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Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

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What is the TOEFL test?

It is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to take admission to American universities. The TOEFL test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. The TOEFL test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points. Each of the four sections Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The scaled scores from the four sections are added together to determine the total score.

Who should take TOEFL?

More than 2.3 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced. TOEFL test is recommended for students planning for higher education in an institution abroad, candidates with certification and scholarship, English-language learners who want to track their progress and students or workers applying for visas.


More than 11,000 colleges, agencies, and other institutions in over 150 countries accept TOEFL scores. For Australia, TOEFL test scores can be used to satisfy the required language component for student, post-study, skilled migration and business visas. For U.K., TOEFL test scores are accepted for Tier 4 student visas under certain conditions.

Eligibility Criteria for TOEFL

TOEFL test is open to all. Anyone who has passed the 10+2 level of any recognized Indian Board or University is eligible to take the TOEFL test. However, the test suitable for candidates studying at high school level or higher because the TOEFL score is used as a measure of English language proficiency of a candidate by the Universities and Institutions of U.S. and outside.

TOEFL Exam Duration

A TOEFL exam generally lasts about 4 hours consisting of 4 sections- reading, listening, speaking and writing. Just plan the exam for 3 hours and half an hour for rechecking. 

TOEFL Exam Pattern

The TOEFL exam consists of the following four sections-

  • Reading: The TOEFL exam Reading section can last from anywhere between 60-100 minutes consisting of 4-6 reading comprehensions around the same level of difficulty.
  • Listening: The Listening section of a TOEFL exam usually lasts about 40-60 minutes consisting of conversations and academic lectures.
  • Speaking: The TOEFL exam speaking section is a computerized test of about 20 minutes wherein you talk to a computer using a microphone and your answers are assessed by an examiner by listening to the conversation.
  • Writing: The TOEFL exam Writing section is 50 minutes long and consists of writing information based on short passages and listening to some audio.

TOEFL Results and Validity

TOEFL Results are available online two weeks after you take the test and are valid for a period of two years. However, there is no minimum requirement as to what your ideal TOEFL score should be. Every institution has a different requirement. It depends upon which institution are you targeting and what score is it expected to take. 

Future Prospects

TOEFL is highly recommended for students aiming for higher studies abroad. TOEFL test gives the students the advantage of going anywhere since TOEFL scores are most preferred by American Universities. Also, it gives an edge to the TOEFL candidates over those who don't possess any International degree.

TOEFL Official Website