What Score Do I Need To Get For The TOEFL?

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What is TOEFL?

The test of English as a foreign language — perhaps better known by its acronym: TOEFL — is a vital application component for any international students who desire to study in the United States. 

It is an exam that most universities in the United States require of any student who is coming from a country where English is not the native language. The purpose of the TOEFL is to determine the student's proficiency in English in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Passing this test provides assurance to the university that the student can perform the academic tasks necessary to be successful within his or her chosen program. While most students take an Internet version of the TOEFL — the TOEFL iBT — a paper version known as PBT is also available for students who are testing at centers that don't have Internet access. Typically, the cost of taking the TOEFL ranges from $160 to $250.

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Students taking a test

What the TOEFL Entails

The TOEFL is divided into four categories with each one worth a total of 30 points. This means that a student can earn a maximum of 120 points. Typically, a student must score well enough in all areas in order to successfully pass the TOEFL, though some universities also have minimum requirements for the sections. The following provides a breakdown of the test sections:

  • Reading: Answer between 36 and 56 questions that demonstrate reading comprehension with a time limit of 60 to 80 minutes.
  • Writing: Perform two essay-style writing tasks within 50 minutes.
  • Speaking: Talk based on assigned topics across six tasks within a 20-minute time limit.
  • Listening: After listening to a variety of materials, answer between 34 and 51 questions within the time limit, which is typically between 60 and 90 minutes.

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