UKBA TOEFL iBT® Score Adjustment

In 2006, as the TOEFL iBT® test was being introduced, ETS conducted a standard setting exercise with educators to map the new scores to CEFR levels. In subsequent years, ETS has received feedback from universities and teachers of English that the actual level of performance of students on the test is not consistent with scores identified at various CEFR levels. Based on this feedback from the field, ETS has adjusted the TOEFL scores required by the UKBA, so scores more closely reflect performance described in CEFR levels.

ETS adjusted TOEFL iBT scores using the test's Standard Error of Measurement (SEM). An SEM is found in every test, and quantifies the reliability of test scores; that is, the extent to which test takers would earn the same test score if they took different versions of the test on different occasions. Using commonly accepted educational measurement practice, ETS adjusted the TOEFL score requirements by two SEMs.

UKBA Visa Tier Category Minimum CEFR Level Requirement Minimum TOEFL iBT Score Requirement
1 Highly Skilled Workers – General C1 Listening — 22
Reading — 24
Speaking — 25
Writing — 24
2 Minister of Religion B2 Listening — 17
Reading — 18
Speaking — 20
Writing — 17
2 Skilled Worker – General B1 Listening — 9
Reading — 4
Speaking — 16
Writing — 13
4 Students enrolling on a course at NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 or above (degree or above) B2 Listening — 17
Reading — 18
Speaking — 20
Writing — 17
4 Students enrolling on a course at NQF 3–5/QCF 3–5/SCQF 6–8 (non-degree) B1 Listening — 9
Reading — 4
Speaking — 16
Writing — 13
5 Spouses & Partners A1–B1 Listening — 9
Speaking — 5

ETS will continue to look at the relationship between TOEFL scores and the CEFR in order to support good decision making.

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