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What Score Do I Need To Get For The TOEFL?

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:


TOEFL Scoring: The Basics

Most universities and colleges in the United States require international students to have TOEFL scores between 80 and 100. When students take the TOEFL, they can indicate up to four educational institutions that they wish to receive their scores. This service of sending the designated universities the students’ scores is free for the first four institutions. A fee of $17 applies to each college after that. A student's scores are typically online within two weeks of taking the TOEFL.

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Revising for your TOEFL 

Which Scores Matter?

Most international students wonder what score they need to obtain on the TOEFL in order to gain entrance to the university of their choice. While the actual score needed varies with each university, the following provides this information for a few of the top universities in the country:

The above list is just a small sampling of the TOEFL scores that universities in the United States require. For schools not listed above, interested students can search on the university's website or contact their admission department to obtain information about minimum scores as well as other requirements.

Alison Blankenship works at TextbookRush in the marketing department. TextbookRush offers students the convenient choice to rent and sell textbooks online.