TOEFL Essentials 2024: Eligibility, Registration, Exam Pattern & More 

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TOEFL Essentials Test: The test stands as a streamlined assessment designed to gauge the proficiency of test takers in core English language skills for academic and professional settings. This test caters to individuals seeking to demonstrate their English capabilities in a time-efficient manner. 


The test emphasises core competencies in listening, reading, writing, and speaking, employing an adaptive format that tailors the difficulty level to the test taker’s performance. This targeted approach offers a concise evaluation while maintaining the integrity of the assessment process. That said, read the entire blog to learn more about the test. 

Understanding TOEFL Essentials: An Overview

The TOEFL Test was launched by ETS  ( the conducting body of the TOEFL exam) on August 21, 2021. This rendition of the TOEFL iBT was designed in response to the various challenges posed by test-takers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new iteration addresses the needs of universities that, due to COVID-19 disruptions, had to loosen testing requirements or accept alternative English proficiency exams.

While these alternative tests may have been more affordable or convenient, concerns arose about their ability to accurately assess a candidate’s English skills. The TOEFL test aims to fill this gap by providing a high-quality, reliable option that maintains the rigorous standards of the TOEFL brand.

This insinuates that universities can be confident that TOEFL Essentials scores accurately reflect a candidate’s ability to succeed in an academic environment. As you continue reading, you’ll gain a detailed understanding of the specific areas tested on the TOEFL Essentials, allowing you to prepare effectively and showcase your English proficiency.

TOEFL iBT Vs TOEFL Essentials: Major Differences

Feeling overwhelmed by the task of choosing between either TOEFL iBT or TOEFL Essentials? You’re not alone! Both tests assess English proficiency but cater to slightly different needs. Refer to the table below to go through the key differences between TOEFL iBT and TOEFL Essentials. 

Feature TOEFL iBT TOEFL Essentials
FocusAcademic English Academic & Everyday English
Length & Format3 hours, Traditional format1.5 hours, Faster-paced, Adaptive format
CostMore expensive, Limited free score reportsMore cost-effective, Free reports to unlimited institutions
Scoring Scores each section (0-30), Total score (0-120), No “MyBest Scores”Single overall score, “MyBest Scores” across attempts (2 years)
University Acceptance Widely acceptedGrowing acceptance, Verify with target universities
Ideal ForUniversity admissions (academic English required)Faster test, Broader skills, “MyBest Scores” (if accepted by universities)

In short, the TOEFL test in 2024 offers a fast, flexible, and cost-effective way to showcase your English language proficiency in both academic and broader contexts.

What to Choose: TOEFL iBT or TOEFL Essential

So, which test should you take? To help you navigate this crucial decision, consider these key factors:

  • University Acceptance: The TOEFL iBT enjoys near-universal acceptance by universities worldwide. If you’re targeting top institutions with rigorous academic programs, the iBT is the safer choice.
  • Testing Time: The faster-paced TOEFL (90 minutes) might be a better fit if time constraints are a concern. However, ensure the universities you’re applying to accept this format.
  • Focus of Study: If your academic journey leans heavily towards specialized subjects, the iBT’s in-depth academic assessment can be the best fit for you. If you’re applying to a broader range of programs, Essentials’ balance between academic and everyday English might be a good fit.
What to Choose: TOEFL iBT or TOEFL Essential

TOEFL Essentials: Eligibility Criteria 2024

Individuals intending to take the TOEFL Test must meet the following set of eligibility criteria. Have a look at the following list of requirements if you wish to take the TOEFL Test in the academic year 2024-2025. 

Particular Minimum Requirement
AgeThere is no minimum or maximum age requirement to take the TOEFL Essentials test.
Educational BackgroundThere is no specific educational qualification required for taking the TOEFL Essentials Test.  
However, since it assesses skills relevant to university settings, candidates who have completed their secondary education (high school diploma or equivalent) are generally considered to be strong applicants.
University Requirements While you may be eligible to take the TOEFL Essentials, remember that universities set their own admissions requirements.
 Make sure to check with your target institutions to confirm if they accept TOEFL Essentials scores.
Who Can Take the ExamThe TOEFL Essentials test is designed to be accessible to a wide range of test-takers. 
As long as you are interested in demonstrating your English proficiency, you can likely register for the test.

Cost of Taking the TOEFL Essentials Test for International Students? 

The official fee set by ETS (Educational Testing Service) for the TOEFL test ranges from USD 100 to USD 120, depending on your location.

TOEFL Essentials Test Registration 2024: Step-By-Step Process

Refer to the following points to register for the TOEFL Test in 2024. Here’s how to register: 

  • There are no strict age or educational background limitations, but the test focuses on skills relevant to universities. Consider if you’ve completed secondary education (high school diploma or equivalent).
  • Then, confirm if your target universities accept TOEFL scores.
  • Furthermore, use your ETS account to navigate the registration process, select your preferred test date, and test centre (if applicable for at-home testing), and complete the payment.
  • Before registering, verify that your computer and testing environment meet the at-home testing requirements outlined on the ETS website.
  • Review the official TOEFL Essentials Information Bulletin. This document provides comprehensive details on registration, including forms, score reporting information, policies, and procedures. You can find it on the ETS website.
  • the test.

By following these steps and considering the additional tips, you can register for the TOEFL Essentials Test in 2024 and showcase your English language proficiency.

How to Reschedule the TOEFL Essentials Test? 

There’s a four-day window to change your TOEFL Essentials test date. To avoid losing your test fee, you’ll need to reschedule by the Monday before a Friday test, or four full days ahead of any other scheduled date. Keep in mind there’s a $30 fee to reschedule, which you’ll need to pay upfront before booking your new test date.

How to Cancel the TOEFL Essentials Test?

To get half your registration fee back (50% refund), you’ll need to cancel at least four full days before your scheduled test date. Missing this deadline means you won’t be eligible for any refund. You have two options for cancelling: through your ETS account or by phone.

If you choose to cancel by phone, be prepared to provide your appointment number and the full name you used when registering for the test. This will help the ETS representative process your cancellation quickly.

TOEFL Essentials Test: Slot Booking in 2024

The TOEFL Essentials test doesn’t use the traditional concept of “slot booking” since it’s offered in a more flexible format compared to the TOEFL iBT. Here’s how test scheduling works for the TOEFL in 2024:

At-Home Testing Advantage:

The TOEFL test is primarily designed as an at-home test, allowing you to schedule your exam with greater convenience. This eliminates the need to secure a specific slot at a physical test centre.

Scheduling Window:

You can schedule your TOEFL test as early as 24 hours after registering for it on the ETS website. This provides significant flexibility compared to fixed test dates offered by traditional exams.


Test appointments are available 24 hours a day, but currently only one day per week. This means you can choose a time that best suits your schedule within that designated day. ETS might expand availability to more days in the future, so keep an eye on their website for updates.

By understanding this unique scheduling system, you can effectively plan your TOEFL Essentials test experience in 2024. Remember to check the ETS website for any updates regarding test availability.

TOEFL Essentials Test Format 2024

The TOEFL Essentials test offers a streamlined approach to assessing English language skills for academic and professional purposes. While its structure shares similarities with the TOEFL iBT test format, the Essentials version prioritises efficiency and focuses on core competencies.

The most notable distinction lies in the overall testing duration. The TOEFL Essentials compresses the entire evaluation into a manageable 1.5 hours, a significant reduction compared to the 3-hour commitment required by the TOEFL iBT. This condensed format benefits test-takers by minimising test anxiety and time constraints.

To provide a clearer understanding of the TOEFL Essentials test format, let’s delve deeper into each section and the types of tasks you can expect to encounter:

  • Listening (approximately 30 minutes): This section presents you with audio recordings in both academic and everyday English settings, ranging from lectures and conversations to announcements. The recordings are followed by multiple-choice questions designed to gauge your ability to grasp key points and crucial details within the audio content.
  • Reading (approximately 40 minutes): Passages on a variety of academic and everyday topics will challenge you to comprehend the main ideas, identify supporting arguments, and understand the author’s intended message. The question format can include multiple-choice, select-multiple-answers, or short-answer responses.
  • Writing (approximately 30 minutes): This section assesses your written communication skills through a variety of tasks. You might be required to construct grammatically correct sentences, craft emails for specific purposes, describe images related to academic contexts, or express and support an opinion through well-structured arguments.
  • Speaking (approximately 20 minutes): The Speaking section evaluates your spoken English proficiency through two distinct tasks. In the independent task, you’ll be presented with a prompt on a familiar topic and asked to respond. The integrated task involves listening to a brief passage, followed by speaking about the content of the passage and its connection to a follow-up question.

Refer to the table below to get a gist of the overall test format of the TOEFL Essentials Test in 2024. 

SectionDescriptionApproximate Time
Listening Academic & Everyday English Audio Recordings (lectures, conversations, announcements)30 Mins
Reading Academic & Everyday English Passages40 Mins
Writing Sentence building, emails, describing images, expressing opinions30 Mins
Speaking Independent & Integrated Speaking Tasks20 Mins

Benefits of Taking the TOEFL Essentials Test in 2024

Even in 2024, the TOEFL Essentials test offers several benefits to students seeking to demonstrate their English language proficiency for academic or other purposes. Here’s why taking the TOEFL Essentials could be your best option:

  • The TOEFL Essentials is designed to be a quicker and more engaging experience compared to the traditional TOEFL iBT. Shorter tasks and an adaptive format that adjusts to your skill level make the test less time-consuming and potentially less stressful.
  • While the TOEFL iBT primarily focuses on academic English, the Essentials test goes a step further. It assesses not only your ability to handle university lectures and coursework but also your proficiency in everyday English used in professional settings like internships and interviews. This makes your score more versatile and potentially useful beyond academic applications.
  • Unlike the TOEFL iBT, which limits free score reports to a few institutions, the Essentials test allows you to send your results to an unlimited number of universities at no extra charge. This can be a significant cost saver, especially if you’re applying to multiple programs.
  • The TOEFL Essentials offers a unique “MyBest Scores” feature. If you take the test multiple times within a two-year window, your score report will reflect the highest scores you achieved in each section across all your attempts. This provides an extra layer of security and can potentially boost your overall score.
  • Developed by the makers of the highly respected TOEFL iBT, the Essentials test maintains the same rigorous standards for scoring and security. This gives universities confidence in the validity of your results, potentially making your application stand out.

So that was all about the TOEFL Essential Test. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. How much is the fee for TOEFL Essentials?

Ans. Individuals intending to take the TOEFL Essentials Test must pay the requisite amount of USD 120. 

Q2. Do all universities accept TOEFL Essentials?

Ans. The TOEFL Essentials test covers the same skills as the TOEFL iBT, but fewer universities recognise it as proof of English proficiency.

Q3. What is the full score of TOEFL Essentials?

Ans. Your TOEFL Essentials score is a combination of your scores in each section. Each section (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) is graded on a scale of 1 to 12 in increments of 0.5. These individual scores are then averaged to create your overall TOEFL Essentials band score. This overall score can also range from 1 to 12 but is rounded to the nearest whole or half point.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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