About TOEFL

About the TOEFL iBT Test

The TOEFL iBT test, delivered via the internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test?

More than 30 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.

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas
Where Can I Get Local, In-language Support?

You can contact a local TOEFL iBT Resource Center for general in-language information about the TOEFL test and test preparation. TOEFL iBT Resource Centers are available in specific countries.

Where and When Can I Take the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL test has over 50 test dates per year at authorized test centers around the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment.

This retake policy will be enforced even if a violation is not immediately identified (for example, inconsistent registration information).

  • If the violation is identified after registration but before the test date, your test appointment will be canceled and your test fee will not be refunded.
  • If the violation is not identified until after your scores have been reported, your scores will be canceled. You and any score recipients will be notified by a cancellation letter, and your test fee will not be refunded.

Test Content

TOEFL iBT Test Content

The TOEFL iBT test is given in English and administered via the internet. There are 4 sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) which take a total of about 4 ½ hours to complete, including check-in.

Combining All 4 Skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing

During the test, you are asked to perform tasks that combine your English communication skills, such as

  • Read, listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Read, listen and then write in response to a question
TOEFL iBT Test Sections
Section Time Limit Questions Tasks
Reading 60–80 minutes 36–56 questions Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score. These are either questions that enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or new questions that help ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions.

Please read the timing instructions for the Reading Section carefully. The instructions will indicate how many passages you will receive and the amount of time you have to respond to questions for those passages. Be sure to pace yourself so that you have time to answer all the questions.

A standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. We recommend that you practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard before taking the test.

Native-speaker English Accents

The Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT test include other native-speaker English accents in addition to accents from North America. You may hear accents from the U.K., New Zealand or Australia.

ETS added these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad.

Who Accepts TOEFL Score?

More than 10,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL® scores. Other organizations rely on TOEFL scores as well:

  • Immigration departments use them to issue residential and work visas
  • Medical and licensing agencies use them for professional certification purposes
  • Individuals use them to measure their progress in learning English
Institutions that Accept TOEFL Scores

4 out of 5 admissions officers who were surveyed* — and who stated a preference — were more satisfied with using the TOEFL test compared to other English-language tests. Search for institutions that rely on TOEFL scores as the most accurate measure of English-language skills.

Fees

TOEFL iBT Test Fees

Details on our fees and payment policies:

Item Fees
Registration Fees vary by country.
Late registration US$40
Rescheduling US$60
Reinstatement of canceled scores US$20
Additional score reports (per institution or agency) US$20 each
Speaking or Writing Section score review US$80
Speaking and Writing Section score review US$160
Payment Policies

Please make sure all payments for tests and services:

  • Are paid in full at the time the service is requested
  • Have the correct numeric and written dollar amount
  • Have appropriate signature(s)

Any outstanding balances from prior ETS tests or services must be paid in full before you register. Services or test scores may be withheld for non-payment.

If you do not submit the correct fee, your registration form or request for service will be returned.

Payment methods are subject to change without notice.

Forms of Payment

Accepted forms of payment and currencies are subject to change without notice.

1. Credit/debit card — American Express®, Discover®, JCB®, MasterCard® or VISA®. Note: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and e-checks are not accepted for the following locations: Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo. Only VISA cards are accepted for those locations.

Note: When you select credit/debit card as your payment method, you have the option to pay in select local currencies instead of U.S. dollars. You can change your selection at any time before your click "Submit" to process your payment. The system will display available local currencies and the credit card types supported for each.

2. Electronic check (e-check) — drawn on a bank in the United States or its territories, in U.S. dollars only. E-checks can be used to register online or by phone.

3. PayPal account — payment can be made via PayPal.

4. Paper check or money order — must be in U.S. dollars and made payable to ETS-TOEFL.

5. Western Union Quick Pay — for mail registration only. When you complete the form, use the following under "Pay To:" Company Name: Educational Testing Service; City Code: TOEFLPROGRAMNJ; Country: U.S.A. You must send the original receipt marked "Agency’s Copy" with your form. Copies, facsimiles or receipts marked "Customer’s Copy" will not be accepted.

Forms of Payment Not Accepted
  • Cash or demand drafts
  • Post-dated checks
  • Any currency other than U.S. dollars
  • Receipts for bank checks
  • UNESCO coupons
Instructions/details for Paying by Electronic Check (e-check)

Please provide the following information from the bottom of your paper check:

  • Bank account number
  • ABA/bank routing and transit number
Note:
  • Your bank account may be debited the same day we receive your request.
  • You will not receive a canceled check.
  • When paying with an e-check, you authorize ETS to make a one-time deduction from your checking or savings account.

Instructions/details for Paying by Paper Check or Money Order

The following information must be preprinted on the check:

  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Check or money order number
  • Payer's name and address
  • Signature
    • Typewritten payer name and address, in place of signature, is not acceptable.
Note:
  • Post-dated checks are not accepted.
  • Check dates cannot be more than 90 days old when received by ETS.
Refunds

To receive a refund, you need to cancel your registration by the deadline (4 days before your test date). For example, if your test is on Saturday, you must cancel by Tuesday.

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 will not be given if registration procedures were not followed or you failed to present the required identification documents at the test center.
  • 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.
  • If payment was made with a personal check drawn on a U.S. domestic bank, please allow 8 weeks for processing.
  • If payment was made in non-U.S. funds drawn on a bank outside the United States, please allow 12 weeks for processing.
  • Refunds are not available for other services.
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.