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TOEFL Test Dates & Guide to Picking a TOEFL Exam Date

So you need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). But when should you take it? This depends a lot on which TOEFL dates are available, of course. And it also depends on your own study needs and prep timeline. Below, we’ll give explain where to find TOEFL test dates near you in 2021.

We’ll also give you some advice on how to choose the TOEFL exam date that’s right for you, including how to register for the TOEFL Home Edition. Click on a TOEFL test date topic from the navigation table below to skip to that section, or continue scrolling down to review all our TOEFL exam dates information.

calendar on which to mark TOEFL test dates

Table of Contents


 

TOEFL Test Dates in 2021

Depending on your location, the TOEFL iBT is available up to sixty times a year. To find the dates available at locations near you, go to the ETS Center Search page and enter your location as well as the two-month period when you want to take the test (if you don’t know, you can scroll through to see multiple months).

However, a more convenient option is the TOEFL Home Edition, which ETS recently announced is here to stay. This is available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week. We take a closer look at the Home Edition below!

Once you’ve decided when (and where!) to take the test and have signed up for it, you should check out our online TOEFL preparation course!

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Which TOEFL Test Date to Pick: A Practical Guide

TOEFL Availability in Your City or Region

As you think about the exam date you’ll choose, the first thing test takers should consider is the exam’s availability. As I mentioned above, not all exam dates are available in a given location. Check to see not just when a TOEFL exam might be available, but also where the TOEFL is available.

The nearest test center on a given exam date may be an hour or two away from you by travel… or possibly even further away. At the same time, other exam dates might be offered nearer to you. On the right dates, the TOEFL may be available in your home community, or nearby. Be sure to check on both locations and test dates. Again, you can find this information on the official TOEFL registration website, or by logging into your ETS TOEFL account and looking at the online registration system that way.

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TOEFL Home Edition

In 2020, ETS began offering the TOEFL Home Edition, so that test-takers can take the exam safely from their own homes. This is available throughout 2021, as ETS has announced it’s now a permanent fixture! The TOEFL Home Edition is identical to the TOEFL iBT, except you’ll be taking it virtually. The exam has a live proctor monitor the exam through the computer and microphone on your device.

Currently, the TOEFL Home Edition is available throughout the world, except in China and India. Note that you’ll need a computer with certain tech specs to take the exam; you can check these out in Magoosh’s post on how to take the TOEFL Home Edition.

To schedule your TOEFL Home Edition exam, you’ll need to have an account with both ETS and ProctorU. ProctorU is an organization that works with ETS to ensure that the tests are taken honestly and can count as valid assessments. Here’s the process:

  • Log in to your ETS TOEFL account (or create an account and log in).
  • Click the blue “Register/Find Test Centers, Dates” bar in the middle left of the screen. Follow the prompts to click on the Special Home Edition and pay the registration fee by debit card or credit card.
  • After you pay the fee, you’ll receive an email from ProctorU. Follow the instructions in that email to register for an account with them and schedule your actual TOEFL Home Edition exam.

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TOEFL PBT Availability vs. TOEFL iBT Availability

Although ETS says they plan to stop offering the TOEFL Paper-Based-Test (PBT) at some point in the future, the PBT is still a very common test format in many parts of the world. You may live in a place that offers TOEFL PBT only, or you may have a choice between the TOEFL PBT or TOEFL iBT test. If you are in either one of those situations, you should be aware that PBT and iBT have major differences in terms of availability at various test centers

Since the TOEFL iBT is taken on a computer, it’s easy for ETS, the conducting body of the TOEFL, to administer the test. That means the days when you can take the TOEFL iBT are much more frequent than the possible dates to take the PBT (that’s the paper-based test).

The TOEFL test dates in many countries are so frequent that you can take the test any week of the year - Magoosh

The TOEFL test dates in many countries are so frequent that you can take the test any week of the year. To see the days when you can take the test, check the official list of test dates. You can also go to the home page for TOEFL centers and dates and select “Search Now.” However, be aware that the days on the list only cover a two-month period for the list of test locations, though you can search for specific test dates by month. If you’re looking for a test date that’s more than six months in the future, you’ll need to come back as the latest information is added for TOEFL test centers.

That is unless you’re taking the PBT. Not all countries still administer the PBT, but if you are in one of the countries that offer it as an English proficiency test, test dates are usually available somewhat less frequently than iBT. Those test dates are also listed on the official site.

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When You Should Take the TOEFL

If you’re planning on beginning grad school within a year, you will want to choose a date to take the TOEFL relatively soon. Many United States college and graduate school programs require applications a long time before the start of the semester–sometimes as many as 10 months ahead of time, and you’ll want to make sure you leave enough time to send your scores as well. But, this depends on what programs you are going to apply to, and guidelines are different at some foreign universities. Check the websites of the schools you’re interested in, and possibly email the admissions office if you’re not sure when applications are due.

With this in mind, be sure you’re aware of application deadlines. This seems like a no-brainer but bear with me. Unless you’re extremely confident in your ability, give yourself enough of a cushion before your deadlines that (a) you can re-take the test if needed, and (b) there will be plenty of time to iron out any problems that may crop up with the delivery of score reports or test scoring. Most undergraduate higher education programs in the US have deadlines in the late fall or winter before you intend to start (for a program that begins in the fall). The deadline may be different if you are an international student, if you want to be considered for scholarships, or if you’re applying early action/early decision. To be sure that you’ve got the correct date, confirm with an admissions counselor at your school of choice.

When you should take the test ultimately depends on how soon those deadlines are. But you should also consider how long it will take you to fully prepare for the TOEFL. Generally speaking, if you’re going to have to take the test, it should be at least a couple of months from when you start studying. You want time to prepare fully and take a few TOEFL sample tests. So the later scheduled days on the list of test dates should be appropriate for most people who read this blog. But that assumes your application deadlines are also months into the future, at least.

Let’s imagine two scenarios to illustrate good timing:

Scenario 1 – Applying to Schools Eventually

You are applying to a graduate school program or college eventually, maybe next year. This is a good opportunity to check your ability now. Study for the TOEFL for one or two months, practicing the format and strategies as much as possible. Then take the test. This might be many, many months before your applications are due, but that’s okay. This is because TOEFL scores rely on two things: general academic English language ability and test familiarity/strategy. General English ability takes a long time to improve. Strategy can be learned more quickly. So you want to improve your strategy as much as possible and take the test relatively soon. This way, you can see whether your goals are realistic.

If your score is lower than you expected, you can adjust your plan. You will have to improve your general English ability, and that takes time. If your score is at the level you want, then that’s great. You can spend your time in the next months improving your application in other ways, such as preparing for the GRE, GMAT, or ACT.

If your score is at the level you want, spend your time in the next months improving your application in other ways, such as preparing for the GRE, GMAT, or ACT - Magoosh

Scenario 2 – Applying to Schools Soon

The application deadline for your program is within months. If this is the case, then you want to check out those TOEFL test dates now, and schedule the test for a time near the deadline. Give yourself as much study time as possible. It often takes months to learn how to take the TOEFL well and get the highest score you can. And more than a month is ideal. So set aside the maximum available prep time, within your due date.

It’s not easy to make a plan like this. The main things to consider when scheduling are these:

  • Give yourself enough time to study for the test, then take it as soon as you feel comfortable with the format and content. I’m sure that many of you want to take the test as soon as possible so you can stop worrying about it and get on with your life. I get that. But don’t rush it. If you do, you run the risk of having to retake or reschedule TOEFL dates or not getting the score you need to go to the school you want. I usually tell my students to register for a date at least a month in advance.
  • If your scores are too low in practice (particularly on practice tests), but you’re familiar with the format/exam pattern, then you need to work on content familiarity. This means you need to improve your general academic English ability. This will take more time. How much time? That depends on your level of English now and your goal score.
  • The TOEFL is not cheap. Ideally, you want to take it just once. If you need to retake, be sure that you give yourself enough time to improve your scores before you take the test again. The second test should be the last one, ideally.
  • Are you taking an intensive English or TOEFL prep course? Go ahead and plan on taking the test within a few weeks of finishing it. Are you going to have a break from school that will be a good chance to brush up? Take the test at the end of the break.
  • Are you going to have a break from school during which you will not spend time doing anything remotely intellectual? Then take the test right before the break.
  • Are you from a non-English-speaking country, but studying abroad currently in an English-speaking community? Great! Take the test before you leave or within a few weeks of returning home. Give yourself every chance to succeed.

 

Don’t forget that your scores expire.

TOEFL scores are good for 2 years after your test date. After that, you’ll have to re-take the exam before applying to your program. So even if you’re studying abroad right now and you feel invincible in English, if you still have a few years before you apply to college, you should probably just wait until you’re in that two-year window, unless you want to take the language proficiency test now for practice or personal reasons.

If you’re just starting to have a go at studying for the TOEFL, check out these posts we’ve written up about the exam:

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30 Responses to TOEFL Test Dates & Guide to Picking a TOEFL Exam Date

  1. Rongrong January 27, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    Hi Rachel,

    I have rescheduled my test day from Feb 20 to Feb 12 paying $60 through paypal. The details indicated the transaction was completed. But in my iBT account the test day was not rescheduled. What can I do now? Is there any delay about the reschedule process?

    Thanks,

    Rongrong

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel Wisuri January 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Rongrong,

      I’d suggest contacting ETS about this. You should definitely include the receipt you received from PayPal in your email. Good luck, and let me know if that doesn’t work!

      Best,
      Rachel

      • Shahrukh Bhat December 16, 2017 at 8:20 am #

        Hey Rachel
        Nearly completing my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. Wish to go abroad for my MS, kindly suggest me dates and how to appear in language tests.
        Regards
        Shahrukh

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 16, 2017 at 10:41 am #

          Hi Sharhrukh,

          Sure thing! You can visit the ETS page to search for test dates and register for the test (see instructions here). You will need to sign up for an ETS account in order to see test dates and find your nearest testing center. Don’t forget to give yourself enough time to prepare adequately–the TOEFL requires skills and strategy. If you’re looking for affordable and effective test prep, look no further than Magoosh! Good luck 🙂

    • Neil February 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      Hi Ronggrong… Can you please tell me how was your test? I have test tomorrow.. Please email me at nilzzzz@gmail.com..

  2. Olga July 9, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you very much for informative posts!

    Could you please tell me what should I do if I already have an ETS account for GRE test? Should I create another account for TOEFL IBT?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

      Yes, you’ll need to create a separate account for each ETS exam you take.

  3. Yash October 18, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I have a confusion about dates.
    Dates on ETS site are lesser in number that of yours.
    Why it is like that?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

      I looked at the ETS PDF linked in this post, and I think I see what you mean. On the third page of ETS’s official PDF, it looks like the dates stop at the third line with Friday October 14, 2015. The rest of that page is clearly blank. This makes it look like ETS lists fewer dates than this Magoosh post, since our post continues all the way to the end of December.

      If that’s what your asking about, keep scrolling down– there’s a fourth page int he ETS PDF that lists the remaining TOEFL testing dates for 2016. Because most of page 3 is blank,t his fourth page is kind of “hidden.” I found this very confusing too!

      If that’s not what you mean, and you’re seeing “lesser” dates on the ETS site for a different reason, let me know what you see, and I’ll check it out and get back to you.

      • Yash October 21, 2016 at 10:36 am #

        Okay! Now I get it. But it is now opposite of what I was assuming!

        https://www.ets.org/bin/getprogram.cgi?urlSource=toefl&newRegURL=&test=TOEFL&greClosed=new&greClosedCountry=China&browserType=&toeflType=&redirect=&t_country1=group_India

        I have visited this link and that shows hardly 5 dates in Nov-16. Whereas ETS is giving almost 15 dates in November mentioned in the PDF. There must be something wrong with this unctuous behavior of ETS.
        My confusion increased more due this! Can you please help me out here?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 22, 2016 at 11:17 am #

          Hi Yash,

          You should definitely follow the dates listed in the ETS site! We are a test prep company so we don’t have any control over when or where the tests are offered–we listed the dates and times here as a quick reference, but the ETS website will have the most up-to-date information about what tests are offered in your region and when. If you are confused, I recommend that you contact an ETS office in your region. They can provide you with the best information!

  4. Yash October 24, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    Hey thanks for suggestion. Helped me a lot.
    And may I know your name?
    Thank you once again.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 25, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

      I’m glad our blog response team has been able to help you. I can’t really give you just one name, as at least two of our blog response people contributed to this conversation. One of them was me— I gave you the initial advice about the blank page on the official ETS PDF. I’m not sure which colleague of mine gave you the follow up advice about always trusting ETS’s dates over other sources, but perhaps he or she will step forward to take credit.

      My name is David, and I’ve enjoyed talking to you, Yash. 😉

  5. Mohammed Alimamie Cooper May 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

    Hi Ronggrong:
    My name is Mohammed Alimamie Cooper from Monrovia, Liberia. I’m facing little a problem concerning the registration date and test date in my country.
    I just read the update on my country TOEFL registration and test dates which was slated for April 2,2017 and it’s said to be late for my process.
    I don’t know how l’m going to do my process.

    Is there any information I can get other then the previous if yes please help me sir.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 15, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      Hi Mohammed! Thanks for writing 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you’re having an issue with your test registration. Unfortunately, it seems like your option at this point is to wait for the next testing date, which will mostly likely be in Fall 2017. You should know that registration for a given exam closes 7 days before the test date. There is also late registration, which closes 4 days before the test date. If you opt for the late registration, you are charged a fee of 40 USD. I hope this helps, at least a little.

      • Mohammed Alimamie Cooper May 18, 2017 at 4:02 am #

        Thanks for the information!!

  6. Efriza October 14, 2017 at 3:16 am #

    I missed my test day for some reason. What should i do? Can i rescheduled?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 14, 2017 at 11:02 am #

      Hi Efriza,

      There is no option to reschedule for free. You will have to schedule a new date and pay a new fee. :/

  7. Siddharth November 6, 2017 at 11:43 pm #

    Hello,

    My current Toefl date is on 26-11-2017 and my Gre date is on 12-12-2017. I want to register for one more Toefl date which is 17-12-2017, by keeping my first toefl date and not postponing or cancelling it, Can this be possible?. I am in a bit of confusion and I am not sure how much time I can dedicate for studying for Toefl exam which is on 26-11-2017 i.e. before my Gre, as most of the time I would be studying for my Gre exam.

    Kindly guide me on this.

    Thanks,
    Siddharth

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 7, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      As long as you can find open seats at a test center you have access to, it’s completely possible to schedule two upcoming TOEFL exams. And given your circumstances, your idea of scheduling an extra TOEFL just in case may very well be a good one. 🙂

  8. Su February 6, 2018 at 8:26 am #

    Hi,

    While applying for TOEFL, I have to choose 4 recipients of my score for free.

    Suppose the scenario is where TOEFL scores reach before the University has opened the application portal or application form partially filled and I am waiting for GRE results (I planned to write GRE 6 months later to TOEFL exam).

    What will happen? Will my scores be considered by University even when I still unregistered in their portal or should I order scores again?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2018 at 6:27 pm #

      Hi Su,

      I recommend that you contact your universities directly and make sure that the information I give you is correct! From what I understand, even if you send your scores to a college before their application portal is open, they should be able to view and retrieve your official score report after you submit your final application. So, you shouldn’t have to send your scores again with your application–the university can just retrieve yours cores from their system! Keep in mind that your TOEFL scores are only valid for two years, however, so don’t wait too long before applying!

  9. banihashimi April 29, 2018 at 3:12 am #

    Dear Sir/ Madam
    I want to register at December, 2018. But it does not open. the question is what time this date open to register?
    this time is important, because I have time only until July 1th to be booked for the university. Can I catch the December for the test?

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 30, 2018 at 6:11 am #

      Hi Banihashimi,

      Registration for a given TOEFL exam date and time can be done 3-4 months in advance. (There is some variation, depending on the test center.) So you wouldn’t be able to select a December registration date just yet. But by August or September of this yea,r you should be able to register for your December 2018 test date, which should give you more than enough time to book your university courses by July 2019. 🙂

  10. Latif June 15, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    There is a mistake in the schedule. Instead of the month July, June is written.
    Please correct it.

    Peace,

    Latif Behroz

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

      Good catch, Latif! I went ahead and changed those dates. Thanks for bringing this to tour attention!

  11. Yanisa May 1, 2019 at 10:57 am #

    Are the different dates affect on the TOEFL test?

    I really curious for a reason why there are different

    dates in different countries such as July 6,2019

    Which is a round for Asia zone but August 10,2019

    ,there will have in any zone of the world.

    I just thinking too much for this ridiculous thing but

    can’t stop thinking! 😅😅😂😂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm #

      HI Yanisa,

      Yes, there are some regional differences for when the TOEFL is offered! You can find the most complete list of test sites and dates on the ETS website 🙂

  12. Ananya August 23, 2019 at 8:21 pm #

    Dear sir/madam,I want to do my MS in electronics and communication engineering.But could not able to find which universities offer this program.Can you help me providing the list and their eligibility criteria? Thanking you.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Ananya! Unfortunately we can’t help with this issue. We help you get the score you need to qualify for your schools of choice, but we don’t keep information about types and locations of programs. Wish I could help more!


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