TOEFL SCORES : OLD VS. NEW
1998 the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) changed
the content and format of the test to more accurately measure
test-takers English language ability. Due to this change,
there is a new scale for the scores on the computer-based test:
- Old Score Scale- Paper-based test: overall score from 310 to
- New Score Scale- Computer-based test: overall score from 40
The computer-based test is divided into three sections. The above
score is the overall score. For the three sections the scale is:
- 1. Listening (0-30)
- 2. Structure/Writing (0-30)
- 3. Reading (0-30)
You will also have to write an essay that will be independently
rated by two qualified readers. They will give you a score between
1 and 6. This score will be incorporated into the Structure/Writing
Your score is based on how well you do on the questions and how
many you answer. You will receive more credit for correctly answering
a difficult question than for correctly answering an easy question.
WHAT SCHOOLS ARE LOOKING FOR
To know what TOEFL score your prospective school requires, you
should contact their admissions department. Requirements vary
from school to school depending on your level and field of study.
For example: Boston University, with one of the largest population
of international students in any American college or university,
requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550(old)/213(new). For some
departments, however, they require a minimum score of 600(old)/250(new).
INSEAD, located in France and Singapore, requires a minimum TOEFL
score of 620(old)/260(new) for their MBA program. The Royal College
of Art, a postgraduate university of art and design located in
the United Kingdom, requires a minimum TOEFL score of 213(new).
As you can see from the above examples, some schools list both
old and new score requirements, while others only list one or
the other. If they give you a score without saying whether it
is the old or the new one, it is fairly easy to figure out which
one it is with the above chart.
If it is not clear, contact the school and ask them to clarify
if their score requirements are according to the pre-1998 paper-based
TOEFL test score or the post-1998 computer-based TOEFL test score.
VIEWING YOUR SCORES
Once you have finished the computer-based test, you may immediately
see your scores on the Listening and Reading sections. Your Structure/Writing
section score will be listed as an approximate score(i.e. 4-25)
but will not be known until the essay has been read and rated.
You will also see an approximate overall score(i.e. 142-219).
If you typed your essay, you will receive a printed score report
approximately two weeks from the date that you took the test.
If you wrote your essay, you will receive the printed score report
approximately five weeks from the date that you took the test.
After viewing your approximate scores, you can choose to either
send them to institutions or cancel them. Within sixty days of
canceling them, if you decide that you want to reinstate them,
you can pay a small fee to do so.
Why is the TOEFL so broadly requested, required, and desired?
Perhaps it is due to its commitment since its birth in 1963 to
"providing institutions and organizations with a complement
of English language assessments and other information to assist
in the evaluation, admission, placement, and education of students
and other nonnative speakers of English".
It may also be due to the continued involvement of the three
highly respected educational organizations ETS(Educational Testing
the College Board(www.collegeboard.com),
and the GRE(Graduate Record Examinations- www.gre.org)
Or perhaps it is due simply to their commitment to education.
They try to see beyond the tests function as an English
ability scale. As stated on their website, "The TOEFL board
recognizes the role that English plays in providing access to
a rapidly expanding knowledge base in an increasingly technological
world. The Board is committed to guiding the program in the development
and delivery of the best possible tests and related services for
an international constituency."
Will TOEFL help guide us into the unknown future of man and technology?
Well, if English is the principal language spoken, then TOEFL
will certainly play an important role in deciding who is eligible
for higher Anglophone education and who must work harder before
they can be eligible. So, better keep practicing your English.
Dont forget that you can take the test once a month.