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Estimating Your TOEFL Score

Practice Tests Don’t Come with An Official Score Report …

The Official Guide has a total of 3 practice tests: the three in the book are the same as the three on the accompanying CD. The tests that are printed in the book come with scoring guides to convert your score to the official 120-point scale, but on the CD-ROM you will only receive a percentage score and, in the case of open-ended questions (like the Writing section), sample answers and raters’ comments on them. If you took the test using the CD, simply use the scoring guides in the book to find your rough scaled TOEFL score (from 0 to 120).

Scoring the Listening and Reading sections is easy: simply look your raw points from each section then convert those numbers to the 30-point scale as follows using the charts in the answer sections of the book.

If you are using a test other than the three in the official guide, such as one from the book of five official practice tests, then you can use these percentages as a rough estimate of scores. Because each test should be scaled a little differently—every test is unique—the below conversion is not perfect, but it can give a rough idea.

Calculating TOEFL Scores Based on Percentage Correct

Percentage Approximate Score
90-100 26-30
80-89 22-25
70-79 17-21
60-69 14-16
50-59 9-13
40-49 7-8
30-39 4-6
20-29 2-4
15-20 1
Below 15 0

 

This chart is only a guideline for your TOEFL scores, so if your percentage is in the middle of its class, just estimate the scaled score. For example, let’s say that I scored a 72% on Reading and 68% on Listening. My scaled Reading score would be about 18, and my scaled Listening score would be a 15 or 16.

Online TOEFL Preparation
 

For the Writing section, it gets a little fuzzier. Estimate your scores by comparing your essays to the examples given on the CD and noting what characteristics mentioned by the raters are also found in your essays. You will wind up with two numbers, each of which could be as high as 5.  Add these together. Use the chart below to convert your score to the necessary 30-point scale (note that you will only get a score ending in .5 if you have two graders read your essays):

Raw Score Score out of 30
0 0
.5 4
1 5
1.5 7
2 8
2.5 10
3 11
3.5 12
4 14
4.5 15
5 17
5.5 18
6 20
6.5 21
7 22
7.5 24
8 25
8.5 27
9 28
9.5 29
10 30

 

Again continuing with my example, let’s say that I gave myself a 4 on the independent task and a 3 on the integrated task. Added together, this is 7, so my writing score would be a 22.

The process for the Speaking section is similar to the Writing section; the only problem is that it’s harder to score yourself on speaking (this shouldn’t stop you from recording and critiquing your responses, though). If you know someone who can rate your speaking responses for you, then tell them that each of the six speaking tasks is worth a total of 4 points and show them the Speaking Scoring Rubric on pages 188-191 of the Official Guide. Once they’ve scored your responses, you can use the chart below to convert that score to the 30-point scale

Raw Score Score out of 30
0 0
1 1
2 3
3 4
4 5
5 6
6 8
7 9
8 10
9 11
10 13
11 14
12 15
13 17
14 18
15 19
16 20
17 22
18 23
19 24
20 26
21 27
22 28
23 29
24 30

If you can’t get your speaking responses rated, then, as in the Listening section, use the sample answers and commentary provided in the section review to estimate your score.

If I continue my sample scores, I get the following results:

My TOEFL Score, Estimated

SECTION RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE
Reading 72 18
Listening 68 16
Writing 7 22
Speaking 19 24

 

Don’t forget that although this estimation method is a useful tool, the score it gives you is not official. On the actual test, your final score will depend not only on the percentage of correct answers you give, but also on the relative difficulty of the particular test you took. So calculate your practice test scores and use them to measure your progress and preparedness, but don’t be surprised if your official score is a slightly different number. Hopefully this will point you in the right direction, and ultimately keep you from needing to retake the TOEFL because you didn’t estimate correctly.

The score conversion charts used in this blog come from a longer article on estimating scores to practice tests from The Michigan Guide to Teaching EAP Skills. Although the charts are virtually identical, the way that you will use them to score the practice tests from the Official Guide CD is slightly different from the way they are used in the original article. If you want to know more about their use in the Michigan Guide, click the link above to reach the original publication.

 

49 Responses to Estimating Your TOEFL Score

  1. shobhit January 14, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    I have given one listening test from TOEFL official guide and i scored 24/33 points. Can you please tell me what is my score out of 30

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas January 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      There’s a conversion table in the “answers” section of each test in the official guide. 🙂 Just go to that section and it will tell you!

  2. Anuj Joshi March 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    I just gave my TOEFL exam yesterday. What my problem is my speaking section didn’t gone well. At 1st section of question it went worst due to some disturbance and second as well but from the 3rd question it slightly pickup the pace and I thought I spoke and response good than before. So, how does speaking marking goes? Out of 6 my 2 Question response went bad. I am feeling really worried about this. Although, my reading, listening, and writing section went well but speaking is doubtful.

  3. Said Omer May 11, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    I took the exam two days ago and made a big mistake in the writing section. I read the instructions and it said to write an essay with this many words, but I foolishly wrote a paragraph for the essay sections, both of them. The paragraphs were good though. Now I am worried that I did not write a five paragraph essay. What could my essay writing score be? I am really worried about this. I did fine on the rest of the sections though.

  4. David Recine
    David Recine May 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    That’s a very good question, Said.

    If your paragraphs were as long and complete as the average 3-4 paragraph TOEFL essay, you may only lose a few points for organization. If the paragraphs are shorter— more like normal-length paragraphs in an academic essay, it’s likely you’ll also lose points for not having a fully developed argument. If you haven’t done this already, I would look at the official TOEFL Writing rubrics: https://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/TOEFL/pdf/Writing_Rubrics.pdf

    Think about what you wrote, and how it might measure up to the ETS scoring guides. But try not to stress out too much. The truth is that you won’t know your score for sure until you actually get it.

  5. jaque July 29, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

    I’ve some doubts about pointing scale. Because, according to the scale, if I have % 50 achievement rate from Reading Section, I get 9 points. I think it is really unlogically pointing system. So are you sure that your tables are correct? I hope if I do %50, I get 15 out of 30.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink August 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

      You’re right that TOEFL grading isn’t very intuitive. But the short answer is no, 50% correct doesn’t give you 15 out of 30. There are a couple reasons for that. First, if you choose randomly, you will on average get the correct answer 25% of the time. But random guessing should not give you points. So 25% correct should be much lower, near zero.

      Secondly, the TOEFL is a standardized test. That means many different version of the TOEFL have to get the same scoring. So the truth is, every test converts to the 1-30 scale differently. No single table of percentage correct and score will be accurate for every version of the TOEFL, because there are some small differences in difficulty between different tests.

      So no, the table is not perfect, but it is much closer to the truth than simply converting 50% to 15/30. I hope that makes some sense!

  6. MM91 January 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    Dear Lucas,

    i am really desperate because the school i applied to requires minimum 100 toefl score.
    I took the first test and got R:25, L:26, S:23, W:24, total: 97. I took the second test a moth after and got R:25, L:24, S:20, W:27. Do you have any idea how the admission evaluate my score? Would it be possible for the admission to consider my highest score each section? R:25 L:26 S:23 W:27, so my total score will be 101? I sent both of my toefl scores though..

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      That does sound like a tricky (and frustrating!) situation. In unusual cases like this, some university admissions departments/programs are willing to bend the rules, and others aren’t. The best you can do is check with your prospective university and see what they say. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

  7. Luniva Karanjit February 13, 2016 at 1:46 am #

    My score is low in toefl ibt. I got only 56 out of total. The universities I applied required minimum score of 61. Can I apply for any other universities with this score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      There definitely are some universities who will accept you with that TOEFL score. Generally, though, acceptance of students with lower scores will be conditional acceptance. This means you’ll likely be asked to take additional English classes before you begin your regular degree courses.

  8. Winn May 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    I took my Toefl yesterday,I made a terrible mistake by spending more times on some questions on the reading section,so I had to rush because the timer was going quickly and I lost my focus and just pick the answers without analyzing them.And also on the listening section I couldn’t concentrate myself to listen the lectures so I had to guess some answers.But I did very well on the speaking and the writing section.I need a score of 76.Do you think I can score it that way?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 9, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Congratulations on doing so well on Speaking and Writing— but sorry to hear that the Reading and Listening sections of your exam didn’t go so well. My answer to your question, Winn, would be “maybe.” I have certainly seen test takers get in the high 70s or low 80s with poor Reading/Listening scores, based on the strength of their Writing and Speaking sections. It all depends on exactly what your scores were in TOEFL Reading and Listening. Good luck!

    • Marina May 17, 2016 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Winn! I have alson took the test on may 7th. Have you already received your score?

  9. Andrés June 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    I scored 26 in writing. How is that possible? according to the chart you can’t get a 26. Has that rubric table conversion changed?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 21, 2016 at 4:10 am #

      Hi Andrés,

      Firstly, awesome job! That’s a great score for the writing section 🙂 To answer your question, it is possible to score 26 on the writing section. The charts on this blog are here to help you estimate your score and help you understand how the raw and scaled score. However, this can vary slightly from the actual scaling system used by ETS. Sorry for any confusion this caused!

      • Andrés June 21, 2016 at 8:57 am #

        Thanks for your help. Unfortunately I need 27…

  10. elvis June 25, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    hey I took my test today and the reading section was the problem I manage to answer the first two passages to my own understanding but the last passage I missed the last four questions but I did the listening writing and the speaking section I need a score of 80 pls do comment on this

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

      Ouch! The last four questions include the two “Reading to Learn” questions at the end, which have more than one correct answer and are worth more points. Still, to get a 20 in TOEFL Reading (1/4 of the 80 you need for this 4-section exam), you only need to get around 67% of the answers right for the Reading section as a whole. So if you did reasonably well on the other Reading questions, you might still get that 20.

      Even if your reading score is a little below a 20, I’d say you still have a chance at getting an 80 if you got higher than 20 in the other sections of the exam. You’ll have to wait until you get your score reports before you can be certain, though.

  11. Deepika July 7, 2016 at 2:18 am #

    Hi!

    I am going to give mt TOEFL on July 9th. I have been practicing the 5 official toefl tests and i reckon that the key provided by them is incorrect at few places.

    Can you tell whether the answers given are correct which will help me identify my mistakes?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 7, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

      I’ve used both of the five-test books extensively (Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volumes 1 and 2), and I can definitely tell you that the answer keys are correct. In fact, you can always trust any answer keys that come form official, ETS-sponsored TOEFL sources. So if the answers seem to be wrong, really double check the answers in the key, and analyze why the TOEFL identifies them as correct. This can help you understand the test more deeply and refine your test strategies.

  12. Aseem July 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    Hi,

    I am preparing for Toefl iBT and have around 3 more weeks to prepare. I need high marks (equivalent to band 8 of IELTS). I am finding reading and listening a bit tough (need 29 and 28 points respectively). Can you please suggest how can I improve reading and listening in next three weeks.

    Regards
    Aseem

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

      How you improve Reading and Listening depends a lot on your current ability in those sections. But I can give you some general rules. For one thing, it’s always a good idea to study multiple choice test strategy— these kinds of strategies can really boost your score. And test strategy can be learned quickly, which is great since you have just three weeks left.

      For both of these sections, you’ll also want to study vocabulary (especially for Reading!) and learn how to understand vocabulary in context, so that you can make good guesses at the meanings of unfamiliar words in the passage and on the audio. Be sure also to understand how English intonation works, so that you can recognize important “content words” when you hear them.

  13. Estefi July 23, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    I took the TOEFL IBT yesterday and the reading was too long, I don’t remember how many questions but they were 56 more or less…. I didn’t have time to complete the last 3 questions, and in some of them I needed to guess….

    The problem is…. how can I calculate my reading score, if for example I got 45 ot of 56? I understand that the maximum score is 30 in each section…..

    Thank you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 24, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Ah, math! Basically, you solve this by calculating the percent of questions you got right, and then applying that percentage to 30. In your case, 46/56 = 0.82, or 82%. 82% of 30 is 24.6, which would round up to a 25. There is also an additional complication to calculating your score in your situation, unfortunately. If you got 56 questions, that almost certainly means you got an extra-long experimental section of Reading, with four passages and four question sets, instead of the standard 3. This means one of the reading passages/question sets is experimental, and will not count toward your score. Which one? There’s no way of knowing, sadly.

    • Raúl July 25, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

      Hi Estefi,

      I took it the same day. You’re the reading part was too long, there were 56 questions. I think there was an experimental part. I hope you did it well.
      For now, just to wait 10 days to get our score!

      Take care.

    • Raúl July 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      YOU’re RIGHT!!! I missed it in my previous comment.

  14. Sanjay Vermani July 31, 2016 at 10:37 am #

    i am going to take my TOEFL on 6th of August. I am practicing from official test materials. But I am unable to get my speaking and writing evaluated.Please guide me how can i get my Speaking and writing evaluated, so that i can know my weaknesses.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 1, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

      There are several ways to get your TOEFL Speaking and Writing evaluated. The most reliable way is to hire a knowledgeable TOEFL tutor. You may be able to find a tutor through a local school or language academy. There are also many TOEFL tutors online. can find tutoring online (See Part 1 and Part 2 of the Magoosh TOEFL Blog’s guide to finding online TOEFL tutoring.)

      That costs money, of course. You can also potentially get free feedback on Writing and Speaking by going to online TOEFL forums. There, you can share audio files of your TOEFL Speaking or sample TOEFL Writing and get feedback form other forum users. Often this means getting feedback form fellow students, but there are usually some professional teachers on the forums too.

    • Morgan August 8, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      hey sanjay, i also did mine on 6th which country did you take yours from?

  15. Shirley Ariana Flores Cardenas August 9, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi,my toefl test was on august too but I have a doubt, I talked more than the time that I had in the speaking section and I corrected two words for my bad pronuntiation… I am really concerned about this… ahh and my final big error was that one of the paragraphs was incomplete (because at the final just when the time was close to finish I try to write more)
    Please this errors are really serious? I need a score of 83

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      This does sound stressful– sorry that your performance on the TOEFL didn’t go exactly as you’d hoped. I’m happy to tell you that self-correcting when you mispronounce words is not a serious error. In fact, sometimes self-correction can even be a good thing that helps your score. Native speakers also make mistakes and self-correct.

      Running out of time and giving incomplete response in TOEFL Speaking and Writing can be a more serious problem. However, even here, you may or may not lose a lot of points. If your ideas are clear and close-to-complete before you run out of time, getting cut off in speech or not completing your final paragraph will only hurt your scores a little. However, if you left out some important ideas so that your response seems incomplete and hard to understand, that can hurt your score a lot more.

      I hope this helps. Of course, you won’t really know how you did until you get your score report. This is stressful, I know.

  16. Hanieh August 10, 2016 at 4:52 am #

    Hi,

    I have recently took the TOEFL test. I feel so worried about the integrated writing section. The lecture was not that easy for me to understand and I couldn’t get one of the three reasons clearly. I think I couldn’t write some parts of one of the reasons correctly. How much will the raters decrease the score for that? :-/

    Thanks

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 13, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      Sorry to hear you struggled with the TOEFL Integrated Writing prompt— this is a difficult task for TOEFL test-takers.If you really did give incorrect information about what was in the lecture, this will noticeably hurt your score. How many points you lose depends on how inaccurate your paraphrases were. To figure out what your score might be, I recommend carefully reading the official rubric for TOEFL Integrated Writing.

  17. Sagaya August 23, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    In need to score a minimum band score 36 which consist of 3 in both reading & listening and 12 in both speaking & writing. Will you be able to convert this as this is for my Australia work visa application.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

      I may be able to help, but could you clarify what you mean by “band score?” Which test will you be getting these scores of 36 band), 3 (reading and listening) and 12 (speaking and writing)? If you can tell me a little more about the exam, I may be able to make the conversion. (Also, if your’e using the TOEFL to migrate to Australia, you may want to check out our post on the TOEFL and Australian Immigration.)

  18. Jeet August 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi,

    I am going to take toefl on Aug 27th and I took 3 ETS official tests and scored 25-28 in reading listening but am scared about speaking section because I don’t know how much score I can expect with my responses. I just want to keep my score at least 20+. Any idea how can I evaluate my responses and predict will I be able to get 20+ with these kinds of responses and what should I do to make sure that I get 20+ on the actual test.

    Thanks

  19. Arghya sarkar September 2, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    If I have two toefl scores within two years,do I have option to send the best score out of two? Secondly,do I need to cancel my low score (out of the two) so that I can send my higher score?Or is there any other alternative to send best score out of the two..Please Reply

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 5, 2016 at 9:36 am #

      If you have two TOEFL scores and both TOEFL scores are less than two years old, you can simply send schools the higher score. You don’t need to cancel the lower score in order to send the higher score, even if the lower score is more recent. If your highest score is the older one though, make sure the score will be LESS than two years old by your application deadline. TOEFL scores expire after two years.

  20. Shreya September 6, 2016 at 3:40 am #

    I recently gave my TOEFL iBT and the speaking section on the test didn’t go that well. I was unable to complete my answers within the time limit and in one of questions I paused for a few seconds. How much is this going to affect my score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 13, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      Continuous speech and complete information are two important features, as listed on ETS’s official TOEFL Speaking rubrics. So this will affect your score in some way. If you had just one pause, the impact on your score should be minimal. If your answer was close to complete when you ran out of time, that also has just a small impact on your score. However, if you left out any key ideas because you ran out of time, then you may lose quite a few points.

      To get an idea of how your score will be affected, carefully read through the rubrics I linked above.

  21. FloRide September 7, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    Hi,

    First of all, I would like to thank you guys for these valuable tools and comments.

    I needed a score of 100 at TOEFL IBT and unfortunately I got 98 on my first attempt (test taken on August 6th) due to a 22 at writing section. I immediately scheduled another test on August 26th and practiced hard using the official material’s scoring guidelines as well as the above estimation tools and tables. This was really helpful to self-evaluate my responses in a quite accurate way for both speaking and writing sections and see my improvements in these fields.

    On my second attempt, I got a score of 102, thanks to a 29 at reading and a 26 at writing (despite an incomplete final paragraph in task 1).

    Good luck to all of you and many thanks again to Magoosh.

    See you.

  22. Barbaros September 7, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    I need 75 minimum from toefl but there is restriction for me that is speaking must be 20 or higher . My question is that what should i do to get 20 on the speaking section ?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 13, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      What you need to do for a good speaking score depends at least partly on your own skills. Make sure you carefully assess your TOEFL Speaking strengths and weaknesses as you plan your studies.

      Beyond that– time management and organization is KEY. For TOEFL Independent Speaking, master thinking fast and having enough to say. And for Integrated Speaking, avoid having too much to say. Integrated tasks give you a lot of information to summarize, and it can be hard to say everything you need to say within the 60 second time limit. think carefully about the most important details, and find efficient ways to summarize those details.

  23. kushal September 17, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    i just took ibt toefl test , and due to nervousness i couldnot complete 7 reading question out of 56 and overall in other section have done very good . Will i get 80 above in tofel. I am confident that my other section are pretty well . can I Get 80 above. please help

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

      Sorry to hear you missed 7 questions in Reading! I can understand why that would make you anxious. Getting an 80 might be a possibility, but there are a few factors to consider.

      First, if you had 56 questions, that means you got an extra long TOEFL section of the TOEFL for reading. One of the passages is experimental and doesn’t count toward your score. There’s no way to tell which passage is the experimental one. But if all 7 missed questions were for the experimental passage that doesn’t count, then you have no problem.

      On the other hand, if all 7 missed questions do count against you, then you have about a 16 in TOEFL Reading. In that worst case scenario, in order to get an 80, you’ll need at least a total of around 64 points between your three other sections– this would be an average of about 21.5 between the three. If you did pretty well on the other sections– mid-twenties at least– you should be OK to get an 80 overall.

      Good luck. If you get a chance, post here again and let us know how it went!


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