skip to main content skip to footer

The TOEFL Native Country File: Detailed Data on Candidate Populations, 1977-1979 TOEFL

Wilson, Kenneth M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Bound Students, Foreign Students, Student Characteristics, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is designed to assess the English proficiency of individuals whose native language is not English. TOEFL International (Saturday) and Special Center (Friday) administrations are offered in over 850 testing centers located in over 135 countries (or territories). TOEFL programs have been used primarily to provide an objective measure of English proficiency for international students who wish to enter colleges or universities located in the USA or Canada as undergraduate or graduate students. These programs also serve individuals who need to demonstrate their English proficiency for other reasons, including those related to professional licensure or employment. Other reasons for taking TOEFL that candidates are asked to specify are "to enter a school other than a college or university," "to become licensed to practice my profession in the USA or Canada," "to demonstrate my proficiency in English to the company for which I work or expect to work," or "other than above." Between September 1977 and August 1979, inclusive, over 283,000 individuals took the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) one or more times in an International or Special Center test-adminstration, and designated a "native country" code, selected from a list of over 170 country-codes provided in the TOEFL Handbook for Applicants. Of these test takers, 234,738, or 83 percent, (a) designated as reasons for taking TOEFL, either "to enter a college or university as an undergraduate student," or "to a graduate student," and (b) indicated a"...plan to study for a degree in the USA or Canada." Data available in TOEFL files for this population of "prospective postsecondary-degree-planning examinees," were analyzed; data for candidates giving other reasons for taking TOEFL, who failed to indicate a reason, or who did not indicate plans to seek a degree in the USA or Canada (17 percent of the total) were not included in the analysis. During the study period, 163 countries were named as native countries by two or more degree planning TOEFL candidates. This report provides detailed tabular summaries of information about the candidate populations of 138 countries named as native countries by 10 or more degree planning candidates during the period under consideration. The tables show the distribution of candidates and mean TOEFL scores by level of degree, age, sex, location of test center, score reporting, and test repetition pattern, etc.

Read More