What is a Good TOEFL Listening Score?

4 minute read
What is a Good TOEFL Listening Score

Those who take or intend to take the TOEFL exam often have this query: What is a good TOEFL Listening Score? Securing admission to esteemed academic institutions necessitates a robust TOEFL score, with the Listening section playing a pivotal role. This comprehensive guide navigates through the intricacies of TOEFL Listening scores, unravelling the notion of an exemplary score and equipping you with strategies to excel in this critical section. Acquiring a good TOEFL listening score is crucial for candidates to bolster their chances of securing a good overall score. 


TOEFL Listening encompasses a series of audio clips, mirroring academic scenarios such as university lectures and conversations. Test-takers are required to answer questions based on the information presented in these audio segments, thereby gauging their ability to grasp auditory content effectively. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a quintessential assessment for non-native English speakers seeking higher education opportunities. The Listening section, one of its core components, evaluates your aptitude for comprehending spoken English – an indispensable skill for academic and real-world contexts. Read the article to learn more about what is a good TOEFL listening score.

What is a Good TOEFL Listening Score?

A score of 22 to 30 is typically deemed to be a good TOEFL listening score across most of the major institutions globally. Defining an optimal TOEFL Listening score involves a multifaceted analysis, considering both percentiles and school-specific prerequisites. These criteria collectively outline the benchmarks for satisfactory performance in the Listening section.

  1. Using Percentiles to Evaluate Your Score:
  • Percentiles provide a contextual understanding of your performance relative to other test-takers. Attaining an above-average score corresponds to a percentile above 50. For instance, achieving a score of 21 aligns with moderate performance, while surpassing 26 or 29 places you among the higher achievers.
  1. Leveraging School Requirements to Set Your Score Goal:
  • Customizing your score objective to align with your preferred institutions’ expectations is a strategic approach. Thoroughly research the TOEFL score prerequisites of the universities you aspire to attend. Meeting or exceeding these requirements ensures that your TOEFL Listening score aligns with the standards of your desired schools.

How to Score Well in the TOEFL Listening Exam?

Following are some tips for readers who are interested in taking the TOEFL Exam to ace the listening section-

  1. Cultivate the ability to absorb and comprehend auditory content by actively engaging with a diverse range of spoken English materials, such as podcasts, lectures, and interviews.
  2. Efficient note-taking during the audio segments is crucial. Focus on capturing key points, main ideas, and supporting details. This practice aids in retaining information and provides a valuable reference during question answering.
  3. Consistent practice is the cornerstone of success. Engage in mock TOEFL Listening tests to simulate exam conditions and enhance your familiarity with question types and time constraints.
  4. Allocate appropriate time for each audio segment and corresponding questions. Efficient time management ensures that you can thoroughly comprehend the content and address all questions within the stipulated timeframe.
  5. Review and analyze your practice tests, identifying patterns of errors. This process helps you identify weak areas and rectify them before the actual exam.
  6. Expand your vocabulary to grasp a wider range of language nuances, aiding in understanding diverse accents and linguistic styles presented in the audio clips.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the test format and conditions. Mimicking the actual exam environment during practice sessions minimizes potential anxiety and boosts your confidence.

Marking Scheme of TOEFL Listening Section

It is imperative for individuals to streamline and navigate the listening section to good TOEFL Listening Scores.  Navigating the TOEFL Listening section necessitates a precise approach. Each correctly answered question contributes one point to your raw score. These raw scores are subsequently transformed into a scaled score, which ranges from 0 to 30. This scaled score becomes the foundation of your final TOEFL Listening score, reflecting your proficiency in comprehending spoken English.

The TOEFL Listening section score is determined by raw score conversion and percentile ranking. Test takers earn one point for each correct answer in the listening tasks. This raw score is then converted to a scaled score ranging from 0 to 30. Alternatively, percentiles indicate a candidate’s position relative to peers, with higher percentiles reflecting better performance. Universities may have specific score requirements for admission, encouraging candidates to aim for desired proficiency levels. Understanding this scoring process empowers test takers to set realistic goals and focus on areas needing improvement, enhancing their chances of success in the TOEFL Listening section and university admissions.


What is the average TOEFL score for listening?

The average TOEFL listening score, according to ETS, is approximately 20.2. This reflects the overall performance of test-takers in the listening section.

What is a good reading and listening score on TOEFL?

A good reading and listening score on TOEFL is around 22 points in each section. Achieving this level demonstrates strong language comprehension abilities.

Is 23 in TOEFL listening well?

Scoring 23 in TOEFL listening is considered above average. This suggests a commendable grasp of auditory content and language skills. 

What is a good TOEFL Listening score?

Scores ranging anywhere between 22 to 30 are considered to be good TOEFL Listening scores. 

This was all about “What is a Good TOEFL Listening Score?”. A commendable TOEFL Listening score serves as a gateway to academic success. By comprehending the interplay of percentiles and institution-specific requisites, you can confidently strategize your approach to achieving an impressive TOEFL Listening score. 

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