Everything you Need to Know about TOEFL Score and Improving Tips

What is the TOEFL Score?

The TOEFL test score system depends on what type of TOEFL you take. There are two different kinds of TOEFL offered: the paper-based test (PBT) and the internet-based test (iBT). Ninety-seven percent of all TOEFL test are iBT, so this is the exam you’re most likely to take. PBTs are issued only where there is no internet testing available.

The TOEFL test score is based on the test taker’s performance on the items in the test. You should try and answer one question each in the Reading and Listening categories, compose at least one essay, and perform at least one speaking activity to obtain an official score. For the TOEFL iBT exam, conducted over the Internet, you will earn four scaled portion scores and an overall score:

TOEFL Score Scale
Section Score Range Level
Listening 0–30 Advanced: 22–30

High-Intermediate: 17–21

Low-Intermediate: 9–16

Below Low-Intermediate: 0–8:

Reading 0–30 Advanced: 24–30

High-Intermediate: 18–23

Low-Intermediate: 4–17

Below Low-Intermediate: 0–3

Speaking 0–30 Advanced: 25–30

High-Intermediate: 20–24

Low-Intermediate: 16–19

Basic: 10–15

Below Basic: 0–9

Writing 0–30 Advanced: 24–30

High-Intermediate: 17–23

Low-Intermediate: 13–16

Basic: 7–12

Below Basic: 0–6

TOEFL total score  0–120

For the TOEFL PBT test, scoring is different. The PBT test has three sections: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and structure and written expression. Your raw PBT scores are converted into scaled sectional scores. The scaled score for the reading comprehension section is between 31 and 67. On the other hand, scaled scores for listening comprehension and structure and written expression are reported from 31 to 68, respectively. The raw PBT score is the sum of these sectional scores, multiplied by 10 and divided by 3, to get a TOEFL score range for PBT of 310 to 677.

TOEFL send scores approximately 3 to 6 weeks after you take the TOEFL PBT test via mail. TOEFL test score report for the TOEFL iBT test will be available 10 days after taking the test via online as a PDF file. You will also get a paper copy of your TOEFL rating statement via mail 3 to 6 weeks after the test date.

TOEFL Score Range Comparison

TOEFL iBT Score Range

  • The TOEFL test score range for the iBT is between 0 and 120 throughout the whole test and between 0 and 30 for each section. That being said, the lowest TOEFL score you can have for on the iBT is 0, while the highest score is 120.

TOEFL PBT Score Range

  • The TOEFL score range on the PBT is 310 to 677, which means that the lowest TOEFL PBT score is 310, and the highest is 677.

TOEFL Score Table

TOEFL Total Raw Score TOEFL Score Percentile
120 100
116 99
112 96
108 92
104 87
100 80
96 72
88 56
84 48
80 41
76 34
72 28
68 22
64 18
60 14
56 11
52 8
48 6
44 4
40 3
36 2
32 1
28 1

What is the average TOEFL score?

Test Section Average Score
Listening 20.2
Reading 20.5
Speaking 20.4
Writing 20.9
Total Average TOEFL Score 82

Frequently Asked Question

What is the passing score in the TOEFL?
Each school will vary on the required scores allowed, but the average TOEFL passing score to be aimed is about 21 points per portion, for a total of 84 points or more. This examination will include reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections.

For how long is TOEFL score valid?
TOEFL ratings are valid for two years from the date of the exam. This implies that if you take the TOEFL on May 1st, 2019, your score is valid till May 1st, 2021. If you apply to colleges, you may only use valid TOEFL ratings.

Why do scores for the TOEFL exam expire in 2 years?
While you may find it annoying that TOEFL ratings are only applicable for 2 years, ETS does so to ensure that it offers up-to-date information to schools so those schools can determine exactly whether you’d be able to succeed in their classes. It’s also because language skills can shift significantly over a relatively short amount of time.

Can I use my TOEFL score from 10 years ago?
No, you can’t use the TOEFL score from 10 years ago since the TOEFL score is only good for 2 years.

How to check my TOEFL score?
You may check your TOEFL scores online by signing in to your ETS account and clicking “View Scores and Score Recipients” on your homepage to show your ratings. Then click “View Scores.” See the date list (PDF) for an estimation of when you will be able to access your ratings.

Is it possible to get a perfect TOEFL score?
Yes, however, obtaining a perfect TOEFL score is very unlikely. You would need scores of 30 on each section of the test to score 120 on the TOEFL. Remember that since section scores are weighted, it may be possible to miss an item or two in a segment and still get a TOEFL maximum score of 30.

Where are TOEFL test scores accepted?
More than 10,000 universities in more than 150 countries accept TOEFL ratings. Other organizations also rely on TOEFL scores:

  • Immigration authorities use them to grant residency and work permits.
  • Health and regulatory authorities use them for professional certification purposes.
  • People are using them to assess their success in the learning of English.

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