Interpretation of TOEFL iBT Scores

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized English language proficiency examination intended for non-native English speaking students. The TOEFL is administered in two formats, namely the Internet-Based Test (iBT) and the Paper-Based Test (PBT). The scores are accepted by various institutions in over 130 countries. It is a test that assesses the English language skills of a non-native English student from the academic point of view. A good iBT score would certainly increase your chances of securing admission in a good college provided that you are eligible in other ways.

What Does TOEFL Consist of?

TOEFL tests the student's English language proficiency by assessing his skills in all the essential aspects of the English language. The four important aspects of English include Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. These four aspects are tested by the four sections of the exam. Your score is evaluated based upon your performance in all the sections of the test. You will encounter 36-70 tasks in the Reading section of the test. The Listening section contains 34-51 tasks, the Speaking section consists of 6 tasks and the Writing section consists of two tasks.

How is TOEFL Scored?

The total iBT result is evaluated on a scale of 0-120. Approximately after two weeks from your test date, you will receive a mail from the ETS that informs you about the release of scores. You can then log in to your test account and view your score online. You will receive the official Score Reports within 17-20 days of your test date.

In order for your paper to be evaluated, you must attempt at least one question or task in all the sections of the test; then, based upon your performance in the test, you will receive a sectional iBT score which ranges on a scale of 0-30 for each section. However, each of the tasks in the Speaking and the Writing section are evaluated on a score scale of 0-5. This score is then equated to a scaled score of 0-30.

The test is evaluated by expert ETS trained professionals who are certified fit for the job. Further, to accurately assess your skills, ETS employs both human and computerised scoring methods.

Interpretation of TOEFL iBT Score

You must clearly understand what a particular score means. This will help you to prepare well and target a particular score scale in order to secure admission in a good institute. The institutions are at freedom for using the exam scores as per their own regulations; obviously, a good institute demands a high iBT score for admissions. For the Listening and Reading sections, scores ranging from 22 to 30 in each of the sections individually is considered high. Scores ranging from 15 to 21 are considered intermediate and those ranging from 0 to14 are considered low. For the Speaking section, scores ranging from 18 to 25 are considered fair and for the Writing section, scores ranging from 17 to 23 are considered fair.

In the Writing section, a score of  '5' on a scale of 0-5 means that the essay is very well organized and written. Even is there are trivial language errors, you will score '5' if the essay is presented without deviating from the central idea. A score of  '0' on a scale of 0-5 means that the essay is written very badly. The test taker might have used a foreign language or the essay is not at all connected with the topic or is left blank. This way, each score has a meaning. For more information, you may visit the following page on the official website of TOEFL:

Therefore, based upon your understanding of the score analysis of the scoring system, prepare an action plan for your exam preparation. Focus more on the sections that you may feel are a bit difficult.