This article is about understanding the TOEFL requirements of the Universities and thereby answering “What is a Good Score in TOEFL?”
TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardised test to measure the applicant’s proficiency in English. TOEFL is recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and organizations and other TOEFL participating institutes across 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States.
Each section has a score of 30, for a total overall score of 120. You don’t pass or fail the TOEFL. Sometimes universities require a specific score for each section of the test, for example, 24 out of 30 in the speaking section. The score levels for the various sections are as mentioned below:
|Listening Section||0–30||High (22–30)
|Speaking Section||0–30||Good (26–30)
|Reading Section||0–30||High (22–30)
|Writing Section||0–30||Good (24–30)
|Total TOEFL Scores||0–120|
The best definition of a good TOEFL score is that it should get you into your school of choice. Most colleges have a cut off TOEFL score, or a minimum score that you must meet in order for your application to be considered. Sometimes meeting this cut off score is enough for the school to feel confident about your English skills, but there are cases where it is recommended that you score higher than the cut-off score to improve your chances of being admitted. Some schools are more accommodating and flexible and ask for alternative requirements if you fail to meet their TOEFL cut-off score. Hence, before you begin studying for the TOEFL, it’s a good idea to know the score that you need to achieve. Here is a list of the minimum score required by some colleges in the USA.
|College Name||Minimum Score|
|Arizona State University||61|
|Carnegie Mellon University||100|
|Case Western Reserve University||80|
|Clemson University||79 – 80|
|Florida Institute of Technology||71|
|George Mason University||88-100|
|George Washington University||80|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||79|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||80|
|Purdue University–Indianapolis||Undergraduate: 61
|Johns Hopkins University||100|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||100+|
|Michigan State University||79 (No section below 17)|
|Michigan Technological University||79|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||79|
|North Carolina State University–Raleigh||80|
|Ohio State University–Columbus||71|
|Pace University||Undergraduate: 88/89
|Purdue University–West Lafayette||
|Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–New Brunswick||83 (*Writing 22 Speaking 23 Reading 21 Listening 17)|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||61|
|Texas A&M University–College Station||100|
|University at Buffalo–SUNY||79|
|University of California–Berkeley||78|
|University of California–Irvine||80|
|University of California–Los Angeles||87 (Writing: 25 Speaking: 24 Reading: 21 Listening: 17)|
Now that you have figured out what your minimum score should be here are some tips that will help you in your prep –
- TOEFL is a physically taxing exam. Since it involves constant listening through headphones, some students who are not used to this, may find it exhausting. Hence, students must take at least 5 mock tests in order to accustom themselves to the fatigue that might set in.
- When you are preparing for the TOEFL, it is not good enough to just listen to and read things that you enjoy and are interested in. You need to read extensively to build your vocabulary. Three excellent resources on the Internet are BBC News, NPR, and VOA News.
- Learn how to take good notes.
As you can hear the clip only once – take down the essential points. Try symbols and shorthand
- Practice pronunciation. There are lots of videos freely available over the internet that will help you improve on your pronunciation.
- Practice writing essays in the English format
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Take the test at least twice, if not more.
The above information would help you understand, plan and systematically work towards meeting your desired TOEFL scores. This would increase your eligibility for the desired program and help you get admission in your dream university.
References: What is a good score in TOEFL
The Wikipedia Article What is a good score in TOEFL