Have you ever gotten a grade on a test or a mark on a school assignment that you thought was unfair? Well, sometimes that can happen on the TOEFL too. To help students who feel they should have gotten a better rating on their Speaking and Writing responses, ETS has a TOEFL rescoring service.
So what is rescoring, and how does it work?
If you’re not satisfied with your TOEFL score on Speaking or Writing, you can ask ETS to send your Speaking and Writing responses to different scorers. These will be people who weren’t involved in the scoring of your exam the first time around— people who can give you a fresh new score. That score will then become your official score.
There are some limitations. You must request a rescore within 30 days of taking the TOEFL. And if you’ve already had your scores sent out, you can’t request a rescore at all. And of course, there is a fee– $80 dollars for each section. This means that requesting a rescore for both Speaking and Writing on the same test costs about as much as registering for the test itself!
Sometimes, a rescore can be a great opportunity to easily boost your test score. But there are some risks. If you get an even lower grade on the rescore, that will become your official score. It’s also possible that you could be given the same score the second time, wasting time and money on your rescore request. So a rescore is a big decision. If you’re trying to decide on one, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
Things to Consider Before Requesting a TOEFL Rescore
Do you feel pretty confident that you could boost your score by actually retaking the exam? If you think you could study more and do even better on a retake, you may want to retake the test instead. On a retake, you get a chance to improve your score in all four sections, not just the last two. On the other hand, if you don’t have time to study and take the test again, or if you’re sure that you studied well the first time, a rescore may be a good way to go.
You also want to ask yourself how sure you are that the TOEFL scorers really didn’t follow the rubric correctly. To figure this out, carefully look at the official rubrics for Speaking and Writing. Compare the score you got to the one you’d give yourself, based on the rubric. Consult with a tutor, professor, or classmate if possible— sometimes it’s hard to understand the rubric on your own. If you really do think you got the wrong score based on the rubric, a rescore is definitely something to consider.
Above all, be sure to consult ETS itself. You can read their info on TOEFL rescores here. Scroll down to the heading “How to Request a Score Review.”