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TOEFL Score

What is a good TOEFL® score?

Unlike many other types of tests, the TOEFL does not have a pass or fail score bar. So you can’t pass or fail the test. You can have a score as low as 1 and as high as 120/120. You can only judge your score as “good” or “bad” based on what you need the score for.

Some schools require a score as low as 70 out of 120 points, and others can request as high as 110. Depending on the school and program you are applying, you can have a good "aim" for you score.

Other two popular standardized tests: the SAT and the GRE, they are a little different from the TOEFL. It is very common for people to spend lots of time studying and then take the test multiple times, each time better than the previous. In cases like this, even a little point higher than your peer can give you an edge in the admission process.

The TOEFL is different. If a school states a score in their TOEFL score requirement section for admission, they want that score to be at least the minimum score on your TOEFL. As long as you meet the requirement, you are good. If you meet the requirement, your score won't play much of a role in your admission or rejection, regardless of how high you are compared to other candidates. For example, you do not feel well on your test day so you only score 90. Normally, you believe that you can score 100. However, you should not retake the test again, if your program requirement score is 80. Once you pass the requirement, you pass the requirement. Having higher scores than your peers in the TOEFL test will not give you an edge in the competition. 

This process and requirement are different at every school and every program. Furthermore, if you want to be a teacher assistant or some special research position, you may need an even higher TOEFL score. Remember to check your program carefully before taking the TOEFL.

In a very general sense, overall among all test takers, there are 3 levels of TOEFL scores, determining how ‘good’ they are. When you get your TOEFL score back, there will be an included document with your official score result called ‘performance feedback.’ These 3 levels of scores are not recognized by every school and program. However, they are the general sense/guideline of how good your score is.

Here is a summary of the different levels for each section:

Section

Level

Score Range

Reading or Listening

High

22-30

 

Intermediate

15-21

 

Low

0-14

Speaking

Good

26-30

 

Intermediate

18-25

 

Limited

10-17

 

Low

0-9

Writing

Good

24-30

 

Fair

17-23

 

Limited

1-16

 

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