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  • Understanding How the TOEFL Is Scored

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    There are currently two formats for the TOEFL: internet based (iBT) and paper based (PBT). Most countries now offer the internet-based test, but a few exclusively use the paper-based one. The two formats are scored differently, so you’ll first need to determine which one you’ll be taking.

    The paper-based test

    Your raw score (meaning the number of questions you answered correctly) will be converted to a scaled score ranging from 31–68 for listening comprehension and structure/written expression and 31–67 for reading comprehension. Your total scaled score will be in the range of 310–677.

    The Internet-based test

    Each of the four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) will be scored from 0–30. The scaled scores will then be added up to get your total score, ranging from 0–120. To receive an official score, you’ll need to fill in at least one answer each on the reading and listening sections, write at least one essay, and complete at least one speaking task.

    There’s no “passing” or “failing” the TOEFL

    Rather, you need to receive a score within the accepted range for the university you wish to attend. You can search for the score requirements of different universities using the TOEFL Destination Search.

    Be aware that some universities may require different scores for different sections. For example, a university might require a student to score at least a 24 on the writing section but may accept a slightly lower score for the speaking section.

    Keep in mind that if you don’t receive the scores necessary to attend your chosen university the first time you take the TOEFL, you can retake the test multiple times. You should also note that your TOEFL scores can be used for up to two years.

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