What is a good TOEFL score? Answered by Experts

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Do you feel your TOEFL exam went great? Are you expecting amazing results? Whether you have already taken your TOEFL test are planning to, you probably wonder what a good score is.

You are hardly the only one. Waiting for ten days before your TOEFL results are sent online can be frustrating, but it’s even more so not knowing how to interpret your results!

Unlike most other tests we take, you cannot pass or fail TOEFL. No individual TOEFL score can really be said to be “good” or “bad”, like no English is inherently “good” or “bad” – it all depends on the language you use and what you need it for.

What is a good TOEFL score?

Sometimes the minimum requirement is good enough.Fortunately, many universities take care of this by specifying exactly which scores qualify for their programs. At a few colleges you can just look up the score you need and then take a TOEFL practice test to see where you are currently

The minimum score will vary greatly from college to college. Some colleges require a score as low as seventy points and others as high as one hundred ten. Practically speaking, the college’s requirement is the needed score.

More often than not, if a school sets a score, that means the admissions department has determined that that score is what you need to do well in the school curriculum.As long as you meet that requirement, your score will not play a major role in your admission or rejection.

Many times, a school will aware special benefits or opportunities if your TOEFL score exceeds a threshold.For example, if you try to access a graduate school, the minimum score may be 90.

To work as a TA (teaching assistant), you may need one hundred on the TOEFL overall.If you are hoping for special work opportunities on campus, check if there are separate, higher TOEFL requirements.

Programs that set a TOEFL scoring area

It is usually not necessary to scrape as many points as possible in TOEFL.But in some cases, a university program does not set a single minimum TOEFL iBT score.Instead, you may need to have a TOEFL score that is in a particular range.In that case you will aim for the highest possible score.

TOEFL iBT scoring intervals are usually set by conditional acceptance programs.These types of programs do not allow low-key TOEFL testers to be accepted.And, conditionally accepted students must take some ESL courses before they can start their regular degree.

When it comes to TOEFL score and conditional acceptance, higher scores mean fewer ESL classes. If your TOEFL score is at the bottom of a conditional acceptance area, you may need to take an entire year of ESL classes, maybe more.

However, if you have a top conditional TOEFL score, there is a good chance that you study English in a semester before you begin your normal degree.

There are still other universities that set a scoring area for fully accepted students.This is less common.But you will see intervals, rather than just a set of minimum TOEFL scores, at some highly competitive universities.

Research away

In the end, you should examine the exact TOEFL expectations at your college. And when it comes to researching colleges, be sure to get the most accurate updated information.

If possible, email or call your school posting office to confirm any scoring information you see on their website.

Ideally, the information on the website will of course be up to date. But sometimes it will not be. So it never hurts to double check.

Bonus – What is a good TOEFL iBT score, according to ETS?

ETS, the company that produces TOEFL, also sets official levels for how well your TOEFL iBT score is.Once you get your TOEFL score, they will be accompanied by a document called “performance feedback.” This document contains a summary of your general level in each section/skills of TOEFL.There are separate thresholds of your scores for TOEFL Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.

Performance levels for TOEFL reading and listening

ETS’s divides TOEFL scoring levels into three stages: high, intermediate and low.You can use this information to find out how well your score is in a very general sense.

HIGH: At high level you have a chance to enter the best schools that accept the exam.And the very best high scores give you a chance the very top schools, schools that are the Ivy League or similarly placed.

INTERMEDIATE: This will meet the requirements of most schools.

LOW: As you probably guessed, low TOEFL scores are not very good.At the upper end of ETS ‘low’ score range, you may enter conditional acceptance programs.

Performance levels for TOEFL Speaking

TOEFL performance feedback reports provide four different levels of TOEFL Languages: Good, Fair, Limited and Weak.Here are short descriptions of these four levels:

GOOD: This will get you into high schools and colleges.Obviously, the closer you are to the maximum score of thirty, the better.Perfect or almost perfect score gives test subjects a good shot at the Ivy League colleges.

FAIR: You will be able to enter most middle-ranked universities.Believe it or not, reasonable TOEFL spelling scores can also sometimes also get students to graduate programs.Certain candidate programs, especially those in the STEM fields, are willing to accept talented applicants at this lower level of TOEFL Speaking.

LIMITED: At this level, test subjects may be offered conditional acceptance in some colleges.Full acceptance in an education program is highly unlikely at this level.

WEAK: If your TOEFL Performance Feedback indicates that you are weak in Speaking, you may be eligible for conditional acceptance at some colleges.However, full acceptance of a university education program is highly unlikely at this performance level.

Performance levels for TOEFL Writing

The three levels are Good, Fair, and Limited.Here’s what a score each performance level means:

GOOD: Good TOEFL Writing means good chances of getting into a prestigious college. It depends on how close your score is to a perfect thirty.

FAIR: If your TOEFL writing is fair, you still have a good shot at middle level colleges.You may also be able to enter top schools, especially for STEM candidate programs.Conditional acceptance at upper middle level and high school is also a special option.

LIMITED: Limited TOEFL Writing skills translate to limited chances of acceptance at a college. Consider conditional acceptance programs.You can also get the chance of full acceptance in middle and low-grade colleges, provided that the rest of your TOEFL sections have higher performance levels.

So, these are some criteria you need to look out for when understanding what makes a high TOEFL score. Remember, you can take the test as many times as you want to gauge your improvement and only submit ones where you have scored higher. Keep practicing and good luck!

Must Check: Important articles on TOEFL Test:

A Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test

TOEFL vs IELTS: Similarities, Differences and Which One to Consider

PTE vs TOEFL: A Comparative Analysis

Recommended Books and Online Resources for TOEFL

TOEFL Syllabus, Test Pattern, Exam Dates and Application Form