skip to main content skip to footer

The Performance of Native Speakers of English and ESL Speakers on the Computer-Based TOEFL and GRE General Test TOEFL GRE ESL

Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-02-16, TOEFL-RR-69
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), English as a Second Language (ESL), Native Speakers, Construct Validity, Score Interpretation


Native speakers performed well on the TOEFL® test, relative to ESL test takers and to the maximum possible scores on the test, and varied less in their test performance than did ESL test takers; TOEFL scores were highly but not perfectly correlated with the computer-based General Test scores for both groups of test takers; regressions of the General Test verbal scores on the TOEFL scores for ESL test takers were nonlinear, and the regressions of the other General Test scores were linear; and trends in the variances of the General Test verbal scores associated with TOEFL scores were also nonlinear, and the trends were either unsystematic or negatively linear for the other General Test scores. All of the findings are consistent with previous results with the paper-and-pencil TOEFL® test, support the construct validity of the TOEFL CBT, and illuminate its interplay with ability tests for ESL test takers.

Read More