How Important Is The TOEFL Score?

    Updated on: 22 May 2022

    It’ll be wrong to say that we’re not aware of “To be or not to be,” “Et Tu, Brute?” and many other such iconic one-liners in the English language. 

    Given English’s pervasiveness (such as the fact that this article is in English!), it’s not surprising that most colleges abroad hold a certain partiality towards English proficiency, so much so that there are two internationally accepted exams exclusively to assess your English.

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    So, before you start browsing for foreign education loans, it’s more prudent to acquaint yourself with your high school grammar books.

    What is TOEFL?

    Test of English as a Foreign Language is basically an English exam that tests your basic knowledge of spoken and written English. It is accepted by more than 9000 institutions all over the world.

    About The Exam

    Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing are the 4 skills that’ll be tested through this exam.

    1. Reading Section - You’re required to read an academic text and answer questions with reference to it.
    2. Listening Section - Listen to lectures and answer questions. But you don’t get to ask questions; don’t bother asking “how to apply for an education loan”!
    3. Speaking Section - Express your opinion verbally on a particular subject, usually other than the fees for MS in the USA.
    4. Writing Section - Do everything related above using pen and paper.

    How is Each Section Marked?

    The reading and listening sections are marked on a scale of 0-30 whereas the writing and speaking sections are graded on a scale of 0-4. The latter 2 sections are also converted to a 30-point scale, post verification. The overall score is converted to a scale between 0-120.

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    What’s a Good Enough TOEFL Score?

    Depends on who you’re asking. Most universities settle for scores near 100, and 80 points are the least you should get in order to get accepted into good graduate schools. TOEFL usually acts as a cutoff, rather than a selector, i.e. a score below a given university’s cutoff region hurts your chances, but a score significantly north of the cutoff doesn’t improve your chances significantly.

    For the writing section, if you earn 24-30 marks, then you’ve got good enough marks for this particular section. The ranges for excellent scores in the reading or listening section and the speaking section are 22-30 marks and 26-30 marks respectively.

    If you’ reapplying for a teaching assistantship, that is, part-time teaching at the graduate school where you’ll be pursuing your graduate degree, then TOEFL scores need to be higher. The most stressed upon a section of the TOEFL is the speaking section for this particular job. The minimum score must be 28 for good universities for them to accept your assistantship’s application.

    The TOEFL test examines the comfort with which you speak and comprehend English, so the speaking and listening sections hold great importance.

    Top US Universities & Their TOEFL Cut-off of 2019

    University Name

    TOEFL Cut off Total Score Requirement

    Boston University


    Brown University


    Carleton College


    Columbia University


    Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)


    University of Michigan


    Boston University


    University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)


    University of Washington


    Yale University


    University of Tulsa


    University of San Francisco


    University of Rochester


    Tufts University


    Rice University


    Purdue University


    TOEFL Scholarships

    Don’t go about looking for education loans without collateral when TOEFL gives out an international scholarship for Indian students!

    All you’ve got to do is get enrolled into a university, enlisted with TOEFL, after giving the TOEFL exam and apply for a scholarship. About $105,000 is awarded to exceptional Indian students.

    Bid adieu to the worries of getting an education loan for MS in the US!

    Are you also preparing for TOEFL? Get in touch with our counselor to avail Galvanize TOEFL preparation course at heavily discounted fees now!

    GyanDhan, in partnership with Galvanize, brings you an opportunity to prepare for your TOEFL exams with expert guidance at reasonable fees (around 25-30% discount). 
    It is a self-paced course with customization for every need of the student. The instructors are TOEFL experts and graduates of top universities such as Stanford, The University of New Mexico, and more. This product is being used by students in more than 100 locations in India and more than 40 countries worldwide. 

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