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Setting TOEFL iBT® Score Requirements

Institutions that use TOEFL iBT® scores set their own score requirements. But how do you set score requirements that help you bring in the right applicants? Setting requirements too high may limit your applicant pool, which means you may be rejecting qualified applicants. But setting them too low can lead to accepting students who may not have the English-language skills to succeed at your institution.

All TOEFL iBT test delivery methods use the same content and score scale, so there should not be different score requirements for the Home Edition or the Paper Edition. We recommend that institutions specify their acceptance of the Home Edition and Paper edition when providing TOEFL iBT score information, for clarity.

Here are some tips to help you set your score requirements.

  • Use all score information, not only the total score. Section scores can distinguish one applicant from another and provide a more complete picture.
  • Review section scores routinely, and consider setting minimum section score requirements for the skills that are most important to success in your program.
  • Set flexible scores initially.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of your score requirements.
  • Consider whether English language learning support is available at your institution. If it is not available, an initial higher level of proficiency may be needed.

Note: We encourage you to post your TOEFL® Destination Code and TOEFL score requirements — including whether or not you accept MyBest® scores — on your website.

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 iBT scores in the last 2 years.* All TOEFL iBT score reports include both the scores from a single test date selected by the test taker and the MyBest scores as shown in the example below:

where scores for reading, listening, speaking, writing and a total score are shown on the left and the right image is showing the test takers MyBest score for each section from all of their valid TOEFL scores in the last 2 years.

Accepting MyBest Scores

It's your choice whether or not to accept MyBest scores, based on your institution's needs and goals. Here are some important facts to consider when making your decision.

  • MyBest scores are valid. Research shows that MyBest scores and test date scores are both valid measures of English-language proficiency.
  • Accepting MyBest scores widens your qualified applicant pool. Allowing students to leverage their best performance on each section means that more students will meet your English-language requirements.
  • Using MyBest scores is easy. The TOEFL iBT score scale remains the same, and there is no need to change your score requirements.

These institutions have formally indicated that they accept MyBest scores.

Whatever your choice, you will continue to get each applicant's TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, as you always have.

Need Help?

For assistance in setting TOEFL iBT score requirements, email TOEFLNews@ets.org or call +1-609-683-2008.

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

* Currently, MyBest scores for the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition includes only Paper Edition scores. They are not combined with scores from Home Edition or the TOEFL iBT tests taken at a test center.

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