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TOEFL Scores – Getting Scores, Understanding and Sending Scores, Validity

TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language measures your English language skills and accesses how well you can use the language in an academic setting. TOEFL scores are considered in the admission process in foreign universities, particularly in countries where English is the primary language. There are two types of TOEFL tests: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (Paper Based Test). Irrespective of the type,  the TOEFL test evaluates how well you can combine your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills to perform academic tasks. Generally, almost all the students across the globe appear for the TOEFL iBT test . Paper delivered test is only conducted in those places where internet based testing is not possible.

The results of TOEFL iBT are received as 4 scaled section scores and a total score, as shown below:

  1. Reading Section (Score of: 0–30)
  2. Listening Section (Score of: 0–30)
  3. Speaking Section (Score of: 0–30)
  4. Writing Section (Score of: 0–30)
  5. Total Score (0–120)

In this article, you will be able to understand the way TOEFL is scored, score report, who accepts scores and much more.

TOEFL Scores – Pros and Cons of TOEFL Exam

PROS

CONS

It is recognised by most of the universities in the world and is most favoured in the USA. Overall, 10,000 universities in 130 countries accept TOEFL, including Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Booking the TOEFL test is much easier as compared to the other English proficiency tests. There are test centres around the world in 165 countries and around 50 test slots available for candidates every year.

It has a detailed assessment scale which means that it is not only about right or wrong answers but also about the context and acceptable versions of answers. You get multiple choice questions which allows you to attempt answers to even those questions you’re unsure about.  The speaking part is assessed more objectively as there are more 3-4 teachers who assess the answers rather than a single interviewer.

Test places are filled quickly and the candidates need to be well aware of the application dates.

You might not be able to book a slot as per the time slots in your specific region due to less advanced technical facilities.

You need to be really good at English   reading, writing, grammar, and listening. Expertise in just one area of language is not enough.

TOEFL Scores – Getting the Scores

After the test is conducted, applicants are able to see their unofficial scores of reading and listening sections at the test centres itself. This helps you in deciding  whether to proceed with the current scores or cancel your scores. Applicants can check the results online or via TOEFL iBT app within 6 days after the test.

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To check your scores online:

  1. Click ‘View Scores and Score Recipients’ on your homepage to see your scores.
  2. Then, select ‘View Scores’.

To check it via the app:

  1. Tap the ‘Scores’ tab at the bottom of your home page.
  2. From the menu next to the appropriate test date, tap ‘Score Details’.

Students are notified by email when their results are announced. Score report test scheduling dates (PDF) give an estimate of when your results will be available. After Aug 1, 2019, an applicant can include MyBest Scores in the traditional scores from your selected test date. This feature helps in combining best scores for each section from all valid TOEFL iBT scores in the last 2 years. This gives a way for applicants to show their best performance to universities they wish to get admission in.

Within 11 days, printed score reports are sent to applicants. It takes more time for delivery to other locations in the world as compared to a 7 to8 day delivery time within the US.

TOEFL Scores – Understanding the Scores

Certain score range for each skill is  measured on the TOEFL iBT test. Each skill has 4 or 5 proficiency levels. To understand each proficiency level, check this toefl-ibt-levels.

SKILL

SCORE RANGE

LEVELS

Reading

0-30

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (18–23)

Low-Intermediate (4–17)

Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)

Listening

0-30

Advanced (22–30)

High-Intermediate (17–21)

Low-Intermediate (9–16)

Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)

Speaking

0-30

Advanced (25–30)

High-Intermediate (20–24)

Low-Intermediate (16–19)

Basic (10–15)

Below Basic (0–9)

Writing

0-30

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (17–23)

Low-Intermediate (13–16)

Basic (7–12)

Below Basic (0–6)

Total Score

0-120

In the above table, you can find a score range for each testing skill along with grading levels. The score range for each section is from 0-30 but each section is a separate measure and each measure has its own scale.

Reading and listening sections are scored within a score range of 0-30. The reading sections have 30-40 tasks based on reading passages from academic context and answering questions. The listening section has 28–39 tasks based on listening to lectures, etc.

In the speaking section, each of 4 tasks is rated from 0 to 4. The sum is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. The score rate responses helps in evaluating how well you develop your topic and deliver your message in English.

In the writing section, the 2 tasks are rated from 0 to 5. The sum is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. The writing section is scored by evaluating the integrated writing task for development, organization, grammar etc. The ETS raters are continually monitored to ensure fairness and the highest quality.

Are you wondering which English proficiency exam to appear for? Read the blog TOEFL vs IELTS

NOTE: ETS is a company that develops, administers and scores more than 50 million assessment tests around the world including all kinds of TOEFL tests.

TOEFL Scores – Grade Levels Details

Let us understand the grade levels in some details below –

Reading

Below Low Intermediate score range 0–3

The test takers with a Reading section score below 4 have not demonstrated proficiency at the Low-Intermediate level.

Low-Intermediate score range 4–17 CEFR Level B1

In this level category, test takers who receive a Reading section score at the Low-Intermediate level typically understand some main ideas and important information presented in academic passages in English, but their overall understanding is limited.

High-Intermediate score range 18–23 CEFR Level B2

You have understanding of the main ideas and important details of academic passages in English at the introductory university level, but they may have an incomplete or incorrect understanding of parts of passages.

Advanced score range 24–30 CEFR Level C1

Receiving advanced level means you have got fully understanding of the academic passages in English at the introductory university level. You can tackle  passage questions which are dense with propositions and information including difficult vocabulary, lengthy complex sentences and paragraphs.

Listening

Below Low Intermediate Score range 0–8

If you have scored less than 9 then you have yet to demonstrate proficiency at the Low-Intermediate level.

Low-Intermediate Score range 9–16 CEFR Level B1

You understand  conversations and lectures including basic academic language, abstract or complex ideas that are significantly reinforced.

High-Intermediate Score range 17–21 CEFR Level B2

An application who receives this score typically understands the main ideas and important details of conversations and lectures that take place in academic settings. The conversations and lectures include difficult vocabulary, abstract or complex ideas, complex sentence structures etc.

Advanced Score range 22–30 CEFR Level C1

An applicant understands a large amount of information, possibly organized in complex ways.

Speaking

Below Basic Score range 0–9

If you have scored below 10 in the speaking section that means you have not yet demonstrated proficiency at the Basic level.

Basic Score range 10–15 CEFR Level A2

You are able to communicate limited information about familiar, everyday topics.

Low-Intermediate Score range 16–19 CEFR Level B1

You are able to talk about general or familiar topics with relative ease.

High-Intermediate Score range 20–24 CEFR Level B2

You can make yourself understood when discussing more complex or academic topics.

Advanced Score range 25–30 CEFR Level C1

You can communicate fluently and effectively on a wide range of topics with very little difficulty.

Writing

Below Basic Score range 0–6

If you got a score below 7 then you have not yet demonstrated proficiency at the Basic level.

Basic Score range 7–12 CEFR Level A2

You can write some text that is related to the topic, but with little detail and/or lack of organization. That means you can communicate very basic information in written English.

Low-Intermediate Score range 13–16 CEFR Level B1

You can write  simple texts that express some ideas on an issue, but the development of ideas is limited because of insufficient or inappropriate details and explanations.

High-Intermediate Score range 17–23 CEFR Level B2

You are able to write in English well on general or familiar topics. You can write about complex ideas on academic topics conveying major ideas.

Advanced Score range 24–30 CEFR Level C1

If you have scored a Level C1 in writing that means you can write in English on a wide range of academic and nonacademic topics with confidence and clarity.

TOEFL Scores – Sending Scores and Scoring Services

A candidate can send up to 4 free score reports to the proposed destination. You can add or delete the score recipients through your ETS account, either online or via the TOEFL official app, until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before the test. If you make changes after the 10 p.m. deadline, there is a fee of USD $20 for each score report requested.

The score reports will be sent to the designated recipients within 11 days after an applicant takes the test. Generally, it takes 7–10 days after the mailing date for delivery in the United States, and 4–6 weeks for locations outside the United States.

There are several ways to order official score reports as mentioned below:

  1. You have to log in to your online ETS account and select ‘Send Additional Score Reports’ from your Home page. In the mobile app, select the ‘Scores’ tab at the bottom of your Home page, then tap ‘Send Additional Score Reports’. Select the appropriate test date, then tap ‘Continue’.
  2. Order by Fax – Applicants have to fill out the TOEFL iBT Additional Score Report Request Form (PDF). Then fax it with your registration number and credit/debit card information to +1-610-290-8972.
  3. Order by Email – Print and complete the TOEFL iBT Additional Score Report Request Form (PDF). Mail it with your payment to:
    ETS-TOEFL iBT
    P.O. Box 6153
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6153 USA

TOEFL Scores – Questioning the TOEFL test results

The test scores reported by ETS without any question regarding their validity. When ETS is concerned about the score reports, ETS asks the test taker to submit information that addresses these concerns. There are 3 options for resolution the test taker may opt for:

  1. They can authorize ETS to cancel the questioned scores and take a future test without charge
  2. They can authorize ETS to cancel the questioned scores and receive a refund
  3. They can submit the matter to arbitration (for test takers testing in the United States)

There are two stages of the review process and when ETS cancels test scores, they are no longer reportable. Any test fee the test taker has paid is refunded, or the test taker may take a future test without charge. If scores have not already been reported to any score recipients, ETS takes no further action.

TOEFL Scores – FAQs

Q. What is considered a good score on the TOEFL?

A. TOEFl scores in the range of 90-100 are perfectly good and good enough for most of the universities abroad.

Q. How difficult is TOEFL?

A. One can find difficulty in each section in the TOEFL test. TOEFL reading is slightly more difficult than the average written English text since the reading section uses more academic vocabulary. In TOEFL listening, all the recordings are slightly slower than natural speech, but are otherwise completely natural. You can hear each recording only once. It is also because of the huge amount of information that needs to be delivered in a set time duration and the expectation of basic memorizing power from you.

Q. What is the duration of the TOEFL test?

A. It takes around 3.5 hours to complete the TOEFL test.

Q. For how long is the TOEFL score valid?

A. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date.

Q. Is TOEFL easier than IELTS?

A. It depends on the exam preparation and how comfortable you are in attempting the various sections in the test.

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Published by
Anup chowdhury