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TOEFL Scores

Good TOEFL scores for top universities

If you must take the TOEFL as part of your application for admission, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I know if my TOEFL score is good enough for my dream program?”

The answer? It depends. A good TOEFL score is the score that meets (or exceeds) the minimum requirements for the program you want to attend. Each university has a different required or recommended TOEFL score range for each of their programs. Finding out what your dream university considers a top TOEFL score is important both for planning your TOEFL prep and setting your TOEFL score goal.

TOEFL scores infographic

Find out what score you need to get on the TOEFL by consulting our helpful new infographic! This new resource provides the minimum required and/or recommended TOEFL scores for some of the top universities. Check it out!

(Updated: July 2015)

Share Using the Embed Code Below

Did you find your university? If not, you can research a university’s minimum required score by visiting their website or contacting their admissions office. 🙂 Also, continue reading for more info about score reports!

TOEFL scoring basics

The TOEFL iBT test is broken into four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each section is worth a maximum of 30 points, for a possible combined score of 120.

The TOEFL is a standardized exam, which means that ETS uses a specific (and secret) calculation to generate your final score. This process of equating scores compensates for the fact that some versions of the TOEFL exam are more difficult than other versions, ultimately making all scores directly comparable.

TOEFL score ranking

As you can see from the infographic, different universities – and even different programs within universities – require different scores. This makes ranking TOEFL scores extra challenging.

The important thing to note is that there isn’t one good score. Instead, each program has a preferred score range. Knowing your program’s preferences can help you plan your TOEFL preparation and allow you to set a personal score goal.

And before you go …

Let us know how you like our infographic by leaving a comment below and sharing with your friends! 🙂


By the way, sign up for Magoosh TOEFL Prep! You'll get access to 110 lesson videos that cover everything you need to do well on the TOEFL! Click here to learn more.

112 Responses to TOEFL Scores

  1. marius July 12, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Dear Magoosh instructors,
    I am grateful for this infographic and the clarity it contains. I am a French native and recently I’ve taken my first TOEFL test and got my score: 95 (R: 20, L:27, S:23, W: 25).
    Even if I am happy with such a performance, I will have to sit for the test again because I need a score of 100 minimum. I often read your post and like your objective views and tips about the TOEFL. Thanks and keep it up=

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig July 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Hello Marius,

      I am so happy to hear that you found the infographic useful, and that you enjoy our blog posts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for following the TOEFL blog. Congratulations on your wonderful TOEFL score … you are so close to your goal. Bon courage!


  2. Mauricio July 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm #


    How come Berkeley asks for a 68 on the TOEFL, while other universities are in 100 pts.

    Much regards

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig July 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Mauricio,

      I was surprised too! ๐Ÿ™‚

      This answer is that it’s difficult to know for sure why Berkeley’s minimum required TOEFL score for graduate admissions is so low compared to other equally impressive universities. But here are some thoughts:

      1) This minimum required TOEFL score is a general one for all graduate admissions at UC Berkeley. I would guess that different programs within UC Berkeley have different preferences, which are likely higher than this general score.

      2) Each university has a different interpretation of a good TOEFL score, which is to say that each university has a different interpretation of the level of English a student would need in order to do well in a class in their program. Some universities put more faith in the TOEFL’s ability to test English skills than other universities do. In fact, a lot of universities (especially in the UK) don’t require TOEFL scores at all, and use other methods of determining whether international students are fluent enough in English to attend.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if I can help answer any other questions you make have.


      • Fatemeh September 30, 2014 at 11:23 am #


        The minimum TOEFL score required by Berkeley has been increased to 90 points.



        • Lucas Fink
          Lucas October 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

          Hi Fatemeh,

          You’re right! We’re going to update the infographic as soon as we can. Thanks!

  3. Muhammad Khurram Qureshi July 26, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Hello. I did gave TOEFL back in 2011 and got 108. I scored well in all the sections except the speaking section where I got a 23. Now I have to retake the TOEFL exam but I definitely want to improve my TOEFL speaking score. The two problems that I faced in the speaking section were as follows:
    1. I am not a natural fluent speaker.
    2. There was too much noise in the test center (Other people were also speaking at the same time).
    Can you please give me some advice on how I could improve my speaking score?
    Many Thanks.

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig July 28, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Muhammad,

      Thanks for your question! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Many students find the speaking section of the TOEFL to be the most difficult part of the test. It can definitely be a challenge to practice speaking a foreign language on your own. In terms of the two problems you mentioned, there are definitely things you can do to overcome them a bit:

      1) You are not a natural fluent speaker: The TOEFL doesn’t expect you to speak like you are fluent in English. However, the scorers must be able to understand you. This post on Improving your pronunciation for the TOEFL gives you tips for identifying the parts of your English pronunciation that need the most work, as well as strategies for improving your pronunciation. I definitely recommend giving it a read!

      2) The test center was noisy: This is a definite challenge of the TOEFL. Everyone taking the test at the same time is speaking at the same time! It makes it difficult to concentrate. I’d recommend that you play music or have the TV on when you practice TOEFL speaking, so that you get used to ignoring distracting noises. Practice staying focused on your own thoughts, and even write down some notes on paper as you speak so that you remember what you were planning to say, and don’t get thrown off by distracting noises around you. Here is a list of topics you’ll talk about on the TOEFL, to help guide your practice.

      Here are two other blog posts that you might find useful: How to Practice TOEFL Speaking and TOEFL Speaking Practice.

      I hope that you find this advice useful! Good luck retaking the TOEFL. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Madina April 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

        Very useful information! Thank you!

        • Rita Kreig
          Rita Kreig April 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

          You are so welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. alex July 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    I did like the infographic , but next time hopefully u guys post a good methods to pass the test successfully

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig July 28, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Hi Alex,

      I’m glad you like the infographic, and thanks for the suggestion! ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you’d like some more strategies for passing the TOEFL, please explore some of the other posts on our TOEFL Blog – we write a lot about TOEFL exam strategies each week. We divide the strategies by the different sections of the TOEFL exam: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. If you look at the top menu bar of the blog, you can click on the links and easily navigate to posts that’ll help you learn to pass each section of the test successfully. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Happy Studying!

  5. Ciccio August 1, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    Hi guys,
    thanks for the infographic! Very useful!

    Do you have any experiences of people getting their scores before the 10-days? I took the toefl on the 26th of july, and now I’m waiting… but waiting is hard! Will I get an email stating that my scores are ready to consult?


    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas August 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      You’re welcome! It generally takes the full 10 days, I’m afraidโ€”sometimes a couple days more. But you will get an email, yes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Maria Denisse August 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Hey Ciccio,

      I took the test the same day as you did, and I just got my results a couple o hours ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Try checking your email

      • kapil August 23, 2014 at 9:09 am #

        What? Did u get your result in 5days ?

  6. Robin Renardi August 10, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Hello, i hope you can help me to give me some important information.
    I want to apply to both UC Berkeley and Stanford.This is what i’m worrying about, actually, Stanford and UC. Berkeley stated that they need 90 in TOEFL IBT as the minimum requirement. However, i got only 91 and right now i’m confused to retake it or not. And from your opinion, is TOEFL a test that need to be scored as high as possible or just fulfill the requirement? But the way, the graph is really helping.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas August 11, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Hi Robin. First, congrats on that 91! From my experience, you only need to meet the minimum for most, if not all, schools. Once that minimum is reached, it’s time to focus on other parts of the application. Schools only use the TOEFL to see whether you’ll be able to communicate in English well enough. It’s not a measure of your academic capability, like the rest of your application. So don’t worry about it if you’re a bit close to the minimum! That should be enough. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to be certain, though, I recommend emailing the admissions offices at Stanford and Berkeley to see if they value higher TOEFL score in applicants. And I’m glad you like the infographic!

  7. kapil August 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    So you got your results in 5 days ? :O

  8. Frenci September 9, 2014 at 2:43 am #


    What if I get 108 points and the school requires 110 points?

    Do I need to retake the test?


    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      That depends on the program you’re applying to. Email them to ask if the information isn’t on their site. Good luck!

  9. francis September 12, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    Pls am a little bit confuse here, I thought when you reach the minimum score of what the university you applied required you have automatically qualify for the admission to study in your dream school you applied for.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      The TOEFL is just a test of your English ability, nothing more. If you reach the minimum score, then a school will consider the other parts of your application. That includes other test scores (like the GRE), your academic history, your recommendations, and your statement of purpose (application essay). An application includes many pieces! But keep in mind that some schools don’t have minimum scores. Some schools look at your TOEFL scores next to the rest of your application, so they have recommended scores but will also value other parts of your application.

  10. Visaradha September 25, 2014 at 2:54 am #

    Hi, My husband has written Ielts for 4 times till now for the migration purpose to Australia, but unfortunately he could not get the required band 7 score….Later when he heard about the news that the Australian people will accept Toefl scores for skilled migration from November 2014, he gave an attempt this month and he received his scores today…R-28, L-30,W-24,S-29…but everything in the score is ok as compared to band 7 ielts but when it came to writing part it is 24 where it is not equal to band 7 Ielts… my question is that can my husband take an other exam next month and produce those scores or after giving another attempt if the scores are less than the previous scores, can he give produce the previous scores to australian government as the scores are valid till 2 years…
    Does any one of you have any idea of confirmation acceptance of Toefl scores for skilled migration from November 2014.

    Thanks in advance

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

      I’m sorry to hear it’s been so tough to get past the IELTS requirement! I don’t know much about Australian immigration policy, but I do know how ETS sends scores. When you take the TOEFL, you have the opportunity to choose four institutions to send scores to. Those are free. The institution will only receive the scores from that test date. You can order score reports later, too, but it costs 19 dollars. And yes, you can choose which date’s scores to send.

      So if your husband takes the test again, he can choose which test date to send the scores of, but only if he orders the reports later, not with the free reports on test day. However, I think the Australian government will only consider the test date with the highest scores (you cannot choose individual sections from different dates, though). If that’s the case, then he should just send his scores for free every time he takes the test. I’m not sure about their policies, though, since I’m not an expert on immigration, so you should research that to be sure.

  11. Harsh October 4, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    I want to know how is the scoring for reading and listening sections based. Is it based on the percentile system. For example, if I am 100 percentile so my score is 30/30, if I’m 95 percentile so my score can be 29/30 etc.
    Or is the score based on the number of correct questions. Like if I marked 21/42 correct so proportionally I get 15/30.
    Thank you.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas October 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      The TOEFL is a standardized test, which means that the scoring is standardized across versions of the test. So if you take the TOEFL in November and another TOEFL in December, you will see two different tests. It’s possible that one test was slightly more difficult or slightly easier than the other test. So the scores are not perfectly correlated from raw to scaled. 75% correct on one test might give a different score than 75% on another test. Percentiles are a better way to compare, but they’re also not correlated so simply. The only way to get a scaled test score is to use a conversion table that is specific to the practice test. There is no way to convert perfectly for ALL versions of the test.

      You can get a rough idea from this blog post, though. Just keep in mind it is only for estimation.

  12. M October 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Hello, Lucas. I’m worrying about my TOEFL scores, hope you can help me. Last December I got 97 /120 (R25 L25 S23 W24) but some schools require 100/120. So I retook the test last month and ordered ETS to send score to my targeted school because I didn’t think that my score would get lower and I didn’t want to pay additional $19/school later. Unfortunately, my score has dropped to 90/120 (R22 L21 S22 W25). So I’m worrying that even I send my 97/120 score to these school, will they think that my score decreases? Or they’ll just consider only my best score?
    Finally, if my score is slightly less than 100, will I have any chance for conditional offer? Retaking is so exhaustive, and expensive. Thanks!

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas October 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      I know what you mean about retaking being exhaustive. Studying again, paying again, and taking the test again is not something you want to take lightly. How schools view your scores varies by the program and department, so I can’t say for certain how they will judge your two scores that you sent. From my experience, they usually look only at the higher score, as long as it’s still valid (yours is, since it’s from fairly recently). But you should email them to check if you’re not sure.

      As for conditional acceptance, that depends entirely on the school. Some will offer it, some will not. Again, you’ll have to email them to find out for certain.

  13. pushkar patil October 24, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Hello, sir/mam,

    I am graduate student from University Of Pune India in Engg. Stream. Recently, i gave toefl exam and i got 73 marks. I am seeking for study in germany for M.S. So, is this valid score for application? And what is minimum criteria for application? Or Should i repeat the toefl exam?
    And if my marks drops then can i apply on basis of old marks?

    Thanking you

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas October 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      I wish I could be of more help, but that’s a question for the programs that you’re applying to! Contact them if you’re unsure of their requirements. I can tell you, though, that you can choose to send any specific set of scores to schools. You can choose before you take the test for free, or after you see the score for a price. Good luck!

  14. Sarah October 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Hi Lucas, do you know what is the average TOEFL score for students studying in Washington University in St. Louis? I got a 99 (R23 L27 S24 W25) for the 10/17 test and I am worried that the score is too low for applying to the school. Thank you!

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas October 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      I’m afraid I don’t, but a 99 is a very good score and is enough for many schools! If you can’t find the information on Washington University’s website, try emailing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Rohan October 28, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    Dear instructor,
    Thank you for the wonderful was really helpful. I gave my first toefl recently and scored 95(r:20,l:28,s:23,w:24).your blog has helped me a lot.I wanted to ask that is this score decent or should I retake the test.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas November 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      That depends on where you’re applying to! Some schools require 100 or higherโ€”if you’re applying to a school with a high minimum like that, you might need to retake the test. But some only require 80 or even less. Look into the programs that you’re interested in to find out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Gabo November 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Hello Lucas! I would like to ask you about a doubt that I have. I took the TOEFL test two times and I had two different results: in one I have 95 (21R 28L 22S 24W) and in the other 102 (29R 29L 18S 26W). By the total score, I could choose the second option; however I am very worry about the 18S, because I’m interested in apply for a TA fellowship. Because of this, what should I choose?

    Great post! Thanks for all!

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas November 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Email the school to check their requirements for TA positions, first. Check if they have a minimum speaking score. Most likely, you will want to submit both scores so the school knows you’re capable of getting that higher speaking score.

  17. Big B November 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Hey, I just wanted to note that it’s not entirely accurate to say that Princeton requires a 28 in the speaking section for graduates. What they say is that if you don’t score 28 you’ll have to take a placement test, and if you don’t pass it you’ll have to take English classes.

    In fact, Princeton doesn’t have a minimum score for graduate studies at all! It’s rather each department which is in charge of setting their minimum score bars. So, for instance, your department might be willing to take you in with an 18 speaking score. All that means is that you’ll be forced to take the classes.

    I’m applying for a PhD in Philosophy in the US, and no department has asked me a score higher than 100. Hoewever, most ask for a 23 in speaking.

    Yet, there is an explanation for Princeton’s 28 mark: In every university I’m applying for if you want to get a teaching assitantship you have to score 28 in the speaking section or else enrol in speaking classes, regardless of the department’s minimum. This is a legal requirement. So Princeton’s benchmark is simply the standard one everyone uses for the purposes of teaching assistantships, and it’s better to understand it as such rather than as a blanket minimum.

    (And I did get a 28 in speaking. And a 118 overall. Without tutoring and only 3 days of preparation with ETS’s book! But then again, I’ve been in the UK for 4 years, and I’ve been learning English for 16 years…)

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas November 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Thanks for your input! You’re right that there is no minimum for Princetonโ€”that’s why the picture next to the score is a thumbs-up sign, which is meant to show that the score is recommended, but not required. On an old version of Princeton’s site, they said this:

      “To provide guidance the following information may be useful. Over the last two admission seasons the average iBT TOEFL combined score for admitted students was 108, with the following average sub-scores: Listening 28, Reading 29, Speaking 24, and Writing 27. Furthermore, data from the University’s English Language Program indicates that of newly enrolling internationals students, those who score below 20 on the Speaking subsection of iBT TOEFL are virtually certain to have to take an English language course during their first year of graduate study to bring their spoken proficiency up to a minimum standard.”

      An average score is definitely not a requirement, but it establishes a clear goal for students who are applying, so we thought it was useful. ๐Ÿ™‚ And you’re right about conditional enrollment. That is true for many schools with “recommended” scores in the list, but there is not always clear information on conditional enrollment and the details vary greatly between schools, so it was hard to include in the list.

      As for the speaking requirement, you’re right that it refers to a T.A. requirement. That should not be listed as a recommendation in general, because T.A. requirements are not listed in this chart. We’ll fix that as soon as we can! But by the way, to my knowledge, a speaking score of 28 is not a legal requirement for T.A. funding. Many schools ask for lower scores. (I usually hear 24 or 26, to be honest, so I was surprised that so many schools you’ve applied to required 28! That’s good to know.)

      And of course, I should say congratulations on that extremely high score! I’m sure that will make the admissions process much easier for you. Even if you have been in the UK for a few years, that’s an accomplishment that you should absolutely be proud of. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks again for chiming in!

      • Big B November 19, 2014 at 1:52 am #

        Oh yes, silly me. I didn’t notice the distinction between recommended scores and required scores in your chart.

        Whoa, the average for Princeton is pretty, pretty high. Particularly in the reading section, so I expect most international applicants will also have a high verbal GRE.

        And have you checked Columbia’s graduate school of journalism’s recommended score? They want you to have at least a 114!

        I’m not entilrely sure whether the 28 is a legal requirement, but I guess that by setting the score within that range they’re guaranteeing that they’re indeed fulfilling the requirement.

        Well, I wish it were the kind of thing to help my application! I also got a perfect score in the verbal GRE and a 5.5 in the writing section (and no one in Philosophy cares about maths unless you did horrendously bad or you want to do mathematical logic.) Of course, this is a good thing. But Philosophy departments are very wary of standardised tests. And it’s not unusual for Philosophy majors to score above the 90th percentile.

        The most a good score will do for you is to get them to read your writing sample carefully, but the decisive factor is by far the sample, followed in importance by your recommendations and then your grades.

        However, I do hope that they look positively on the fact that I got those scores despite being a non-native speakers, and one thing they do help with a lot is if you want to get university fellowships.

        • Lucas Fink
          Lucas November 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

          A perfect score on GRE verbal! That’s impressive. Congrats on that.

          You’re right that Princeton’s expectations are extremely high. They can afford to be picky, because they’re such a highly regarded school (as is true of Columbia). But of course, it all depends on what you’re studyingโ€”I suspect the journalism department at Columbia has higher expectations than do other programs at the same university, simply because journalism requires a near-native command of English.

          I agree that academic history and recommendations are, particularly in your case, more important than the TOEFL score, but for some students it’s the other way around, since low enough TOEFL scores can preclude the possibility of admission to many programs. In any case, I’m certain those high scores will help you along the way. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re in a great position! Good luck in your applications.

  18. B. December 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi,what if our on line score is not received by the institute on the date we indicated? It’s not exactly a deadline. Do they normally consider this delay ,as it is not our fault because the test centre gives us approximately 2 weeks to send our score to the selected recipients? Now how shall one decide on the approximate date to indicate?

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas December 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

      Ideally, you will take the test more than two weeks before your application deadline to avoid this issue. If you have to take the test so close to the deadline, then after taking it, reach out to the admissions offices at the programs you’re applying to and let them know that you expect the test results will be there before the deadline, but you are afraid of a delay caused by ETS. Most schools are forgiving if a test score is a day late, but sometimes they are not. Communicating with them just a little bit is a good idea.

  19. Ajitesh December 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Did not prepare for the test at all. Saw your blog the evening before the test and scored 102 (29,27,23,23). Thanks a ton!

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas December 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      You’re welcome! I think we could only have helped a tiny bit in such a short time, but I’m glad we could contribute however we did. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Jane January 10, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Greetings, I registered for the TOEFL iBT on the 16th of January. I am not that good in comprehending. Will my scores be sent to the institutions via mail (that will take it says, 4-6 weeks)? And when it meant electronically, does it mean that they could send my scores to the institution less than 2 weeks? Thank you.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas January 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      It’s not very clear, is it? The truth is that the speed depends on the university. If they pay for internet access to TOEFL scores from ETS, then they can receive scores faster. It’s a good idea to take your TOEFL at least three weeks before your application deadline, longer if you know the admissions office will only receive scores by paper mail.

  21. Shankar February 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi,I am from India.I wrote TOEFL exam on 13th Dec,20414 but I have not yet received the hard copy of the score as per their website I shall receive in about 6 weeks.We need this urgently for Australia immigration.We do not have any time left now.Could you please help us to know if there is any other way to get the hard copy of the score.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas February 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      The only way to get your TOEFL scores is from ETS, I’m afraid. If you haven’t contacted them, please do!

  22. Marina February 11, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    Do you know how many students have passed TOEFL in 2014?
    Can ‘t find any statistics.


    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas February 19, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      That’s a good question, but I don’t think ETS releases that info. But they did say that 25+ million students had taken the test in the years before 2010, and now the site says that 30+ have taken the test, so that means roughly 1.25 million have taken it in each of the last five years. I’m sorry I can’t give you a concrete number, but that’s my best guess. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Kelly February 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks a lot for your posts here!!!.
    I am an international student wishing to secure admission into Miami Dade College US. TOEFL as I read up from their official website is required but I really don’t want to take the exam here in my country so I want to know if it’s possible for an international student to take it when he/she gets there. Really need your reply badly. Thanks.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 4, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

      Schools generally require TOEFL scores with the rest of your application. If you are going to send in the application while you are still in your home country, then you will have to take the test there, before you travel. If for some reason you are going to be in the U.S. months before the application deadline, you could take the TOEFL there, but that would require staying in the U.S. for many months before the academic year, and before knowing that you are even accepted into the program.

  24. John March 2, 2015 at 12:03 am #

    Purdue requires at least 27 in speaking section of TOEFL iBT for their computer science program. The chart above needs correction
    University of Illinois Urbana Champaign requires at least 24 in speaking section for CS program as well

    These scores are minimum cut off if you want to be considered for teaching assistantship financial aid

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      Thanks for the info! We haven’t included score requirements for specific departments (like computer science) or teaching assistantship positions because it’s too much information to include for every university. One school might have many different requirements for all the different departments! But we do mention at the beginning of the infographic that TA positions might add other requirements and that the department requirement, if there is one, is more important, so students should be sure to contact those specific departments.

      The info on Purdue is from their website here:
      We don’t have U. of Illinois on the list at the moment, but maybe we’ll include that school in a future infographic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Again, thanks for the info!

  25. ade March 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    hello, thanks for this blog…
    i took the TOEFL test on the 31st of Jan 2015. Got a score of 95 and requested my score to be sent to some universities in Germany; their deadline being 31st of march 2015. i was surprised some days ago when i checked my TOEFL acct. to find out that there was still an outstanding sum to be paid, being that the original payment had bounced back; consequently i could no longer view my score report. Anyway, that has been resolved now.
    Presently, none of the institutions have received my score report. My concern is if my score has already been sent or if not, how realistic is it for my score card to get to the designated institutions in Germany before the 31st of march. i don’t really know how it works over there. thanks.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 17, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      That’s a tough situation! I’d do two things: First, email or call the schools that you are applying to, and let them know there was a delay because of a payment error, but that you took the test in January and they should expect scores to arrive shortly. If the schools have online access to your scores, it may be no problem at all. Second, call ETS and ask when schools can expect hard copies of your scores. The timing depends largely on the postal service; I have no experience with that in Germany. But I’m fairly sure this won’t cause a problem if you’re clear with the admissions offices about the cause of the delay!

  26. Anwar March 17, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    I did the TOEFL iBT exam two weeks ago and received 72 points (R:13, L:19, S:20, W:20). I am applying to UTD (University of Texas Dallas) which is not included in the info graphic above. I need 80 points in TOEFL iBT or 6.5 in IELTS. So Mr.Lucas which exam do you think is easier for students in general to achieve these scores? Please reply. I hope my comment matches the Magoosh blog Comment policy.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 17, 2015 at 11:42 am #

      Hi Anwar,

      Check out my TOEFL Tuesday video on the TOEFL vs. the IELTS for some info on how the two tests compare. The short answer, though, is that neither test is “easier.” An 80 on the TOEFL and a 6.5 on the IELTS are comparable, but some students may be more comfortable taking one test or the other. Sorry there’s no clear answer!

  27. Vinit March 18, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Great infographic with really very clear cut instructions: whether TOEFL is recommended, required etc etc..Gives a detailed insight into the requirements of some of the top b schools. In fact, I have been through other infographics by Rita Kreig and I should admit they are equally insightful and intriguing !! Keep up the good work..:)

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 19, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Vinit! Thanks for the kind words.

  28. Aishwarya March 18, 2015 at 5:21 am #

    I have scored 117/120 on my TOEFL iBT test and I am not sure but can a high score have any added advantage in the selection procedure of otherwise?

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 19, 2015 at 11:23 am #

      That higher score can give you a slight advantage, but for the most part, once you pass the minimum score the other parts of your application are much more important (depending on the program you are applying to, of course!)

      • Aishwarya March 20, 2015 at 11:33 am #

        Thank you..:)

        • Lucas Fink
          Lucas March 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

          You’re welcome!

  29. Elena Cvetkovska March 18, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    I took TOEFL three months ago and got 114, I want to apply to New York University, Emory and Columbia. Is the score of 114 some kind of advantage? Or it makes no difference as long as it is above the minimum required?

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas March 19, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      See my comment in response to Aishwarya above. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Indranil April 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm #


    I got a 114 in TOEFL (w28 l29 r28 s29) Gre (v156 q163)

    Will my toefl score help my case to get RA/TA in the colleges that I’ll apply.??

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas April 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      That’s a great score! I don’t know of any schools that require higher than a 114, so it should not cause any trouble for an RA/TA position. However, the rest of your application may be more important. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Prasanta May 6, 2015 at 12:25 am #



    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas May 7, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      It’s a bit more complicated than that, but most US colleges ask for both SAT scores and TOEFL scores if you are from a non-English-native country. But there are many parts to a college application! Check out this coursera course for some guidance:

  32. Sebast May 9, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    how are the percentages of the correct answers ranked? For example if I get 75% of correct answers in both reading and listening what is going to be my final grade in toefl? Thanks

  33. David Recine
    David Recine May 15, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    Hello Sebast. Your TOEFL is partly rated by your raw score. It’s also partly rated by how other students performed on the same exam, and the difficulty of your set of questions, compared to questions other test takers had to answer. Because of this, there’s no way to know exactly what your TOEFL score will be, even if you know the percentage of answers you got correct. Obviously, the higher percentage you have, the better your chances are of getting a great final score.

  34. Fatima June 28, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the information. Just one question, what happen if I take the toefl twice? Do I have the opportunity to select my maximum score as in the GRE exam?

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Good question! I think this video will help:

      But the short answer is that each score report only contains the score from one test. So if you don’t choose schools to send the scores to for free before the test, and you only pay to send scores, then you can choose which test scores you send to which schools. On the other hand, if you choose to send scores to schools before you take the test, you cannot change it; the schools will see those scores.

      That said, if your scores are valid (under two years old), most schools care more about your higher scores.

  35. Daniel July 9, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    Hi !

    I have my TOEFL test in a few weeks, and only began to train yesterday : I did a practice test.

    I scored 29 in Reading, 29 in Listening, and 29 in Writing, but only 18 in Speaking !!
    Do you know if the computer score is accurate ? I really felt that there was no problem with the questions, I felt that I spoke fluently and that I answered the questions…

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      TPO (TOEFL practice online) tests don’t have very good scoring for the speaking section. I’m a native speaker and a TOEFL teacher. I get perfect scores on the real TOEFL, as I should. The TPO software gave me a score in the mid twenties… hah! You really can’t use it to predict your score. So don’t worry too much if that’s what you used. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. sameer July 11, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Hello sir,
    Is magoosh’s toefl course sufficient to do well in the exam or do I need to prepare from any other sources? Magoosh seems the most affordable to me, I’ve looked at some toefl resources in the blog but some of them seem a bit expensive. SO please help out. thank ou.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 14, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      Magoosh TOEFL covers everything that is on the TOEFL and all the important strategies, and it includes more than 330 practice questions. Whether it’s enough for you personally depends on what you personally need, but it’s certainly enough for many of our students. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Olga July 15, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    Dear Magoosh Team,
    Thank you for the post – it’s highly useful, but I have a question – for Harvard and Illinois University the undergraduate required score is higher than the graduate one – is it possible? I’ve always thought it should be the other way around…

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 22, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      Yes, that does happen. I know it seems strange, but bear in mind that the schools expect everything else among graduate students to be much more advanced than among undergrads. Also, the graduate and undergraduate programs at universities are generally separate enough that they will make decisions about admissions requirements separately, for their own individual reasons. Maybe, for example, the undergraduate program is much more competitive than the graduate program, because so many more students apply for undergrad. In that case, the undergrad admissions might be pickier about who they accept.

  38. TMJ July 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    Hello guys,
    I am not a native speaker but I got 30 on 30 in speaking, I was surprised. Speaking was the most difficult section for me, I got stuck in between one of the integrated task, and also I was not able to conclude another question.
    So don’t worry guys, the point is whether you can speak clearly, they should realise that you are able to communicate.
    I got 118/120. Thanks Magoosh

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 22, 2015 at 9:58 am #

      Congrats! That’s awesome to hear. And thanks for sending your encouragement to the other TOEFL takers out there.

    • Cadbury August 3, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      i wanted to know after how many days did you get your score?

    • Tommy May 4, 2016 at 4:47 am #

      I am glad for you, congrats :))
      I don’t have any accent and my English is fluent (I heard it from many native speakers, I lived in States for some time and my pronunciation is clean), but in spite of that I got 23 in speaking :)) Which is very surprising for many my US friends. I think it’s more about what you are saying instead of how you are saying

  39. Bilal Ahmed August 28, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    I have read in a preparation book (The Princeton – cracking the iBT).
    “You will get a point for each correct answer and a penalty for each wrong answer”

    What it actually means? Simply I want to ask if I select a wrong answer from the given multiple choice answers, does it reduces my earned points from that section?

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink August 28, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      That’s incorrect information, I’m afraidโ€”that book isn’t my favorite. There is no penalty for wrong answers on the TOEFL. That means you should answer every question!

  40. sai October 19, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    I got a TOEFL score of 91 (R-18, L-22, S-24, W-27) . Will there be any sectional cutoff in the scores? Is it a sufficient score even it satisfies minimum requirement as my Reading score is low. Could you please help me out in the issue?

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel Wisuri October 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

      Hi Sai,

      That depends on the university — some schools have sectional cutoffs, and some do not. I’d suggest checking in with the schools you plan to apply to!

  41. Hetul December 31, 2015 at 2:15 am #

    Hi, I got 99 in toefl. If I apply to university which needs minimum 100, do I need to take toefl again?

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel Wisuri January 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

      Hi Hetul,

      If the university says that 100 is the absolute minimum they require for admission, then you will likely need to take the TOEFL again, unfortunately.

      I’d suggest emailing the university to see how strict they are with their minimums. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best of luck!


  42. Shane January 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    I’m applying for scholarship at Ohio University. The program that I am applying for only requires minimum 80 on TOEFL iBT and I scored 83. Should it be enough or should I retake the test to get better scores so I can gain my chances of getting the scholarship? (I knew about the scholarship only a few days before deadlines for admission. And I did not take, nor study for TOEFL before. I had only 3 days to prepare before I took the test. I believe if I retake the test, I might get better scores).

    Thank you in advance.

    • David Recine
      David Recine January 19, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

      Wow, an 83 is pretty good with that little study time. I definitely agree with you that you could probably score even better with more time to prepare for the test.

      Obviously, being able to show the scholarship committee a newer, higher TOEFL score couldn’t *hurt* your chances of winning the scholarship. Whether or not it would actually help is a little hard for me to say. Most scholarship committees look at the “whole picture”— your test scores and a variety of other factors. Improving one part of the picture usually will help, but not always. It depends on how important test scores are to the scholarship organization, compared to other aspects of your application.

      To know for sure if an improved TOEFL score would help you— or *how much* it would help your chances, you’d want to talk to the scholarship sponsor itself. (Or perhaps to your school, if the scholarship is school-specific.) If you can’t get any additional information from the scholarship organization, I’d say go for a retake, as long as you can do so without sacrificing other responsibilities you have. Like I said, it can’t hurt, and it often helps to improve an exam score in this kind of situation.

  43. alula February 2, 2016 at 12:54 am #

    thank you for sharing so much about TOEFL with us<3
    my TOEFL is 533 and i don't know what is the highest score and whether this score is good or not,, i want to know the level of this score.. thank you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 30, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

      This is a kind of tricky question, Alula. ETS doesn’t keep any official score comparison tables between the iBT and PBT. Many individual universities do have their own score comparison tables, though. This TOEFL PBT/iBT chart from Ole Miss University is a pretty typical scale. As you’ll see in the chart, most schools consider a TOEFL PBT score of 533 to be equal to 72 or 73 on the TOEFL iBT. This is not a top score, but a TOEFL PBT of 33 will be good enough to get you into some universities and programs. It all depends on where your’e applying.

  44. Alexandre February 20, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m really sad at this moment. I’m an international student from west Africa I took a toefl mini test and I got 55. Such a low score and my university requires me 79. I still have problem in both of the reading and listen passage. Questions look similar and I just have one choice. Sometimes I chose the wrong one. Can you give me advice please??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      Sorry to hear that you scored lower than you hoped, Andre. That can certainly be frustrating! Multiple choice questions can cause a lot of confusion and anxiety, even in test-takers who have pretty good English. (As many West African English speakers do!) My advice is for you to really think about multiple choice strategies– how to select the right answer and eliminate wrong answers. You can find some decent answer explanations in official TOEFL materials. Online TOEFL forums are a good source of multiple choice strategy tips too– and you can post specific multiple choice questions that have confused you, getting advice from fellow forum members.

      You can also get some great strategy advice and tutorials right here at Magoosh. Right now Rachel Kapelke-Dale is doing a great series of Reading Practice questions that includes in-depth answer explanations, with insights into strategy. You can find a lot of other similar materials in our Listening and Reading archives.

  45. Tess February 25, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    I’m applying for german universities and most of them have fixed deadlines am march 31, according to my toefl score report order the shipping date from US is Feb 29, is it enough to reach germany in time? Any idea or experiences? I can’ beleive it takes such a long time(4 to 6 weeks) ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm #


      It’s definitely possible for the mailing to reach Germany by March 31. I’ve even seen score reports and other US Postal Service-sent mail arrive in Germany in *less* than four weeks. But delivery times for mailings from the USPS to other countries really can be unpredictable, and can sometimes take a surprisingly long time. This is why the TOEFL suggests you plan for a 4-6 week wait.

      In my past experience, it’s more likely than not that your score reports will come in on time. But there’s also a very real chance that they might be a little late. You may want to contact your prospective university and ask them what will happen if your score reports come in late. Sometimes universities may be willing to temporarily use a screenshot of the scores you accessed online while they wait for the official scores to come in. And there are also some options for the university to receive your scores electronically, provided they qualify for this service:

  46. ATUL VIJAY March 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    I am an Indian guy. I can speak English but not extreme fluently. I am trying for BITS PILANI DUBAI CAMPUS. They need a TOEFL score of minimum 61 out of 120. Will you please tell me what is the mean or average score obtained by an Indian guy? One more test paper is there named IELTS. Will you tell me which is more easy to score TOEFL or IELTS?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 4, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

      According to ETS, the average Indian TOEFL score for all university applications worldwide is 91 (see the report here). But what you’ll really want to look at is the average score for Indian applicants to the BITS Pulani Dubai Campus— this will give you a much clearer idea of the score you need in order to be competitive.

      As for ILETS vs. TOEFL, there is a lot of debate over which test is easier and harder— and there are even some people who think both tests are about the same in terms of difficulty. Which test will be easier depends a lot on the individual test-taker. Magoosh has made a comparison chart that can help you decide which exam will be best for you.

  47. Rahul March 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    Hi all,

    Thank you for the info. I just wanted to ask whether you guys have posted a similar thing for GRE regarding it’s cutoff’s and all ?

    Thanks !

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      We sure have, Rahul. ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out Rita’s GRE post here.

  48. JHW April 21, 2016 at 4:33 am #

    Hi all,
    Thanks for your attention! If I have take TOEFL scores several times and send all, will admissions office consider the max score in each section? I’ve noticed that in Common Application the system has already had the policy– to fill in the highest grade you’ve got in every part. Do you have any ideas about that? ( Unfortunately, I got two 99 in TOEFL. )


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 22, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Hi JHW,

      Good question! ๐Ÿ™‚

      The policy regarding how to view multiple TOEFL scores depends on the individual universities. Some will take the maximum score in each section and others will pick your single highest test score. All the schools in the Common Application system will clearly accept the maximum score in each section, but schools not participating in that system will differ on a case-by-case basis. You should reach out to the schools and ask their admissions departments if you need to know!

      Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Juan April 27, 2016 at 5:57 am #

    I just can’t see the infographic you provide. I have tried refresh the webpage many times but it doesn’t work. Also, I try to search this website via other browser, all failed. I really want to check the infographic to see what score I need to apply my dream school. Could you please help me with that?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 30, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      Juan, I’m sorry you’ve been having trouble viewing the image. I just downloaded the image and re-hosted it through an external link. You should be able to see the very useful infographic in this post if you you click here.

      Once you follow that link, you may need to click on the image to enlarge it and view it at full, readable size. If you still can’t see the image, let me know. And if any other Magooshers out there are having any trouble viewing our graphics, don’t be shy about commenting or messaging us. We’re here to help! ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Tommy May 3, 2016 at 1:10 pm #


    lately I got 95/120 in TOEFL iBT (R-25, L-26, S-23, W-21), but the school where I am applying for Master program is asking 98/120. According to your experience, should I retake the test or 3 points don’t make much difference when you have high GPA and good working experience. (in fact I was preparing for the test during few weeks and unfortunately I don’t have much time for retaking it).

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      That’s a great question Tommy. Certainly, for some schools, 3 points might not make much difference. But other schools are VERY firm about their score requirements. The only way you can know for sure is to contact the school you applied to. Explain your situation, and ask them if you are absolutely required to meet that 98 minimum score.

      • Tommy May 4, 2016 at 4:24 am #

        Thank you!

        That’s what I am going to do ๐Ÿ™‚

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! ๐Ÿ˜„ Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

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