TOEFL iBT™ Test Scores
Your scores are based on your performance on the questions in the test. You must answer at least one question each in the Reading and Listening sections, write at least one essay, and complete at least one Speaking task to receive an official score. For the Internet-based test, you will receive four scaled section scores and a total score:
- Reading Section (Score of: 0 – 30)
- Listening Section (Score of: 0 – 30)
- Speaking Section (Score of: 0 – 30)
- Writing Section (Score of: 0 – 30)
- Total Score (0 – 120)
In addition to your scores, your official score record also includes performance feedback that is a reflection of your performance level and a description of the kinds of tasks that test takers within the reported score range can typically do.
There is no passing or failing TOEFL® score; individual higher education institutions and agencies set their own score requirements. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date and there is no limit to the number of times you can take the test.
The Way the Test is Scored
ETS uses both human raters and automated scoring methods because it offers a complete and accurate picture of an applicant’s ability. While automated scoring models have advantages, they do not measure the effectiveness of the language response and the appropriateness of its content. Human raters are needed to attend to a wider variety of features, such as the quality of ideas and content as well as form.
Additionally, studies have shown that prompts designed for fully automated scoring have been more vulnerable to prompt-specific preparation and memorized responses.
The TOEFL test uses automated scoring to complement human scoring for the two tasks in the Writing section. Combining human judgment for content and meaning, and automated scoring for linguistic features, ensures consistent, quality scores.
How We Ensure Quality
ETS raters are trained extensively, pass a certification test and are calibrated daily. The calibration includes task familiarization, guidance on scoring the task, and practice on a range of responses. Raters are continuously monitored for accuracy by ETS scoring leaders and checked each time they score a new test question.
Rating Is Kept Apart from Test Administration
To ensure the security and integrity of scores, it is critical that scoring not take place at test sites, but rather through a centralized scoring network that implements and ensures consistent scoring standards. The TOEFL test is scored by a network of raters, carefully controlled from a secure central location. ETS uses a highly diverse pool of raters rather than those exclusive to an applicant’s country of origin, and ETS raters score responses anonymously for truly objective scoring. Multiple raters’ judgments contribute to each test taker’s Speaking and Writing scores in order to minimize rater bias.
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