The TOEFL® program is pleased to announce the addition of MyBest™ scores to TOEFL iBT® score reports, beginning August 2019.
Created by the TOEFL program, MyBest scores allow you to see your applicants’ best test performance when evaluating their English proficiency, which will help you select the best international applicants for your program.
How Do They Work?
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 scores in the last 2 years. All TOEFL iBT score reports sent after August 1, 2019, will include both the applicant’s MyBest scores and the scores from their selected test date, like in this example:
How Are They Helpful?
Here are some important things to know about MyBest scores:
- MyBest scores are valid. Research from the testing experts at ETS shows that MyBest scores and single test date scores are both valid measures of English-language proficiency.
- You can widen your pool of qualified applicants that meet your English-language requirements when you let students show their best performance with MyBest scores.
- Using MyBest scores is easy. The TOEFL iBT score scale remains the same, and there is no need to change your score requirements.
It's your choice whether or not to accept MyBest scores, based on your institution's needs and goals. Either way, you will continue to get each applicant's TOEFL scores from a single test date, as you always have. You may also want to update your website, to make it clear that your institution accepts MyBest scores.
Explore the rationale behind MyBest scores.
How Will I Receive Them?
If you currently accept TOEFL scores, find your score delivery method below to see how MyBest scores will look for you.
ETS® Data Manager
In ETS® Data Manager, each score report automatically includes MyBest scores, so no action is required on your part. The score report looks like this:
Important: If you are using the Scorelink® service report format in ETS Data Manager, you will need to modify your system to accept the following new fields.
These fields start at the end of the current dataset (identified as "Filler"). See below for an example of the new layout. If you have any questions about this option, please contact Code Control at email@example.com.
Start End Size Data Format CL Field Name Comments A N 773 781 08 CH X Report Date YYYYMMDD 782 783 2 CH X MBS IBT Listening 00-30 784 791 8 CH X MBS IBT Listening Admin Date YYYYMMDD 792 793 2 CH X MBS IBT Reading 00-30 794 801 8 CH X MBS IBT Reading Admin Date YYYYMMDD 802 803 2 CH X MBS IBT Writing 00-30 804 811 8 CH X MBS IBT Writing Admin Date YYYYMMDD 812 813 2 CH X MBS IBT Speaking 00-30 814 821 8 CH X MBS IBT Speaking Admin Date YYYYMMDD 822 823 3 CH X MBS IBT Total Score 000-120 824 900 Filler For future use
Automated Server-to-Server Feeds
Important: If you receive scores electronically, adding scores will require a minor change to your TOEFL test dataset layout, so that the scores can be available to you when they are first released in August 2019.
If you or your third-party vendor are using Scorelink service delivery, see below for the new layout. If you have any questions about this option, please contact Code Control at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start End Size Data Format CL Field Name Comments A N 773 774 2 CH X MBS IBT Listening 00 to 30 for test date 775 782 8 CH X MBS IBT Listening Admin Date YYYYMMDD 783 784 2 CH X MBS IBT Reading 00-30 785 792 8 CH X MBS IBT Reading Admin Date YYYYMMDD 793 794 2 CH X X MBS IBT Writing 00-30 795 802 8 CH X MBS IBT Writing Admin Date YYYYMMDD 803 804 2 CH X MBS IBT Speaking 00-30 805 812 8 CH X MBS IBT Speaking Admin Date YYYYMMDD 813 815 3 CH X MBS IBT Total Score 000-120 816 900 Filler For future use
Paper Score Reports
If you receive TOEFL scores via paper score reports, MyBest scores will be displayed on the score report like this:
Not a current ETS Data Manager user?
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If you have any questions about how you can use MyBest scores, please contact TOEFL Client Relations at 1-609-683-2008 or TOEFLNews@ets.org.
If you have any technical questions about receiving MyBest scores at your institution, please contact Code Control at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are 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 scores in the last 2 years.
- Are MyBest scores valid?
- Yes. MyBest scores are valid indicators of performance as they are drawn from all valid test scores within a 2-year period.
- External studies have shown that superscores have similar score validity to other commonly used scoring methods, such as use of the most recent test scores or use of the average scores across all retests.
- ETS researchers conducted a study that compared TOEFL iBT test takers’ MyBest scores and their most recent scores, using all test takers who repeated the test within a recent 2-year window. Study results indicated that typically there is only a small difference in total scores between the most recent testing and the MyBest scores.
- Explore the rationale behind MyBest scores.
- Why is ETS providing MyBest scores for the TOEFL iBT test?
- Superscoring standardized test scores is an increasingly popular practice in university admissions. ETS surveyed hundreds of institutions that receive TOEFL scores, and the results showed that, when given the choice, they prefer receiving MyBest scores in addition to scores from a single test date, over either set of scores alone.*
- We reviewed the research in the field on the practice of superscoring and did our own study on the use of MyBest scores. Both show that MyBest scores are a valid measure of English abilities, comparable to the validity of scores from a single test date.
- Using MyBest scores provides institutions and students with more options than before. Institutions may find that when students are able to show their best performance, more talented students will be able to meet admissions requirements. If a school reports on their website that they are using MyBest scores, more students may decide to apply. Having more applications allows institutions to select those students who are the best fit.
* Source: Survey of 251 administrators from universities that accept TOEFL scores.
- Why are MyBest scores a good thing for my university?
MyBest scores improve your admissions options and could increase and widen your pool of applicants. Accepting MyBest scores can result in additional talented students meeting your admissions requirements, rather than failing to qualify because of 1 point in 1 section on a single test date.
- How should I use MyBest scores in my admissions process?
MyBest scores represent the highest level of English proficiency the test taker has been able to demonstrate on the TOEFL iBT test over a 2-year period instead of on a single test date. We suggest you use MyBest scores in the same way you would use scores achieved on a single test date. Research shows that MyBest scores are a valid measure of English proficiency.
- If we use MyBest scores, do we have to change our minimum score requirements?
No, there is no need to change your score requirements. Your requirements indicate the minimum level of ability you want your applicants to achieve in order to manage academic work at your institution. With MyBest scores, your applicants may be able to demonstrate they can meet your standards sooner and with less testing.
- Does the use of MyBest scores encourage more frequent test taking?
No, we believe MyBest scores will discourage more frequent testing. Test takers often will repeat the test until they get the scores they need. With MyBest scores, they may be able to reach their target scores with fewer tests. Overall, we anticipate that the number of times people test will decline, not increase, as a result of MyBest scores.
- Will MyBest test scores be reported in the TOEFL test dataset layout and be visible in the ETS Data Manager?
Yes, MyBest scores will be visible in the dedicated fields in the TOEFL test dataset layout and in the ETS Data Manager.
- Could a test taker’s reported MyBest scores change during the 2-year period the scores are valid?
Yes, the reported MyBest scores could change over the 2-year period to reflect subsequent test taking or the expiration of scores more than 2 years old. As long as the scores are still within the 2-year validity period and no scores have been cancelled, the MyBest scores will not go down, although they could go up.
- I have 2 score reports for a test taker and the MyBest scores are different. Why is that?
A test taker’s MyBest scores could change from one score report to another to reflect subsequent test taking or the expiration of scores more than 2 years old.
- If our university decides not to use MyBest scores, can ETS send scores without them?
No, all TOEFL iBT score reports will automatically include MyBest scores. The university is free to decide not to use them for decision making.
- Are you informing software providers like Slate of this change?
Yes, we are reaching out to software providers to inform them of this change so they can adjust their systems.
- How will MyBest scores be impacted if scores from a single test date are cancelled?
Since MyBest scores are calculated based on all valid test scores, the MyBest scores could change if a score is cancelled.
- How do I let applicants know what our policy is on using MyBest scores?
We suggest you notify prospective applicants of your policy on your website, using statements such as:
- [YOUR INSTITUTION NAME] accepts MyBest™ scores for the TOEFL iBT® test, in addition to TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date.
- [YOUR INSTITUTION NAME] only accepts TOEFL iBT® scores from a single test date, not MyBest™ scores.
- Does the addition of MyBest scores affect the security of the test?
No. The TOEFL iBT test continues to implement the highest security measures in the industry to prevent and detect fraud. For example, the TOEFL iBT test is the only English-proficiency test to use Biometric Voice Identification, which creates a unique voice print for every test taker. This can help us confirm whether the person who took the test the first time is the same person who took it the second and subsequent times.
- Is the single test date on the score report always the most recent test, or is it one that the test taker picks?
Just as with our current practice, scores from a single test date are selected by the test taker to be sent by ETS.
- Will MyBest scores impact the TOEFL® Search Service?
At present, the TOEFL Search Service will continue to provide information by single test date and will not include MyBest score data.