let’s jump right in.
Here are the top 15 questions asked by TOEFL beginners:
- What is the TOEFL?
- What are the eligibility requirements for the TOEFL?
- How much does the TOEFL cost?
- How is the TOEFL structured?
- How are the TOEFL tests scored?
- How good does my English have to be to pass the TOEFL?
- How are the TOEFL exams scheduled?
- How long does the TOEFL take overall?
- How long are TOEFL scores valid?
- How can TOEFL scores be forwarded to universities, employers, licensing boards, etc.?
- Who needs to take the TOEFL?
- What is considered a “good score” on the TOEFL?
- How long does it take to get your TOEFL results?
- What do you need to take with you when taking the TOEFL?
- Are other language exams as good as the TOEFL?
What is the TOEFL?
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is designed to measure the language ability of non-native speakers that want to enroll in English speaking universities. It is also common among non-native speakers who wish to attain certification in specialized vocations such as teaching, pharmacy or dentistry.
What are the eligibility requirements for the TOEFL?
The basic eligibility requirements for the TOEFL are: the student is age 16 or older and is able to present valid identification with a recognizable photo. These specific requirements vary depending on where you take the test. So it is important to check with your testing center before you book a test date.
Please note, according to ETS the following documents are not acceptable as primary or supplemental identification under any circumstances:
|✖Birth certificate||✖International driver's license|
|✖Social Security card||✖Draft classification card|
|✖Employee ID card||✖International student ID|
|✖Any temporary ID card||✖Credit/debit card of any kind|
|✖Diplomatic, consulate or embassy ID card||✖Notary-prepared letter or document|
|✖International driver's license|
|✖Social Security card|
|✖Draft classification card|
|✖Employee ID card|
|✖International student ID|
|✖Any temporary ID card|
|✖Credit/debit card of any kind|
|✖Diplomatic, consulate or embassy ID card|
|✖Notary-prepared letter or document|
How much does the TOEFL cost?
Starting from the 1st of August 2020, the fee for the TOEFL iBT will vary from $185 to $320, for more information check out the TOEFL iBT site.
How is the TOEFL structured?
The TOEFL exam is structured into 4 sections:
The Reading section takes 36 minutes; the Listening section takes approximately 36 minutes as well. There used to be a break in the middle of the test, but As of July 26, 2023, there is no longer any break during the TOEFL test. The Speaking section takes between 16 minutes and the Writing section takes about 30 minutes to complete.
How are the TOEFL tests scored?
Each of the 4 sections has a score between 0-30, for a maximum score of 120. Your score report will include each of these numbers.
How good does my English have to be to pass the TOEFL?
The TOEFL is not a pass/fail test. The final score range can vary from 0-120. If you are taking the test to try and gain entry to a university, then it is advisable to have a high or advanced-intermediate level of English before taking the test. Below you can see a comparison between IELTS, TOEFL, and CEFR.
Score Conversion Table
|Duolingo English Test||TOEFL||IELTS||CEFR|
How are the TOEFL exams scheduled?
The TOEFL exams are scheduled by either a mail-in form or online registration. Additionally, some locations are now offering a home-based version of the test. To see the current scheduling information, please check the official TOEFL Website for the TOEFL iBT®, TOEFL® at-home, and The TOEFL® Essentials™.
How long does the TOEFL take overall?
The TOEFL takes about 3 hours overall, but it is best to plan for 3 ½ just to be safe.
How long are TOEFL scores valid?
All TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the date of the test.
How can TOEFL scores be forwarded to universities, employers, licensing boards, etc.?
According to ETS , before the test, you can have four free official TOEFL® score reports sent to the TOEFL destinations that you select before you take the test. You can add or delete score report recipients through your ETS account, either online or via the TOEFL® official app, until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before your test.
After the test, you can request additional copies of your scores through your ETS account, fax, or mail.
The cost is $20 per copy.
Who needs to take the TOEFL?
Typically, non-native speakers who wish to attend English speaking universities or achieve certification with specialized licensing boards must take the TOEFL. It is always a good idea to check with your program and confirm the requirement.
What is considered a “good score” on the TOEFL?
The definition of a “good score” and the requirements for each university or license board can vary significantly. Therefore, it is always important to check with the program you are applying to. Please note, some may require only a total score of X, while others may have more specific scores. For example, an overall score of 100 with a 26 or above in speaking.
Some common scoring thresholds are a 90 or above on the overall test and a minimum requirement for the speaking section. Many of the most competitive programs require a total score of over 100, which essentially implies a high degree of fluency.
However, you must check with your program to confirm its requirements.
How long does it take to get your TOEFL results?
It takes about 6 days from your test date for your TOEFL score to show up in your ETS account. You will receive an email when your TOEFL results are available, and you can access your account online or via the official TOEFL ® app.
What do you need to take with you when taking the TOEFL?
A printout of your confirmation email from ETS and your valid photo I.D. Pencils, pens, and paper will be provided. You may also choose to bring a small snack.
Are other language exams as good as the TOEFL?
There is some disagreement on this topic. Some universities and programs accept other tests. It is always best to check with your program or university to see what is and is not allowed. The TOEFL, however, is often considered the gold standard of English proficiency tests and is accepted nearly everywhere.
Looking for more information?
TST Prep has all the practice, feedback, and support you need to get your TOEFL score as quickly and as easily as possible.
Check out our site for some free test materials and expert tutors.
Download the PDF version of your: Complete Practice Test #13 and discover the TOEFL questions you will need to answer on test day.
Do you have a question that is not listed here?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Good luck TOEFL takers 🙂