In the realm of English proficiency assessment, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) stands as a pivotal tool for individuals aspiring to traverse international academic and professional landscapes. Understanding the intricacies of TOEFL scores is not only a prerequisite for those preparing to undertake the test but also a crucial compass for charting one’s course in the broader journey of global communication.

In this essay, let’s embark on an exploration of the TOEFL scoring system, unraveling its components, significance, and the multitude of opportunities it unlocks for individuals seeking to prove their English language proficiency. Join us on this enlightening journey as we delve into the nuances of TOEFL scores and decode the language that opens doors to a world of possibilities.

toefl score
How is TOEFL scored?

 

1. What is TOEFL exam?

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is an essential tool for assessing a learner’s English proficiency in academic and international communication contexts. The main purpose of the TOEFL test is to ensure that candidates can adapt and use English proficiently not only in academic and work environments but also in everyday communication.

There are two common formats of the TOEFL test: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). The TOEFL test consists of four main sections: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing.

  • Listening Section: Requires candidates to listen and understand messages presented in academic and communication contexts.
  • Reading Section: Evaluates the ability to comprehend and analyze information from various text sources.
  • Speaking Section: Measures the candidate’s ability to express ideas, provide opinions, and discuss specific topics.
  • Writing Section: Assesses the ability to write a logically organized essay and a short summary of personal opinions.

 

2. What are the TOEFL score regulations that test-takers should know?

 

2.1. TOEFL iBT score

Below are the regulations regarding the TOEFL iBT test that candidates should notice:

  • The TOEFL iBT test is scored on a scale from 0 to 120 points
  • Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills are scored on a scale from 0 to 30 points
  • The total score for the TOEFL iBT test is determined by the sum of scores in all four sections
  • The Speaking section is scored on a scale from 0 to 4 points. The Writing section is evaluated on a scale from 0 to 5 points. These scores are then converted to a 30-point scale to calculate the total test score

 

toefl score ibt
TOEFL iBT test is scored a maximum of 120 points

 

2.2. TOEFL PBT score

TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) is scored on a specific scale. Here are some regulations regarding TOEFL PBT scores:

  • The total TOEFL PBT score ranges from 310 to 677 points
  • Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills are scored on a scale from 31 to 68 points
  • The Speaking and Writing sections are scored on a scale from 0 to 6 points for each essay, with a total of 0-30 points for each section

 

3. TOEFL Score – Understanding your proficiency level in English

TOEFL is a test with no “pass” or “fail” distinction. After completing the test, candidates receive a certificate along with their scores in each section. To be accepted into university programs in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, you need a minimum of 61 TOEFL iBT points for undergraduate studies and at least 79 TOEFL iBT points for postgraduate studies. However, it’s crucial to note that the TOEFL score requirements may vary depending on each institution. High-ranking institutions often require higher TOEFL scores compared to others. Therefore, if you aim to enroll in a prestigious institution, you may need to achieve a higher TOEFL score than the minimum requirement.

To better understand how your English proficiency is assessed through TOEFL scores, follow the table below:

 

3.1. Assessing English proficiency through TOEFL iBT scores

Section

Assessment

Reading
  • 0 – 14 points/30: Limited proficiency
  • 15 – 21 points/30: Intermediate proficiency
  • 22 – 30 points: High proficiency
Listening
  • 0 – 13/30: Limited proficiency
  • 14 – 21/30: Intermediate proficiency
  • 22 – 30 points: High proficiency
Writing
  • 1 – 16/30: Limited language proficiency
  • 17 – 23 points/30: Average language proficiency
  • 24 – 30 points: High language proficiency
Speaking
  • 0 – 9 points/30: Limited proficiency
  • 10 – 17 points/30: Restricted proficiency
  • 18 – 25 points/30: Intermediate/high proficiency
  • 26 – 30 points: High proficiency

 

3.2. Assessing English Proficiency through TOEFL PBT Scores

TOEFL PBT score regulations help assess and measure a candidate’s English usage across various aspects, from listening to reading, speaking, and writing. The total score is evaluated as follows:

  • 310-477 Points: Low, may struggle to use English effectively
  • 478-520 Points: Intermediate, can participate in some academic programs
  • 521-560 Points: Good, can study and work effectively in English
  • 561-677 Points: High, demonstrates strong English language proficiency
toefl proficiency
Assess your TOEFL proficiency

 

4. How is my TOEFL score converted?

4.1. Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

Here is the specific conversion of total scores in the TOEFL test according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR):

  • 57 to 86 points equivalent to level B1
  • 86 to 109 points equivalent to level B2
  • 110 to 120 points equivalent to level C1

 

4.2. Conversion to TOEIC, IELTS, CEFR

In addition to the conversion according to the Common European Framework of Reference, TOEFL scores can be equivalently converted to other language proficiency certificates such as IELTS, TOEIC, and CEFR:

TOEFL iBT IELTS TOEIC
0 – 8 1 – 1.0 0 – 250
9 – 18 1.0 – 1.5 0 – 250
19 – 29 2.0 – 2.5 255 – 500
30 – 40 3.0 – 3.5 255 – 500
41 – 52 4.0 501 – 700
53 – 64 4.5 – 5.0 501 – 700
65 – 78 5.5 – 6.5 701 – 900
79 – 95 7.0 – 8.0 901 – 990
96 – 120 8.5 – 9.0
120 9.0 990

 

These are the comprehensive details about the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT scoring systems. After reading this article, it is hoped that you understand how the TOEFL score is calculated and how the conversion works. Moreover, the TOEFL score is not just a number, it is the key to unlocking new experiences, from studying to working globally. If you plan to take the TOEFL test, start today with TOEFL online test