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Setting TOEFL® Score Requirements

Institutions that use TOEFL® scores set their own score requirements. But how do you set score requirements that help you bring in the right applicants? Setting requirements too high may limit your applicant pool, which means you may be rejecting qualified applicants. But setting them too low can lead to accepting students who may not have the English-language skills to succeed at your institution.

If your TOEFL iBT®, IELTS® and Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) requirements are not aligned, you might be turning away well-qualified applicants or excluding them entirely because they do not apply. Make sure you're not missing out!

Compare Scores

Here are some tips to help you set your score requirements.

  • Use all score information, not only the total score. Section scores can distinguish one applicant from another and provide a more complete picture.
  • Review section scores routinely, and consider setting minimum section score requirements for the skills that are most important to success in your program.
  • Set flexible scores initially.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of your score requirements.
  • Consider whether English language learning support is available at your institution. If it is not available, an initial higher level of proficiency may be needed.

Note: We encourage you to post your TOEFL Destination Code and TOEFL score requirements — including whether or not you accept MyBest scores — on your website.

MyBest Scores

MyBest scores — sometimes generically called superscores — are the combination of an applicant's best scores for each test section from all of their valid TOEFL iBT® scores in the last 2 years. TOEFL iBT score reports sent after August 1, 2019, include both the scores from a single test date selected by the test taker and the MyBest scores as shown in the example below:

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.

Accepting MyBest Scores

It's your choice whether or not to accept MyBest scores, based on your institution's needs and goals. Here are some important facts to consider when making your decision.

  • MyBest scores are valid. Research shows that MyBest scores and test date scores are both valid measures of English-language proficiency.
  • Accepting MyBest scores widens your qualified applicant pool. Allowing students to leverage their best performance on each section means that more students will meet your English-language requirements.
  • Using MyBest scores is easy. The TOEFL iBT score scale remains the same, and there is no need to change your score requirements.

Whatever your choice, you will continue to get each applicant's TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, as you always have.

Need Help?

For assistance in setting TOEFL iBT score requirements, email TOEFLNews@ets.org or call +1-609-683-2008.

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

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