How the TOEFL is Scored and What Your TOEFL Scores Mean

You have taken the TOEFL, and now you are waiting for your score. When it arrives, will you know what it means?

Students who take either the Internet-based TOEFL or paper-based TOEFL will receive a total score as well as TOEFL scores for each section. However, the iBT and PBT have a completely different scoring system. In fact, the highest iBT score is a lower number than the lowest PBT score!

Getting Your TOEFL Scores

When you receive your TOEFL scores depends on which test you took.

Internet-based TOEFL scores are mailed 15 business days after the test. Students in the US can expect to receive them 7 to 10 days later. Scores are posted online about three weeks after the test date.

PBT TOEFL scores are mailed about five weeks after the test. Again, they will arrive about 7 to 10 days after that in the US. PBT test-takers can also receive their TOEFL scores by phone for $10. They are available on the Saturday before the scores are mailed. If you want to do this, be sure you know your 7-digit registration number, credit card number and test date.

Understanding Your TOEFL Scores

Internet-Based Test


Range of Scores

What It Means



0-14 (low)
15-21 (intermediate)
22-30 (high)



0-14 (low)
15-21 (intermediate)
22-30 (high)


0-4 points, converted into a 0-30 scale

0-9 (weak)
10-17 (limited)
18-25 (fair)
26-30 (good)


0-5 points, converted into a 0-30 scale

1-16 (limited)
17-23 (fair)
24-30 (good)



Paper-Based Test

Listening Comprehension


Structure/Written Expression


Reading Comprehension



310 to 677

The Test of Written English is graded on a scale of 1-6. It is not added to the total score.

What are Good TOEFL Scores?

Like the SAT and ACT, the TOEFL has no passing or failing grade. However, some universities require non-native speakers of English to earn a minimum TOEFL score in order to be admitted. Sometimes a university will require a minimum score, but a department within the university will require an even higher score.


Minimum Score for



Brown University, Department of Physics



University of California, Los Angeles, graduate division



University of Missouri



University of Washington, graduate Department of Communication



University of Wisconsin



Canceling Your TOEFL Scores

What if you finish the TOEFL but feel sure you will receive a low score? You can cancel your score and it won’t be reported to any colleges.

If you choose this option, you must cancel the scores for the entire test and not just a section or two. There is no fee to cancel your scores, but you won’t receive a refund on the test.

If you took the iBT, you can reinstate your score for $20 no later than 10 days after you take the test. You cannot reinstate PBT scores.

Rescoring Your TOEFL

If you think you did better on the TOEFL than your scores indicate, you can get sections of it rescored—for a price.

If you took the iBT, the writing and speaking sections can be rescored up to three months after you completed the test. The cost is $60 per section. If you want both sections rescored, they must be done at the same time.

If you took the PBT, it can be rescored for $25. The Test of Written English can be rescored for $50, and the Test of Spoken English, $60. You also have up to three months after you take the test.
No matter which TOEFL test you take, you and four institutions that you choose will receive a score report. TOEFL scores can be sent to additional universities for $17 apiece.
We hope you got the score you wanted. If not, expand the ways in which you prepare for the TOEFL and try, try again!