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.

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 certificateInternational driver's license
Social Security cardDraft classification card
Employee ID cardInternational student ID
Any temporary ID cardCredit/debit card of any kind
Diplomatic, consulate or embassy ID cardNotary-prepared letter or document
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

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:

  1. Reading
  2. Listening
  3. Speaking
  4. Writing

The Reading section takes 54 minutes; the Listening section takes approximately 41 minutes. You will then get a 10-minute break. Afterward, you will move on to the Speaking section that takes between 14 and 18 minutes and the Writing section that takes about 55 minutes.

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

IELTS ScoreTOEFL ScoreCEFRIELTS Description
9.0118-120C2Expert User
8.5115-117Very Good User
8.0110-114C1
7.5102-109Good User
7.094-101
6.579-93B2Competent User
6.060-78
5.546-59Modest User
5.035-45B1
4.532-34Limited User
0.0 – 4.00-31A1-B1Extremely Limited / Intermittent / Non Use

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 paper-delivered.

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?

Complete TOEFL Test #13 - Cover - Desktop

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.

Complete TOEFL Test #13 - Cover - Tablet
Ready to download the PDF version of your complete TOEFL practice test?

Well here it is: Complete TOEFL Test #13

Complete TOEFL Test #13 - Cover - Mobile

Do you have a question that is not listed here?
Let us know in the comments section below.

Good luck TOEFL takers 🙂

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