TOEFL® Advisor Quarterly

May 2012


UKBA TOEFL iBT® Score Adjustment

Great news! ETS has adjusted the TOEFL® scores required by the UKBA, so that they more closely reflect performances described in CEFR levels. 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. Since then, we have 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. We have used this feedback to help us with recommendations for score adjustments.

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 practices, ETS adjusted the TOEFL score requirements by SEMs.

Category Minimum
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
  Spouses & Partners A1–B1 Listening — 9
Speaking — 5

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

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