What you need to know about the TOEFL

Student taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

The TOEFL® test measures English language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing at the college/university level. The vast majority of people take the Internet version of the TOEFL test (TOEFL iBT). The TOEFL PBT®, an alternate version, is only offered in a few places that do not have internet access.

The TOEFL test has four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. However, you will also be required to combine skills in these four areas to correctly answer the questions.

What are the costs?

The most prevalent cost of TOEFL testing in the United States seems to be $195.00, but you can find out testing costs in specific states and other countries by accessing this page. There are additional costs for late registration/rescheduling, additional score reports, and review of specific scores.

What should I bring?

On test day, you will need at least two forms of identification that must be original (not copies) and valid (unexpired). The name on the ID documents must exactly match the name you used to register for the test, must include a clear photograph of you, and must display your signature. Additional information about ID acceptability can be found here.

ID documents are the only personal items allowed in the TOEFL testing room. Some testing locations utilize inspection and scanning to make sure no other items are brought into the facility or testing room. For more information about this type of policy, go here.

You will be allowed to take notes during the TOEFL test, but only on scratch paper provided to you at the testing site. This paper will be collected and destroyed following your testing session.

How is it scored?

The TOEFL test score report includes a score of 0 to 30 on each of the four sections and a total score between 0 and 120, which is the four section scores, combined. The report will also contain a summary of the capabilities shown by your test scores. You will be able to see your scores online about 10 days after you take the TOEFL test. These scores will be reported by ETS for about 2 years after the test date.

To find out what the required TOEFL test score is at your desired institution, try looking it up on this page.

What kind of job can I get?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, proficiency in English is key to both initial employment and advancement in a career. Employers are looking for well-trained employees who can converse fluently in English. Accessing the required training in America can also be limited for a person who is not fluent in English. Employees who have native-speaking English ability are also more likely to be tapped for promotion and advancement opportunities in many professions.

Am I eligible?

You may take the TOEFL test an unlimited number of times, as long as the testing dates are more than 12 days apart. If it is discovered that you have registered for a second test within this time period, your test will be cancelled, with no refund of the test fee.

Why does it matter?

The TOEFL test is the most widely offered and accepted test of its type and scores are requested by over 9,000 institutions and agencies around the world. Your TOEFL test score may be the key to admission to college, an English language learning program, scholarship money, or an approved visa application. Tracking your scores on this test is also a good way to monitor your acquisition of spoken and written English.

What salary can I expect?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the ability to speak English fluently positively affects a person’s earning capacity. Individuals with a native-equivalent English language ability consistently earned higher wages and were able to secure more profitable positions than those with limited English proficiency.

When is it available?

There are over 50 TOEFL test dates each year at a large number of testing locations. You can find a convenient location by looking here.

Tips & Tricks

We have provided practice FREE questions and flashcards to assist in your preparation for the Reading and Listening sections of this test. Since the Speaking and Writing sections do not lend themselves to this format of online practice, we encourage you to consult our study guides for specific preparation recommendations. They will give you examples of online and other resources, as well as in-person practice ideas to improve your English speaking and writing.

Time Allowed

You should allow at least hours for TOEFL testing. This includes check-in procedures. The actual TOEFL testing time is divided among the four sections, as follows:

Within each timed section (especially Reading), you need to monitor how much time you spend on each task to ensure you have time to finish the entire section.

Practice using our expertly crafted questions!