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TOEFL iBT® Test

The premier test of academic English communication

Select any step to learn more about using TOEFL iBT® scores.
 

Comparing TOEFL iBT Scores

Are you missing out on qualified applicants?

English-language proficiency scores are a key element in your admissions process. If your TOEFL iBT, IELTS®, Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and TOEFL® Essentials™ requirements aren’t aligned, you might be turning away well-qualified applicants or excluding them entirely because they don’t apply.

To make it easier for you to compare scores and identify misalignment, we've developed these helpful, research-based tools.
 

Comparing TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores

Total Score Comparison Table

The table shows how TOEFL iBT total scores align with IELTS Academic overall band scores.

TOEFL iBT Score (0–120) IELTS Band (0–9)
0-31 0-4
32 4.5
35 5
46 5.5
60 6
79 6.5
94 7
102 7.5
110 8
115 8.5
118 9
Shading indicates score comparisons with the highest degree of confidence.

Section Score Comparison Tables

TOEFL iBT section scores give you even more insight into your applicant's abilities and can help you see whether a test taker demonstrated the skills that are most important to your program or institution.

Below are comparison tables showing how TOEFL iBT section scores align with IELTS section band scores.

ETS does not recommend using these tables as the only resource to set cut scores. The TOEFL program provides the Guidelines for Setting Useful Score Requirements for the TOEFL iBT® Test (PDF) to help institutions set useful and relevant score requirements.

For the score concordance research study, see Linking TOEFL iBT® Scores to IELTS® Scores — A Research Report (PDF).
 

TOEFL iBT Reading (0-30) IELTS Reading (0-9)

0–2

0–4

3

4.5

4

5*

8

5.5*

13

6*

19

6.5*

24

7*

27

7.5*

29

8*

29

8.5*

30

9

TOEFL iBT Listening (0-30) IELTS Listening (0-9)

0–2

0–4

3

4.5

4

5

7

5.5*

12

6*

20

6.5*

24

7*

27

7.5*

28

8*

29

8.5*

30

9

TOEFL iBT Speaking (0-30) IELTS Speaking (0-9)

0–11

0–4

12

4.5

14

5*

16

5.5*

18

6*

20

6.5*

23

7*

24

7.5*

26

8*

28

8.5*

30

9

TOEFL iBT Writing (0-30) IELTS Writing (0-9)

0–11

0–4

12

4.5

14

5*

18

5.5*

21

6*

24

6.5*

27

7*

29

7.5

30

8

30

8.5

30

9


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

Comparing TOEFL iBT Scores to the CEFR

The mapping of TOEFL iBT scores and CEFR levels is based on an initial standard-setting exercise with educators, and subsequent analyses of test scores to address feedback from universities and teachers of English about the levels of performance in an academic setting.
 

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

CEFR level Reading (0-30) Listening (0-30) Speaking (0-30) Writing (0-30) Total (0-120)
C2 29 28 28 29 114
C1 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 TOEFL iBT test provides the highest measurement precision at language-proficiency levels B2 and C1, which are typical requirements for admissions in higher-education institutions. Test takers with very high scores are likely to be able to perform at CEFR level C2.

For research on this data, see The Association Between TOEFL iBT® Test Scores and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Levels (PDF).
 


Comparing TOEFL iBT and TOEFL® Essentials™ scores

Institutions can accept both the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL Essentials tests for the same purposes, including university admissions. To make sure your score requirements are aligned, visit Setting Score Requirements for TOEFL Essentials.

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