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Interpreting TOEFL® Scores

There is a score range of 0–30 for each skill measured on the test. That score range is broken down into 4 or 5 proficiency levels to help you more accurately assess a test taker's skill.

SkillProficiency Level
Reading Advanced (24–30)
High-Intermediate (18–23)
Low-Intermediate (4–17)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)
Listening Advanced (22–30)
High-Intermediate (17–21)
Low-Intermediate (9–16)
Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)
Speaking* Advanced (25–30)
High-Intermediate (20–24)
Low-Intermediate (16–19)
Basic (10–15)
Below Basic (0–9)
Writing Advanced (24–30)
High-Intermediate (17–23)
Low-Intermediate (13–16)
Basic (7–12)
Below Basic (0–6)

* The Speaking section is included in the TOEFL iBT® test only. The revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test includes only the Reading, Listening, and Writing sections. The score ranges and proficiency levels are the same on both tests for these 3 sections.

Scoring Resources and Other Information

  • Performance Descriptors for the TOEFL iBT Test
  • Scoring Guides (Rubrics) for Speaking Responses
  • Scoring Guides (Rubrics) for Writing Responses
  • Vol. 3: Reliability and Comparability of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • Vol. 3: Reliability and Comparability of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • An introduction for nonexperts to the key assessment concept of reliability, describing areas of practice that ETS uses to ensure that TOEFL iBT scores are reliable and comparable across forms.
    • Download Volume 3 | File size: 742 kb
  • Vol. 4: Validity Evidence Supporting the Interpretation and Use of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • Vol. 4: Validity Evidence Supporting the Interpretation and Use of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • An introduction to the central notion of score validity and a presentation of the validity argument for the TOEFL iBT test, including summaries of research investigating key test claims.
    • Download Volume 4 | File size: 686 kb

Test Forms with Omitted Sections

ETS administers some TOEFL iBT test forms with 1 or more sections omitted. When 1 of these forms is administered, scores are given only for the sections that were taken, and no total test score appears on the score report. If an institution receives such a score report and desires more information about the circumstances under which the test was administered, the institution should contact the test taker.

Test Taker Score Issues

If you have a concern about a test taker's TOEFL scores, please fill out the TOEFL iBT® Score Inquiry Form and send it to communicatetestsecurity@ets.org.