Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The TOEFL test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

Why Take the TOEFL Test?

Compared to other English-language tests, the TOEFL® test includes a number of advantages that help you stand out from other applicants.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test?

More than 35 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

What is the validity of the TOEFL certificate?

How long is my TOEFL score valid for? Does it expire? These are all valid questions when paying for an English language exam and needing the score to apply for university or a visa to work/study overseas. The score you get on the test is valid for 2 years after that date. If you want to take the test again to improve your score, you can but not until 12 days has passed.

How is the test scored?

TOEFL is a four skill exam – reading, writing, listening, and speaking -so you will receive a score for each skill area and an overall score. To get a TOEFL score you need to answer at least one question on the listening and reading papers, answer one speaking question, and complete one writing task. It won’t give you the score you want but it is the minimum requirement for a score to be given. Each section is scored out of 30 and the total score out of 120.
 

Why Does a TOEFL Matter?

The TOEFL exam plays a highly important role for students, teachers, admissions officers, and universities as it is one of the most widely recognized standards of English language proficiency. Almost all higher education institutions in the US, and some even in the UK, require that students submit a TOEFL exam score along with their applications. This is then used to judge their qualifications for succeeding in an academic setting and can make or break a school’s admission decision about a particular student. While every university has different average scores for admitted applicants, most American universities will only consider applicants for scholarships who score an 80 or above on the TOEFL exam. 

How is TOEFL certification different than TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc.?

TESOL, TEFL, and CELTA are all specific teaching certifications for teachers abroad looking to work with students across all levels of English language proficiency. As a TOEFL teacher, however, you’ll be working with students who are intermediate to proficient in English, looking to ace their TOEFL exams in order to embark on their own international education adventure.
 
Your teacher TOEFL teacher training and certification will resemble TESOL, TEFL, and CELTA classes; since you’ll still be teaching general English grammar, writing, reading, and aural comprehension, but with additional practice teaching specific TOEFL test strategies. That way your students will walk into their test confident they have what it takes to ace it!

Who Should Take the TOEFL?

The TOEFL is intended mainly for students looking to attend a university or graduate school program in an English speaking country. But people can also take the TOEFL for other purposes. Those who may take the TOEFL include:
 
Students entering into a high school in an English speaking country
Students attending 2-year community college programs in an English speaking country
People who are looking to be licensed or certified in a particular field
People who need to demonstrate their mastery of the English language for immigration purposes
Those who simply want to assess their English language skills in a formal setting
The creators of the test recommend that students be at least in the 11th grade (or 17 years of age) before attempting to take the TOEFL. The test requires you to read some difficult passages and be familiar with some high-level vocabulary and most students are not exposed to this type of language before the 11th grade. 
 
Not every college or university requires incoming international students to take a TOEFL. Those that do generally ask for the TOEFL if:
 
English is not your primary language
If your primary language of instruction hasn’t been English for at least five years
Some schools will waive the need for you to take a TOEFL test if you have:
 
Scored in a certain percentile on the English, reading, and writing sections of the ACT or SAT
Taken a TOEFL sometime in the past two years
Earned a diploma or degree from an English-speaking country
 

Conclusion: What Is the TOEFL Test? What Do You Need to Know About It?

Half the battle of taking a standardized test like the TOEFL (aka the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is in understanding it. Maybe you discovered that the TOEFL isn’t the right test for you. Or maybe you’ve discovered that you’ll have to take it to get into your dream school. If that’s the case, then a little planning will help see you through.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting to study for the TOEFL, or if you’re about to take it for the 10th time, the more you know about the test, the better prepared you’ll be. Good luck!

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