The TOEFL is an exam that tests your ability to speak, write, read, and listen to English as a college student. TOEFL stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language.”
Many US colleges require international students to take this exam before the admissions process, so it’s a good idea to find out ahead of time what scores you’ll be expected to earn.
TOEFL Score Range
The highest score you can get on the TOEFL is 120. The points are broken up into four sections, with each one equaling 30 points.
As you might have guessed, different schools have different minimum TOEFL score requirements. Some schools want a score in the 100s, while others will accepts scores in the 90s, 80, 70s, and sometimes even 60s.
Generally speaking, the more competitive a US university is, the higher score you’ll need to gain admission.
Note that the above applies only to the internet-based test, or iBT, which has become the most commonly administered test. In most colleges, the paper test has been phased out completely. However, if you do take the PBT, know that the scores go up to 677 rather than the iBT’s 120.
Minimum TOEFL Scores
Similar to the SAT, ACT, and other common college entrance exams, most schools have a minimum TOEFL score they will accept. The following are the minimum undergraduate scores for ten top US universities you might be interested in attending.
Minimum iBT TOEFL Scores:
University of California, Berkeley – 80
Boston University – 100
Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 90
Cornell University – 100
Skidmore College – 96
University of Pennsylvania – 100
Columbia University – 100
Purdue University – 80
Yale University – 100
Amherst College – 100
Minimum PBT TOEFL Scores:
University of California, Berkley – 550
Boston University – 600
Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 577
Cornell University – 600
Skidmore College – 590
University of Pennsylvania – 600
Columbia University – 600
Purdue University – 550
Yale University – 600
Amherst College – 600
Keep These Scores in Mind
As you put together your college applications, you should be considering the minimum score requirements at the colleges you’re interested in.
While the minimum TOEFL score is only a piece of the puzzle, it is an important one that can decide whether or not you can continue with the college application process at US colleges.