TOEFL Test Scores

What is the Utility of TOEFL Test Scores

The importance of TOEFL test scores is illustrated by the fact that they serve as one of the admission criterions for considering a student's application to a university for higher studies as well as for scholarships and certification programs. Apart from that, TOEFL test scores are important for students and workers who are applying for a visa to UK and Australia.

In order to achieve good TOEFL test scores, it becomes necessary to understand how much weightage each section of the test contributes towards the total scores. The score scale for iBT TOEFL and PBT TOEFL are different; hence we will study them separately.


iBT TOEFL has four sections - Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 0-30 and the total TOEFL test scores for iBT TOEFL are on a scale of 0-120.

There is a minimum TOEFL test score required by most universities for the purpose of admission that can be found out by contacting the relevant university. Performance in each section is gauged by checking the broad range in which your scores lie. In individual sections, a score of 0-14 implies that you have a minimal level of competence in that English language skill. Scores lying through 15-21 signify that you are an intermediate level user of the language while scores of 22-30 imply that you have a good command over that skill of the English language.

The Listening and Reading sections of the test are automatically scored with the help of a computer. This is because most questions are multiple choices. Since the Writing and Speaking sections are digitally recorded, they are sent to ETS Online Scoring Network i.e. OSN. Here scoring is done with the help of machines as well as 3-6 ETS certified human examiners. The human examiners help in judging a student's content as well as his language whereas the computers ascertain whether or not the answers have been transferred to paper utilising memorized answers.

Scores are received within fifteen working days of giving the test. They are sent to your specified institutions on the same day that they are sent to you.


PBT TOEFL is divided into two sets of scores since the exam is divided into TWE (Test of Written English) and three sections which are Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension and Structure/Written Expression. TWE is scored on a scale of 0-6 where 4 is the minimum acceptable level of writing skills that a person should have. Anything below that would signify that a student cannot comprehend the question on top of not being able to form a lucid answer.

Reading Comprehension is scored on a scale of 31-67 while Listening Comprehension and Structure/Written Expression are scored on a scale of 31-68 each. The total TOEFL test scores range from 310-677. The individual sections again have ranges that signify your level of proficiency in the language. 31-48/49 would signify a low level of understanding, 49/50-55 would be intermediate while 55-67/68 signifies high level of proficiency in that particular skill of the English language which is being assessed by the test section.

Scores will be delivered to you within five weeks of taking the TOEFL. You can receive the score reports by phone within four weeks by paying an extra $10.

The Writing test of both sections is judged on the basis of four basic parameters - task achievement, lexical skills, grammar and spellings, coherence and cohesion. Keep this in mind for both formats of the test. The content of your essays should be relevant to the task at hand. A nicely worded essay which does not relate to the topic given will not fetch marks.

To compare the scores of iBT and PBT TOEFL, visit

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