Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

7 minute read
Test of English as a Foreign Language

If you are planning to study, work, or settle in an English-speaking country, you are required to qualify for an English test to prove your efficiency in the language. Even though there are a number of proficiency tests like IELTS and PTE, the type of exam you take depends on the country you wish to kickstart your career. Apart from the aforementioned exams, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is another popular language test which is conducted by the ETS. You can take TOEFL in iBT or PBT mode where the former is  Internet-based while the latter is conducted in offline mode. 


Exam Name TOEFL
TOEFL full form Test of English as a Foreign Language
Official Website https://www.ets.org/toefl
Conducting Body ETS (Educational Testing Service)
Widely popular as English language proficiency test
Generally accepted by Universities in the USA and Canada
Mode of exam TOEFL iBT: Internet-based test,  TOEFL Test on Paper and TOEFL at Home test
TOEFL iBT fee US$190
Score Range Reading: 0–30
Listening: 0–30
Speaking: 0–30Writing: 0–30

What is the TOEFL exam?

The TOEFL exam is a test of English proficiency for students who plan to study in English-speaking nations. For candidates looking to study abroad in an English-speaking setting, TOEFL scores have become an important part of the application process. TOEFL requirements are frequently waived, but this is entirely at the discretion of the university authorities. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, and ETS (Educational Testing Services) is in charge of administering the TOEFL exam, conducting the TOEFL iBT test, and sending each examinee their scorecard.

Currently, ETS offers the ETS TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test), which is the most popular exam and is administered at a TOEFL test centre, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, which is the same TOEFL iBT test you would take at a test centre, but now administered from the privacy of your own home and monitored online by a human proctor, and TOEFL iBT Academic Edition. The ETS TOEFL Test on Paper is the same as the TOEFL iBT test, but it is administered in two sessions, with the Reading, Listening, and Writing sections administered at a TOEFL test centre and the Speaking section administered at home on your computer three days after the paper sections. A human proctor will monitor your Speaking session online.

Must Read: TOEFL iBT

Why take the TOEFL exam?

The ETS TOEFL exam is typically taken by students who intend to pursue higher education in another country. Taking the TOEFL test would also qualify students for several scholarships and assist students and candidates seeking employment abroad with their visa application process. The ETS TOEFL Exam measures all four academic English skills – reading, listening, speaking, and writing – in the same way, that they are used in the college and university classrooms. The TOEFL test is designed to assess and grade candidates’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities in English. TOEFL is one of the most popular English-language tests for students who want to study abroad, and it is accepted at over 11,000 universities and institutions worldwide.

Where is TOEFL used?

Since the foreign language test examines the candidate’s reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills, the score obtained in this test is used by an array of universities, colleges, and organizations in 150 countries to grant admission to various courses.

  • As per the ETS estimates, 9 out of 10 universities in the USA prefer the TOEFL test score over other English language proficiency tests.
  • When it comes to studying in Canada, more than 80% of graduate programs offered by a multitude of universities accept TOEFL to grant admissions.
  • Apart from the above mentioned countries, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia accept the language test to offer various degree programs across disciplines.
  • Also, the immigration departments across English-speaking countries issue residential visas based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language score. 

Must Read: IELTS – Pattern, Eligibility, & More

Syllabus for TOEFL iBT

Like any other English exam, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests you on four parameters that include Speaking, Reading, Listening and Writing. Given below is a brief description of the various sections of this exam: 

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Reading: This section examines your reading ability. You will be required to read 3-4 comprehensions and answer 12-14 questions on each passage in the allotted time(50-70 minutes). 

Listening: The primary objective of this section is to examine the candidates listening comprehension ability. In this, you have to listen to short and long conversations,  besides classroom lectures and answer around 40 multiple-choice questions based on the same. 

Speaking: The speaking section is comparatively shorter but is perhaps the most challenging part of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Four questions are asked in this part which has to be completed in 17 minutes. The tasks given in the section are either based on situations or on personal experience. 

Writing: Two questions are asked from this section which has to be solved in the stipulated time(50 minutes). With an aim to examine the writing skills of the applicants, the section syllabus is bifurcated into individual and integrated writing. The integrated writing part involves reading and listening to a lecture excerpt and then summarising it in 150-225 words in 20 minutes. For individual writing, you will be required to write 300 words in 30 minutes on a given topic. The score is evaluated based on the coherence and grammatical correctness of the written portion. 

Must Read: TOEFL Syllabus 

Test of English as a Foreign Language: Score

Since each section of the exam has a maximum score of 30, the test is 120 marks. The score obtained is valid for only two years. Most of the top universities require scores in the range of 80-100 to grant admission. After completing the exam, you can send your TOEFL score to four institutions for no charge. In case you want to send it to more than four institutions, a fee of 1400 per report has to be paid. The valid TOEFL score is mailed to the universities or colleges within 13 days after you take the Test for English as a Foreign Language.

TOEFL scores are calculated using both human raters and automated scoring methods. This is done in order to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of the candidate’s abilities. While the automated scoring method is unbiased, it does not assess the effectiveness of the language and content. Human raters must consider a broader range of factors, such as the quality of ideas and content, as well as form. You must also answer at least one question in each section. You must answer at least one question for reading and listening. You must complete one task each for writing and speaking. The online TOEFL iBT test results are four-scaled, with a total score.

Must Read: How to Crack TOEFL in 3 Months?

TOEFL Exam Eligibility

Students who want to study abroad must take the TOEFL exam. Many students are confused about the TOEFL eligibility criteria. Candidates will be relieved to learn that ETS, the organisation in charge of administering the TOEFL iBT, has not specified any age requirements, educational qualifications, or prerequisites for taking the TOEFL test.

Age Requirements

ETS, the TOEFL exam’s administering body, has not established an age limit for candidates wishing to take the exam.

Educational Qualifications

While ETS has not specified any academic qualifications as part of the TOEFL eligibility criteria. Candidates should, however, ideally have passed their 10+2 from a recognised board to be eligible to apply to universities abroad for higher education, which could also double as TOEFL eligibility for appearing for the TOEFL exam.

TOEFL Exam Fee 2022

TOEFL Fees in India in 2022: The TOEFL exam registration fee varies by location. In India, the TOEFL exam costs US$190, or Rs. 14,242.11 ($1=74.96). Aside from that, candidates must pay extra for services such as late registration, rescheduling the exam, and score review. The prices of various services are listed below:

Special Requests Charges
TOEFL Registration Fee $190 (INR 15,459)
TOEFL Late Registration Fee $40 (INR 3,254)
TOEFL Rescheduling Fees $60 (INR 4,882)
Reinstatement of cancelled TOEFL scores $20 (INR 1,627)
Additional TOEFL score reports (per institution or agency) $20 each (INR 1,627 each)
Speaking or Writing Section score review $80 (INR 6,509)
Speaking and Writing Section score review $160 (INR 13,018)

Must read: TOEFL Scholarship

TOEFL: Exam Day Tips

We’ve compiled a list of the best TOEFL exam day tips to help you do your best on test day. When the big day arrives, the only thing you need to bring to your test centre is a valid and acceptable ID, which is a valid passport for Indians taking the test; there are no exceptions to this rule. Please keep in mind that your passport must be valid.

  • Any original document (photocopies not allowed)
  • Valid (expired documents are not allowed) 
  • Include your full name as it was entered during registration.
  • Include your photograph (a recent photo matching the test takers)
  • Have your signature ready.

Must Read: TOEFL Preparation Tips


Is TOEFL hard to pass?

When compared to other standardised tests such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE, the TOEFL is generally thought to be easier (assuming you have strong English skills) because it focuses on those English skills rather than mathematical equations or writing nuances.

What is a good score for TOEFL?

The typical TOEFL score is around 90. It can range from 85 to 95. A TOEFL score of 100 or higher is considered good.

Which is better IELTS or TOEFL?

The TOEFL is more commonly accepted by American institutions, while the IELTS is more commonly accepted abroad, but scores from either exam are accepted by many schools. However, a school’s preference for which test you take should be considered as well.

Hopefully, you are now familiar with the important details pertaining to the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Preparing for such competitive exams can be a challenging task. Thus, if you need any guidance on how to ace the exam, our Leverage Edu experts can lend you a helping hand and help you kick-start your career in your dream university. You can also book a free 30 minutes career counselling session with our mentors. Hurry up, book your slot now!

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