FAQ | The TOEFL® Test


Frequently asked questions

About the TOEFL® Test

Why should I take the TOEFL® test?

The TOEFL® test is an English language assessment that is often required for admission by English-speaking universities and programs around the world. In addition to being accepted at more than 11,000 institutions in over 150 countries, including Australia, Canada, and the US, TOEFL scores help you get noticed by admissions officers who consider the TOEFL test a more accurate measure of your ability to succeed in a university setting.

Is there an age requirement? How do I qualify to take the test?

There are no age or eligibility requirements to take the TOEFL test. 

Do TOEFL scores expire?

Scores are valid for 2 years from your test date, so make sure to consider that in your plans.

What skills are tested by the TOEFL test?

There are four sections in the TOEFL iBT ® test: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. All four skills are measured and scores are based on criteria set forth by ETS, the maker of the TOEFL test. The test measures your level of English proficiency in all four of these skills, and English-speaking institutions use your scores to determine if you would be able to succeed in their academic environment.

How often is the test given?

The TOEFL iBT test is given on predetermined dates, over 50 times a year, at thousands of secure, Internet-based test centers around the world.  Select from a list of test locations and dates.

The revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test is offered in areas where testing via the Internet is not available.  You can register online or by mail.

How much does it cost?

The test fee depends on the location where you will be taking the test. For more information on registration, fees, test dates and locations, visit us here.

How do I register for the TOEFL test?

Online registration is the fastest, easiest method. You can enter a location where you want to test, and see what dates are available at test centers all over the world. Registration is available five to six months before the test date; but be sure to register early to reserve your seat. Get started here.

Individuals in Mainland China should refer to the TOEFL China website for how to register for the test.

I need to cancel my test. How do I do that?

You can cancel or reschedule your test up to four full days before your test date, not including the day of the test. You can do so by logging in to your ETS Account here. On the “My TOEFL Home” page, look under “Upcoming Tests” and click on “View/Modify.”

What if my test is rescheduled or delayed?

If, due to unforeseen circumstances, your test is rescheduled by ETS prior to the test date, and you are unable to test on the new date, you can select any available test date and you will not be charged the rescheduling fee. If you find out the test administration has been canceled only after you arrive at the test center, you can reschedule your test at no charge or receive a full refund of your test fee.

If you take the test and your scores are canceled by ETS, ETS will determine, at its sole discretion, whether you are eligible to retest at no charge or receive a refund.

If you have incurred travel costs to get to the test center, you may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable and documented travel expenses for yourself only within 30 days of your original test date. Refunds are in US dollars. Contact us here.

What do I need to bring on test day?

There are just two things you need to bring with you on test day: 1) an acceptable, valid ID with your name, recent photo and signature, and 2) your Registration Confirmation, including your registration number. No mobile devices or other personal items are allowed in the testing room.

I took the TOEFL test. When will I get my scores?

Scores are available online in approximately 6 days, and you can download a PDF copy of your score report within 8 days after your test date. (Note: Downloadable score reports are currently not available for tests taken in China). If you elected to receive a paper score report during registration, it is mailed within 11 days. Delivery times vary based on your location.

Can I retake the test?

You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but only once within any 3-day period.

Can I order additional score reports?

Yes you can, for a fee. Keep in mind that your registration fee covers the cost of sending up to four official score reports to the universities, institutions or agencies you select before you test.

University Requirements

What score do I need to be accepted by a university?

There are no passing or failing scores for the TOEFL test. Universities and programs that accept TOEFL scores set their own score requirements based on specific English skills their students need to have. Therefore, score requirements can vary. It’s recommended that you contact the institution directly to fully understand the requirements. You can use the TOEFL® Destination Search to search for institutions that accept your TOEFL scores.

Does the institution I’m applying to require that I take the TOEFL test?

If an institution requires an English-language proficiency test for admission, it probably accepts TOEFL scores. Universities and programs set their own score requirements based on specific English skills their students need to have, so you should check with the institution directly about its score requirements. The TOEFL® Destination Search is a great resource to find institutions that accept the TOEFL test and the scores needed for admission.

My Scores

I still haven’t received my paper score report. Whom should I contact?

Contact the TOEFL Services team. They will be able to answer your questions and confirm the status of your paper score report. To find the appropriate contact information, select your location in the dropdown menu here. Please have your ETS ID number available so they can more easily access your account.

I forgot my password for my TOEFL iBT account. What should I do?

For help retrieving your password, contact the TOEFL Services Team. They will be able to help you access your account. To find the appropriate contact info, select your location in the dropdown menu here.

I registered for the TOEFL test, but I haven’t decided where I want to send my four free score reports. Can I send them later?

You have until 10 p.m. local test center time on the night before your test to add up to four free score recipients. You can also change or delete recipients during that time. After that time, you will be charged US$20 each for score reports, and your selections cannot be changed or deleted. To add or change your score recipients after you register: log in to your account, select "View/Modify" under "Upcoming Tests," scroll down, click on "Edit Free Score Recipients" and follow the instructions.

Can I download a copy of my score report?

Yes, you can download the PDF score report from the “View Scores” section of your ETS Account. The PDF will become available within 2 days after your scores are posted in your account. See the score reporting dates here. Please note that downloadable score reports are currently not available for tests taken in China.