Clear TOEFL iBT to study abroad

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language for students planning to study abroad.?
By Aaron Dmello


TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English proficiency test taken by students planning to study abroad. The test is conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Services) which looks after the conduction of the tests, the preparation of the questions, and also the delivery of the scorecards of the test. 

TOEFL test is usually attempted by students planning on pursuing higher education in a native English-speaking country. The test checks the student’s ability to use and understand the English language at a level that is spoken, heard, or used within an educational institution like colleges and universities abroad. 

TOEFL is accepted globally by several countries and educational institutions. It is accepted in Asia and Europe as well as in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Many students prefer TOEFL because more of its score is sent to the United States of America and Canada in comparison n to all the other English proficiency tests put together. It also holds true to countries in Europe as well like France, Germany, and others. 

The English test assesses the English skills in reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities of the attempting student. The students need to clear the 4 criteria with acceptable marks to gain admission into the preferred university or college abroad. The level of the English exam will be to the language level which is used in a classroom. TOEFL is available over the internet and in the Paper format as TOEFL iBT and TOEFL paper-delivered Test respectively. 

TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) is the most commonly attempted mode of test. Almost 98% of all the TOEFL tests in the world are through this mode. The test is conducted online and is more preferred majorly due to its convenience. This test includes all the four criteria of testing including speaking, reading, writing, and listening. 

TOEFL paper-delivered Test is opted by students who can’t access TOEFL iBT due to technological limitations. This mode of the test is made for locations with no internet testing facilities. This exam will be conducted to test the communication skill of the student through reading, writing, and listening abilities. It must be noted that due to the lack of tech for capturing spoken responses, the TOEFL paper-delivered Test will not be conducting the Speaking section of the test. Most countries follow iBT while very few countries follow the paper test model. 

TOEFL iBT test format includes four sections comprising of Writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Four separate scores given to the four criteria adds up to a final score. The trick to breaking open this nut is practice. The more the students practice for the TOEFL test, the better the chances for scoring higher marks. 

TOEFL iBT Reading Test aims to check the student’s ability at reading and comprehending the provided materials which would be used in an educational or academic environment. Excerpts from reading passages of a university-level textbook will be given during the test. The content can be from different subjects but in a manner of introduction to a topic or discipline. However, it will contain all the information essential to answer the questions following the passage. 

The reading test will contain three or four passages made of 700 words each. The student will then have to answer 10 questions regarding the passages. All the questions must be answered within the time limit of 54 to 72 minutes

TOEFL iBT Listening Test assesses the individual’s ability to listen to and understand conversations and lectures in the English language. It looks for basic comprehension and the listener’s ability to judge the attitude or opinion of the speaker and find information by connecting the points. 

The listening test is divided into two types - lectures and conversations. The language used for both types would be at a campus level and would be as follows

  • There will be 3-4 lectures lasting 3-4 minutes each and the students will have to answer 6 questions for each lecture. 
  • There will be 2-3 conversations amongst two speakers lasting 3 minutes each. The students will have to answer 5 questions for each conversation. 

During the test, the students are allowed to take notes of the audio to assist them while answering the test. The applicant will be given 41 to 57 minutes to answer the entire section.

TOEFL iBT Speaking Test aims to check your ability to properly speak English in an academic environment. The test is made of 4 tasks which in turn are based on real-life situations an individual may encounter within and outside a classroom. 

In the First Question, the student will have to speak about something they are familiar with, their ideas, opinions, or experiences

For the remaining tasks 2-4, the students will have to speak using their combined ability to listen and speak, or listen, read or speak in English that may be used inside and outside an educational institution.

The speaking test will have native-speaker English accents from the UK, US, Australia, or New Zealand. The variety in accents reflects the situation you may encounter while studying abroad. However, the accents will only be used for the first task out of the four tasks. 

Candidates will be provided with a preparation time of 15-30 minutes before each response and the response will be somewhere between 45 and 60 seconds long.

TOEFL iBT Writing Test assesses the applicant`s ability to present one`s ideas in an organized, clear manner in English in an academic environment. The test is divided into two tasks - integrated writing test and Independent writing test. The complete tests together last for 50 minutes

  • In the Integrated writing task, the student will have to listen to a short lecture and read a short passage. They will then have to write a response on what they have heard and read. The test lasts for 20 minutes. 
  • For the Independent Writing task, the students will need to write an opinion in response to a writing topic or write an essay on some personal experience. The test lasts for 30 minutes

Candidates will answer the writing tests by typing their answers on a computer keyboard. The answers will then be sent to ETS for evaluation. The scores will be ascertained by a combination of Certified Human Raters and AI Scoring. The combination ensures quality and fairness

It is worth noting that the writing test is designed to check the individual`s English proficiency and not on how specialized or deep knowledge the individual has pertaining to the language. Therefore, the raters recognize the essay as a first draft, and hence, the student has the chance of scoring high despite having made a few errors in the essay. 

TOEFL Test will be conducted in a single day starting with Reading and Listening lasting for 2 hours combined. There will be a break of 10 minutes following the two tests. This will be followed by the Speaking and Writing tests which last for 17 and 50 minutes respectively.

TOEFL Test Scores are provided after each section has been individually evaluated. ETS will send a mail to the candidates after six days from the day of the exam, informing them on when their scores will be available. The candidates will receive the printed score reports after 11 days from the day of the exam.


Score Range

Mean Scores













Total Score




Students must note that there is no good or bad score concerning the TOEFL test. The score requirement is based on what the individual institutions require a student to clear to gain admission to that particular institution. 

Scoring above the requirement of a particular university will increase their chances of gaining admission to the institution while scoring below the requirement can be a major hindrance to gaining admission. Having said that generally, the average TOFEL score is 90 and can vary between 85 and 95. A good TOEFL score is anything above 100. 

TOEFL fee and eligibility

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language has no age limit
  • TOEFL does not require a minimum educational qualification as it is only an English language proficiency test and all one needs to know is the language before attempting the test. 
  • Anyone, regardless of race, nationality, gender, religion, or age, can take the TOEFL.
  • Students are advised to ascertain the specific requirements of the university, college, or educational institution they are attempting to gain admission into. This will help in deciding what score they must clear in order to gain admission to that specific university. 
  • TOEFL fees vary from country to country and hence, below mentioned is the cost of the course in some major countries











South Korea



TOEFL Additional Services Fees

Special Requests


TOEFL Registration Fee


TOEFL Late Registration Fee


TOEFL Rescheduling Fees


Reinstatement of canceled TOEFL scores


Additional TOEFL score reports (per institution or agency)

$20 each

Speaking or Writing Section score review


Speaking and Writing Section score review