TOEFL Exam 2021: Registration, Exam Date, Fee, Syllabus, Pattern, Preparation

Jun 30, 2021 | Education, Science


Candidates aspiring to study in the US and UK universities can take TOEFL conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS). The full form of TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the exam pattern of TOEFL is designed in such a way to evaluate the English proficiency of a student.

Over 9000 universities and institutes around the world accept TOEFL Scores. Candidates can take TOEFL during any part of the year, meaning there is no specified date. Aspiring students can register for the exam on the official website. Based on the level of competency a candidate has to prepare and this is discussed below along with the admit card, test centre selection and other details.

Latest Updates:

  • Jun 29, 2021: Educational Testing Service (ETS) has announced that Indian students writing TOEFL will be allowed to use Aadhar Card as identification proof from Jul 1, 2021.


What is TOEFL?

The full form of TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. This exam evaluates the candidate’s English language proficiency. If a candidate wishes to pursue higher education in Foreign countries and is a non-native English speaker then he/she can take this exam. Some important details about the examination are provided below.


Conducting Authority: Educational Testing Service (ETS) is Conducting Authority for TOEFL and administrates all processes regarding the exam. ETS is a US-based non-profit organization. ETS provides various tools to promote educational progress and these tools are used globally.

Popularity: More than 9,000 colleges, universities and organizations recognize this exam. It is also recognized by other participating institutes across 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States.

Frequency: ETS conducts TOEFL more than 50 times a year at 4500 test centres in 165 countries worldwide. But candidates can sit for the exam at most five times a year by choosing their preference of exam date.

Validity: TOEFL Score remains valid for 2 years from the date of the exam.

Attempts: There is no limit to a number of times you can take the test. But you can retake the TOEFL Exam after 21 days from the previous test date. If you have already booked a test then you cannot register for one more test within 12 days of the previously booked test.

Difficulty: The difficulty level of TOEFL is that of high school or in Indian standards, it will be that of 10+2 levels.

Duration: TOEFL test time may vary from 3 hours and 20 Minutes to 4 Hours and 10 Minutes (including 10 Minutes break in between). In the exam, some sections may take a longer time for one candidate compared to another. This is because in the reading section duration will vary between 60 to 80 minutes. And in listening section time duration will vary 60 to 89 minutes.

TOEFL Exam Pattern: This exam is a Descriptive type exam with no negative marking. You can take advantage of this by attempting all tasks.

Mode: Applicants can take the test in both online and offline mode. You can take it as an online test known as the TOEFL iBT test (internet Based Test) or Paper-delivered Test.

Changes: ETS launched a revised Paper-delivered Test in October 2017. This newly revised test is more closely aligned with the TOEFL iBT Test.

Score Range: Score range of this is 0 to 120 and this is the cumulative score of all 4 sections. Each section has a range of 0 to 30.

TOEFL Introduction
Exam Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Conducting Authority Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Official Website
Exam Level International
Difficulty Level 10+2 and Above
Eligibility No Minimum Requirement
Document Required Valid Passport
Frequency 50 times a year
Attempts 5 times a year
Fee USD 180 for Indians
Application Mode Online and Offline
Test Mode Online (No Offline mode available in India)
Number of Papers 4
Marking Scheme Descriptive Type with No negative marking
Duration 190 to 240 Minutes
Score Range 0 to 120

What is a Good TOEFL Score?

A total score of 90 to 100 is considered as a good TOEFL score. Most of the top-notch reputed universities will accept this score. With these scores, you can also get a position as an RA, TA, or GA on the campus.

But in the US, the average score to get admission in most universities is 78. However, to get admission into universities like Ivy League, you will need a score of 100. Having said that, 100 is often considered as a decent score but not a very great score. It will anyhow help candidates to fetch admission in prominent universities.

TOEFL Notification

The TOEFL Notification will be released on the official website of the Educational Test Services (ETS). The candidates can register for the examination on the official website itself by selecting the desired date and exam centre. The TOEFL Exam takes place about 50 times in a year, in over 165 countries. The examination will be conducted as per the schedule given by the ETS. It is important that the candidates check-in to this page regularly for further updates and information.

TOEFL Exam Dates

ETS allows students to choose TOEFL exam dates throughout the year according to their convenience. Candidates should plan properly and choose their exam date. Candidates should plan such that the test score will reach recipient universities on time. Candidates can reschedule or cancel this exam. Rescheduling and Cancellation details are given below.

  • Rescheduling: ETS TOEFL even provides an option for students to reschedule their scheduled exam. But the students have to reschedule the exam 4 days before the given exam date.
  • Cancellation: If you want to cancel your exam, you can cancel your exam 4 days before the test. You will only get half of your fee as a refund.

TOEFL Eligibility

ETS has not prescribed any eligibility criteria to take this exam. The candidates will be using TOEFL score to apply for further graduate or postgraduate programmes. Candidates should focus on scoring well in this exam. However, the institutes in which they further plan to apply may have set some eligibility criteria. The candidates are advised to refer to it on the official website of that institute. Some generally implied eligibility criteria are given below:

  • Eligibility: Candidates should at least have an undergraduate degree.
  • Age Limit: Candidates should be at least 18 years old.
  • Eligibility Required by Universities: Candidates does not need to satisfy any eligibility criteria for this exam since there are none. But candidates should keep in mind that they should satisfy eligibility set by Universities.

Candidates can visit this page regularly for keeping track of the changes and other information regarding the TOEFL Eligibility and other associated events.

TOEFL Syllabus

The TOEFL Syllabus is stated by the organizing body, which is the ETS. Candidates are required to go through the syllabus in order to understand the overview of the topics and also to get an insight into the types of questions that can be asked in the TOEFL question paper. They can go through each of the topics and prepare accordingly.

ETS tests English Language Ability of candidates, hence there is no proper prescribed TOEFL exam syllabus. ETS tests 4 different aspects of the English Language. These aspects are:

  • Reading Ability,
  • Listening and Understanding,
  • Writing Mastery and
  • Speaking Proficiency.

Candidates can focus on these four aspects of English Language while preparing for the exam. By focusing on these aspects candidates can try to ace the exam.

TOEFL Registration

ETS conducts this exam throughout the year. But you have to plan your exam date and take the exam so that your TOEFL Score will reach recipient universities on time. The registration process, TOEFL Application Form Details along with documents required are given below.

How to register for the TOEFL Exam?

Before looking through the registration process candidates can check the difference between TOEFL and IELTS to decide which exam they should choose. Candidate can register for this exam by online registration, registration by phone and by mail.

Online Registration

Many people around the world have access to the internet. So these people can access the internet and apply for TOEFL. Online Registration Process overview is given below:

  • ETS Account: To registration process, you have to create an account on the ETS TOEFL website at
  • University: You have to select the recipient universities of your TOEFL Score.
  • Fee: You have to pay the registration fee of USD 180 through Credit Card, Debit Card, Paypal or Western Union Quick Pay. If you have a bank account in the United States or its territories then you can pay with Electronic Check (e-Check).
  • Additional Fee: You can select their additional services, these services will help you in your preparation. There are some free services and some paid services, you can choose the one which you need. Then you can make the payment.

Registration by Phone

In some countries there are no proper infrastructures for the internet, as a result, there is no internet access. So ETS has given an option to register by phone. Details regarding registration by phone are given below:

  • Regional Registration Centre: You have to call one of the Regional Registration Centre which is near you and give them the Details
  • Fee: You can pay the fee with American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard or VISA. Else if you have a bank account in the USA or its territories then you can use Electronic Check (e-Check).
  • Apply Before: You have to apply 7 days before the exam date which you are planning to take.

Registration by Mail

For those locations where there is no access to a phone, ETS has provided an option to send Application by mail. But they should at least be able to get an application form.

Candidate should download the application form and fill it. Then they have to send application form to the regional registration office. Candidates should send payment along with application form to the registration office. Candidates have to send at least 4 weeks before the day when they want to take the exam.

Note: When you are registering, you should give the exact name which is on the ID Document which you will produce on the exam day.

TOEFL Application Form Details

Before applying for the TOEFL Exam, candidates need to have a proper idea of details required for registration. The details for Application Form are given below:

  • Mode of Application: Candidates can register through online, phone and Mail.
  • Mode of Exam: Candidates can take the test online (internet Based Test) or offline test (Paper-delivered Test).
  • Deadline: Depending on the mode of registration you have to register either 4 weeks before or 7 days before TOEFL Exam Date.
  • Fee: Fee will vary depending on your geographic location. In India, the fee is USD 180.

Documents required to apply for TOEFL

You should have the following documents and details ready when you will apply for TOEFL:

  • Passport or ID Document,
  • Mode of Payment,
  • Test Location and Date on which test is available,
  • Valid Email ID and
  • Name of Recipient Universities.

TOEFL Exam Pattern

The TOEFL Exam Pattern is set by ETS. Candidates are required to go through the exam pattern very well prior to starting the preparation for the same. Knowing and understanding the TOEFL Exam Pattern will allow the candidates to get an insight into the types of questions that are being asked in the exam and how it is being distributed throughout the question paper. Candidates will also be able to prepare accordingly to score high in the exam.

Candidates can take the exam either through online mode or offline mode. The online mode is called TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT). ETS also offers paper or pencil on a paper test called Paper-delivered Test for the candidates to take up.

Skills Tested: TOEFL tests a non-native English speaking candidate in 4 different aspects of the English Language. These aspects are his/her reading ability, listening and understanding, speaking proficiency and writing mastery with respect to the English language.

Score Range: ETS tests his/her proficiency by dividing the TOEFL Exam into four skills areas. Each of these areas has scores which range from 0 to 30.

Candidates can visit this page regularly for further updates and information regarding any changes about the TOEFL Exam Pattern and other associated events.

TOEFL Admit Card

Candidates have to remember that there is no proper TOEFL admit card. However, they have to take a Valid and Acceptable Identification (ID) Document. Username and Name of the candidates on ID Document should be same (without accents). It is mandatory that the candidates bring the admit card for the TOEFL exam, in order to be permitted to attend the exam. Candidates should make sure that they do not bring any personal belongings to the exam centre.

TOEFL Test Centres

ETS Conducts the exam both through online and offline mode. But in India, ETS conducts TOEFL only through online mode in 38 test cities. TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT) is offered more than 50 times a year.

Check the complete list of TOEFL Test Centres in India

TOEFL Special House Edition Test

The ETS has decided to introduce online mode of examination for the candidates, due to the persisting COVID 19 pandemic health concerns. Candidates who do not wish to take up the TOEFL exam in an exam centre conventionally can opt for the TOEFL Special House Edition Test at the convenience of one's home.

Details about the TOEFL Special House Edition Test are stated below:

  • The examination can be made available for the candidates based on a person's country of residence.
  • The TOEFL exam can be taken on a home PC with relevant software requirements. Candidates will be monitored by a human proctor during the examination.
  • The examination is available through September 30, Candidates can register and choose a date within 24 hours of registration. The examination is made available throughout the week and 24 hours a day.

TOEFL Test Results

When the TOEFL Results are announced, you will be notified through an email. You can check your score by logging into your ETS Account. If you are satisfied with your score then you can send it to recipient universities. Else you can take the exam again. But you will able to retake test only after 21 days from your previous TOEFL Exam Date. Candidates should remember that the TOEFL Test Results are entirely based on the performance of the candidates. Hence it is advised that the candidates prepare very well and thoroughly before appearing for the TOEFL exam.

How to view the TOEFL Test Results?

Candidates will receive a text message stating the total points scored and a brief result will be sent via email elaborating every aspect of the candidates' performance and the outcome. However, candidates can check the results online by following the below-given steps.

  • Visit the official website of the ETS
  • Enter the login credentials on the login page
  • Click Results
  • View the results

TOEFL Counselling

Unlike in India, there is no standard procedure for TOEFL Counselling. But you have to apply to the Univesity with your score along with some documents that are specified by the University.

Once you receive your score, you can send it to recipient universities. You have to send the documents specified by the University along with TOEFL Score.

How to prepare for TOEFL

Candidates can prepare for the TOEFL Exam efficiently by following certain tips and techniques, in order to not only clear the exam but also to score well. Strategies and effective planning help the candidates to learn and understand the lessons effectively and accordingly perform in the exam. Some of the most important aspects to look into while preparing for the TOEFL are elaborated below.

Planning properly

Candidates should make sure to plan very well prior to preparing for the exam. Planning includes preparing a time table or a schedule chart by which the candidates can follow in order to stay on course and not deviate from the track. Hence, planning is a very important aspect as far as preparation is concerned.

Knowing the sections

The different sections of the TOEFL require different and unique methods of preparation. Candidates need to go through each and every essential topic in the sections and practise accordingly. This way they can categorize their preparation and planning during the main exam. Another important aspect of section-wise or topic-wise preparation is the fact that candidates can learn effectively and remember them better during the exam. Hence, candidates can plan accordingly and effectively prepare for the same.

Time Optimization

Time optimization is another very important aspect of the preparation for the TOEFL Exam. Candidates should practise a lot prior to attending the exam. They should practise by attending questions with a stopwatch beside. This way candidates can practise and efficiently attend the test within the given time and not exceed it. Candidates will also be able to make sure that they do not exceed the time required for attending each question or section and complete it within the allotted time. The same goes for the preparation time i.e. candidates will make sure to utilize the time effectively and not exceed the time required for preparing for each section.

Attend the known questions first

Candidates are advised to attend the questions that are known or familiar to them, prior to attending the ones that are unfamiliar and unknown. Attending the familiar questions first will allow the candidates to secure the minimum marks within minimal time utilization. The rest of the questions can be attempted during the remaining time of the exam. This method helps in efficiently utilizing the time for the exam.

Mock Test

Candidates should practise writing TOEFL mock tests in order to understand the question paper pattern and thoroughly be aware of the types of questions that can be expected in the main exam. It also helps the candidates to get an idea about how the actual exam is being conducted and they will be able to optimize the given or allotted time effectively.


TOEFL: ETS conducts this exam to test English Language Ability of non-native English speakers. Its score is used globally to measure candidates English Language Ability. But TOEFL is highly popular among universities in the North American Continent.

IELTS: IELTS is used to measure Candidates English Proficiency. Organisations, Universities and even immigration offices accept IELTS Score.

Which one to choose?

If you are in confusion to choose an exam, then you can read the following:

  • When you are applying for Universities, it will accept one of the above exam scores. If so then take the exam whose score is accepted.
  • If Universities accepts both exams, you can consider the following factors for selecting an exam.
    • TOEFL is easy for those who have exposure to accents of the USA.
    • IELTS will be relatively easy if you are familiar with European accents.
    • IELTS exam is shorter than the TOEFL Exam.
  • If you are applying for immigration then choose IELTS General as it is easier than TOEFL and IELTS Academics.


When should I take TOEFL?

You should plan ahead before taking the exam. You should select a proper exam date so that the TOEFL Score will reach recipient universities on time.

Who needs to take TOEFL?

If you are a non-native English speaker and applying for Graduate or Postgraduate programmes in an English Speaking Country, then you might need TOEFL Score. When applying for Universities, if Universities demands TOEFL Score then you need to take this exam.

Is TOEFL easier than IETLS?

TOEFL and IELTS both test candidate\'s English Proficiency. Both the exams are on same level of difficulty. Read the following to choose a proper exam. If you are applying for immigration then take IELTS General. Since it is easier than IELTS Academic and TOEFL. Some universities demand only one score. If you are applying for university then write the exam whose score the universities are accepting. If Universities accepts both then consider the following factors: You can take TOEFL if you are comfortable with American accents else if you are comfortable with European accents take IELTS. TOEFL is relatively longer than IELTS. So if you are ok with longer exam duration you can take TOEFL or else IELTS.

How can I take TOEFL?

You can register for the exam by selecting a test centre which is close to your location and on a date which best suits you. You can register for the exam through their website, calling regional registration office or by sending application form through mail.

What is TOEFL Exam used for?

Candidates write this exam and use its score to apply for universities in the North American Continent. For non-native English Speakers TOEFL Score is must, if they have to apply for these universities.

Is TOEFL hard?

ETS tests candidate\'s English Language ability through TOEFL. These skills develop throughout high school or 10+2 class. The level of difficulty will be of high school or K12 level (10+2).

Why TOEFL is required?

If you are applying for Universities in the North American continent, then the University will ask for TOEFL Score. They will only ask if you are a non-native English speaker.

What is the syllabus of TOEFL?

ETS has not prescribed any particular syllabus for TOEFL. Because ETS tests candidates English Language Ability through this exam. But you can look at the sections of exam and prepare well. TOEFL has four sections, they are Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

How is TOEFL Exam conducted?

ETS conducts the exam online (TOEFL internet Based Test) and offline mode (Paper-delivered test).

What is TOEFL Exam all about?

ETS conducts TOEFL Exam to test English Language Ability of non-native English speakers. Universities use it\'s score to understand whether the applicant can survive in an English environment.

What are the upcoming dates from TOEFL? 

Candidates can check the upcoming dates for TOEFL here. 


Colleges Accepting TOEFL VIEW ALL


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