Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Since you are needed to submit evidence of your proficiency in English, certification or tests from only standardisedorganizationsare globally accepted as an admission criterion for Postgraduate studies. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is another exam (apart from IELTS) which can be given as evidence of your familiaritywith English. It is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the same organisation which performs the GRE Exam.

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Typical time required: 4-8 weeks

Test Fee: $180 as of Jan 2020

Before You Start

  • Check the University course prerequisites to see if taking the TOEFL is mandatory.
  • Check the minimum required score to get admission (e.g. 90 for Computer Based Test).
  • Even though your bachelor’s degree was taught in English, it is compulsory to provide proficiency proof; this document comes in handy during the Australian Student Visa procedures as well.
  • The exam is given as an Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) or as a Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT). Usually, the iBT is conducted all over the world. India has the iBT Tests. PBT Exams are conducted in only a few places worldwide.

Required Documents

  • Indian Passport
  • Credit/Debit card for online payment
  • Names of 4 Universities/Colleges where you want your Scores to be sent to

Step by step guide

  • Visit this official link for the ETS TOEFL Website or you can even directly visit the TOEFL Registration Page
  • Go to ‘Register Online’ and set the Language Preference as English.
  • Create a New Account, as you are applying for the first time.
  • Fill in the exact correct details under the Profile Information. Most of the fields are self-explanatory.
  • You can opt for the option for the TOEFL Search Service while filling the information. This service matches prospective students with the participating educational schools, and you may be sent more details about the programmes of study provided at these institutions.
  • Set a Username and Password which can be remembered easily, and answer the Security Question.
  • Go through the Acknowledgement and Terms and Conditions shown, and click on the checkbox for agreeing to both.
  • Review all the information one last time and check if it is correct. Your entered Name, DOB, Gender cannot be changed once the account has been created.
  • You shall be sent a confirmation email to the registered email. Verify this email for completing your account registration.
  • Sign in with your new Username and Password.
  • You will now see the My TOEFL Home page. Your ETS ID is visible at the top right corner.
  • Under ‘My Tests’, click on ‘Register/Find Test Centres, Dates’
  • Enter the location of your preference; choose the 2 months during which you can write the TOEFL Exam.
  • Click on ‘Find Test Centres and Dates’
  • You shall now be redirected to another page displaying all the available test dates (marked in green colour).
  • Select a Test Date. You will be shown the respective Test Centres where you can attempt the exam.
  • Choose the closest, convenient Test Centre. You can also see the Test Times at these locations.
  • Click on ‘Register’ for asuitable location and timing.
  • You shall now see the guidelines on what needs to be followed. Go through everything as they are essential pointers for the exam.
  • Agree to all the terms and conditions and click on ‘Next.’
  • Once again, you will be shown another form where you now need to complete all the essential details of your Identification and Background Research.
  • Check if the information is entered accurately, and submit the information.
  • You shall be directed to the Payment page, where you have to pay an amount of $180 for the exam (and extra late-registration fee if you are late). This can be done using a credit/debit card.
  • That’s it! You are all set for the TOEFL Exam!

After You Register

  • An email confirming the payment will be sent. It will also contain access details to your ETS Account.
  • Open your ETS Account, either using the TOEFL App or the online portal and check ‘Upcoming Tests’ to verify if your registration has been successfully completed.
Listening2 to 4 Sections / 5 to 6 Questions per audio41 to 57 minutes
Reading54 to 72 minutes60 minutes
Writing2 Sections50 minutes
Speaking4 parts17minutes

On the Test Day

  • Arrive atleast 30mins before the TOEFL test. If you reach late, you may not be allowed to sit for the test, and the test fee will not be refunded.
  • Bring a valid ID that has all the information you entered during registration. We recommend you to carry the Passport as the Identification Proof, which has your full name, signature, and your photograph.
  • ETS might also authenticate your identity by a Biometric voice & photo identification, fingerprints, video recording or signature comparison.
  • The Test Centre Staff will inform youabout the preliminary steps for the test.
  • You will be required to place all your belongingsin a separate room as advised by the staff.
  • There might also be extra inspection where you will be asked to empty out your pockets, raise your pants a bit to check the ankle region or even be asked to pull up your sleeves. This is just to check you are not carrying anything which can be used against you for cheating.
  • There will be a break for about10 minutes between the test.

Test Results

  • The TOEFL iBT scores you on 4 different skills :
  • The Reading Section, marked between 0–30,
  • The Listening Section, marked between 0–30,
  • The Speaking Section scored between 0–30, and
  • The Writing Section scored between 0–30
  • The Total Scoring is done on a total of 120.
  • The TOEFL Exam Scores will be posted on the website approximately 6 working days after your test date.
  • ETS TOEFL scores are valid for a period of 2 years.
  • You can send the test reports directly to about 4 institutions (which need to be informed before you take the test). You can also request for additional test score reports for extra institutions/agencies for a fee of $20 each.


  • It typically requires about 8 - 12 weeks to prepare for the TOEFL, depending on your current level of English mastery.
  • Also, it takes 6 calendar days for the exam scores to be published on the website.
  • If you are unsure about TOEFL is a compulsory requirement for the admissions, check the university portal, and write to the admissions committee asking for clarification.
  • Be relaxed and composed; keep your anxiety in check on the exam day(s).
  • Take as many practice tests to improve your scores.
  • Your TOEFL Exam Scores are valid for 2 years.
  • You can take the TOEFL Exam as many times and can send your highest score to the universities.


Most of the resources that can aid you in getting the desired results are all freely available online. So a dedicated self-study will just get you through the exam.

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