Frequently Asked Questions About the TOEFL®
PBT Test

About the Test

What is the test like?

The TOEFL® PBT test, administered in a paper-based format, has three sections and a 30-minute writing test, the Test of Written English® (TWE®) test. It takes about four hours. There is no scheduled break.

Test Section Time Limit No. of Questions
TOEFL PBT Listening Comprehension 30–40 minutes 50
TOEFL PBT Structure and Written Expression 25 minutes 40
TOEFL PBT Reading Comprehension 55 minutes 50
TWE Test of Written English 30 minutes 1 topic
What am I tested on in each section?
  • Listening Comprehension measures the ability to understand spoken English as it is used in a university classroom.
  • Structure and Written Expression measures the ability to recognize language appropriate for standard written English.
  • Reading Comprehension measures the ability to understand non-technical reading material written in English.
  • The TWE test measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic.
Are all the questions multiple-choice?
Most of the questions are multiple-choice.
Do I have to take the TWE® test?
Yes. You have to take the TWE test if you are taking the TOEFL PBT. There is no additional charge for the TWE test.
If I am running out of time, should I guess or leave some answers blank?
  • Make every effort to complete each section. Data indicate most test takers get higher scores if they finish the test.
  • There is a chance that random guessing at the end of a section can seriously lower scores. The best strategy is to pace yourself so you have enough time to consider each question without guessing.

Registration

How and when do I register to take the test?
You can register online or by mail. Review the list of TOEFL PBT test centers and dates and find additional registration information here.
How much does the TOEFL PBT cost?
The test fee is US$160. See TOEFL Testing and Service Fees for payment information.
When will I have my admission ticket?
If you do not receive your admission ticket by two weeks before the test date, contact TOEFL Services.
How do I cancel or reschedule my registration?

Test date changes are not permitted. If you do not take the test and do not wish to register for another date, you may request a partial refund of half the registration fee by submitting the Refund Request Form. If you wish to take the test on another date, submit a new registration form and test fee.

Do not contact the test center before the day of the test. Staff at the test center will not have the information necessary to assist you. Contact TOEFL Services if you need help.

What must I bring on test day?

You will need:

  • valid ID with your name, signature and photograph (see what to bring on test day)
  • your admission ticket
  • your signed Photo File Record with a recent, recognizable photo
  • three or four sharpened soft-lead (No. 2 or HB) pencils and a good eraser
  • the codes for the institutions you have selected to receive your scores
I have a disability. How will I be accommodated?

Accommodations are provided for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs who meet ETS requirements.

Please see Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs

On Test Day

What should I bring on test day?
See What to Bring on Test Day.
Are personal items allowed?

You can bring only your approved identification (ID) document(s).

See test day policies.

How do I earn a score on the test?
You must answer at least one question in each section and write one essay.
Can I be dismissed from the test center?
See dismissal from a test center.

Scores and Score Reports

How and when do I get my scores?

Score reports will be provided to you and the destinations you selected about five weeks after the test date. Allow 7–10 days after that for mail delivery within the continental United States, and additional time for other areas. If your scores have not been received seven weeks after your test date, contact TOEFL Services.

Your test fee includes one score report for you, and up to four official score reports sent from ETS to your selected institutions.

How do I order additional score reports?
  • By phone:
    • Call 1-609-771-7267 using a touch-tone phone.
    • Provide your seven-digit registration number (printed on your admission ticket), test date and date of birth.
    • Use a valid credit card or debit card — American Express®, Discover®, JCB®, MasterCard® or VISA®.
    • Provide a four-digit destination code and a two-digit department code.
  • By fax or mail:
  • Or Mail to:
    • ETS-ASR
      P.O. Box 371463
      Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7463 USA
  • Send by Courier or Delivery Service to:
    • TOEFL® Services (25Q-310)
      Distribution and Receiving Center
      225 Phillips Boulevard
      Ewing, NJ 08618-1426 USA

Read more about ordering additional score reports.

What is the score scale for the TOEFL PBT?
  • Listening: 31–68
  • Structure and Written Expression: 31–68
  • Reading: 31–67
  • Total: 310–677
  • TWE (on a separate scale): 0–6
Is my TWE score part of my TOEFL PBT total score?
No. Your score report shows the TWE score separately.
How long will my scores be valid?
Scores are valid for two years after the test date.
How can I cancel my scores?
Complete the score cancellation section of your answer sheet, or contact TOEFL Services immediately after the test.