Once you’ve taken the TOEFL, your next task is to try to make sense of your TOEFL score report. What kind of information will appear on your TOEFL report? How does TOEFL score reporting for schools work?
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything there is to know about the TOEFL score report, including how to access your TOEFL report, what’s included on it, and how to send copies of it to schools.
TOEFL Score Report: Overview
About 10 days after your test date, you will receive an email from ETS (the creators of the TOEFL) telling you that your TOEFL score report is available online. (We’ll explain exactly where to find your report in the next section.) This will be the first time you see your official TOEFL scores.
Most people will only receive their TOEFL reports online. If you would also like to receive a paper copy of your score report, however, you may submit a request for one. To submit your request, simply log on to your TOEFL account and go to “Score Reporting Preferences.” This paper copy will be mailed around 13 days after your test date, but when you receive it depends on your location. For those in the U.S., your paper TOEFL score report should arrive within 20-30 days.
Unfortunately, you cannot request a paper copy of your score report after you’ve taken the TOEFL. If you’d like a hard copy of your TOEFL report but didn’t request one prior to taking the test, you may instead print out a PDF of your online TOEFL score report. (This option is not available to test takers in China.) PDF reports are available for download typically three days after your online score report becomes available, or about 13 days after your test date.
Where to Find Your TOEFL Score Report
To access your TOEFL report, log on to your TOEFL account. On the homepage, click on “View Scores”:
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On your score report, you’ll receive an overview of your personal information, including your registration and security numbers, as well as your TOEFL test date, your scores (both total and section scores), and an in-depth analysis of your performance on each section of the test.
As I mentioned previously, you’ll also be able to download a PDF version of your score report. To download yours, click “Download” under “Score Details” on your “View Scores” page.
What’s on Your TOEFL Score Report?
On your account, your entire TOEFL score report will look like this:
In the top-right corner, you’ll see all of your main personal information:
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- ETS ID
And in the top-left corner, you’ll see your registration number and security information.
Following this information are the two main sections of your TOEFL score report: an overview of your TOEFL scores and a summary of your performance on each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing). Below, we take a closer look at these components and explain what they mean.
TOEFL Scores Overview
On your TOEFL score report, the first major section you’ll see is a small table containing your TOEFL scores, your test date, and the name of your test (in this case, TOEFL iBT). In the rightmost column will be your total TOEFL score, and to the left of this will be your individual section scores for Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing:
The score range for each TOEFL section is 0-30, making the total score range 0-120. In other words, a perfect section score would be 30, and a perfect total score would be 120. As you can see in the screenshot above, this test taker scored an extremely impressive 118 — a near-perfect score!
But what constitutes a good score for you personally? In truth, a good TOEFL score varies depending on the test taker and the schools to which he or she is applying.
For a more objective explanation of a good TOEFL score, though, we can look at both average scores and official TOEFL percentiles. Percentiles tell you what percentage of test takers you scored higher than on a particular section (or overall). Generally, anything in the bottom 25 percent is a poor score, anything around average is a good score, and anything in the 75th percentile or higher is a great score.
Here is a brief overview of the current TOEFL iBT percentiles and averages and what they indicate about your English-language level:
|Great (top 25%)*||26-27||26||24||25||96|
|Poor (lowest 25%)*||17||16||18||19||68-72|
Source: Test and Score Data Summary for TOEFL iBT Tests
*Some scores are not precisely at the 75th and 25th percentiles.
Finally, as I stated above, you’ll also see your test date on this section of your TOEFL report. This date is important to know because TOEFL scores are only valid for up to two years. Once two years have passed, you won’t be able to send your scores to any recipients, meaning you’ll have to retake the TOEFL if you want to send TOEFL scores to schools.
TOEFL Performance Feedback
The rest of your TOEFL score report is essentially an analysis of your performance on each of the four sections. These evaluations are each graded using different levels ranging from low to high; however, what constitutes a high or low score varies with each section, as you’ll see in just a moment.
For more information on how TOEFL scores are evaluated, check out the official TOEFL feedback guide.
Let’s follow the order of the TOEFL report and begin with Reading. Here is what a Reading performance evaluation looks like close up:
In this screenshot, the test taker received the level “High (22-30).” This is the highest level of three possible Reading score ranges:
|Reading Skills||Low (0-14)||Intermediate (15-21)||High (22-30)|
From left to right, your Reading evaluation will include the following pieces of information:
- Reading Skills: For this TOEFL section, there is only one skill tested: “Reading.” Thus, you’ll only receive one Reading level and one score out of 30 points.
- Level: On Reading, you can receive a ranking of low, intermediate, or high depending on which score range your Reading score falls under.
- Your Performance: Here, you can see a general overview of your strengths and weaknesses, indicating what you should be able to accomplish in English at your particular Reading level.
Next, let’s look at the Listening evaluation:
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Once again, the test taker here scored a level of “High (22-30).” Similar to the Reading section, there are three skill levels for the Listening section:
|Listening Skills||Low (0-13)||Intermediate (14-21)||High (22-30)|
On your Listening evaluation, you’ll see the following information, from left to right:
- Listening Skills: In this case, there is only one skill tested in this section: “Listening.” This means you’ll only receive one level and one score on a scale of 0-30.
- Level: Like the Reading section, Listening is divided into three levels: low, intermediate, and high. Your level will accompany a score range that corresponds to the score you received on Listening.
- Your Performance: Finally, you’ll be given a broad overview of your strengths and weaknesses in Listening, with a list of what you should be able to understand in spoken English at your level.
Up next is the Speaking section:
Unlike the Reading and Listening sections, here there are three skills, each with its own level and score range. This test taker scored at the highest level, “Good (3.5-4.0),” on all three skills. Here are the score ranges for the four levels and three Speaking skills:
|Speaking Skills||Weak (0-9)||Limited (10-17)||Fair (18-25)||Good (26-30)|
|Speaking about familiar topics||Weak (0-1)||Limited (1.5-2)||Fair (2.5-3)||Good (3.5-4)|
|Speaking about campus situations||Weak (0-1)||Limited (1.5-2)||Fair (2.5-3)||Good (3.5-4)|
|Speaking about academic course content||Weak (0-1)||Limited (1.5-2)||Fair (2.5-3)||Good (3.5-4)|
On this section of your TOEFL score report, you’ll get the following information from left to right:
- Speaking Skills: On the Speaking section, you’ll be graded on six separate Speaking tasks dealing with the following three areas: familiar topics, campus situations, and academic course content. Each task will be graded on a scale of 0-4 and then combined and scaled to produce a Speaking score out of 30 total points.
- Level: Here, you’ll receive rankings for each of the three Speaking skills. There are four possible levels depending on your score range from 0 to 4: weak, limited, fair, and good.
- Your Performance: This is a recap of your strengths and weaknesses, describing how effectively you were able to communicate in English.
Finally, let’s look at the Writing section and how it’ll appear on your TOEFL score report:
As you can see in this screenshot, there are two Writing skills and therefore two score ranges. This test taker received the highest level of “Good (4.0-5.0)” on both skills tested. Below are the score ranges for each Writing level and skill:
|Writing Skills||Limited (1-16)||Fair (17-23)||Good (24-30)|
|Writing based on reading and listening||Limited (1-2)||Fair (2.5-3.5)||Good (4-5)|
|Writing based on knowledge and experience||Limited (1-2)||Fair (2.5-3.5)||Good (4-5)|
When you receive your TOEFL report, your Writing evaluation will show you the following pieces of information from left to right:
- Writing Skills: You’ll be graded on two different written responses: an Integrated Writing task and an Independent Writing task. These two tasks are each graded on a scale of 1-5 and then combined and scaled to give you a total Writing score with a score range of 0-30. Note that while you can theoretically score a 0 on a Writing task, this would mean you have either failed to answer the prompt correctly or left the task blank.
- Level: There are three possible levels on the Writing section: limited, fair, and good. You’ll receive a level and score range corresponding to your score for each skill.
- Your Performance: Here, you’ll receive a summary of your strengths and weaknesses, with a specific focus on writing skills you may be able to improve.
What Will Schools See on Your TOEFL Score Report?
Unfortunately, ETS doesn’t tell us directly what schools will see on your TOEFL score report. That said, it’s safe to assume your schools will see the same basic information you’ll see on your own TOEFL report.
According to ETS, here’s what a TOEFL report contains:
“Your [TOEFL] score report includes scores for each test section, a total score and performance feedback about what test takers at your score level can typically do.”
In addition to these basic elements of the score report, we can be certain of a couple of things. First off, your schools will not see any TOEFL scores you do not choose to send to them. Each TOEFL score report shows only the scores from that specific test. In other words, even if you’ve taken the TOEFL more than once in the past two years, your schools will only see the TOEFL scores from the specific test date you select when ordering score reports.
Secondly, your schools will not be able to see how many times you’ve taken the TOEFL. Unless you tell your schools directly how many times you’ve taken the TOEFL, or unless you send TOEFL scores from multiple test dates, your schools will never know how many total times you’ve attempted the TOEFL.
How to Send Your TOEFL Score Report to Schools: 2 Methods
In order to attend college or graduate school in an English-speaking country, you’ll need to send a copy of your TOEFL score report directly to the schools to which you’re applying. Here, we briefly go over two methods for sending your TOEFL scores.
Before Test Day
When you register for the TOEFL, you’ll have the option of sending free score reports to up to four schools. You may add and delete schools through your online TOEFL account until 10 p.m. on the day before your test. After that time has passed, if you want to send score reports to schools, you’ll have to pay an additional fee per score report (refer to the following section for details).
Your four free score reports will be sent automatically to your schools about 13 days after your test. All TOEFL score reports to schools are sent by mail (instead of electronically), so be sure you’re giving your schools enough time to receive and process your scores prior to any application deadlines.
Delivery times vary depending on where your schools are located. Schools within the U.S. should receive TOEFL score reports approximately 20-30 days after your test, whereas schools outside the U.S. should receive scores about six to eight weeks after your test.
After Test Day
To order additional TOEFL score reports after test day, simply log on to your TOEFL account and click “Order Score Reports.” Your scores will be mailed to your schools 3-5 business days after your request is received.
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You may begin to order additional reports only once your official scores have been released to you (about 10 days after the test). After, you may continue to send additional score reports at anytime, so long as your scores are valid. Unlike your four free score reports, additional score reports are not free and cost 20 USD per report.
You may also order additional TOEFL score reports by fax or mail. To do so, fill out the TOEFL iBT Additional Score Report Request Form and send it along with your payment to ETS. For more information on how to do this, go to the ETS website. For fax or mail orders, your scores will be mailed to your schools approximately 10 business days after your request is received. As stated previously, exact delivery times will vary.
What to Remember About TOEFL Score Reporting
You’ll receive your TOEFL score report online in your TOEFL account approximately 10 days after you take the test. You will only receive a report by mail if you requested one prior to taking the test; however, you may download a PDF of your TOEFL report at any time, usually beginning 13 days after your test.
Your TOEFL score report will include the following details:
- Your personal information (including name, contact information, ETS ID, registration number, and security information)
- Your test date
- Your total score and section scores
- Performance feedback for each section of the exam
Your schools will also see this same basic information on the TOEFL score reports you send them.
When it comes to TOEFL score reporting for schools, you may send a copy of your TOEFL report before or after you take the test. U.S. schools you designate for your four free score reports will receive your scores about 20-30 days after your test date, whereas international schools will receive them about six to eight weeks after your test date. You may also order additional score reports at a later time for a fee of 20 USD per report.
You understand what’s on a TOEFL score report — but do you understand how the TOEFL is scored? Our in-depth guide explains everything you’d ever want to know about TOEFL scoring, including how raw scores convert into scaled scores.
Are you getting ready to take the TOEFL? Make sure you know when all of the upcoming TOEFL test dates are as well as how to register for the test.
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