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Compare TOEFL® Scores

As the maker of the TOEFL® test, ETS aims to give you the information you need to make the best admissions decisions for your institution. That's why we've conducted research to develop these helpful tools that make it easier for you to compare TOEFL iBT® scores to the IELTS® academic module and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

TOEFL iBT® and IELTS® Academic Module Scores

Score Comparison Tool

Drag the slider to the TOEFL iBT Total Score (or enter it in the box below) to see the IELTS Overall Band Score.

An interactive tool to compare TOEFL scores to IELTS Band Sores. To make comparisons without using this tool, see the tables below.


ETS developed the score comparison tool to help score users make educated admissions decisions by allowing them to compare TOEFL iBT scores to IELTS Band Scores. The data is based on the analysis of 1,153 individuals who took both the TOEFL test and the IELTS academic test.

Comparison Tables

Based on the research reports that link TOEFL iBT scores to IELTS scores, ETS developed these comparison tables to help you make informed admissions decisions.

ETS does not endorse using the tables to calculate cut scores. Institutions wishing to set cut scores should study the 2 tests and work with test results to set cut scores that are appropriate to meet their specific needs.

0–31 0–4
32–34 4.5
35–45 5
46–59* 5.5
60–78* 6
79–93* 6.5
94–101* 7
102–109* 7.5
110–114 8
115–117 8.5
118–120 9
TOEFL ReadingIELTS Reading
0–2 0–4
3 4.5
4–7* 5
8–12* 5.5
13–18* 6
19–23* 6.5
24–26* 7
27–28* 7.5
29* 8
29* 8.5
30 9
TOEFL ListeningIELTS Listening
0–2 0–4
3 4.5
4–6 5
7–11* 5.5
12–19* 6
20–23* 6.5
24–26* 7
27* 7.5
28* 8
29* 8.5
30 9
TOEFL SpeakingIELTS Speaking
0–11 0–4
12–13 4.5
14–15* 5
16–17* 5.5
18–19* 6
20–22* 6.5
23* 7
24–25* 7.5
26–27* 8
28–29* 8.5
30 9
TOEFL WritingIELTS Writing
0–11 0–4
12–13 4.5
14–17* 5
18–20* 5.5
21–23* 6
24–26* 6.5
27–28* 7
29 7.5
30 8
30 8.5
30 9

* Indicates score comparison ranges with the highest degree of confidence. The data is based on the analysis of 1,153 individuals who took both the TOEFL test and the IELTS academic module.


Linking TOEFL iBT Scores to IELTS® Scores — A Research Report

ETS conducted score comparison research between the TOEFL test and an alternative test, IELTS academic. For the research, ETS obtained a sample of 1,153 students who had both IELTS and TOEFL scores. Under this approach, TOEFL iBT score ranges are identified for test takers meeting a particular score level on the equivalent IELTS score band. The score comparison results for each section (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) and for the total test showed that most of the students in the sample scored in the middle to mid-high score ranges on both tests.

TOEFL iBT Scores and the CEFR

As the TOEFL iBT test was being introduced, ETS conducted a standard-setting exercise with educators to map the new scores to the CEFR levels.

Since the time of that study, ETS has been closely monitoring the needs of TOEFL iBT score users and how they make use of CEFR levels and TOEFL iBT cut scores to inform their policies and decisions. ETS has also received extensive feedback from universities and teachers of English about the levels of performance in an academic setting represented by different CEFR levels and TOEFL score levels.

Based on this feedback from the field, ETS has adjusted the TOEFL scores corresponding to different CEFR levels, so that the scores more closely reflect performance described in the CEFR levels.

ETS adjusted TOEFL iBT scores using the test's Standard Error of Measurement (SEM). An SEM is found in every test, and quantifies the reliability of test scores — that is, the extent to which test takers would earn the same test score if they took different versions of the test on different occasions. Using commonly accepted educational measurement practice, ETS adjusted the TOEFL score requirements by 2 SEMs.

Comparison Table

Below are the adjusted TOEFL iBT scores mapped to their corresponding CEFR levels.

CEFR levelReading (0–30)Listening (0–30)Speaking (0–30)Writing (0–30)Total (0–120)
C1 or above 24 22 25 24 95
B2 18 17 20 17 72
B1 4 9 16 13 42
A2 n/a n/a 10 7 n/a


The Association between TOEFL iBT® Test Scores and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Levels

This study presents the rationale for the revision of the TOEFL iBT scores mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels that were originally mapped in Linking English-language Test Scores onto the Common European Framework of Reference (2008).

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about comparing TOEFL scores.

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

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