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Can TOEFL Scores be Sent Electronically?

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Magoosh has already done a few posts about how to send your TOEFL scores to schools. As we’ve reported, you can use a university code to send your scores to your chosen school or schools.

If you send scores by entering a university score into ETS’ TOEFL score-sending system, the scores will go out in the mail. It can take weeks for the official score reports to arrive at the school. For many test-takers, this can be frustratingly slow. And since transit times via mail are estimates and not guarantees, there’s often a risk of TOEFL scores arriving after a school’s application deadline.

In light of this, many Magooshers have asked us if it’s possible to transmit scores electronically instead of by mail. The answer to that question is yes… and no. Allow me to explain.

Students can’t send electronic TOEFL scores to school, per se. However, schools can collect TOEFL scores directly from ETS, provided they have a registered TOEFL school code with ETS. To do this, academic institutions need to make special arrangements with ETS, purchasing electronic score reporting services. Once they’ve made those arrangements, you’ll still need to have your scores mailed to them.  But as soon as you request that the scores be mailed, the schools will automatically get access to your electronic scores, while the print ones are still in transit.

The bad news is that you as a test-taker cannot connect a university to these services. The good news is that any university with a TOEFL code can choose to connect to the TOEFL’s score-reporting services quickly, and free of charge. So if you are working with an admissions office to make sure you are able to get all of your application materials in on time, ask them if they are set up to receive electronic TOEFL scores. If they are, great! As soon as you send your scores to them by mail, they’ll be able to take an early peek at your scores electronically.

If they’re not set up to receive scores, you may be able to persuade them to sign up for electronic reporting service from ETS. Through a service called ETS Data Manager, it’s a fast, easy, free-of charge process. Any qualified admission representative or school official can sign up for Data Manager Access by filling out this simple form. ETS will review the form and approve access within 1-3 business days, assigning the school a user ID and password.

From there, the school can go to the ETS Data Manager homepage, log in and view your TOEFL scores, provided you give ETS permission to share them. How do you give ETS permission? By mailing out your scores as I mentioned above. That’s the strange part—electronic transmission of scores can’t really be a substitute for mailing them out, because you still have to send your scores by mail in order to give your school online access to your scores. So the mailed scores are still the truly official ones, and mailing still takes weeks. But while they’re waiting for the printed scores to come in the mail, your school can get a digital preview of these official scores instantly via Data Manager.

 

The takeaway

ETS’s electronic score reporting method is a little contrived, but using it ultimately doesn’t take much time and money for your prospective universities. If you’re worried your mailed scores may not arrive in time, contact the schools you’ve applied to and explore the ETS Data Manager option with them.

 

16 Responses to Can TOEFL Scores be Sent Electronically?

  1. Andrew Kean February 17, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    I didn’t know about this specific service, so thanks for letting me know about it.
    Also, when you said “the students will automatically get access to your electronic scores”, I think you meant to say “schools” rather than “students”.

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

      Andrew,

      Glad I could help! 🙂 And yes, you’re right that it should have been “schools,” and not “students.” I just corrected that— thanks for catching it!

  2. Andrew July 5, 2016 at 6:28 am #

    Does it mean that if I ordered a score report for University and the shipping date is July 11th, the designated University will be able to see my score on July 11th?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      If your university is able to receive scores electronically, then yes, they’ll be able to see your scores online by the July 11 shipping date, and probably before the shipping date. It will take weeks for them to actually receive the hard copy score report that was shipped out, though.

      • Andrew July 7, 2016 at 3:58 am #

        As far as I know the University has an account in ETS Data Manager. But I read, that score reporting runs occur twice a week. So can my score be available for the university later that 11th of July or precisely 11th of July?

        • David Recine
          David Recine July 7, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

          That’s what I was getting at— the possibility that your university might not be getting its score reports in “real time.” It is possible that your university might see your scores later than the mailing date of July 11th. But you really want to look at the date when you are first able to view your scores online, not the date your scores will be sent out in the mail. Typically, you can view your scores online through your own ETS TOEFL account within 10 days of your test date, while the print version of your scores will usually be mailed out 13 days after the test date. So if your scores are going out in the mail around the 11th, you’ll probably be able to view them around July 8th.

          Once you can see those scores online for yourself, your school will be able to view them as soon as their next score-check day comes up. July 8 is a Friday. If one of your school’s score reporting runs happens every Friday, your school may be able to see your electronic scores on the same day that you do. If not, then the school you applied to likely won’t see your score until at least the Monday of July 11th. Possibly a day or two later, depending on when their first weekly score reporting run happens.

          Does this make sense?

          • Andrew July 8, 2016 at 4:19 am #

            Thanks for detailed answer!
            I took the exam last year, now I am just sending an additional score report to the university, so they can accept my score. So in this case the school will see my result by July 11th, provided they have score reporting run on Friday?
            Do the schedule of score reporting runs differ from one school to another or they are the same for all users of ETS Data Manager?

          • David Recine
            David Recine July 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

            The schedule is the same for all schools, because release dates are set by ETS.Actually, your questioning got me curious about the exact score schedule, so I called. ETS releases scores electronically every Tuesday and Thursday. This means that your university should be able to see your TOEFL scores electronically as of today!

          • Negar July 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

            Thanks for useful information. By this you mean that universities which have Access to this online system can just have this Chance to view our Scores just on days that Are their Check days??? Not every day

          • David Recine
            David Recine July 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

            You’ve got it Negar! Schools are bale to collect new score data just two days a week.

  3. Rameshwara G N December 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    Hello David, right now I’m sending an additional score of GRE and TOEFL after the tests to ETH Zurich, Switzerland whose application submission deadline is Dec 15th, 2016. I have ordered the scores on Dec 1st, 2016 (yesterday) and the estimated shipping date as per ETS is 9th Dec, 2016.

    Since you have informed that the Universities which have the online access to the scores until the hard copy from ETS reaches them, I am eager to know how to ensure that the University does have the online access system.

    It will be a great sign of relief if ETH Zurich does have this facility…

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 3, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      I hear you on hoping ETH Zurich can see your scores instantly if need be. With a Dec. 9 shipping date, there’s certainly a risk your scores will arrive after the 15th. (Although I have heard of scores arriving internationally in 5 days, this far from guaranteed.)

      Unfortunately, there probably isn’t an obvious way to just know if ETH Zurich participates in ETS’s electronic score service. For one thing, registry to receive electronic scores from ETS is a “behind the scenes” kind of thing. When universities subscribe to ETS Data Manager, they won’t publicly announce they’ve done so.

      The good news is that if you contact ETH’s admissions office and ask them if they can view your TOEFL and GRE scores electronically, they’ll gladly tell you. Contacting them directly is a good idea either way. If they do have ETS Data Manager, they’ll tell you and you can breathe a sigh of relief. If they don’t have ETS Data Manager, contacting them still gives you a good chance to ask for an extension on the deadline for your TOEFL GRE scores (if necessary). Contacting the school also gives you a chance to see if ETH will accept any “temporary” proof while they wait to receive your scores– proof such as a screenshot of your TOEFL and GRE scores from your ETS account, for example. (I’ve heard of some universities being willing to do this, although there are no guarantees, of course!)

  4. Aybige Kocas December 8, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    For submitting TOEFL scores to the Graduate School at the Business College (to be specific Finance Dept) I have 2 options to choose: “Graduate College” or “Graduate MBA”. If I choose Graduate School (since I am not applying to the MBA program) how will the system know which graduate school? Or How will the Graduate Department that I applied will be aware to check the Graduate School system to see my scores?
    Thank you for your reply.
    Kind regards,
    Aybige

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 9, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      Hi Aybige,

      I’d recommend asking the program directly which option you should choose. This information is likely in the FAQ or application section of the Finance Department’s website. If you don’t find the information there, then e-mailing the Financial Department directly (you can find contact information on their website) is a next good step 🙂

      I hope this helps, at least a little. Good luck on your applications!

  5. Tasneem December 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    I have sent my score to a University in Atlanta, USA nearly 4-5 days ago. My toefl account shows the following-

    Processing Date: 15th December, 2016
    Estimated Shipping Date: 16th December, 2016

    I do not understand what does this mean? Has my score reached the University?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 17, 2016 at 12:48 am #

      Hi Tasneem,

      The scores have not been mailed to the school as of the time you checked your account, so they have definitely not received it at the university yet. Hopefully they’ll be officially mailed soon!


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