General Questions About TOEFL

A test that demonstrates the capacity of a Non-Native English speaker to read, write, and speak in the English language.
The test is widely accepted and recognised at approximately 10,000 universities worldwide including in Australia, Canada, and the USA. The test also demonstrates for your employers your competence in English language and can avoid future testing from them.
The following tool will help you determine which universities or institutions accept the TOEFL.
Yes, there are two different kinds – TOEFL PBT and TOEFL iBT. The TOEFL PBT is the Paper Based Test and the iBT is the Internet Based Test. The internet based test is run more frequently whereas the paper version is not. In addition, there is no speaking part for the PBT version as it is too difficult to capture that part. The PBT has been discontinued as of 30 June 2017. As of 1 July 2017, the TOEFL Paper-delivered test replaces the PBT. It is more aligned to the iBT test version. More information about the Paper-delivered test version can be found here.
The exam usually starts between 8:00am – 10:00am. Since the test lasts usually about 4 hours, it should start in the morning to ensure people can finish at a reasonable time.
The iBT is offered over 50 times a year across various locations and countries on fixed dates.
Yes, you can. However, you may not take it more than once in a 12 day period.
There is reasonable accommodation available for those who have disabilities. These arrangements are made through registration. It important to note that the registration should be done via email or telephone and must be confirmed before being able to register for the test.

Preparing for the TOEFL Test

There are various books available for the TOEFL test. Speaking with fellow colleagues, friends, school mates, and others who are native English speakers helps along with practicing your English writing with someone who is native and can help you prepare for the writing section of the exam. Another good way to prepare is listening to English speaking radio or television. By doing that you hear different accents and can adapt your listening abilities to English language from around the world. You should consider this also for your future English exposure as English is diverse in terms of its native speakers! Finally, you should read as well to improve your reading comprehension and practice of the English language. The amount of vocabulary you can gain through reading helps your writing and speaking too.
The preparation should start between 8-10 weeks before the test date to provide the student with adequate time to understand the test format, increase understanding, and manage answering the questions within the time-period allowed on the exam.
You need to prepare a photo file record with a recognizable photo of yourself.

Registering for the TOEFL Test

There are three options to register for the test via ETS: • Online registration • Registration by phone • Registration by mail
You will receive TOEFL test tickets that you will need to take with you to the test centre.
Yes, you can, provided that you notify the test centre within 4 full days of the exam. If your exam is on Friday, then you need to notify the test centre by Monday. The change will also incur a fee as described in the Fees section.
Yes. You should have photo ID. You should use the same name for your registration as you have on the existing photo ID. Take note that the ID requirements vary depending upon your citizenship and country where you will take the exam. In general, the photo should represent you, and the first names and surnames should be the same on the application as they are on the photo ID. Important to note is that it should be a Government issued photo ID. The test centre should be able to read your ID. If not, then you can be denied entry and your exam fees will not be refunded.
Yes. If you are younger than 15 years of age, then you can take the test. However, you need a parent or guardian who is 18 years of age or older to accompany you to the test centre.

On the TOEFL Test day

You should get there about 30 minutes before your exam starts.
Your Government issued photo ID. You will also need to bring a registration confirmation that you have in fact registered and paid for the exam along with your photo file record. You should have 3 or 4 pencils with you. Pens or mechanical pencils are not accepted for the exam. Do not bring any notebooks or other materials as they are not allowed in the test room.
You will receive your seat assignment shortly before the test will start.
You can go to a different test centre on a different day. However, take into consideration that they may not have seats or materials for you. You cannot phone them the day before as they will not have knowledge about your request or will be able to assist you. They will be busy preparing for the exam for the next day.
If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test. You may additionally lose the fee. In this case, you would need to re-register and pay the registration fee again.

TOEFL Test Format

The exam contains four sections – Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The number of questions varies between 36-70 for reading, and 34-51 for listening. There are always 6 writing tasks and 2 speaking tasks for the exams.
In total, the test should last approximately 4 hours. However, you should plan to be there for about 4.5 hours to manage the check-in. Depending on the version of the test that you receive, the test could be as quick as 3.5 hours. On the other hand, you may receive the extended version. If you receive the extended version, then the test will last approximately 4.5 hours.
The timer will indicate the number of minutes. If you see that you have a longer section then you have the extended version. It may also indicate to you when you will start the section.
The reading section can take between 60-100 minutes, and the listening section between 60-90 minutes. The writing is 50 minutes, and the speaking is 20 minutes.
Most of the questions are single option, but there are varying options.
No. You will have a timer and the timer guides you on the amount of time you have. There will be a 10 minute break during the exam.
Unfortunately, you have to work according to the timer’s speed.
Yes, you may. Take note that at the end of the exam, you can’t bring the notes with you. You will need to discard everything when the exam is finished. The examiner will ask you to discard your notes.

TOEFL Test Sections

There will usually be 3-5 passages that you have to read after which you will have some questions to answer. The topics may include Arts, History, or Science material.
You will listen to a variety of discussions, lectures, conversations, and other auditory pieces. After each piece you will be asked some questions. There are anywhere between 2-3 conversations and 4-6 lectures with 5-6 questions following.
The writing section includes two writing tasks. The first task is you will read something and listen to something then need to write about it. Here the idea is that you integrate the ideas of both the listened content and the read content into one piece. You should consider to take notes on both as you are listening to both of them. The second task includes given a topic and you will need to understand the topic then provide an opinion about it.
The writing section includes two writing tasks. The first task is you will read something and listen to something then need to speak about it. The second task includes given a topic and you will need to understand the topic then provide an opinion about it. You will have less time to formulate your ideas and thoughts, because it is expected that you respond immediately.

TOEFL Test Scores

After approximately 10 days, the test scores are available.
The scores are published online and can be viewed online as well. In most countries, there is a PDF report available with the test scores as well. This report usually becomes available at 13 days after the test date.
The highest scored is 120 for the iBT test and 677 for the PBT.
The scores are valid for two (2) years.
There are four sections each having a weight of 25% and a maximum score of 120, so 4*30=120. There is a range that is considered for the sections to determine the competency in each of the four sections. The ranges are below: Reading and Writing: Score Level 22-30 High 15-21 Intermediate 0-14 Low Speaking: Score Level 26–30 Good 18–25 Fair 10–17 Limited 0–9 Weak Writing: Score Level 24–30 Good 17–23 Fair 1-16 Limited 0 Zero
This is a difficult question to answer. The TOEFL does not have a pass or fail score rather the institution, employer, or agency who requires the TOEFL set their own benchmark. They will determine the score they require for their business purpose.
Yes immediately after completing the test.
Yes, but you need to pay an additional fee. The registration fee only considers sending some reports to universities or other institutions that should receive the fees.
Like with anything else, a language needs practice. This means that you should practice your English every day and study it every day. It also means studying your books and clarifying any other questions you may have is helpful. Another alternative is to get a tutor or private teacher who can explain the topics to you in your native language and in English to help make the connection with your new language English. You can find a suggestion of possible tips to improve your skills here. In whichever method you choose, you should have daily exposure to the English language. Ideally, you should be immersed in the language as much as possible. This immersion provides you an opportunity to find as many opportunities as possible to listen, speak, and write in English.
Again, this depends on the institution. For example, in the USA, most universities require an iBT score of 80 or a score of 450 on the PBT. The more prestigious the university, then the higher score they would require for admissions purposes.


The test costs between $130 - $300. The price depends upon the country in which the test will be done. There are certain other charges that may apply depending upon the circumstances: Circumstances Extra Cost* added: Late Registration $40 Rescheduling of the exam $60 Reinstate cancelled scores $20 *All amounts are in US Dollars and are excluding VAT (Value Added Tax) or any other applicable tax depending upon the local country in which the test will be concluded.
Most credit cards are accepted including Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Discoverer, or JCB. In Ghana, Kenya, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Togo only VISA cards are accepted. Note: fees should be paid at the time of registration to complete the registration. If not paid, then registration cannot be completed.
Your test fee includes the following: • The exam • Test taker score report sent to you • A total of 4 official test scores sent to universities or agencies that you request receive your results
The registration for the exams close 7 days before the test date. If you register within 4 days to the exam date, this is considered a later registration and costs $40.
You can cancel. If you cancel before the late registration period, then you receive a partial refund. Any time after that, you receive zero refund.