What is the TOEFL Test? | The TOEFL® Test

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The TOEFL® test is a highly respected English language proficiency test, helping millions of students like you attend English-speaking institutes all over the world.

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The TOEFL® Test Advantage

90% of TOEFL test takers surveyed got into their 1st or 2nd choice university

Based on a random survey of 296 university students.

4 out of 5 admissions officers prefer the TOEFL test over any other English-language proficiency test*

*Source: Survey of 263 admissions officers at U.S. universities, of whom 212 accept both the TOEFL® test and the IELTS™ test, with 152 stating a preference.

More TOEFL scores are sent to U.S. universities than all other English-language tests combined.* Why risk taking any other test?

*Source: Survey of 329 admissions officers at U.S. universities.

Free resources and official prep materials — because there’s no better way to practice for test success than with tools from ETS, the creator of the TOEFL test

The entire test is given in half a day, unlike other tests that make you come back a second day

More than 10,000 universities, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept the TOEFL test, including top universities in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.

Around the World

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The United States attracts more international students than any other country. Including neighbors Canada and Mexico, North America greets students with incredibly diverse landscapes and cultures, as well as some of the top universities in the world.

United States

Nearly every higher education institution in the U.S. accepts TOEFL® scores, including two-year and four-year undergraduate schools, as well as graduate and business programs.

Did you know?

The current United States flag was designed by a high school student named Robert G. Heft in 1958 as a school project.

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Canada

As an international leader in computer and information technologies, Canada is an excellent location to be immersed in the telecommunication, transportation and engineering industries.

All of the top 20 universities in Canada accept TOEFL scores.

Did you know?

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world.

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Mexico

The southern neighbor to the U.S., Mexico boasts excellent health care and a low cost of living.

Some of the top industries include aerospace and automotive engineering, food and beverages, and pharmaceutical health.

Did you know?

You can stay up to six months in Mexico with a tourist visa.

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Every year, thousands of students from South America take the TOEFL® test to pursue their academic dreams.

The countries of South America also offer a beautiful backdrop for studying abroad. More and more students are flocking here to experience the warm climate and dynamic culture of this exotic continent.

Click a country to explore how the TOEFL test can take you there!

Brazil

Brazil's economy is rapidly growing — there are thousands of high-paying jobs available for college grads.

The vibrant city of São Paolo — Brazil’s largest city — is home to several renowned corporations and universities.

Did You Know?

The name Brazil comes from a tree named brazilwood, commonly found along the coast.

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Argentina

Home of the legendary tango dance, Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world by size.

Argentina's largest city is Buenos Aires, and the most important contributor to its economy is the service sector.

Did you know?

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world.

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Peru

Lima is both the capital city and the financial capital of Peru.

Two-thirds of Peru is covered in rain forest.

Did you know?

Peru has three official languages: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.

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Venezuela

Venezuela is home to Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world.

The country of Venezuela consists of 23 states: The Capital District and Federal Dependencies, which consist of a large number of islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Did you know?

Canaima National Park, one of 43 national parks in Venezuela, is among the largest parks in the world.

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Steeped in culture and history, Europe has been a leading destination for study abroad students for years. Its major capital cities like Paris, London, and Amsterdam offer an abundance of educational, job and extracurricular opportunities.

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The Netherlands

Amsterdam is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands and rated a top European city in which to locate an international business.

There are about 90 TOEFL-accepting institutions in the Netherlands.

Did you know?

Amsterdam is home to the oldest stock exchange in the world.

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France

France has one of the world's largest economies due to the educational system's quality and the national capacity for research and innovation.

Paris is world-renowned for its art, fashion and food.

Did you know?

As the largest country in the European Union, France is often referred to as "the hexagon" due to its six-sided shape.

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Germany

As a global leader in mechanical engineering and industrial production, Germany is a thriving market within the European Union that offers incredible research and development opportunities for students.

German students travel to study abroad more than their European counterparts.

Did you know?

Students are allowed to work in Germany for one year after the completion of their course, and work permits can be further extended.

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The oldest inhabited land on earth, Africa is a continent unlike any other. From public health and service opportunities in developing nations, to exotic cultural and environmental adventures, Africa has so much to offer TOEFL test takers.

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South Africa

Due to low exchange rates, South Africa is an affordable living and studying option.

Students interested in wildlife biology, archeology and conservation will find this country a rewarding destination.

Did you know?

South Africa is home to one of the oldest and largest meteor craters in the world, called the Vredefort Dome, created over 2 billion years ago.

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Morocco

A country with deep cultural roots, Morocco attracts students interested in Arab studies and foreign policy.

Morocco is renowned for its literature, art, and architecture.

Did you know?

In Moroccan culture, the liver and not the heart is considered to be the symbol of love.

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Nigeria

Nigeria's name came from the Niger River, one of the longest and largest rivers in Africa.

The financial and communications sectors are central contributors to Nigeria's growing economy.

Did you know?

The Nigerian movie industry is known as "Nollywood."

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As a group, Asian nations send more students abroad than any other continent.

Bustling cities like Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore also are some of the top destinations in the world for students studying finance and technology.

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China

China is a popular destination for all types of engineering: electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, environmental, petroleum, marine and navigation, computer software.

Chinese universities make many courses available in English for international students.

Did you know?

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a celebration that lasts for 15 days and has been a tradition for thousands of years.

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India

More than 30,000 students a year come from abroad to study in India.

India's largest city, Mumbai, is home to top business, engineering and technology schools.

Did you know?

The saffron color in the Indian flag symbolizes strength and courage; the white symbolizes truth and peace; and the green represents the fertility of the land.

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Japan

Japan's economy is incredibly advanced, having seen dramatic growth over the past three decades.

Production of motor vehicles and electronic equipment are major industries.

Did you know?

Japan has more than 200 volcanoes!

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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest-growing populations of students leaving to study abroad, fueled by scholarships offered by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission.

Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia compose a large portion of the workforce.

Did you know?

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river, the majority of its water supply comes from desalinated seawater.

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Singapore

Singapore is a booming business center, with more than 7,000 multinational companies operating in the tiny Asian-Pacific nation.

A global education hub, Singapore also is becoming a top business school destination.

Did you know?

The world's first nocturnal zoo, the Night Safari, is located in Singapore.

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South Korea

In the country where the martial art of Taekwondo originated, South Korean universities provide abundant arts and sciences programs.

Several global leaders in the electronics and automobile industries are located in South Korea.

Did you know?

South Korea is home to the Cheomseongdae Observatory, one of the oldest astronomical laboratories in the world.

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The land down under is one of the most exciting destinations for study abroad. Its location in the Southern Hemisphere means Australia's seasons are opposite from those in Europe, the U.S. and Asia — just one of the things that makes this island continent so interesting.

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Australia

Every university in Australia accepts TOEFL scores for admission.

Study in Australia Scholarships are offered by the Australian Government, education institutions and a number of other organizations. Learn more

Did you know?

More than 80 percent of Australia's animals are unique to the country, including the koala, kangaroo, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.

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New Zealand

Focused on innovation, New Zealand's economy is consistently growing.

This remote nation in the South Pacific is made up of two islands, the North Island and the larger South Island.

Did you know?

Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand. Cricket and sailing also are tremendously popular.

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For Parents

Give your children amazing opportunities to succeed.

Studying abroad at an English-speaking university is an excellent way for your children to broaden their perspective and gain an advantage in the job market. That path to success starts with the TOEFL test.

We encourage you to explore this site to learn more about the test and the opportunities it can bring, both at home and abroad. Our Visa & Study Abroad Resources section will also help answer a lot of your questions. Share it with your children. And help them register for the TOEFL test when they are ready to pursue their dreams!

TOEFL® Test Basics

What is the TOEFL Test?

The TOEFL test measures the ability of non-native English speakers to use and understand English as it’s read, written, heard and spoken in the university classroom.

If you want to study at an English-speaking university or program, no other test can get you to as many destinations around the world as the TOEFL test.

Test Format

In most test centers worldwide, you’ll take the TOEFL iBT® test on a computer. However, the TOEFL test is administered as a paper-based test (revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test) in a few places where testing via the internet is not available.

Sections

The TOEFL test measures all four English-language skills. It takes about four hours. 

Section Time Limit No. of Questions Overview
Reading 60—80 minutes 36—56 questions Read passages, then respond to questions
Listening 60—90 minutes 34—51 questions Listen to lectures or a classroom discussion, then respond to questions
BREAK Relax for 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Speak into a microphone about familiar topics and discuss material you read about and listened to
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Read a passage, listen to a recording and then type your written response

Dates & Fees

About TOEFL iBT ® Scores:

  • Score requirements are set by individual colleges and universities. 
  • You’ll receive a score from 0 to 30 for each section and a total score of 0 to 120 for the entire test.
  • Scores are valid for 2 years after your test date.
  • You can try for a better score as many times as you’d like—there are unlimited retakes. (You just can’t take the test more than once in a 12-day period.)

Getting and Sending Your Scores:

  • Your scores will be ready in 10 days, and you can view them easily online.
  • A paper score report will be mailed to you if you select that option when you register.
  • For test dates after January 1, 2015, you can download a PDF copy of your score report from your account. 
    (Note: Downloadable score reports are currently not available for tests taken in China).
  • Scores are sent free to up to 4 institutions that you select prior to your test day.

Fairness

The Speaking section is measured more fairly. 

You will speak into a microphone without a rater sitting in front of you. After you are finished, your responses will be assessed by three to six raters to give you the most fair and objective score possible.

What is the TOEFL® Test?

What is the TOEFL Test?

The TOEFL test measures the ability of non-native English speakers to use and understand English as it’s read, written, heard and spoken in the university classroom.

If you want to study at an English-speaking university or program, no other test can get you to as many destinations around the world as the TOEFL test.

Test Format

Test Format

In most test centers worldwide, you’ll take the TOEFL iBT® test on a computer. However, the TOEFL test is administered as a paper-based test (revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test) in a few places where testing via the internet is not available.

Sections

Sections

The TOEFL test measures all four English-language skills. It takes about four hours. 

Section Time Limit No. of Questions Overview
Reading 60—80 minutes 36—56 questions Read passages, then respond to questions
Listening 60—90 minutes 34—51 questions Listen to lectures or a classroom discussion, then respond to questions
BREAK Relax for 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Speak into a microphone about familiar topics and discuss material you read about and listened to
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Read a passage, listen to a recording and then type your written response

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Scores

About TOEFL iBT ® Scores:

  • Score requirements are set by individual colleges and universities. 
  • You’ll receive a score from 0 to 30 for each section and a total score of 0 to 120 for the entire test.
  • Scores are valid for 2 years after your test date.
  • You can try for a better score as many times as you’d like—there are unlimited retakes. (You just can’t take the test more than once in a 12-day period.)

Getting and Sending Your Scores:

  • Your scores will be ready in 10 days, and you can view them easily online.
  • A paper score report will be mailed to you if you select that option when you register.
  • For test dates after January 1, 2015, you can download a PDF copy of your score report from your account. 
    (Note: Downloadable score reports are currently not available for tests taken in China).
  • Scores are sent free to up to 4 institutions that you select prior to your test day.

Fairness

Fairness

The Speaking section is measured more fairly. 

You will speak into a microphone without a rater sitting in front of you. After you are finished, your responses will be assessed by three to six raters to give you the most fair and objective score possible.

Additional Resources

TOEFL® Destination
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Search Service today.

GRE ® General Test

For graduate school. For business school. For your future. If your study-abroad plans extend beyond the undergraduate level, we can help you get there.

Learn more about the
GRE ® General Test.

Who Is ETS?

The TOEFL test is a product of ETS, a nonprofit organization with more than 60 years of
experience helping advance quality and equity in education worldwide. Its mission is to develop
and administer tests that give students like you the opportunity to pursue their dreams,
anywhere in the world.

Visit ets.org