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TOEFL Tuesday: Does the TOEFL have “score select”?

Those of you who are taking the GRE as well as the TOEFL may be familiar with the GRE’s “score select.” This is a system that lets students choose which of their GRE scores to send to the schools they are applying to. The TOEFL has a similar system, but it’s not called “score select.” The TOEFL’s system for sending scores to schools is a little bit complicated, so today we’ll go over how it works!

Free score reports

Every time you take the TOEFL, you are given the chance to send the score from that test to up to four different schools. These four score reports are sent for free, but you need to choose the schools that you’ll have the scores sent to before you take the test.  When the schools get your results, they will only see your scores from that one particular TOEFL test.

Let’s use an example to go over how this works. Imagine that you’ll take the TOEFL twice. Before you take the TOEFL for the first time, you choose to send your score from that test for free to schools A, B and C. These three schools will receive your score for that test. You cannot change the schools that you’ve chosen after taking the test.

Then, before you take the TOEFL for the second time, you choose to send your scores from that test to schools D, E, and F. These schools will only receive your score from that particular TOEFL test. They will not receive the score you got the first time you took the test. So score reports do not list all of your TOEFL scores. Each score report includes your score from only one TOEFL test.

Paid score reports

The ETS (the company that creates the TOEFL) also gives students the option of paying for their scores to be sent to schools. This costs $19 per school, and allows students to choose one of their TOEFL scores to be sent to particular school. With this option, students can wait until after they’ve taken the test to choose which schools to send the scores to. The advantage of this is that students can take the test more than once, and then send only their highest score to the schools of their choice.

For both free and paid score reports, each test is independent of each other. So every score report will only tell the school the score of one of your TOEFL tests. I hope this information helps you make good choices about which schools to send your scores to!

 

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10 Responses to TOEFL Tuesday: Does the TOEFL have “score select”?

  1. Roman Karagodin August 2, 2016 at 12:28 am #

    How is TOEFL iBT grade for reading and listening is calculated? Is it converted proportionally to the percntage of correct answers into the 30-points scale? For example, if I need to get 25 pts. of 30 possible for reading, does it mean that I need to answer 25/30 (5/6) of all the questions correctly? Or are there other calculation principles? If there are, which ones?
    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 6, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      You’re basically on the right track. Reading and Listening scores are converted proportionally based on the percentage of points you earn in each section. For the most part, the number of points earned corresponds to the number of questions answered. However, some questions are worth more than one point— Reading has some 2 and 3 point questions, and Listening has some 2 point questions. The questions that are worth more points are easy to spot. They won’t be in the standard multiple choice format, and instead will involve activities like filling in a table, creating a summary of the passage, and so on.

      When your official TOEFL score is calculated, our points-based percentage score is then converted into a percentage of 30 (the total possible number of points). After that conversion is made, ETS may adjust your TOEFL score by a few points, based on the relative difficulty of the questions on your exam.

      Actually, the Magoosh TOEFL Blog is about to put out two posts on how to calculate your 0-30 scale TOEFL score, based on practice tests. In the next week or two, keep an eye out for the Magoosh TOEFL Blog posts entitled “How to Predict Your TOEFL Score: Reading,” and “How to Predict Your TOEFL Score: Listening.”

  2. ramkrishna August 22, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    If lets say I chose schools A,B,C when I wrote Toefl for the first time and say,I didnt get a satisfactory score. As I had chosen them, so A,B,C gets my score. When I give toefl test once more and if I keep the same schools A,B,C and lets say I got some good score. As I had chosen A,B,C they get the scores which I got. Now do the schools A,B,C have two copies of my score? If they have two copies then they actually get to know that I wrote test twice right? Or is first one overwritten by second one?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

      If you send more than one TOEFL score report to a university, that university will know you took the test twice. But for nearly 100% of universities, they will consider your highest score as the “valid” one, and will overwrite or ignore your other score. In other words, if a university knows that you took the TOEFL multiple times, they won’t care. They’ll just care about whichever score of yours from the last two years is the highest score. (TOEFL scores expire after two years.)

  3. Aj November 5, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    I scored an 85 on my TOEFL on my first attempt
    Reading :20
    Listening :23
    Speaking :20
    Writing :22
    Should I retake the test or should apply with this score
    and my university requirements are 88

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 8, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      If you’re three points below you’re school’s requirement, that usually means you need to retake the TOEFL in order to be accepted. having said that, some universities are surprisingly flexible, especially if the rest of your application materials are very strong.. It can’t hurt to contact your university and see if they can accept an 85. Be prepared to do a retake if need be,though.

  4. Jacques November 7, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Hi Lucas,

    is it possible to send two different scores to the same school if the first attempted test didn’t go so well?

    Best,

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 8, 2016 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Jaques,

      In most cases, this is possible. The majority of schools will only consider your highest TOEFL score, even if they have previously received a lower score from you. In rare instance, though, the lower of the two scores can still affect your chances of admission in some ways. Contact the schools you’ve applied to and ask them their exact policy.

  5. Deepak November 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    I scored 95 in TOEFL and I have sent my score to 4 university…I am giving TOEFL again ..if my scores in the second attempt is lesser than the first one ..can I still use the first TOEFL score

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 23, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      In nearly all cases, yes– you only need to submit your highest TOEFL score. More recent lower scores won’t matter, unless your older score is so old that it’s expired. (TOEFL scores expire in 2 years.)

      A tiny handful of universities may want to see all of your recent TOEFL scores. This is very unusual, though. Unless your school specifically asks for this, just send them the highest score.


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