- What is the TOEFL® test?
The TOEFL® test
measures the ability of non-native English speakers
to use and understand the English language as it is
heard, spoken, read and written in the university
- What is the difference between the TOEFL iBT™ and PBT tests?
- The TOEFL test is offered in two formats: the
TOEFL iBT™, administered in an
Internet-based format, and the TOEFL PBT,
administered in a Paper-based
format. The format you take depends on your testing
location. Test centers that do not have Internet
access offer the TOEFL PBT test.
- The TOEFL iBT test measures reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. It is offered 30 to 40 times a year, and is administered online via computer at more than 4,500 testing sites in 165 countries. Most test takers take the TOEFL iBT test.
- The TOEFL PBT test measures reading, listening, grammar and writing skills and is offered six times a year in areas where Internet-based testing is not available.
Do I have a choice of which format to take?
- The format of the test depends on your testing location, the capabilities of the testing center and any accommodations required for special needs.
Where are TOEFL test scores accepted?
More than 7,500 colleges, universities and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. View the TOEFL® Destinations Directory. To learn more about how the TOEFL test can be your passport to study anywhere English is spoken, watch our new video, The TOEFL® Test: Your Passport to the World (Flash).
How do I know what an institution's score requirements are?
Each institution sets its own score requirements. You can start your score requirement research with the TOEFL® Destinations Directory and then contact the institution for more specific requirements. If you're applying for postgraduate studies, find out if your institution requires other tests, such as the GRE® (Graduate Record Examinations®) test. For more information about the GRE test, go to www.ets.org/gre.
- How often is the test given?
The TOEFL iBT test is
given on fixed dates, 30 to 40 times a year. Select
your test date and location
The TOEFL PBT test is offered where the TOEFL iBT test is not available and is given six times a year.
- How do I find testing locations and dates?
- Choose an available test date from among 4,500+ testing locations in over 165 countries. Register online, by mail, by phone or in person.
- Can I take the test in one day?
- Yes, the test is given in one day. The test takes about four hours, but with check-in you should plan to be at the test site for at least four and one-half hours.
- Can I retake the test?
- Yes, you can retake the test as many times as you wish. There is no passing or failing test score — score requirements are set by each higher education institution or agency.
- Why should I take the TOEFL test over another test?
- It's the most highly respected around the world
- It's the most widely accepted
- It's the most accurately measured
- It's the most fair and unbiased
- It offers the most testing locations
Learn more: Why Take the Test?
- Test Fees
- How much does the TOEFL test cost?
- Costs depend on the test location you choose. Usually, the cost ranges from US$150 to US$225. For more information on registration fees, locations, test dates and test formats, see How to Register.
- How many score reports are included in my test fee?
- Your test fee includes:
- one examinee score report for you
- up to four official score reports to the destinations (institutions or agencies) selected when you register; ETS will send the official score reports directly to these destinations
- Can I order additional official score reports?
- Yes, you can order additional score reports
after your scores are available online,
approximately two weeks after your test date.
- Additional reports can be ordered through the TOEFL online registration system or by completing the Official Score Report Request Form (PDF) in the Registration Bulletin.
- Reports are mailed approximately four to seven days after receipt of your request and payment.
- The fee is US$17 for each report ordered.
- What is the test fee Refund policy?
- If you cancel your registration by the three-day advance deadline (not including test day), you will receive a refund of half the original test fee you paid. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Cash refunds are not available.
- What are the fees for other services?
- See Fees
- What do I need to know before I register?
- Before you register, you must decide where you want to take the test. The location of the test site determines which format of the test you will take — either the TOEFL iBT™ test, administered in an Internet-based format, or the TOEFL PBT test, administered in a Paper-based format. Go to testing locations and dates to find out what format is available in your location.
- What if the TOEFL iBT test is not offered at my location?
- ETS offers the TOEFL PBT test if the TOEFL iBT test is not available. Go to testing locations and dates to find out which format is available at the location where you wish to test.
- When can I register for the test?
- Seats fill up quickly, so register early. We recommend that you register three to four months before your desired test date to reserve your seat. Your test date should be two to three months before your earliest admissions application deadline.
- How do I register to reserve my seat?
You can register using
one of four methods — online, in person, by phone or
by mail. Online registration is the fastest, easiest
method. You can choose where you want to test and
see which dates are available at over 4,500 testing
locations in over 165 countries.
See How to Register
When you register, remember to:
- Have your identification with you. Your name must be entered exactly as it appears on the identification you bring with you on test day.
- Have your credit/debit card, electronic check, or TOEFL voucher for payment.
- Provide the names of up to four institutions you want to receive your scores. You can select them from the TOEFL® Destinations Directory. If you are registering by mail, you will also need to provide the TOEFL codes for each institution. If you register online and are not ready to select your score recipients, you can do so up until 10 pm on the day before your test by logging in to your online account.
- Know where and when you want to test. Select from this list of testing locations and dates.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- See fees.
- What is a TOEFL iBT registration voucher?
- A TOEFL iBT registration voucher is a unique test registration code used instead of a credit card payment when you register online or by phone. Registration vouchers are valid for the TOEFL iBT test only, and must be used on or before their expiration date. You can purchase a registration voucher in local currency from an official TOEFL iBT Test Resource Centre. See list of Resource Centres.
- How do you use a TOEFL registration voucher??
- To use your registration voucher, go to how to register, create an online account and register for the TOEFL iBT test. When the "Method of Payment" screen appears, choose "Voucher" and then enter your TOEFL test registration voucher number. Your registration voucher must be used on or before the expiration date.
- What is a TOEFL iBT Test Resource Centre?
- A TOEFL iBT Test Resource Centre is a place where you can go to get more information about the TOEFL test and assistance with registration. Some locations will help you register online with your own credit card. At other locations, you can purchase a TOEFL iBT Registration Voucher in local currency. A printed TOEFL® Test Prep Planner is given to you for FREE when you register for the test with the help of a TOEFL iBT Test Resource Centre. See list of Resource Centres.
- How should my name appear on my registration?
- The spelling of your name should match exactly the name printed on the valid ID document you will present at the testing site. If this information does not match, you will not be permitted to test and your test fee will be forfeited.
- How can I find a testing site?
- When you select a date and general location in the online registration system, you'll see a list of test sites in that area. You can search by site or date to find a match to your needs.
- What can I do with my TOEFL iBT profile?
- When you register online, you will create a
TOEFL iBT profile, including a user name and
password. You will be able to return to the site to:
- update your address
- view your registration at "View Orders"
- add a TOEFL Value Pack to your order
- reschedule or cancel your registration
- view your scores
- place orders for additional score reports
- check the status of previous orders
- pay an outstanding balance
- Will I receive a confirmation of my registration?
- Yes — you can print your confirmation by choosing "Print and View Your Registration Confirmation" on the page with the heading "Thank You for Your Order." Your test date, start time and test site address are listed on your confirmation. Return to your online TOEFL iBT account the day before the test in case changes have been made to your registration details (for example, different time or building than originally scheduled). You will also receive an e-mail confirmation.
- When do late fees apply?
- Registration closes seven days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test). A late fee of US$35 is charged for registrations received after this deadline. Late registration closes three days prior to your test date (not including the day of the test).
- I missed the deadline for scheduling a test. What should I do?
- Select another test date.
- I was registering online and my browser froze so I couldn't register. What should I do?
- Close your browser and try to log in again. Avoid using the browser's "Back" button when navigating the registration site. When entering information, do not use diacritical characters (accent marks) or double-click any of the buttons or links.
- If you are still having problems, please call Customer Service. In the United States or Canada, call 1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-GO-TOEFL (1-800-468-6335); TTY call 1-800-529-3590. Outside the United States, contact your Regional Registration Center (RRC) (PDF).
- If I can't register online or at a TOEFL iBT Test Resource Centre, can I register by phone?
- In the United States or Canada, call 1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-GO-TOEFL (1-800-468-6335); TTY call 1-800-529-3590. Outside the United States, contact your Regional Registration Center (RRC) (PDF).
- What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
- You can reschedule or cancel your registration up to three full days before your test date (not including the day of the test or the day of your request). That means if your test is on a Saturday, you must reschedule or cancel by Tuesday. The fee to reschedule is US$60 and must be paid before you can reschedule. If your request is not received at least three full days in advance, your full test fee will be forfeited. Test administrators are not authorized to make schedule changes. To reschedule, you will need to provide your registration number and the full name you used to register.
- How can I reschedule?
You can reschedule via
your online profile or by calling the appropriate
In the United States and Canada, call 1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-GO-TOEFL (1-800-468-6335).
Outside the United States and Canada, contact your Regional Registration Center (PDF).
Note:You cannot reschedule or cancel your registration via e-mail.
Can I get a refund on my test fee?
Yes. If you cancel your registration no later than three full days before your test date (not including the day of the test or the day of your request), you can receive a refund of half your original test fee. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Cash refunds are not available.
- How can I get a refund on my TOEFL iBT registration voucher?
- If you purchased a registration voucher and wish to get a refund:
- Before you register, contact the organization where you purchased the registration voucher.
- After you register, follow the regular TOEFL refund procedures found in the TOEFL iBT Registration Bulletin and on the TOEFL website. You can cancel your registration no later than three full days before your test date (not including the day of the test or the day of your request) and receive a refund of half the original test fee paid. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Cash refunds are not available.
- If you received a free registration voucher from a sponsor, the refund will go to your sponsor.
- Test Planning and Test Preparation
- When do I take the test?
- Plan to take the TOEFL test two to three months before your earliest application deadline so your scores arrive at your institutions in time. Find application deadlines by checking the institution's website.
- How far in advance do I register?
- Register three to four months before the test date.
- Where are TOEFL test scores accepted?
More than 7,500 colleges, universities and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL test scores. View the TOEFL® Destinations Directory.
- When should I start preparing for the test?
- Start preparing for the test at least eight weeks before your test date.
- What is the best way to prepare for the TOEFL test?
- Practicing your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills as much as possible will help you feel prepared and confident on test day. We offer resources to make it easier. Because ETS is the maker of the TOEFL test, it is the only source for authentic sample questions. For detailed descriptions of test preparation materials available, see test preparation.
- What is included in The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test?
- The book provides practice with hundreds of real TOEFL test questions and has a CD-ROM with two full-length, authentic practice tests. The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test (eBook or paper book format) can be purchased online at the ETS Store or from your local bookstore.
- What is TOEFL® Practice Online?
TOEFL® Practice Online allows you to experience the real test and get immediate scores and feedback. Four complete practice tests are available on the TOEFL Practice Online website and can be taken in timed mode to simulate the test setting. You can also purchase specific skills practice for the Speaking section.
- Are there any additional FREE TOEFL test resources from ETS?
- Other free resources that you may find helpful include:
- Test Section Details
- What is the Reading section like?
- The Reading section includes three to five reading passages. There are 12 to 14 questions per passage. You have from 60 to 100 minutes to answer all the questions in the section.
- TOEFL iBT Reading passages are excerpts from university-level textbooks that would be used in introductions to a discipline or topic. The passages will cover a variety of different subjects. Don't worry if you're unfamiliar with the topic of a passage. All the information you need to answer the questions will be in the passage.
- What is the Listening section like?
The Listening section
includes test questions about academic lectures and
long conversations in which the speech sounds very
natural. You can take notes on any listening
material throughout the entire test. The test is
- Four to six lectures, each three to five minutes long, six questions per lecture, 60 to 90 minutes
- Two to three conversations, each three minutes long, five questions per conversation, 60 to 90 minutes
- What is the Speaking section like?
The Speaking section
is approximately 20 minutes long and includes six
- The first two questions are called "independent Speaking tasks" because they require you to draw entirely on your own ideas, opinions and experiences when you respond.
- The other four questions are called "integrated Speaking tasks" because they require you to integrate your English-language skills — listening and speaking or listening, reading and speaking — just as you would in or out of a classroom.
You will speak into the microphone on your headset and your responses will be recorded and sent to the ETS Scoring Network, where they will be scored by certified human raters. See TOEFL sample questions and responses.
- How are my Speaking responses scored?
- Your recorded responses are sent to the ETS Scoring Network, where three to six certified human raters score them holistically on a scale of 0 to 4. The average score on the six tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.
- Raters do not expect your responses to be perfect, and even high-scoring responses may contain occasional errors. Your pronunciation does not need to sound like that of a native speaker of English. The raters are listening for the effectiveness of your communication and your ability to accomplish the tasks you are given.
- See the Speaking scoring guides (PDF) and listen to sample responses to help you understand how responses are evaluated.
- What is the Writing section like?
The total time for the
Writing section is 50 minutes. You are asked to
write responses to two writing tasks: an integrated
Writing task and an independent Writing task.
- Integrated Writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture. Then write in response to what you read and listened to.
- Independent Task (30 minutes) — write an essay in response to a Writing topic.
Get The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test for a longer list of topics. Go to the ETS store to purchase The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test.
You'll type your responses on the computer keyboard and then your responses will be sent to the ETS Scoring Network. See TOEFL sample questions and responses.
- How are Writing responses scored?
- Writing responses are scored holistically on a scale of 0 to 5. The average score on the two tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.
- You're not expected to produce a comprehensive essay about a specialized topic — your response is recognized as a first draft. You can receive a high score with an essay that contains some errors.
- See the Writing Scoring Guides (PDF) and read sample responses to help you understand how responses are evaluated.
- Test Sessions
- How long is the test session?
- The entire TOEFL iBT™ test session (including check-in) is approximately four and one-half hours long. The test itself is four hours long. Check-in time is 30 minutes.
- What can I take into the test site?
- Identification documents are the only personal items allowed in the testing room. You cannot bring cell phones, PDAs, BlackBerry® devices or any other electronic or photographic equipment.
- Can I take notes during the test?
- Test takers can take notes throughout the entire test. At the end of testing, all notes are collected and destroyed at the test site to ensure test security.
- Do I need to wear headphones for the test?
- Yes. You will be given noise-canceling headphones with a microphone that you will speak into for the Speaking section of the test.
- Which computer keyboard is used?
The TOEFL iBT test
uses a standard English-language (QWERTY) computer
keyboard. It takes its name from the first six
letters in the third row of the keyboard. If you
haven't used this kind of keyboard before, practice
on one before test day to become familiar with it.
- Can I take only one section of the test?
- No. The entire test must be taken at the same time. To receive a score, you must answer at least one question in the Reading section and the Listening section, write at least one essay and complete at least one Speaking task.
- Test Day
- What things should I remember to do before test day?
- Return to your online TOEFL iBT™ account under "View Orders."
- Select the recipients of up to four
FREE official score reports before 10
p.m. local test site time the day before you
test if you did not do so when you registered.
Log in to your online profile, click on "View
Orders" on your home page and select your
recipients from the list provided. Verify your
first selected recipient and select a
department, if applicable. You can choose to
"add another recipient." If you select your
institutions after the 10 p.m. deadline, there
is a US$17 fee for each score report.
- Print your registration confirmation. Note any change in the test site (for example, different time or building than originally scheduled.) Bring your registration confirmation with you to the testing site. You will need your registration number to be admitted. The test cannot be taken without it.
- Bring valid identification. The test cannot be taken without it.
- Make travel plans to get to the testing site. Your test registration confirmation will list the street address of the test site. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled start time.
- What do I need to bring on test day?
- There are only two important things you need to
bring with you on test day:
- An acceptable, valid ID with your name, recent photo and signature. Requirements for a valid ID vary; see "What to Bring" above for more details.
- Your registration confirmation, including your registration number.
- What happens on test day?
Here are a few things
to keep in mind on test day:
- Arrive at the test site at least 30 minutes early. If you arrive late, you may not be admitted and your test fee will be forfeited.
- Bring your registration number and valid ID with you. See "What to Bring" above for more details. Without the required documents, you will not be permitted to test and your test fee will be forfeited.
- There is a 10-minute break midway through the test.
- The test takes approximately four hours, and you cannot go beyond the time limit.
- No mobile devices or other personal items are allowed in the testing room.
Watch a short video (Flash) for a preview of what to expect when you go to the TOEFL iBT testing site.
See what to expect on test day for more details.
- Will I be allowed to go for a break during the test?
- You can use the restroom at any time, but remember that the total length of the test is four and a half hours. The time clock does not stop while you are absent. There is a mandatory 10-minute break for all test takers after the Reading and Listening sections of the test have been completed.
- Raise your hand if you need to leave your seat for any reason.
- If you must leave the room, you must show the administrator your identification document before you leave and when you return.
- You cannot use your mobile phone during the test or on breaks.
- Scores and Score Reports
- What are TOEFL test scores like?
The TOEFL iBT™ test
provides scores in four skill areas — Reading,
Listening, Speaking and Writing — and a total score:
- Reading 0 – 30
- Listening 0 – 30
- Speaking 0 – 30
- Writing 0 – 30
- Total Score 0 – 120
The total score is the sum of the four skill scores.
- What is on my score report?
- Your examinee score report includes scores for each test section, a total score and performance feedback about what test takers typically achieve at your score level.
- How and when do I get my scores?
- Scores will be posted online within two weeks of the test date. Log in to your online TOEFL iBT account, enter the ETS ID received when you registered and click on the "View Scores" link. Your scores are also mailed to the universities or institutions you selected when you registered. A score report posting schedule for each test administration is available on the TOEFL iBT test site. Allow 7 – 10 days for mail delivery in the United States and more than four weeks for other areas. We recommend that you take the test two to three months before your earliest application deadline.
- How soon do score recipients get my scores?
- Score reports are sent electronically or mailed to recipients two weeks after the test date.
- How long are scores valid?
- ETS reports scores for two years after the test date.
- How many score reports are included in my test fee?
- Your test fee includes:
- One examinee score report for you
- Up to four official score reports that ETS will send directly to the institutions or agencies you selected.
- Can I order additional official score reports?
- Yes, you can order additional score reports after your scores are available online, approximately two weeks after the test date.
- How do I order additional score reports?
You can order
additional score reports as soon as your test scores
are available (two weeks after test day). You can
send your scores to as many institutions as you
choose for a fee of US$17 per report. Scores are
mailed approximately four to seven days after
receipt of your request and payment.
- Order by Fax: Fill out the TOEFL iBT Official Score Report Request Form (PDF). Fax it with your registration number and credit/debit card information to 1-610-290-8972. If you send the same fax more than once, write "DUPLICATE" in large letters on the form to avoid extra charges to your credit/debit card.
- Order by Mail: Print and complete the TOEFL iBT Official Score Report Request Form (PDF). Mail it with your payment as directed on the form.
Acceptable payment methods include credit/debit card or check or money order in U.S. dollars. For online orders, scores are mailed four to seven business days after your request and receipt of payment. For mail or fax orders, scores are mailed usually within two weeks after your request and payment is received.
- Will score recipients accept scores from previous tests?
- Check with each score recipient directly.
- Does the TOEFL test have cumulative score reporting like the GRE® test does?
- No. Unlike the GRE® test, TOEFL score reports do not report the scores for the last three tests taken. TOEFL score reports include scores for only the last test taken.
- What does the Lexile® measure on my score report mean?
Your Lexile® measure allows you to find books that reflect your reading ability and interests, and are challenging enough to help strengthen your reading skills. MetaMetrics® and ETS offer this free service to take the guesswork out of choosing the right materials for you to read. Go to www.lexile.com/toefl for more information.
- How are my Speaking responses scored?
- It's important to note that raters don't expect your responses to be perfect, and even high-scoring responses may contain occasional errors. Your pronunciation does not need to sound like that of a native speaker of English. The raters are listening for the effectiveness of your communication and your ability to accomplish the tasks you are given.
- How are my Writing responses scored?
- Your responses are scored holistically on a scale of 0 to 5. The average score on the two tasks is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.
- See the Writing scoring guides (PDF) and read sample responses to help you understand how responses are evaluated.
- Can I cancel my scores?
- You are given the option of canceling your scores at the end of your test session. You cannot cancel scores for individual sections of the test.
- Can I reinstate my canceled scores?
- Yes, you can reinstate your scores if your request is received at ETS within 10 days of your test date, for a fee of US$20. Your reinstatement request must include your name, date of birth, daytime phone number, registration number and payment. You may fax or mail a written request to TOEFL Services. (See the last page of the Frequently Asked Questions for contact information.) Reinstated scores will be reported online approximately three weeks after receipt of your payment and will then be mailed to you and your score recipients.
- Can I request a rescore of my Speaking and/or Writing responses?
- Yes, you can request a rescore up to three months after your test date. You can make the request for rescoring of either the Speaking or the Writing section (US$60), or you can request rescoring of both the Speaking and Writing sections (US$120). Complete the Rescoring Request Form (PDF) and send it along with the required fee to the address on the form. If you are paying by credit/debit card, you can fax the form. The results will be available approximately three weeks after your payment is received.
- Who do I contact if there is a problem with my score report?
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call ETS at 1-609-771-7100 (outside the United States and Canada) or 1-877-863-3546 (United States and Canada), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern Time (New York). Phones are busiest on Monday. Or call 1-609-771-7714 (TTY) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- After the Test
- What if my test is rescheduled or if there is a problem at the test site?
- Weather conditions or other circumstances beyond
the control of the test administrator or ETS may
require a delayed start or the rescheduling of your
test. If your test session is cancelled or if it is
later determined that your scores could not be
reported, you can:
- Retest free of charge or receive a full refund of the original test fee.
- Seek reimbursement from ETS for reasonable
and documented expenses (for yourself only)
associated with traveling to the testing site.
To request reimbursement, contact TOEFL Services
email@example.com within 30 days of
your original test date.
Reimbursement requests must include your:
- date of birth
- mailing address
- daytime telephone number (United States residents)
- e-mail address
- original test date
- registration number
- brief description of what occurred at the testing site
- ETS will determine the appropriateness of the request. Approved reimbursements are made in U.S. dollars.
- If I experience technical problems at the testing site, can I ask that my test be rescheduled?
- In rare instances, technical problems may require late starts and/or rescheduling of the test. If such an event at the test site makes it necessary for you to cancel your test session, or if it is later determined that your scores could not be reported, you can choose to retest for free or receive a full refund of the original test fee.
- What if I observe questionable or unacceptable behavior at the testing site?
- Please contact ETS as soon as possible to report
any observed behavior that may lead to an invalid
score — for example, someone copying from another
test taker, taking a test for someone else, having
access to test questions or answers before the test
or using notes or unauthorized aids. All information
is held in strictest confidence.
- E-mail: TSReturns@ets.org
- Phone: 1-800-353-8570 (United States and Canada) or 1-609-406-5430 (all other countries)
- Does ETS ever cancel score reports?
- Yes, ETS cancels score reports for administrative errors (for example, improper timing, improper seating, defective materials and defective equipment), natural disasters or other emergencies, improper access to test content, identification discrepancies, misconduct, plagiarism and inconsistent performance across different parts of the test.