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TOEFL® Score Use

Institutions use official TOEFL® scores as more than just an admissions requirement. For institutions that have defined the level of English-language proficiency required for a particular course of study, TOEFL scores can also be used to help determine if:

  • a student may begin academic work with no restrictions.
  • a student may begin academic work with some restrictions, including concurrent work in English-language classes.
  • a student is eligible to begin an academic program within a stipulated period of time but is assigned to a full-time English-language program first.
  • a student's official status cannot be determined until he or she reaches a satisfactory level of English-language proficiency. This decision will require the student to pursue full-time English-language training.

Such decisions should never be based on TOEFL scores alone. All relevant information should be considered.

We encourage you to post your TOEFL Institution Code and TOEFL score requirements on your website.

Backed by Research

Read the following publications from the TOEFL iBT® Research Insight Series to learn more about the research behind how TOEFL scores are used.

  • Vol. 3: Reliability and Comparability of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • Vol. 3: Reliability and Comparability of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • An introduction for nonexperts to the key assessment concept of reliability, describing areas of practice that ETS uses to ensure that TOEFL iBT scores are reliable and comparable across forms.
    • Download Volume 3 | File size: 742 kb
  • Vol. 4: Validity Evidence Supporting the Interpretation and Use of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • Vol. 4: Validity Evidence Supporting the Interpretation and Use of TOEFL iBT Scores
    • An introduction to the central notion of score validity and a presentation of the validity argument for the TOEFL iBT test, including summaries of research investigating key test claims.
    • Download Volume 4 | File size: 686 kb
  • Vol. 5: Information for Score Users, Teachers and Learners
    • Vol. 5: Information for Score Users, Teachers and Learners
    • This volume presents critical information for TOEFL iBT stakeholders, including appropriate score use guidelines, different options for institutions receiving TOEFL iBT scores, and descriptions of a variety of services and materials that ETS makes available to assist score users. Free and paid resources available to teachers and learners preparing for the TOEFL iBT test are also introduced.
    • Download Volume 5 | File size: 627 kb
  • Test and Score Data Summary
    • Test and Score Data Summary
    • The latest edition of the TOEFL® Test and Score Data Summary contains data on the performance of examinees who took the TOEFL iBT® test during the calendar year. Examinee performance data for previous years can be found in printable materials.
    • Download the TOEFL Test and Score Data Summary | File size: 627 kb