TOEFL Test Score

TOEFL Scoring for the Two Formats

The TOEFL Scores:

TOEFL is a test of your proficiency in English language. It is administered in two formats, namely, the TOEFL PBT (Paper Based Test) format and the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) format. There are different ways by which the TOEFL test score for each format is calculated. Your TOEFL test score depends on your execution of correct answers to the test questions. For getting a total TOEFL score, you must:





  • Answer at least one question each from Reading and Listening sections.

  • Respond to at least one essay topic.

  • Finish at least one Speaking task to get your TOEFL test score.

For both test formats, i.e. TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT, you will acquire four scaled section scores and one comprehensive score report for the whole test. Therefore, let us start discussing about the scoring procedure of each of the TOEFL sections under following headings.

Scoring for Paper-based TOEFL:

You shall receive one TOEFL test score report for the entire test and four separate score reports for the TOEFL PBT sections. ETS sends four copies of your score report to the universities and organizations that you selected prior to taking the test. You shall receive your score within five weeks after the day of testing. There are four ways to score in TOEFL PBT format and they are:

  • Opting for a minimum of one question from the Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension and Structure and Written Expression sections.

  • Respond to at least one TWT® (Test of Written English)essay.

The score range for Listening Comprehension and Structure/Written Expression varies from 31 to 68 while 31 to 67 is the score range for Reading Comprehension. The raw scores obtained for each of these three sections are converted and transformed into total TOEFL test score onrange of 310 to 677, using a statistical tool called the TOEFL test scale. For the TWE® section, the essay scores are calculated on a scale of 1 to 6. The TWE® score can vary between two point scores, for example 2.5 or 5.5. The TWE section score is provided in a separate box beside the total TOEFL score.

Scoring for Internet Based TOEFL:

For this format of the test you will receive four scaled sections and one total TOEFL test score report. The scores for the Reading and Listening sections are measured on a score scale of 0 to 30 by the computer. The former section contains about 36-70 questions while the latter contains about 34 to 50 questions. The Speaking section of iBT TOEFL contains six assignments and is scored on a scale of 0 to 4. Your score is then transformed on a scaled score range of 0 to 30. In the Writing section there are two tasks that are rated on a scale of 0 to 5. The ratings are then changed into a scaled score of 0 to 30.

The scores of Speaking section are measured by test scorers authorized by the Educational Testing Service (ETS, the organization responsible for conducting TOEFL). They evaluate your skills of speech by monitoring your capacity to form coherent responses in English.

Your test response to the Writing section is measured both by human ratings and eRater® (an automatic scoring device evaluating your lingual qualities and uniformity). Hence, your essay is monitored both by the expertise of a human examiner and the machine-controlled eRater®.

Interpreting Your Scores:

You get to know the meaning and significance of your TOEFL test score in the following bullets:

  • The iBT TOEFL is scored by both human raters and machine-controlled eRater® in order to retain consistency. The Speaking task however, is scored only by human raters. In case of the Writing task you get a rating of 0 to 4. Each of these ratings contains certain aspects relating to delivery of arguments, language usage and development of ideas and general characteristics of the essay. The same aspects apply to the Speaking measure. You should click at http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/TOEFL/pdf/Speaking_Rubrics.pdf to know how each rating fulfils certain aspects of the essay questions.

  • The PBT TOEFL is scored by human raters only. The TWE® section however, is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. Likewise, each rating of the essay writing section displays certain features of the essay response. You can visit the website: http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/scores/writing_score_guide to understand the significance of your writing scores.

Your TOEFL test score is valid for about two years. However, you can take TOEFL for as many times as you wish after your first attempt. There are no failing or passing scores for TOEFL as different institutions and universities demand varying TOEFL scores for admission. For more information about universities and organizations accepting TOEFL score as their admission criterion, you should visit the website: http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/about/who_accepts_scores.




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