If your TOEFL iBT score is not good enough to get into your desired university or programme, the good news is that you can retake the test.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) states on their website that applicants can retake TOEFL iBT as many times as they want. The only exception, however, is that you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If anyone violates this policy, their test appointment will be canceled and their fee will not be refunded.

Reapplication Process

Registering for the TOEFL iBT is a simple process. The ETS provides in-depth information about it on their website.

To sum it up, check the Educational Testing Service-approved testing centre in your location. After checking your authorised testing centre, select a test date and then pay the registration fee. The iBT test is held on fixed dates, more than 50 times a year.

With regard to test payment, credit card and debit cards (American Express®, MasterCard®, Discover®, JCB® or VISA®) are acceptable. Online registration is available 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.  Other than online registration, you can also register via mail or phone. While late registration is allowed, test applicants are charged a US$40 late fee.

Due to the fact that the TOEFL iBT is one of the most widely accepted English proficiency tests accepted in over 130 countries in the world today, test seats fill up early. Therefore, the sooner you register for it, the better.

What Is a Low TOEFL Score?

What makes a good and bad TOEFL score? Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as it seems. One way to analyse your score is by understanding the scoring range for all four sections of the TOEFL iBT.

The test is divided into reading, listening, speaking and writing. Students must attempt all the tasks in each section. Each section has a score range from 0 to 30 and the complete test is scored on a range of 0 to 120.

TOEFL IBT Score Breakdown

  • Reading: 22 to 30 – High; 15 to 21 – Intermediate and 0 to 14 – Low
  • Listening: 22 to 30 – High; 15 to 21 – Intermediate and 0 to 14 – Low<
  • Speaking: 26-30 – Good; 18-25 – Fair;  10-17 – Limited and 0-9 – Weak
  • Writing: 24-30 – Good; 17-23 – Fair;  1-16 – Limited and Score of zero (0)

Although the ETS has set a unique scoring system for the TOEFL, universities have their own minimum requirements. Just because you did not get a high score, it does not mean you have zero chance of getting into a university of your choice.

Generally speaking, the iBT score is one part of the admission requirements, coupled with a good CPA, GRE score, essay, and so on. The majority of admissions departments consider an applicant’s overall academic performance in order to determine whether or not they are the right fit for their institution. Similarly, most universities do not look at individual scores, but the total score out of 120.

The minimum score for TOEFL is 0, while 120 is the maximum score. Universities have their own TOEFL  cut-off scores; most of them require at least 100.

As long as you are able to meet the minimum score requirement for the university you are applying to, you will be safe.

The minimum score, of course, varies from one university to another. Some may require a score of 70 points, while top universities have a 100-plus requirement. Some universities offer conditional acceptance offers to applicants with low scores. Low score applicants can start taking English preparation classes for re-taking the TOEFL.

As a rule, you need to check the minimum score requirement of the university and the program you are interested in. If you are applying for a master’s or PhD program, most universities require high scores of over 100.

If your score is less than expected, consider retaking the iBT. However, keep in mind  your TOEFL score is valid for 2 years (after the test date). Make sure to send your score to four universities of your choice. The ETS charges US $19.00 (per copy) for additional copies of TOEFL score report.

Effective Tips to Get a High TOEFL Score

There is no denying the fact that the TOEFL is a challenging exam. Like any standardised test, you need to be fully prepared for it.

If you are not happy with your score, here is what you need to do:

Move on

Do not dwell in the past. You now have the opportunity to work hard and get a decent score.

Assess Your Mistakes

Rather than stressing about your low score, carefully evaluate what you did wrong in the exam. This will help you avoid making the same mistakes when you reappear for the test. Perhaps, you weren’t able to  manage your time properly?

Practice Daily

Set a studying schedule for yourself. It is important that you know every question on all sections, i.e. reading, listening, speaking and writing. Try to take as many practice tests as you can. Also, you can study from textbooks and courses.

You will find unlimited online resources that can help you ace the TOEFL iBT. It is an easy, convenient and affordable way to prepare for the TOEFL test.

Hire a Tutor

A tutor can help you improve your English language proficiency. The best thing about working with a tutor is that they will set up your study schedule and ensure you stick to it.

Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate level English language student, a tutor can really navigate you through the English language learning process and guide you through the TOEFL writing, listening, reading and speaking sections. If you want to score higher on your TOEFL iBT, hire a certified, trained tutor.


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