Frequently Asked Questions About Comparing TOEFL® Scores to Other Test Scores

How and by whom was the score comparison created? Was it created solely by ETS?
The score comparison tool was created by ETS researchers. It is based on the analysis of 1,153 individuals who took both the TOEFL® test and IELTS® academic module.
On what research is it based?
After a thorough analysis of 1,153 score reports for students who took both the TOEFL test and IELTS academic test between 2008 and 2009, the ETS-authorized comparison table was developed. Under this approach, TOEFL iBT® score ranges are identified for test takers meeting a particular score level on the equivalent IELTS score band. For example, a TOEFL score range between 32 and 34 corresponds to an IELTS score of 4.5. View the score comparison.
How does this map to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)? In particular, what score is considered C1 status?
The newly released comparison tool developed by ETS does not provide a direct comparison to the CEFR. However, the table that maps the CEFR to the TOEFL test is also provided to assist the user. For example, a TOEFL score range from 110–120 maps to C1 status on the CEFR. The comparison table then can be used to see how the TOEFL score maps to the IELTS score. In this example, a TOEFL score in the range of 110–114 maps to an IELTS score of 8 and the TOEFL score in the range of 115–117 maps to an IELTS score of 8.5.
We require a minimum TOEFL score of 80. What is the conversion for the IELTS score?
A TOEFL score of 80 falls within the TOEFL 79 to 93 score range, which corresponds to an IELTS score of 6.5.
A student who is applying to our university received a 7.0 on his IELTS academic test. Is this equivalent to a 98 on the TOEFL test?
Using the comparison table, this student would be expected to receive a corresponding TOEFL score between 94 and 101. The comparison table may be used to look up a corresponding TOEFL score given an IELTS score. Similarly, the table may be used to look up a corresponding IELTS score given a TOEFL score.
My university requires a TOEFL Speaking section score of 21. What information does the comparison tool provide about TOEFL subscores?
The comparison tool for each TOEFL section (listening, speaking, reading and writing) score works in the same way as the total TOEFL score. For example, a TOEFL speaking section score of 21 falls within the TOEFL 20 to 22 score range, which corresponds to an IELTS speaking section score of 6.5. See the Supplementary Comparison Tables for TOEFL iBT® Section Scores for more information.
The score comparison reviews the TOEFL iBT test and the IELTS academic module. Is there a conversion chart for the TOEFL paper-based test?
The tools only compare the TOEFL iBT test and IELTS academic test.
Why is ETS now issuing a score comparison for the TOEFL test and the IELTS test?
The Internet contains many score comparisons, none of which appear to be based on research. ETS's goal is to help higher education institutions make the best admissions decisions with objective, research-based information.

IELTS is a registered trademark of the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations Syndicate.

 

TOEFL Institutions

FACT: 4 out of 5 Institutions Prefer the TOEFL Test

Among admissions officers surveyed, and who expressed a preference*, four out of five prefer the TOEFL test.

* Source: Survey of 263 admissions officers at U.S. universities, of which 212 accept both the TOEFL test and the IELTS™ test and 152 state a preference.

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