Counting by numbers
In the global economy we're all supposed to master the mysteries of
English, but how do you really know if your understanding of the idioms
and prepositions that keep the language schools in business is going to
be enough for the schools? The TOEFL has played the role of the World
English Test for the past 20 years or more, and despite its academic
over-emphasis for the world of business, provides a quantified
assessment of your level for the American universities. Once again the
final question on the screen is going to be, "Do you wish to see your
score?" Clicking on "yes" will reveal scores for each section of the
test, and a range for your overall score. The range is due to the fact
that the essays have to be sent to Princeton, where they will be
corrected and integrated into the grammar score. You might for example
see a scoring range from 225 to 250, which will be précised once the
essay has been corrected. Within two weeks the official final score will
be mailed to you.
Scores are valid for two years, and if you didn't get the score you were
looking for you can take the test a month later. The TOEFL doesn't carry
the same threat as the GMAT or GRE of taking the test too many times,
and the idea of improving your level of English over a period of months
or years with subsequent increases in your TOEFL score will not worry
the admissions officers.
The Scores on the doors
Business Week and US News have never reported average TOEFL scores at
the top universities. The schools content themselves to indicate minimum
requirements on the test to satisfy English language requirements. As
such it is probably fair to conclude that obtaining the school minimums
is sufficient, and an extra ten points on the TOEFL does not carry the
same weight as extra ten points on the GMAT or GRE. However, do at least
achieve the minimum score, or schools will expect you to take the test
again. Arguing with a school representative that the three years spent
working in London should exempt you or excuse the missing three points
on the test will not work. Your time would be better spent brushing up
on your English and hitting 250+.
What Is the Maximum TOEFL Score?
The maximum TOEFL score is 677 for paper-based test and 120 for TOEFL
Highest TOEFL Score Distribution
The iBT score distributes from 0 to 120, and the PBT score ranges from
200 to 677.
What Is a Good TOEFL Score?
There is no good TOEFL score. However, many schools requires minimum
TOEFL score, e.g. 600 or 250. If your score is higher than the minimum,
it can be considered a good score.
More TOEFL Score: TOEFL Score Table