What Is The Average TOEFL Score? 2021– How To Earn It?

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Verdict: TOEFL is a prerequisite for admissions to grad schools and universities in a foreign land. It is better to work hard, increase vocabulary, take courses, and sample tests to crack it the very first time. A good TOEFL score will bag you a seat in a prestigious university.


Want to know the average TOEFL score?

Right! Then you are in the right place.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a standard test, which is a prerequisite for applying to English-speaking universities and colleges.

A student who cleared this exam has got the ability to understand the classroom lectures and course work at a university level. Students preparing for TOEFL want to give their best shot and pass the exam with flying colors.

This test lets them know where they fit in as per the requirements and expectations of their chosen school. 

There are four sections in the TOEFL exam – Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each section has a separate grade and together they make the total score. So, it all depends on your ability to read, listen, speak, and write.

But, how much is the average TOEFL score? This question is important before you prepare and appear for the exam so that you know how much the score means.

It is essential to prepare well for this exam as it is the most popular, approved, and preferred English language test available. 

TOEFL Test | Average TOEFL Score

The TOEFL exam comprises four sections, as mentioned earlier. Each section determines how able you are in communicating in the English language. 

About the TOEFL iBT Test - Average TOEFL Score

  • Reading

The Reading Section requires you to attempt 35-56 questions in 60-80 minutes. It comprises three or four academic passages where you have to read each passage very carefully and answer the questions. This helps in testing your ability to understand the passage and decipher the meaning.

  • Listening

The Listening section checks your listening capabilities by asking 34-51 questions in 60-90 minutes. There will be 6-9 passages, 3-5 minutes long, which will have academic discussions, lectures, student’s conversations, etc. played only one time.

After listening to these, you will need to answer 5-6 related questions that will measure how well you could understand and comprehend. You will be asked about the main topic of discussion, ideas, and purpose of the speaker, etc. 

  • Speaking

TOEFL IBT Test Speaking - Average TOEFL Score

The Speaking test involves six tasks in 20 minutes. Out of these, two tasks will require your opinions on common topics.

The other four tasks involve either listening to or reading some short passage and then answer the questions based on them.

The more able you are in understanding the topics and communicating your thoughts, the better your grade will be. You must be coherent, clear, and fluent in the speaking test.

  • Writing

The writing test involves two tasks, for 50 minutes. This test will determine how well you can write in an academic setting. You can be given the task of writing a summary of a discussion or an essay on your opinions about some topics. 

TOEFL Scores

The overall range of a TOEFL score is 0 – 120 points. The section-wise score range is as follows: 

  • Reading section : 0 – 30 points
  • Listening section : 0 – 30 points
  • Writing section : 0 – 30 points
  • Speaking section : 0 – 30 points

The ESL (Educational Testing Service), designs and administers the TOEFL exam and also sends out the score reports. They declare the score via an email, ten days after the exam. This score remains valid for two years from the exam date. 

Getting TOEFL Score - Average TOEFL Score

ESL also sends your scores for free, to four different schools. For an additional fee, you can request an additional score report from them.

The TOEFL score reports take around one to six weeks via mail and get dispatched two weeks after your test. Thus, it is essential to take the exam well before the application headlines of your preferred universities or schools. 

ESL calculates the TOEFL score from the raw scores and converts them to the 0 – 30 point scaled scores. The raw points refer to the points you earn on each correct answer.

Luckily, there is no negative marking for wrong answers, so give your best shot for every answer. 

Scores of Reading and Listening Sections 

The Reading and Listening sections use automated scoring because they have one right answer. These exams have two kinds of questions –  one answer and multiple answer questions.

A single-choice answer carries one point, and a multiple-choice answer carries two or three points. All these points are added to get your raw score. The TOEFL score (maximum) for Reading is 45 and Listening is 34. 

Scores of Speaking and Writing Sections

The Speaking and Writing sections require you to score well.

Understanding Your TOEFL SCORE

Speaking Section –

The exam of this section gets digitally recorded and this recording is evaluated by three to six raters. Each task gets a rating between 0 to 4 and the maximum raw score earned can be 24 points for each grader.

One point is given for speaking in English and finishing the task. The average score of each grader section is taken to determine the final raw score. 

Writing Section –

The tasks in the writing section are scored on a scale of 0 – 5, for a maximum of 10 raw points. One mark is awarded for completing the task in English.

The total sum of these tasks (integrated and Independent tasks) is converted to a scaled score of 0 – 30. They check your grammar, vocabulary, organization, and the overall quality of your writing. 

TOEFL Levels of Performance 

The TOEFL Score Report will show the levels of performance. The Reading and Listening sections have three levels – Low (0-14), Intermediate (15-21), and High (22-30);

The Speaking section has levels – Good (26-30), Fair (18-25), Limited (10-17), and Weak (0-9); 

The Writing section has levels – Limited (1-16), Fair (17-23), and Good (24-30).

What is a Good TOEFL Score & Average TOEFL Score?

All the schools, colleges, and universities set their minimum TOEFL score for entrance, so it all depends on the school you have chosen.

If it satisfies the entry score, then it is good. The minimum range of TOEFL scores is 60 to 110. For undergraduate-level, all the ranked US universities require an average minimum TOEFL score of 78.1, and 82.5 for ranked national liberal art colleges.

In case your choice of university is a highly selective and posh one, then you need a TOEFL score of at least 100. The best MBA programs need a minimum TOEFL score of around 100 to 105. 

Institutions Accepting MyBest Score

You can learn more about a good score by visiting the website or the admission page of your preferred school. 

  • Less than 80: This is not a very good TOEFL score and it will be very hard to get into any English language university. But, there are a few public and small universities in the US that accept such less than average TOEFL scores.
  • 80 – 90: This is a moderate score and you will have many universities taking this score. Graduate programs will easily take you with this moderate score because they are more interested in your academic expertise and skills in research. 
  • 90 – 100: This is quite a good TOEFL score and will fetch you admission in a lot many universities. You can even secure a position as a TA, RA, or GA on campus.
  • 100 – 110: This is a very good score and will get you a seat in Ivy League Schools and other top universities.
  • 110 – 120: This is the ideal TOEFL score by any standard. You are sure to bag the seat in the topmost universities and schools. 

How to Earn a Good Average TOEFL Score?

Practice makes a man perfect and this is what you should do to earn a good average TOEFL score. Follow these steps to secure a position in the university or school of your choice:

  • Practice with mock TOEFL test

After studying, what you need is practice. The mock TOEFL test will help you determine where you stand and what you need to improve.

Take a TOEFL practice test and see whether you match up with the required minimum TOEFL score of your preferred school.

  • Build a Strong Vocabulary

English vocabulary is the central part of a TOEFL exam and expects you to consistently build your vocabulary, mainly in academic subjects.

Even if your English conversational skills are very good, you may not be able to score well in TOEFL vocabulary. So, prepare well and become proficient in the vocabulary of the different subject matter. 

  • Prepare well

You should prepare very well for the TOEFL exam and not take it very lightly. You need immense practice and exposure before finally sitting for the exam. A time between six months to one year is ideal to prepare for the TOEFL exam.

You should be well-versed with the format and testing of TOEFL. Make a schedule for studies and follow it judiciously.

  • TOEFL Prep Course

You can go for a TOEFL prep course to get a focused approach towards the exam. A prep course will prepare you well beforehand for the exam and will remove any last moment jitters. Some expert advice and guidance will be very helpful. 

How to Handle a Low TOEFL Score?

There can be several reasons why your TOEFL exam can go wrong, because it is rigorous, requires extensive vocabulary, and does not repeat the audible passages. If you happen to under-perform or found the test very difficult, you can do the following:

  • Look for schools with a lower cut-off

Your average TOEFL score could not be as per your expectations, but there are chances it can be good enough for more selective colleges. Do some research and look for a school that accepts your TOEFL score.

  • Decide if you can eliminate TOEFL from the Application package

Students with considerable English experience may be at an advantage even if their TOEFL score is not good. Some schools waive off the average TOEFL score if they see the student has attended a school with English as a primary language.

If you fall in that case, then contact the admissions officers about such substitutions. Also, if you happen to have a good SAT, ACT, etc. score then some schools can waive off the TOEFL score. 

  • Check if your school accepts you under some conditions

Some schools offer the facility of admitting the students even with a low TOEFL score and let you admit on a condition. This means you will have to take more Second Language classes in English or might have to display your English skills in some other ways.

While taking all the classes for your second language, you can attend the courses of your major stream. After the completion of the conditional course, you will be fully accepted. 

  • Retake the TOEFL exam

If you have got time before the deadlines for your admission, you can retake the TOEFL exam. There is no limit to the number of TOEFL exams that you can take and can be retaken every 12 days. But, it is advised to study well in the retake to avoid more retakes as it is a time and money-wasting exercise.

  • Take the IELTS exam

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System that determines how capable you are in reading, speaking, writing, and understanding English. It is not a very commonly accepted exam, like TOEFL, but if the school of your choice accepts an IELTS score then you should definitely go ahead with it. 

Research Universities Requiring Average TOEFL Score

For your preferred school, you must always know the required average TOEFL score. Look for the most latest and accurate results or email/call the concerned school/university and confirm the score information.

Do not get misled by fake websites and links, because it will put all your efforts into the drain. Double-check the facts and data to be sure and always updated.

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FAQs | Average TOEFL Score

☞Can I take an online practice test for TOEFL?

There are no options for online practice tests that provide a detailed breakdown of your strengths and weaknesses. It is better to refer to the CD that comes with the Official Guide

☞ I got a score of 110/120 for TOEFL. Is it good enough because some universities require 117?

This score is very good to land you in a good university. However, if the school of your choice requires more score, then this score is not good enough.

☞ I got a TOEFL score of 88 but the university of my choice admits 92. What should I do?

It is advised to call the admissions department of your preferred school and see if they can offer you a conditional admission. Otherwise, if you have time you can always go for a retest as there is no limit to the number of retests. Work hard and you might crack it the second time.

Conclusion | What is the Average TOEFL Score? 2021 | Lets Crack It

TOEFL is a prerequisite for admissions to grad schools and universities in a foreign land.

It is better to work hard, increase vocabulary, take courses, and sample tests to crack it the very first time. A good TOEFL score will bag you a seat in a prestigious university.

Have enough time between taking the TOEFL exam and applying for admission, so that you can handle the hurdles that may occur in the process, as explained in this article. Good Luck!

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George Robertson

George Robertson is the founder of WordPress Tutorials blog. He is a WordPress enthusiast who loves to write all about WordPress Plugins, BuddyBoss, and all the stuff related to WordPress.

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