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TOEFL iBT® Test Scores

Improvements to the TOEFL iBT® test are here! Get all the details about the upcoming TOEFL iBT test enhancements

Your scores are based on your performance on the questions in the test. You must answer at least 1 question each in the Reading and Listening sections, write at least 1 essay, and complete at least 1 speaking task to receive an official score. For the TOEFL iBT® test, administered via the internet, you will receive 4 scaled section scores and a total score:

  • Reading Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Listening Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Speaking Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Writing Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Total Score (0–120)

MyBest Scores

All TOEFL iBT score reports sent after August 1, 2019, regardless of the test administration date, automatically include MyBest scores along with the traditional scores from your selected test date. This new feature combines your best scores for each section from all of your valid TOEFL iBT scores in the last 2 years to give you a way to show your best overall test performance, like this:

This image shows a single student test score where scores for reading, listening, speaking, writing and a total score are shown on the left, and the right image is showing the test takers MyBest score for each section from all of their valid TOEFL scores in the last 2 years.

Acceptable Scores or Score Requirements

There is no passing or failing TOEFL® score; individual higher education institutions and agencies set their own score requirements. If you have questions about how your scores are used or interpreted, contact the institution or agency directly.

Score Validity

TOEFL scores remain valid for 2 years after the test date. Because language proficiency can change considerably in a relatively short period of time, TOEFL scores more than 2 years old cannot be reported or verified.

The Way the Test Is Scored

ETS uses both human raters and automated scoring to offer a complete and accurate picture of a test taker's ability. While automated scoring has its advantages, it does not measure the effectiveness of the language response and the appropriateness of its content. Human raters are needed to attend to a wider variety of features, such as the quality of ideas and content as well as form.

Additionally, studies have shown that tasks designed for fully automated scoring have been more vulnerable to prompt-specific preparation and memorized responses.

The TOEFL test uses automated scoring to complement human scoring for the tasks in the Speaking and Writing sections. Combining human judgment for content and meaning, and automated scoring for linguistic features, ensures consistent, quality scores.

How We Ensure Quality

ETS raters are trained extensively, pass a certification test and are calibrated daily. The calibration includes task familiarization, guidance on scoring the task, and practice on a range of responses. Raters are continuously monitored for accuracy by ETS scoring leaders and checked each time they score a new test question.

Rating Is Kept Apart from Test Administration

To ensure the security and integrity of scores, it is critical that scoring not take place at test sites, but rather through a centralized scoring network that implements and ensures consistent scoring standards. The TOEFL test is scored by a network of raters, carefully controlled from a secure central location. ETS uses a highly diverse pool of raters rather than those exclusive to an applicant's country of origin, and ETS raters score responses without knowing the test taker’s identity for truly objective scoring. Multiple raters' judgments contribute to each test taker's Speaking and Writing section scores to minimize rater bias.

Who Accepts TOEFL Scores

More than 10,000 institutions in over 150 countries accept TOEFL scores. For more information, see Who Accepts TOEFL Scores.

See also:

 

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