TOEFL Scores

What is the Significance of TOEFL Scores?

Candidates taking the TOEFL are often confused about the scores they receive. This is primarily, because ETS provides the scores for each section of the examination separately, along with an overall score. Hence, your TOEFL result card consists of more than onescore. Nevertheless, this does not teach you how to interpret your scores. The following sections of this article will help you to do exactly that.

Understanding Your Scores for the TOEFL

The TOEFL does not have any minimum marks requirement for you to pass the examination. In other words, there is no pass or fail marks or grade for this test. However, you need to answer at least one question for each section of the examination, in order to receive an official TOEFL score card. The score ranges for each section of the examination, with respect to the number of questions for each part of the TOEFL, are as follows:

  • The Reading section of the test comprises 36 to 56 questions. The score range for this section of the test is 0 to 30.
  • The score range for the Listening section of the examination is also 0 to 30. However, you will have to solve 34 to 51 questions for this section of the test.
  • The Speaking section of the examination comprises 6 tasks and the scaled score range for this section is also 0 to 30.
  • The Writing section of the test consists of two essays that you have to write. The score range for this section too is 0 to 30.

However, mere knowledge of the scores for each section of the test is not sufficient. You will have to know how to interpret your scores. Theresult that you receive can either be good, bad or average. Nevertheless, you must know what your results exactly represent. These have been discussed in the following sections of this article.

Good TOEFL Score

Since, the number of questions for each section of the TOEFL is different; the scaled score that you receive for each section are also different. For example, for the Reading and Listening sections of the examination, any score from 22 to 30 is considered 'high' or a 'good score'.

Similarly, if your scores for Speaking and Writing sections range from 26 to 30 and 24 to 30, respectively, then they are considered good scores. The scale for the Speaking and Writing sections of the test are very different from the other two sections of the test, because of the difference in the number of questions and the type of tasks that you have to complete.

Average TOEFL Score

The range for average marks for both the Reading and Listening sections of the examination are the same. If you have scored anywhere between 15 and 21 in any of the afore-mentioned parts of the TOEFL, then your score is'intermediate' or 'average'.

For the Speaking section of the examination, there are two average TOEFL scores. If your scaled score for this section is anywhere from 10 to 17 then your knowledge of English in the spoken form is 'limited'. If your score is anywhere between 18 and 25 then your knowledge of the spoken form of the language is 'fair'.

For the Writing section, any score between 17 and 23 will be considered an average score.

Bad TOEFL Score

Finally, if your TOEFL score for either Reading or Listening section of the examination ranges anywhere, from 0 to 14, then you have fared badly in that particular section of the test. Bad score in the Speaking section, of the test ranges from 0 to 9. Similarly, for the Writing section if you have scored between 1 and 16, then you have not done well in this section of the test.

Understanding how to interpret the score for each section of the TOEFL is essential, because the marks you receive for each section have unique interpretations. Moreover, depending on the marks that you have received, you can understand your weaknesses. Learning to remove your weaknesses is the first step to successful preparation for any examination. Hence, study the scores you have received closely and based on them plan your TOEFL preparatory schedule.