TOEFL Overview

RARachit Agrawal
Updated OnJan 27, 2023


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the full name of the TOEFL exam, it assesses international students' knowledge and understanding of English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university places. The TOEFL exam is  widely recognized in English proficiency exams in the world, and it is accepted by colleges and educational institutions in the United States and Canada along with other countries. ETS (Educational Testing Services), the TOEFL exam's governing organization, is in charge of administering the TOEFL test, performing the TOEFL iBT test, and emailing each examinee their scorecard.

TOEFL is a computerized exam administered by ETS that assesses candidates' ability to communicate in English in order to study, work, or migrate overseas. As test centers were closed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, ETS launched TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. The syllabus for this version of the TOEFL iBT home edition is similar to that of the original exam. Candidates will not receive a printed copy of their TOEFL scorecard, but the online report will be available on the official website within 6-10 days of the test. 

Popularly known as

English proficiency test

Conducting agency


Modes of exams

TOEFL ( iBT), TOEFL (PBT), and TOEFL home edition

Accepted in

All Universities in USA, Canada, Australia, UK, etc.

TOEFL (iBT) fee

$190 ( in India)

TOEFL ( PBT) fee

$180 ( in India)

Number of TOEFL exam test centers 

4500 around the world

Ranges of scores

Reading scores -  0-30

Listening scores  - 0-30

Speaking scores - 0-30

Writing scores  - 0-30

Level of TOEFL exam

International level

TOEFL 2021 highlights

The following are the TOEFL 2021 highlights:

Name of the exam


Ful form of TOEFL 

Test of  Engish as a Foreign Language

Official website

Total time duration of exam

3- 3 ½  hours

TOEFL exam fee

$190 ( iBT) and $180( PBT)

Validity for scores

2 years

Different sections in TOEFL exam

Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing 

Number of questions to be answered


Negative markings or scores

Not there



Helpline numbers

1-609-771-7100, 1-877-863-3546

Fax number



TOEFL exam is the well-know and most asking exam results by foreign universities or the companies. So, to write the TOEFL exam students need to login into the official website of the TOEFL exam conducting agency or register the exam dates and centers through other ways. 

The following are the ways to register and log in to TOEFL Exam:

  • Register through ETS account
  • Register through the mail.
  •  In addition, candidates can also register by phone
  • Along with these, test-seekers can also register by visiting Regional Registration centers.

The following are the steps to register through an ETS account:

  • First, candidates need to create an ETS account and log in to the account using their email id and password.
  • Next, choose the TOEFL exam centers and dates.
  • Next, choose the Universities to send these scores.
  • Finally, pay the registration fee and submit the application form.


TOEFL exam is an international exam conducted in almost 150+ countries in the world and also a widely accepted English proficiency exam throughout the world. But everyone thinks that there are specific eligibility criteria for taking the TOEFL exam. However, ETS the testing agency of the TOEFL exam did not keep any necessary eligibility criteria for taking the TOEFL. Candidates must read certain instructions posted on the official website before enrolling. ETS also did not specify an applicant's age limit. Candidates must have completed a higher school (10+2) degree from a recognized Indian Board or University to be accepted.


The TOEFL exam fee that every student needs to pay at the time of registration on the official website. The TOEFL exam fee for Indian students is Rs.14,242.11/- for the TOEFL (iBT) mode.
Along with the registration fee, there are also different types of fees included in the TOEFL Exam fee, they are:


Various fees related to TOEFL Exam

TOEFL( iBT) exam fee( in India)

$190 ( Rs.14,242.11)

TOEFL ( PBT) exam in India


TOEFL exam late fee


Rescheduling fee of TOEFL Exam


Reinstatement of cancellation of TOEFL scores


Speaking or writing session scores review


Speaking and written section score review


Additional reports related to TOEFL scores 

$20 for each


TOEFL  stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language which is a worldwide popular English proficiency exam conducted to enter into top universities abroad. As it is a famous exam TOEFL has some payment policies which need to be considered while doing payments. Along with TOEFL payment policies, the TOEFL exam has refund policies also.

Ensure that all payments for tests and services are made in the following manner:

  • TOEFL Exam payment or TOEFL Exam related services payments need to be fully paid at the time service is requested.
  • If paying by check or money order, check whether it has the correct numeric and written dollar amount.
  •  Verify if any signatures are needed.
  • Before you register, you must pay in full any outstanding balances from previous ETS exams or services. Non-payment may result in the withholding of services or test results.
  • Your registration form or service request will be returned if you do not pay the correct fee.
  • Payment methods may change at any time without warning.

Some of the refund policies related to TOEFL  are:

  • To be eligible for a refund, you must cancel your registration at least 4 days prior to the test date.
  • If you cancel your registration four days before the exam, you will receive a 50% refund.
  • You can get a full refund if ETS cancels the test administration and you don't wish to reschedule the test.
  • All refunds are in US dollars and include any relevant taxes.
  • No cash reimbursements are available to candidates. 
  • If registration procedures were not followed or if the required ID was not presented at the test center, candidates will not be eligible for a refund.


TOEFL exam pattern and syllabus are planned and designed to accurately assess applicants' overall English language skills. It is critical for test-takers to properly understand the pattern and syllabus before beginning to study for the exam. This will help learners in properly planning their preparation strategy and achieving their targeted TOEFL test score.

TOEFL exam primarily assesses candidates' abilities in four essential areas of the English language: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

The following table shows the TOEFL exam pattern:

TOEFL exam sections

Time span for each section

( in minutes)

Number of questions given in each section

Question types or tasks




Reading 3-4 passages given from academic test and answering the question related to them.




Listening to lectures and conversations and answering the questions related to them either by speaking or writing.

Brek time


 - - -

  - - -



4 tasks

In this, test-seekers need to express their views, opinions, thoughts by speaking for the given passages and audio clips. 



2 tasks

In this, test-seekers need to write the answers as a response in essay type for the given reading passages or recordings provided as a task.


Everyone thinks why they need to take the TOEFL exam instead of other exams to prove their English proficiency level? Because TOEFL exam is accepted by almost 160+ countries in the world. So, taking the TOEFL exam will definitely help the students to admit to their desired or dream college or the university abroad.

  •  Candidates who arrive on campus are better prepared than others, knowing that the TOEFL iBT fair and unbiased assessment will accurately reflect your ability.
  • Students who wish to apply to institutions abroad must take the TOEFL test, as universities evaluate students' language skills and regard them eligible if they achieve a high TOEFL score.
  • The student's TOEFL score will certainly be verified by their selected university.
  • Getting a good score on the test improves your confidence in the language and proves that you're not only a passive English user, but you've mastered it.
  • As the TOEFL exam is conducted throughout the year, it is flexible to take the test whenever you want. You can even select the test location that is most convenient for you.
  • The TOEFL test would also qualify students for a variety of scholarships and assist students and candidates seeking jobs overseas with their visa applications.


TOEFL exam is one of the most widely used English language competency examinations in the world, TOEFL Exam is accepted in 11,000 universities in over 160 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and others accepting it. Auburn University, Wolverhampton University, Seton Hill University, Chester University, and Dublin City University, etc are the institutions that ask for TOEFL exam scores when candidates are applying for admissions. Each participating university defines its own cutoff TOEFL exam marks, which an aspirant applicant should be aware of before submitting an application.


One of the most significant disadvantages of studying abroad is having to pay tuition in a foreign currency while also dealing with exorbitant living costs. With the help of TOEFL exam scores, students are able to apply for various types of TOEFL scholarships and grants provided by the universities, or by the TOEFL testing agency for students.

The following are the TOEFL scholarships provided either with a partnership with ETS - TOEFL testing agency or by the universities:

  • The English Language Researcher/Practitioner Grant Program's: The major goal of this TOEFL scholarship program is to welcome students who want to work with ETS to boost foreign language acquisition. It also strives to assist English language teachers around the world in their professional development and education. This grant's TOEFL scholarship sum ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. 

The following steps are required to apply for this scholarship:

  • A full application that includes the type of CV to be tested.
  • What kind of courses do they wish to take.
  • Test administration dates/months expected
  • Examining Committee of the TOEFL Research Program : Students who are conducting research on themes related to the TOEFL iBT exam and TOEFL ITP assessment series are eligible for these TOEFL scholarships. A TOEFL award worth up to $100,000 is available. Under this, The research covers a wide range of subjects, including English-medium instruction, test validity and usability, language assessment innovations, and more.
  • TOEFL Young Students Series (YSS) Research Program : Candidates who are undertaking research based on TOEFL YSS assessments are eligible for these TOEFL scholarships. The goal of the study is to promote high-quality language evaluation for young English learners between the ages of eight and sixteen. The TOEFL scholarship might be worth up to $5,000.
  • TOEFL Dissertation Award of Jacqueline Ross : Students studying on second/foreign language exams and their development can apply for this TOEFL exam scholarship. The prize money is USD 2,500. The 15th of September (deadline for receipt of summary and abstract), the 20th of October (finalists called to submit the dissertation), the 8th of November (deadline for receipt of dissertation), and the 31st of January are all crucial dates (award recipient selection).
  • Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment : The goal of this scholarship is to provide a small number of monetary scholarships to outstanding doctoral candidates working on second or foreign language evaluations. The TOEFL scholarship is worth up to USD 2000 and it is paid in US dollars. Each year, ten students are given one honor. The application due is October 15th, and the deadline is December 15th for this scholarship (notifications for award recipients).


  • TOEFL exam is a worldwide exam and it is taken by the candidates even in a pandemic situation, the ETS agency has released latest updates regarding the TOEFL exam. In India, From July 1, the Aadhaar card will be accepted as proof of identity for TOEFL. ETS, the exam's administrator, made the decision in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the problems that many Indian students are having obtaining passports. Along with this, 'TOEFL Essentials' is a new English language test from ETS.
  • TOEFL Essentials is a new 90-minute English language test from ETS that focuses 50% on academic English content derived from university-level academic material and 50% on general English. The TOEFL iBT test, on the other hand, is entirely based on academic English material. The test, which is planned to be accessible in August 2021, will also assess four communication skills that are useful in both academic and non-academic settings, such as interviews or internships.


Basic parameters



Full form of exams

International English Language Testing System

Test for English as a Foreign Language

Conducting agency

British Council and IDP education limited.

ETS ( Educational Testing Services)

Mode of exams

Online and offline exams

Online and Offline modes

Types of the exams

IELTS ( Academic)

IELTS ( General Training)

IELTS ( indicator)



TOEFL ( home edition)

The time span of exam

2hrs 45 minutes

3 hours

Break period

No breaks during the exam but there is a week gap between speaking exam and remaining exams

10 minutes after reading and listening exams over

Number of sections in exam

4 sections

Reading section, Listening section, Writing section, and Speaking section.


Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

Range of scores



Average of minimum scores accepted by top universities



Time is taken for results

Results are announced after 13 days of the test.

Maximum of 10 days after the test has taken

Number of attempts in a year

Can take up to 48 times in a year

Can write more than 50 times in a year

Number of countries accepted the scores

140+ countries and more than 9000+ universities

More than 150+ counties and 11,000+ universities.

Fee for exam

Rs. 14,700/-

Rs. 14,242/-  ( TOEFL (iBT)


The TOEFL test is the famous English proficiency exam in the world so, the test is also having different formats which are convenient for students or the candidates who took the exams. There are different types of TOEFL exams available for test-seekers. the TOEFL exam is available in three types: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test), TOEFL paper-delivered Test, and TOEFL at Home Test. 

  •  TOEFL (iBT): The TOEFL iBT is a more popular exam option, accounting for more than 98 percent of TOEFL examinations taken globally. TOEFL iBT test centers are in key cities around the country which have been approved by administering to conduct these exams.
  •  TOEFL ( PBT): With student safety and the pandemic in mind, the TOEFL Paper-delivered test has been re-launched. At a test center, the TOEFL Reading, Listening, and Writing parts would be completed on paper. Within three days after the paper parts, the TOEFL Speaking portion must be taken at home on a computer that is overseen online by a human proctor.
  • TOFEL ( home edition): TOEFL at Home is a TOEFL test that is taken from the comfort of one's own home, with a proctor present to supervise the test throughout. However, before registering for the TOEFL exam at home, candidates must ensure that they meet ETS's system equipment requirements.


TOEFL is the short form of Test for English as a Foreign language which is the most frequent and widely taking English proficiency exam by students or by job seekers abroad. But many people don't know how to register for TOEFL ?.So, to take this exam the test-seekers need to register themselves and create their profile on the ETS website. There are many ways like registering through email, registering through online application, register by phone, and even test-seekers can register by directly visiting the (RRC) Regional registration centers.


As the TOEFL Exam can be registered in different ways, most of the people or test-seekers prefer the online mode of application.

The following are the steps for online application of the TOEFL exam:

  • To register for the TOEFL exam, candidates must go to the TOEFL login website and create an online profile. 
  • The quickest and most convenient way to register is through the ETS website. You can register at any time and on any day using the online approach.
  • Create an ETS profile by going to the official website.
  • Fill in all of the required fields, such as your name, address, and email address.
  • Verify the information that you provided in the application is the same as the ID proof you are using.
  • Finally, pay the registration fee through the modes of payment and submit the application form.


✅ Is the TOEFL exam more difficult than the IELTS exam?

Ans: Both the IELTS and the TOEFL are fundamental English proficiency assessments. The maximum of test-takers believes that IELTS is easier than TOEFL. Many students conclude that the reading component of the IELTS is easier than the reading section of the TOEFL.

✅ What are the chances that I won't be able to get the exam date I require?

Ans: You must enlist within four days of the initial test date. If the examination is on a Saturday, for example, the enlistment deadline is Tuesday. On the off-chance that the test date you want does not appear, the enlistment cutoff time may have passed, or all seats may have been filled.

✅ Is it possible for me to retake the test?

Ans: Yes, you certainly can. There is no limit to how many times you can take the exam, however, you cannot take it more than once every three days. You cannot enroll for another test date that is within three days of your current test date if you have a test arrangement. Each time you register for a test date, you will be charged an enrollment fee.

✅ What is meant by MyBest(™) scores?

Ans: This function, which was recently implemented by the ETS agency, combines the candidate's best scores for each component from all of their genuine TOEFL iBT tests over the last two years. MyBestTM scores, also known as super scores, allow you to demonstrate your best overall performance by aggregating your highest section scores from all test dates in the previous two years.

✅ What is the TOEFL test's passing score?

Ans: There is no such thing as a TOEFL score that is acceptable. Every university will have a TOEFL score cut-off, and students must attain scores that are equivalent to or higher than the cut-off. Candidates should believe that higher TOEFL scores will immediately boost their chances of gaining admission to the institution and will also put them in the running for any scholarships that the university may provide.

About the Author
Rachit Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert & Co-Founder @ AdmitKard
Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.