Wondering what is a good TOEFL iBT score to get into the university of your choice?

There is no simple answer to this question.

Designed to evaluate the ability of non-native students and workers to read, write, speak and listen to the English language, TOEFL iBT is one of the most widely used standardised English proficiency tests today.

The four-and-a-half-hour long multiple choice test is accepted in more than 130 countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia. More than 10,000 colleges and universities in these places require international students to submit their TOEFL scores, prior to admissions. The score is an official proof of an applicant’s English language proficiency.

Educational Testing Service TOEFL iBT Scoring

The Educational Testing Service, popularly known as ETS, develops and administers TOEFL iBT. The ETS has selected testing centres across the world. If you are planning to take the exam, the first thing to do is to search for an ETS-approved testing centre in your location.

The TOEFL iBT is divided into four sections, including reading, listening, speaking and writing. Each section has a score range from 0 to 30 and the test is scored between 0-120 points.

The reading section consists of 3-4 academic passages, while the listening section involves listening to audio recordings (a conversation, a classroom discussion or a lecture). Test takers must answer questions during the speaking section, while the writing section requires them to write two essays.

Your TOEFL iBT score report will include each section’s score as well as the total test score. Additionally, you will receive a performance feedback, which is essentially an analysis of your test performance.

Generally speaking, each section’s score is broken down into different levels:

  • Reading and listening: Scores between 22 to 30 is considered high, while 15 to 21 is intermediate and 0 to 14 is low.
  • Speaking: For the speaking section, 26-30 points is good, 18-25 is fair, 10-17 is limited and 0-9 is weak.
  • Writing: A good writing score lies between 24 to 30, while a fair score is from 17 to 23 and a limited score is from 1 to 16.

As mentioned earlier, you will get an overall test score out of a total of 120. If you have a low score, it is advisable to apply for the iBT again. Your score will be valid for 2 years (after the test date). Moreover, you can send it to four universities or agencies. If you need additional copies of your score report, the ETS will charge US $19.00 (per copy).

In the case of an expired result or a low score, you can retake the test. However, you cannot take the test twice within  a 12-day period.

Understanding the TOEFL iBT Scoring Methods

The ETS uses fair, accurate methods to score the TOEFL exam. Both human raters and automated scoring methods are used to assess a test taker’s ability to comprehend and use English.

There are many benefits of both scoring models. The automated method helps expedite the checking of memorised responses, while human raters can critically evaluate a test taker’s quality and clarity of thought, ideas and expressions.

The ETS employs professional human raters to ensure quality. They hold proper certification and are trained extensively. The ETS scoring leaders monitor these raters when they score a test question.

Interestingly, test papers are not scored in testing centres. This is a vital step for ensuring the security and accuracy of each candidate’s score. Instead, they are checked via a secure centralised location that implements consistent scoring standards.



What Is a Good TOEFL Score to Get Into Your Dream University?  

Each university sets their own TOEFL score requirements. In order to apply to a certain university, you must meet the university’s minimum TOEFL score requirement.

Meeting the minimum score requirement is sometimes good enough to get into the university of your dreams. Keep in mind, TOEFL is just part of the admission requirement. Many universities have additional admission requirements, such as a high CPA or GRE score.

That being said, the minimum TOELF score differs from one university to another. Some universities have a requirement of 70 points, while others may require that a score be over 100.

Your best bet is to find different universities’ preferred scores before applying. Usually, universities post this information on their admissions page. Also, check the score requirement for the major or program you are interested in applying to.

However, it is recommended that you score higher than the minimum TOEFL score requirement to increase your chances of being admitted, especially if you are applying for a scholarship.

Of course, preparation plays a significant role in how well you perform in TOEFL iBT. Create a study schedule and stick to it. Take as many TOEFL  practice tests as you can to get the hang of it. This will also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.


The vast amount of TOEFL prep resources can overwhelm anyone. Where do you start? More importantly, what are the most reliable online studying courses and materials that will help you achieve a good TOEFL score?

Whether you are taking or retaking the TOEFL iBT, uMasterExam is the most effective online TOEFL learning preparation platform. With an aim to simplify and streamline TOEFL iBT preparation, uMasterExam offers complete information to assist you in acing  the test.

The website features free prep resources, text books, study courses and practice tests for anyone preparing for TOEFL. Along with all this, you can find the best tutors to help you prepare for TOEFL iBT on uMasterExam.

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