The Performance of Non-Native Speakers of English on TOEFL® and Verbal Aptitude Tests

Angelis, Paul J.; Swinton, Spencer S.; Cowell, William R.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-79-07, TOEFL-RR-03
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Aptitude tests English tests foreign language tests Graduate Record Examinations Scholastic Aptitude Test scores Test of English as a Foreign Language Test of Standard Written English verbal ability


The performance of two groups of non-native English speakers on the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL®) and an appropriate verbal aptitude test was examined. One group of graduate applicants took both TOEFL and the verbal section of the Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®). Another group of undergraduate applicants took TOEFL, the verbal section of the College Board® Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT®), and the Test of Standard Written English (TSWE). Data are presented showing how native and non-native speakers compare on each set of tests. Information is also provided to aid in interpreting test results for non-native speakers who have taken both types of tests. The appendix to the report summarizes item reviews, by specialists in English as a second language, which suggest future directions for TOEFL test development.

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