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If you're reading this, you probably have a lot of questions. If you don't find your answer in this FAQ, you can ask in the TestMagic Forum. For free!

FAQs

FAQs

What is the TOEFL?

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The TOEFL is a test that shows your level of English. Basically, the university you're applying to wants to know that you know enough English to understand your courses and do well in school. Almost every university in the United States has a minimum score that they require, even if they say that they do not. For example, if you want to go to a great school, such as Harvard or Stanford, you need a really TOEFL high score, say 280 (650 on the paper test). But, if you don't care about the school, you can go to an easier school. Many of these schools only require a TOEFL score of about 133 (450 on the paper test).

How can I get a copy of the TOEFL Bulletin?

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Download it or order it from the Official TOEFL Web Site: You can download a free copy of the information bulletin at the official TOEFL web site. This is a PDF file, so you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to read it. This is a fairly large file, so it will take a few minutes to download.

Order a copy on-line: You can also get a copy in the mail. Click here to order it. It might take two months for you to receive it by mail.

For how long is my TOEFL score valid?

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Your TOEFL score is valid for only two years. In other words, two years after you take your TOEFL, your score will be deleted from the official TOEFL database, and TOEFL will not send you another report of your score. If you still have a copy of your original score, you can ask the university whether they will accept it, but most universities will not accept a copy from you; they require a score sent directly from TOEFL.

What is a good score on the TOEFL?

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The highest score on the paper TOEFL is 677. The highest score on the computer TOEFL is 300. Most people now still use the paper TOEFL scores, even though most students take the computer TOEFL.

The score that you need depends on the university that you want to go to; you will need to contact the university to find out. In general, however, the score requirements range from 133 to 250 (CBT scoring) or 450 to 600 (PBT scoring).

Some universities will tell you that they don't have a minimum requirement; usually these universities are the best ones, such as Stanford or Harvard. However, even though they don't have a "requirement," most of the people who go to these universities have TOEFL scores from 267 to 300. Many TestMagic students have TOEFL scores higher than 270.

What score do I need on the TOEFL?

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The highest TOEFL score that you will need is probably about 630. The lowest TOEFL score that you will need is probably about 450. In general, better universities require higher TOEFL scores and worse schools require lower TOEFL scores. Some schools require no TOEFL score, but, be careful! These schools are usually not good schools!

How can I figure out my CBT score?

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After you take your test, you will get a range of your score. For example, you might see something like this: 207-270. Your final score depends on your essay score. Each point on the essay will raise your final score about ten points. So, for example, if you get a 1.0 on your essay, your final score would be 217. Or, if you get a 5.0 on your essay, your final score would be about 260.

How can I raise my score on the TOEFL?

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Some people can raise their scores by speaking and watching television and American movies, other people can raise their scores by studying the TOEFL. The answer really depends on the student.

Click here to find out which books to buy and how you can study alone:

TOEFL Study Plan

What is the best way to raise my TOEFL score quickly?

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Check out our TOEFL website on TestMagic. We have a lot of practice, tips, and info to help you.

In general, grammar scores go up faster than the scores on any other section.

Studying with a good teacher or book will help you a lot.

How long will it take me to raise my score on the TOEFL?

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This is usually the first question that people ask. It is extremely difficult to say--each person is different. Some people learn languages very quickly, others need more time. Learning a new language is very similar to learning any other skill, like ballet dancing or painting--some people learn very quickly because they have a natural ability in that area, others need more time.

However, in general, most people need from two to six hours of study for each point they are able to raise their TOEFL scores.

What do I need to know for the TOEFL?

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The TOEFL is getting harder and harder all the time. You will need to have a good understanding of English. You will need to be able to listen, read, and write for the TOEFL. Right now, the TOEFL does not require you to speak, although the new format of the TOEFL will require you to speak.

Most of the English on the Reading Comprehension section of the TOEFL represents the kind of English that you will hear if you go to college in the U.S., so you should study academic English. For example, if you are studying for the TOEFL, you should read Newsweek or Time instead of reading comic books! Similarly, watching documentaries about wildlife or space is much more helpful than seeing Hollywood action movies.

How much does the TOEFL cost?

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It costs US $130 to take the CBT TOEFL. You can pay with a credit card or check. You can go to the Official TOEFL page for more info about how to pay, etc.

Where can I take the TOEFL?

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You can take the TOEFL in almost every country in the world. Go to the Official TOEFL web site to find out exactly where (which city, address, etc.).

How can I register for the TOEFL?

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You can download a free copy of the information bulletin at the official TOEFL web site.

Do I have to take the computer TOEFL or the paper TOEFL?

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In every country except China, you will probably have to take the computer test. However, TOEFL has closed many CBT test centers in the last few years and is giving the paper-based TOEFL instead. Again, check the Official TOEFL web site to be sure.

How long will it take for me to get my TOEFL score?

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If we type the essay, TOEFL will mail the score about two weeks after the test. If we handwrite the essay, they will take longer. Sometimes, TOEFL takes up to five weeks to mail the scores since it is easier to lose a handwritten essay. Sometimes they "misplace" a handwritten essay and it takes them longer to find it. However, TOEFL has recently started converting all handwritten TOEFL essays to digital images, resulting in few if any lost TOEFL essays.

What's the difference between the computer TOEFL and the paper TOEFL?

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There are many differences between the CBT TOEFL and the paper TOEFL.

The biggest difference between the CBT TOEFL and the paper TOEFL is that the CBT TOEFL requires an essay.

Also, the CBT TOEFL has some new question types that we have not seen before on the paper TOEFL.

Which TOEFL is easier? The computer TOEFL or the paper TOEFL?

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    Most people agree: the paper TOEFL is much easier than the CBT TOEFL. For example, the listening on the CBT TOEFL is much harder than the listening on the paper TOEFL and the CBT TOEFL has an essay that you have to write. However, everybody is different, and you may find the CBT TOEFL easier.

What's the difference between the Institutional TOEFL and the International TOEFL?

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Some people have heard about the "institutional TOEFL." The Institutional TOEFL is the TOEFL that is given by an "institution" (such as a company or a language school) so that they can measure the English level of the people who take the test. The score you receive from this test is NOT accepted by every university in the world. However, many colleges will accept a TOEFL score from the Institutional TOEFL. If you want your TOEFL score to be accepted at every university in the world, then you need to take the International TOEFL.

Can I still take the paper TOEFL instead of the computer TOEFL?

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For most schools, the answer is "NO." However, some schools think that the price of the International TOEFL is too high (about US $130) and will still accept scores from the Institutional TOEFL, which is given on paper. You will have to ask the school that you want to attend to find out whether they will accept the institutional TOEFL or not. If schools accept the institutional TOEFL, you will have to find a place to take it. However, remember, these scores are NOT accepted by most schools and are not considered official scores.

Should I type or handwrite the essay for the computer TOEFL?

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The easy answer is this: you should type your TOEFL essay if you can! However, if you cannot type very fast, you should handwrite your TOEFL essay. If you type your TOEFL essay, you should receive your TOEFL score within two weeks. If you handwrite your TOEFL essay, it might take up to five weeks to receive your TOEFL score.

Contact TOEFL directly.

Read about TOEFL problems.

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