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Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is the most widely accepted English language test. TOEFL is done to assess the ability of a non-native speaker to understand and use English language academically.

TOEFL was developed to ensure the English language fluency of non-native speakers, who wish to study in the U.S. Of late TOEFL has become a compulsory requirement for admission in the US universities. In addition, many government agencies, scholarship programs, and licensing/certification agencies use TOEFL scores to evaluate English proficiency.

Educational Testing Services: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is administered by Educational Testing Services across the world. Some of the institutes located outside the United States also accept TOEFL score as a measurement of English proficiency of a candidate. More than 8,500 colleges, universities and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.

Score Validity: TOEFL score is valid for 2years. TOEFL uses the most recent score.

Note: If you believe that you should not be required to take the TOEFL test, please write directly to the institutions to which you are applying.

TOEFL Eligibility

There is no eligibility criterion, though you could take it at high school as the level of test is tough. The test is taken up by non natives who speak English as a second language and want to apply for admission in colleges or for higher education. Although the level of test is tough but anyone who has passed  12 years of schooling from any recognized board or university can take up the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. Although the level of test is high.

Exemption From TOEFL

Several institutions report that they often do NOT require TOEFL test scores from certain categories of international applicants. These include:

People from non-native English countries who hold degrees/diplomas from post secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand).

Non-native speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-years course of study in which English as the language of instruction.

Transfer students from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work was favorably evaluated in relation to its demands and duration.

Non-native speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years.

Non-native speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period (2years).
It is always advisable that students contact directly to prospective institutions  for admission requirements.

TOEFL Registration

Candidates willing to write TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) must  register for anyone of the following tests administered by ETS (Educational Testing Services) across the world.

TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Testing)

Online: Registration 24x7: Register 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Payment: You can use credit/debit card (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA). You can also use a PayPal account or an electronic check (e-check if you have a bank account in the United States or its territories.)

Payment can be made by using a registration voucher obtained from a local master TOEFL iBT Resource Center.

Note: American Express, Discover, JCB and MasterCard are NOT accepted for the following locations: Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo.

Registration closes seven days before your test date.

Late registration closes three days before your test date (not including the day of the test) and has a late fee of US$35.

Physically disabled: People with disabilities or health-related issues are required to bring equipment, food or drinks into the testing room, take extra or extended breaks, or require another accommodation must register by mail and need to follow the accommodations request procedures as mentioned by ETS

By Phone: Review: Check the registration form carefully before making the call.

Phone Number: Inside the United States, U.S. territories and Canada, call: 1-800-468-6335 or 1-443-751-4862. All other locations, you can call your regional registration center.

With credit/debit card: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA; via a PayPal account; or use an electronic check (e-check) if you have a bank account in the United States or its territories. You can also pay with a TOEFL voucher by phone.

Registration closes seven days before your test date (not including the day of the test). Late registration by phone closes at 5 p.m. local test center time on the business day before the test and has a late fee.

By Mail : Filling the form: Download and fill the registration form.

Payment: Choose one of the payment methods listed on the form.

Dispatch: Send the form with your payment to the address on the form or to your regional registration center.

Forms must be received at least four weeks before your test date. Incase you do not receive a confirmation; call at least 3days prior to the registration deadline the location where you had sent your documents.

If you register by mail you will need to enter certain codes manually that are updated automatically online

In Person : In some areas, you can purchase test registration vouchers with local currency and/or register in person at a master TOEFL iBT Resource Center.

If you don't want to register at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center, you can use a registration voucher online from any computer or  through phone.

Registration deadline is seven days before the test date.

Late registration closes three days before your test date and has a late fee.

When you register, make sure to spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you bring on test day.

Note: Walk-in registration at the test center is not allowed.

PBT (Paper Based Testing) Online or by Mail or Fax or by Voucher.

The paper-based test is offered in locations where the TOEFL iBT test is not available.


Fees vary from country to country and addition fee is payable for late registration,  rescheduling, cancellation of score, re-score or returned personal check.

Forms of Payment:

  1. Credit/debit card
  2. Electronic checks (e-checks)
  3. PayPal account

TOEFL iBT Test registration vouchers: In some areas, you can purchase TOEFL iBT  Test registration vouchers with local currency and/or register in person at TOEFL iBT resource centers or voucher resellers. Registration vouchers are unique numerical codes that you can use in place of credit cards as payment when you register for the test.

Fee Reduction Service:  The TOEFL fee reduction service is designed for high school seniors in the United States with financial need who are applying to colleges and universities where TOEFL scores are recommended or required.

Refunds: Registration deadline ( not including the day of the test or the day of your request).

  • Refunds are in U.S. dollars for half of the original test fee paid. The balance is retained to cover expenses for processing your registration and holding a seat for you at the test center.
  • Cash refunds are not available.
  • Refunds cannot be given if registration procedures were not followed or you failed to present the required identification documents at the test center.
  • If payment was made with a personal check drawn on a U.S. domestic bank, please allow eight weeks for processing.
  • If you paid by credit/debit card or e-check, the refund will be credited back to the original credit/debit card or bank account.
  • Refunds for registration vouchers prior to registration are handled by the TOEFL iBT resource center or voucher reseller where they were purchased. Refunds after registration follow standard ETS
  • If payment was made in non-U.S. funds drawn on a bank outside the United States(allow 12 weeks for processing).
  • Refunds for other services are not available.                    

TOEFL Format

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is available in different formats depending on the test center. TOEFL is available in two different formats.

  1. Internet based testing (iBT)
  2. PBT ( Paper Based Test) Pattern

Internet based testing (iBT)

The TOEFL iBT test is offered 30–40 times a year at more than 4,500 authorized test centers throughout the world. Most test takers take the test via the internet. TOEFL Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) assesses all four basic language skills required for effective communication:

Speaking: Measures the ability of a candidate to speak language as it is spoken particularly in North America.

Listening: Measures the ability to understand English as it is spoken in North America.

Reading:  Measures the ability to understand short passages similar in topic and style to the academic texts used in North American colleges and universities.

Writing:  Measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic.

Pattern (iBT)

 Section  Time  No. Of Questions
 60–80 minutes  36–56 questions
 Listening  60–90 minutes  34–51 questions
 Break  10 minutes  
 Speaking  20 minutes  6 Tasks
 Writing  50 minutes  2 Tasks

PBT (Paper Based Test) Pattern

 Section    Time Limit 
 No. of Question
 Listening Comprehension
 30-40 minutes    45-75
 Structure and Written Expression
 25min  40
Reading Comprehension 
   55 minutes    50
Test of Written English (TWE)
   30 minutes  1 Topic

PBT Test Centers: The TOEFL PBT test is offered six times a year in areas where TOEFL iBT testing is not available.


The TOEFL iBT test provides scores in the following four sections:
  • Reading    
  • Listening   
  • Speaking
  • Writing

TOEFL Scoring Pattern 

  • Each section is rated on the scale Zero to 30. The total score is the cumulative sum of the four section (that is out of 120).
  • Your test fee includes one score report for you. Your scores will be posted online approximately after 10 days of taking the test. The scores will also be mailed to the universities or institutions of your choice or as directed in the form.
  • You can send your scores to as many institutions as you choose for an additional  fee of US$17 per report ( Scores are mailed approximately four to seven days after receipt of your request and payment).
  • More than 8,500 colleges, universities and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL test scores. You can even use your TOEFL scores to satisfy visa requirements in Australia and UK.

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