What To Know Before Taking TOEFL

If you are thinking about Taking a TOEFL exam in the months to come, there are several facts that you should know and consider before taking the first step.


Let’s start with a general description of TOEFL itself. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.  Its scoring system is between 0 (Minimum) and 120 (Maximum) with 10-point increment. Four scores are reported on the TOEFL:

  • Reading score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  • Listening score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  • Writing score reported on a 0-30 score scale.
  • Speaking score reported on a 0-30 score scale.

(Each section will be separately described in future posts)

Ok so you need to take TOEFL but where, when and how should you take it?

This depends a lot on which TOEFL test dates are available, of course. And it also depends on your own study needs and prep timeline. You should consider how long it will take you to fully prepare for the TOEFL. Generally speaking, if you’re going to have to take the test, it should be at least a couple of months from when you start studying. You want time to prepare fully and take a few TOEFL sample tests. And don’t forget the time you need for sending your scores!

TOEFL is offered on specific days of each year. One can access the whole schedule which can vary depending on the country. To find the current schedule, visit  http://www.ets.org/bin/getprogram.cgi?test=toefl 

The registration fee for taking the TOEFL® varies depend on the country. Be sure to check the TOEFL Web site for the current price. Once you decided on time and location, you can register online or by phone or by mail. The detailed information about registering for the TOEFL can be found at www.toefl.org . Scores will be available online in two weeks from the time you take the exam and will be valid for a duration of two years.

As mentioned before, the universities only accept official scores sent directly by ETS. Scores to four colleges can be sent free of cost from the time of TOEFL® registration to 24 hours before the test date. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay $20 each (be sure to verify the cost of additional score reports at http://www.toefl.org/ ). This process can take up to one month depending on the location so be sure to keep that and deadlines in mind.

Good luck!



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