toefl guide

Request a TOEFL Rescore. Should you do it?

Madison Oster October 12th, 2021

Have you ever received a grade for an exam that is significantly lower than what you expected? You think you did well and the score is unfair. That can happen with the TOEFL as well, and just like in school, you get the chance to request a rescore.

How does rescore work?

First off, rescore only applies for the speaking and writing sections; sections which are graded by human test administrators. If you are not satisfied with your speaking and/or writing score, you can request a rescore. Once a rescore is requested, your essays and/or speeches will be assigned to a different person from your original scores to be graded. Your new score whether it is higher or lower than your previous score will become your official new score.

There are some requirements and restrictions for requesting a TOEFL rescore.

  1. You must request a rescore within 30 days of taking the TOEFL exam. You can't request a rescore after the 30 days deadline passes.
  2. You have to have the rescore requested before sending out your scores to schools, programs, and colleges. If you have already requested your score to be sent out, regardless of whether or not the school receives the score, you still lose the right to request a rescore.
  3. There is an $80 rescoring fee for each. This means, requesting a rescore for both sections may cost you as much as registering for a completely new test.
  4. The rescored score will always become your official score, despite whether or not the new score is higher or lower than the original score.

Things to consider

Because of the restrictions, requesting a rescore is an important decision. You should be careful and ask yourself a few questions before you decide.

  1. Did you do as well as you think?You need to ask yourself whether or not you followed the rubric correctly. You may write the best essay in the world in your opinion, but if your essay does not follow the rubric, you will not score as high as you think. Take a careful look at the official rubrics for the speaking and writing sections (available on ETS official website). Consult with your tutor, professors, and classmates if possible to make sure you are not being biased. If you really think you were judged wrong then you should consider a rescore request.
  2. Is it worth it?Are you confident that a rescore will absolutely boost your score? The problem with the rescore request is that it is not cheap. Maybe you should consider studying more and then take the TOEFL a second time. This could also help you increase your reading and listening score, as well. In addition, taking the TOEFL again will cost roughly the same as requesting rescore for both the speaking and writing sections. If you don't have time to retake the TOEFL again, then requesting a rescore may be the right decision. You can also use our simulated TOEFL test and get a complete test scored by one of our professional TOEFL instructors to get an estimate of how well you will do on the actual TOEFL exam.
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