TOEFL Test Guide - Know All the Basic Details About the TOEFL Exam

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023

    What is the TOEFL Exam? 

    TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) every year. The TOEFL tests the English language competency of non-English speakers who wish to study undergraduate and graduate programs in foreign universities. The key skills that the test seeks to assess are speaking, writing, listening, and reading so as to determine if a candidate will be able to successfully complete a program of which the medium of instruction is English. Over 10,000 universities in around 150 countries accept TOEFL scores. The TOEFL scores are especially helpful for admission to universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and across Asia and Europe. 

    A lot of scholarships also require your TOEFL scores to determine whether you are eligible for them or not. TOEFL scores are also used by immigration departments to issue residential/work visas and medical/licensing agencies for professional certification purposes. 

    What are the TOEFL Dates?  

    The TOEFL (Internet-Based Test) is scheduled for more than 50 times a year at various centres across the globe including in India. The exam is mostly conducted on the weekends. To check if a certain date is available in a centre near you, check your specific location here.

    What is the TOEFL Exam Fee?

    The TOEFL fee varies as per the country you are taking the exam in. The TOEFL cost in India is  US$180. Late registration is likely to cost you another US$40, and rescheduling it will cost you the US $60.

    How to Book Your Seat for the TOEFL Exam? 

    The process of registration for the TOEFL iBT exam can be completed through your ETS account, phone, or mail. 

    1. Registration Using ETS Account 

    • Registration is on for 24 hours, all 7 days of the week. 
    • You can pay using a credit/debit card. The following cards will be accepted: American Express, JCB, Discover, Diners Club, China Union Pay, Mastercard, or VISA. You can remit your payment using a PayPal® account too, or an electronic check (e-check) if you have a bank account in the US.
    • The last day to register is 7 days before your test date.
    • Late registration closes 2 days before the test date. 

    Note - Modes of payment like cash or demand drafts, post-dated checks, any currency other than US dollars, receipts of bank checks, UNESCO coupons are not accepted. 

    2. Registration Using Your Phone

    • You are advised to go through the registration form properly before you make the call. It is necessary to check the identification requirements here. 
    • The number for your Regional Registration Centre (RRC) is available here.
    • You can pay either by credit or debit card. The following cards are accepted: Discover, American Express, Mastercard, JCB, or VISA. Students can pay with e-check if they have a bank account in the US. 
    • The registration closes 7 days before the date of the exam. 
    • The late registration facility is available till 5 pm on the last business day before the exam. 

    3. Registration Using Mail

    • Once you have filled out the registration form, mail it to your Regional Registration Centre along with the payment. The contact information of your RRC is available here. After clicking on the link, select the country where you need to take the test.
    • The forms should be received 4 weeks before the test date. 
    • If you happen to not receive a confirmation, make sure to call the location where you mailed your registration form, at least 3 business days before the registration deadline ends.  
    • You will also require to enter certain codes while registering using mail. You will find the codes here.

    Can the TOEFL be Refunded?

    If you need a refund, you have to cancel the registration at least 4 days before the exam date. You get back half of the fee that you paid initially, while the other half is retained to cover the processing expenses. Cash refunds are not available. You cannot expect a return if you fail to provide identification documents at your test centre, or if the registration process is not carried out properly. 

    Learn Also, 

    What are the Registration Requirements for the TOEFL Exam? 

    While registering for the TOEFL exam, you will be required to present identification information. You are supposed to write your name exactly the way it is written on the identification document. Along with your full name, your identification documents should have your signature and photograph. If you do not carry a valid identity proof, or if the name on the ID does not match that mentioned in the registration, you will not be allowed to take the exam. 

    What are the Eligibility Requirements for TOEFL?   

    If you have passed your 10+2 level from any Indian education board, you are eligible for TOEFL. The level of TOEFL is suitable for students studying in high school, or higher.  High school students can take TOEFL to get just the test score. 

    What is the TOEFL Exam Pattern? 

    ETS introduced a change in the exam pattern which has been effective August 2019 onwards. In the following pattern, you will find a pattern of the test along with the score calculation process of each section. The band descriptors by ETS indicate your level of proficiency in the English language on the basis of the scores obtained by you in the test. 

    Revised TOEFL Test Pattern



      Number of Tasks  

    Marking Scheme

    Band Descriptors


      54-72 minutes  

    30-40 questions

    The sum of the individual scores is then converted to the 0-30 scale.

    Advanced (24–30)
    High-Intermediate (18–23)
    Low-Intermediate (4–17)
    Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)


    41-57 minutes

    28-39 questions

    Evaluated out of 30.

    Advanced (22–30)
    High-Intermediate (17–21)
    Low-Intermediate (9–16)
    Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)


    10 minutes


    17 minutes

    4 tasks

    Each task is rated between 0 and 4. The sum is converted to a scaled score of 0-30.

    Advanced (25–30)
    High-Intermediate (20–24)
    Low-Intermediate (16–19)
    Basic (10–15)
    Below Basic (0–9)


    50 minutes

    2 tasks

      Each task is rated out of 5. The sum of the scores is then changed to the scale of 0-30.  

    Advanced (24–30)
    High-Intermediate (17–23)
    Low-Intermediate (13–16)
    Basic (7–12)
    Below Basic (0–6)

    There is no generalized ideal score in TOEFL. The TOEFL exam is not a pass-fail exam. Your ideal score depends on the cut-off which is set by the university or the country where you plan to go. However, your target should be an overall score in the range of 80-100. For reading, you should aspire to get at least 22-30; for writing, 24-30; for listening, 22-30; for speaking, for listening, 26-30. 

    Since the exam pattern has changed, the scoring process has also seen a change. As per the new grading process, students who will take the TOEFL will get MyBestScores, which is to say, their final report will contain the best individual section scores after comparing all the tests taken in the last two years. 

    You should also keep in mind that your TOEFL scores are valid only for 2 years. You cannot apply with the scores for which the validity period has already expired, and you have to retake the TOEFL exam. 

    How to Send Your TOEFL Scores to the Universities?

    There are three ways to send your scores to the universities you want to apply for.

    1. Order via the TOEFL Official App

    • Login to your ETS account and select the “Send Additional Score Report” tab. To send your report to more than four universities, you have to pay US$20 for each university. 
    • You can pay by credit/debit card/e-check/Paypal.

    2. Order by Fax

    • You are required to fill the Additional Score Report Request Form
    • Include your registration number and credit/debit card details and fax it to +1-610-290-8972.

    3. Order by Mail

    • Once you are done filling the Additional Score Report Request form, mail it with complete payment to -

    P.O. Box 6153
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6153 USA

    Kickstart Your TOEFL Prep Today!

    TOEFL Ultra
    Rs. 6,999/-

    How to Check the TOEFL Results? 

    Your official score reports are sent out in 11 days after the day of the exam. However, ETS does not take responsibility for the amount of time the mail delivery takes. 
    The scores are available online 6 days after you have taken the test. 
    To check your TOEFL scores online, 

    • On your home page, click on “View Scores and Scores Recipients”, and then select “View Scores”. 
    • You can also use the official app to check the scores. 

    What is the Ideal Time to Take TOEFL? 

    Make sure you take the TOEFL exam 2-3 months before applying for universities. Plan to take the exam on a date, such that your official score reports arrive on time to be sent for the university applications. 


    This was a quick run-through of the vital details pertaining to the exam. If you plan to take the TOEFL test, register right away and select a suitable date for the test. Once you are done with the formalities, you need to progress to the next bit, and that is preparing for the TOEFL test. Well, do not worry, as we have got your back in that too! Go to our comprehensive TOEFL preparation guides for study tips and free practice tests and give your preparations that much-needed boost. How to Prepare for TOEFL by GyanDhan And if you want to contact TOEFL coaching institutes, don’t forget to give us a call. We have set up ties with the leading TOEFL coaching institutes in the market, and we will be more than happy to set you up with one of them absolutely for free.  

    Get Connect with Our Education Loan Counsellor Request a Callback

    First published date: 27 Jan 2020

Gd icon

About author

Madhuwrita Nandi
Reader, writer, music lover!

Gd icon
GyanDhan is India's first education financing marketplace.

Kickstart Your Study Abroad Journey with our FREE counseling
Kickstart Your Journey Abroad

Help our experts understand you better by filling our 2-Minute Form,
to find the right education loan

Get instant loan offer suitable to your profile !

Upcoming Events

Know All About Education Loans for Abroad Studies

  Wed, October 04, 2023    18:00 IST

Will Canada Relations Impact Your Study-Abroad Dream?

  Sat, October 07, 2023    19:00 IST

Looking For Help in Foreign Education Loan? Arrange a Call From an Expert:

Enter Mobile no. Without Any Prefix.
By entering my phone number here, I hereby authorize GyanDhan to contact me through call, message or WhatsApp. \ It will override my registry on the NCPR/NDNC

Help our experts understand you better by filling our 2-Minute Form,
to find the right education loan

Get instant loan offer suitable to your profile !