When an international or non-native student applies for university admission in an English speaking country, they are required to take an English language test.

Universities expect potential applicants to have a strong command of the English language in an academic environment. As a result, it is mandatory for international students to submit their IELTS or TOEFL iBT score with their admission application.

Nowadays, IELTS and TOEFL iBT are the most widely accepted standardised language tests. While IELTS is more common in the UK, TOEFL iBT is accepted in other countries, such as the US, Australia and Canada.

If English is not your native language, TOEFL is a proof of your capability to understand and use the English language in a fast-paced university environment.

But, most people do not know that TOEFL iBT is sometimes required for acquiring work visas and other purposes. The perception that TOEFL iBT is only for college students seeking admission abroad is not true. In fact, anyone, regardless of their educational background, can take the iBT test for different reasons.

Here is a quick look at who can take the TOEFL iBT:

  • A non-native student interested in studying abroad.More than 10,000 colleges and universities in over 130 English speaking countries require prospective applicants to submit their TOEFL iBT results during the admission process. Universities typically set their own minimum score requirements. Generally speaking, 100 (or above) is considered a high TOEFL score.  You may consider taking the test after finishing college / high school.


  • Anyone applying for work or immigration visa.Some countries, such as Australia, require foreign visa applicants’ TOEFL scores. The test measures their English language proficiency.
  • Some universities grant conditional acceptance to non-native students with low TOEFL scores. That being said, students are required to attend English language courses before the commencement of regular semester.
  • The test is designed for beginners and those with intermediate and advanced language proficiency levels.


In a nutshell, you should not take the TOEFL iBT if you have zero English language skills. This means you cannot read, write or communicate in English at all. Test takers need to have basic understanding of English. After all, the test questions are developed for people with intermediate or advanced English abilities.

In addition, if you are under 16 years of age, then there is no point in taking the test so soon. TOEFL iBT score has a 2-year expiration date. It does not make much sense to take the test 2 years before you finish high school or college.  By the time you graduate from college, your test score will expire and you will have to retake the test.

Also, permanent US citizens or those who belong to a TOEFL-exempt country are not required to take TOEFL iBT.

In conclusion, to take full advantage of the TOEFL iBT, high school graduates, skilled migrant visa applicants and working professionals should take the test. As a general rule, applicants should always consult their prospective universities to check if there is a chance they do not need to send in TOEFL scores. They should contact their respective universities before the start of the regular admission cycle. This will give them enough time to prepare and take the test (if they are required to submit TOEFL).

RegistrationTOEFL iBT Registration Process 101

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has come up with a simple register process for the iBT test. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Check your locationand choose an authorized testing centre.
  • Select a test date.
  • Register online or via mail or phone. All applicants are required to register at least 7 days prior to their chosen test date. Try to register early, at least 3 months ahead of time since seats fill up fast. Online registration, of course, is the quickest register method. The ETS charges a late registration fee of US $40.
  • All applicants need to pay at the time they register. The registration fee varies among countries. Make sure you check the fees and read the payment policies Credit card / debit card (American Express®, MasterCard®, Discover®, JCB® or VISA®) are the most commonly used forms of payment. Other payment methods include e-check, paper check and Western Union Quick Pay (subject to certain conditions).

If you happen to live in Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, or Togo, you will have to pay via VISA card. E-checks, American Express, MasterCard, Discover and JCB cards are not accepted in these places.

  • If you want to change the test date, you must do it 3 days before the test day. You will have to pay an extra $60 rescheduling fee. For test cancelation, you should do it 3 days before the test day to receive a refund. You will only receive half of the registration fee back.

What to Bring on the Test Day

Prepare the following items beforehand and make sure you have them with you on your test day:

  • A printout of the confirmation email you received from the ETS
  • Your ID card or passport (It should be valid and have your latest photo)
  • Your ID or passport name should match the name on your confirmation email.
  • Your ID card or passport should have your signature.
  • Some light snacks and drinks to maintain your energy levels. Remember, TOEFL iBT is a four-and-a-half-hour long test. To be on the safe side, bring some healthy snacks to eat during the break.
  • Do not bring pens, pencils and your laptop to your testing centre. You will not be allowed to take them inside the examination room. Your invigilator will provide you with  paper and pencils at the test centre.

And finally, start preparing for TOEFL iBT several months before the day of the test. uMasterExam is the best online TOEFL prep guide offering comprehensive, high quality study materials for everyone.

Whether you are looking for the best TOEFL tutors or effective preparation courses or practice tests online, uMasterExam has you covered.

Check out their latest articles to understand all the four section of the TOEFL iBT and prepare for the test.

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