Test of English as a Foreign Language

What is TOEFL? Complete Guide To TOEFL 2024

January 25, 2024

The TOEFL exam is required for several important reasons, primarily aimed at assessing the English language proficiency of individuals who are not native speakers. ETS administers TOEFL, measuring reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Universities and colleges around the world widely accept TOEFL scores as a reliable indicator of a student's readiness to participate in academic programs conducted in English. The TOEFL test is available in both internet-based (iBT) and paper-based formats, providing flexibility for test-takers to choose the version that best suits their preferences and testing locations. Achieving a competitive TOEFL score is often a prerequisite for international students aspiring to pursue higher education in English-speaking countries.

This Article includes

History of TOEFL

The TOEFL began with the National Council on the Testing of English as a Foreign Language in 1962, funded by Ford and Danforth Foundations. It debuted in 1964 under the Modern Language Association. The early TOEFL focused on language components separately, with five sections assessing reading, vocabulary, listening, structure, and grammar through multiple-choice questions. Though researchers saw limitations, language instruction then wasn't advanced enough for broader assessment.

Why is the TOEFL Exam Required?

The TOEFL, also known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, helps a university to understand the English proficiency of a student. The universities which take TOEFL as an eligibility test include the UK and most of the European countries. Many other countries like Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Canada take TOEFL as a valid proficiency test. The TOEFL test helps students choose between 6,000+ academic institutions and over 110 countries. The TOEFL exam also helps students get scholarships and other types of financial aid to help them in their education. The candidates who score well in the TOEFL exam prove that they have the skills and also have the merit to pursue education in a foreign country. 

TOEFL Eligibility 2024

ETS, the organisation that administers the TOEFL exam, has not established any requirements for students wishing to take the IELTS exam. Nonetheless, those who have completed their 10+2 education from an accredited school are the most qualified to apply for the TOEFL exam.

Certain parameters regarding eligibility are also set. There are various TOEFL exam eligibility criteria for Indians specifically. One must also keep the educational qualifications and age limit criteria in mind. Additionally, it's important to note that every top university has a different eligibility score set in place, which you can read about below!

Types of TOEFL Test

1. TOEFL PBT (paper-based test): There will be 2 test sessions

  • Reading, listening, and writing sections will be on paper at a test centre
  • The speaking section will be on a computer

2. TOEFL CBT (computer-based test): This test will be authorised in a test centre

3. TOEFL iBT (online version): You can take a computer-based test in which a live human proctor will monitor. The TOEFL iBT is a preferred mode of the exam and represents more than 98% of the TOEFL tests given worldwide.

As the name suggests, the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is the online version of the TOEFL test for candidates looking to appear for their exams. It is the preferred medium of TOEFL due to its ease of convenience and uses fewer resources. TOEFL iBT test centres have been authorised across the country in major cities to hold these TOEFL exams. 

TOEFL Test Registration 2024

Taking the TOEFL exam opens doors to academic and professional opportunities in English-speaking countries. The TOEFL test registration process itself is designed to be smooth and straightforward. Registering is made easy as the ETS TOEFL website is available 24/7 via, mail, phone, online or in-person Regular TOEFL test registration closes 7 days before the test, while late registration (with an additional fee) closes 2 days before. If you are taking the test at home, ensure your computer and internet connection meet the required specifications. Additionally, have your valid government-issued photo ID ready for TOEFL test registration and testing. So, let's break down the process:

1. Create your ETS Account: This free online portal is your gateway to everything TOEFL. Sign up with your basic information and email address.
2. Choose your Test Option: Decide between the traditional TOEFL iBT test at a designated centre or the convenient TOEFL iBT Home Edition. Check test dates and locations near you.
3. Select your Test Date: Choose a date that fits your schedule and deadlines, keeping in mind TOEFL test registration and score reporting delays.
4. Register and Pay: Register online through your ETS account and pay the test fee securely using a credit card, eCheck, or other accepted methods.
5. Prepare for Success: Utilize official practice materials, test prep courses, and study guides to refine your English skills and boost your confidence.

TOEFL Exam Fees 2024

Your English proficiency with the TOEFL in 2024 varies based on location and test type. While prices may fluctuate slightly through the year, expect the TOEFL iBT test price to fall within the range of $170-$200 in most countries. Those opting for the TOEFL paper-based test will have slightly lower fees, typically around $160-$180. Remember, additional charges like late TOEFL test registration or score reviews may come into play, so check the official ETS website for detailed cost breakdowns and current pricing in your specific region. Plan your budget accordingly and get ready to invest in your language skills and future opportunities! For a better country-wise bifurcation, you can refer to this TOEFL exam fee 2024 guide

TOEFL Exam Country-Wise Price Range

Here’s a TOEFL exam cost country-wise price range reference:

TOEFL Exam Dates 2024

You can opt for the TOEFL test multiple times a month, providing a lot of opportunities to choose the perfect date for your schedule. Here's a quick overview.  The TOEFL is available every four days on average, giving you the flexibility to find a date that aligns with your academic or professional deadlines. You just have to decide between the traditional test centre setting or the convenient TOEFL iBT Home Edition. Both options offer access to the same test format and score reporting, allowing you to choose the environment that best suits your learning style and needs. The TOEFL exam dates vary by location, so check the official ETS website for a comprehensive list of available dates and centres near you. Remember, TOEFL test registration deadlines fall 7 days and 2 days before the test for regular and late registration, respectively. You can refer to these TOEFL exam dates for major cities across India.

TOEFL 2024 Exam Pattern

The TOEFL in 2024 follows a consistent and well-defined pattern, ensuring a fair and standardised testing experience for everyone. Buckle up for four key sections:

1. Reading: 
: 2
: 20 (10 questions per questionnaire )
: 35 minutes

Dive into two academic passage texts (35 minutes each) and answer detailed comprehension questions. Expect topics related to science, history, and social studies. 

2. Listening: 

Lectures: 3 (3-5 minutes each)
6 questions, totalling to 18
2 (3 minutes each)
Conversations questions:
10 (5 per conversation)

Lend an ear to four audio recordings (60 minutes total); an applicant faces questions regarding lectures, conversations, and academic discussions. Test your ability to grasp key points, follow arguments, and identify speaker attitudes. 

3. Speaking: 

Independent task: 1
Prep time:
15 - 30 sec
Response time
: 45 or 60 sec
Read/Listen/Speak integrated tasks :
Prep time
: 15 - 30 sec; response time: 45 or 60 sec)
Total no. of questions:
4 tasks
Total time:
16 minutes

Get ready to express yourself! Respond to two independent and integrated tasks (20 minutes total). Speak on familiar topics, explain information from readings or listening, and express an opinion.

4. Writing: 

1 Integrated task: Read/Listen/Write  
1 Integrated task reading time: 3 min; Listening time: 2 min; writing: 15 min (20 minutes)
1 Writing for an Academic Discussion task: 10 minutes
Total no. of questions: 2 tasks
Total time: 30 minutes

Showcase your written communication skills in two essays (50 minutes total). Craft an independent essay on a general topic and an integrated essay that combines information from reading and listening. You'll tackle two tasks. First, an integrated task where you'll read, listen, and then write for 20 minutes: 3 minutes for reading, 2 minutes for listening, and 15 minutes for writing. Then, you'll have a 10-minute task for academic discussion writing. Overall, it'll take 29 minutes.

TOEFL Syllabus 2024

Mastering English opens doors to countless academic and professional opportunities. The TOEFL, a standardised test measuring your English proficiency, acts as your key to unlocking these possibilities. The TOEFL syllabus and pattern 2024 remain consistent, focusing on four core skills assessed through distinct sections:

1. Reading (60 minutes):

Academic Passages: Dive into two academic passages, similar to university-level textbooks, covering diverse topics like science, history, and social studies.
Comprehension Questions:
Test your understanding with detailed questions assessing factual information, inference, vocabulary in context, and rhetorical devices.

2. Listening (60 minutes):

Audio Recordings: Sharpen your listening skills with four audio recordings, including lectures, conversations, and academic discussions, simulating real-world academic scenarios.
Focus on Comprehension:
Prove your ability to grasp key points, follow arguments, identify speaker attitudes, and take effective notes.

3. Speaking (20 minutes):

Independent and Integrated Tasks: Showcase your spoken fluency through two tasks. In the independent task, express your opinion on a familiar topic. The integrated task involves explaining information from readings or listening.
Communication Skills:
Demonstrate clear pronunciation, strong vocabulary usage, organised thought, and logical progression of ideas.

4. Writing (50 minutes):

Independent and Integrated Essays: Unleash your writing prowess in two essays. The independent essay requires expressing your opinion on a general topic, while the integrated essay challenges you to combine information from reading and listening into a cohesive piece.
Writing Skills:
Impress with grammatically correct sentences, appropriate vocabulary choices, strong arguments, and a well-structured essay format.

How to Prepare for TOEFL?

Preparing for the TOEFL involves various steps to improve English language skills. Start by familiarising yourself with the test format and practising with sample questions. Focus on enhancing reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities through regular practice and exposure to English materials. Use TOEFL preparation guides, online resources, and language learning apps to strengthen weak areas. Additionally, simulate test conditions to build confidence and improve time management. Remember to set realistic goals and track your progress along the way. You can also check out the essential tips on speaking and writing to score better. To help you with your TOEFL preparation you can also refer to these apps for TOEFL preparation.

TOEFL Results 2024

Conquering the TOEFL is your stepping stone to academic and professional success in English-speaking nations. But after the test, the wait for results can feel like an eternity. In 2024, understanding the timeline and interpreting your score is crucial. Here's your guide to navigating the TOEFL result journey:

When Do the Scores Arrive?

  • Online Tests (iBT & Home Edition): Buckle up for a quick turnaround! Your scores will be available 4-8 days after your test date. You'll receive an email notification once they're ready for viewing in your ETS account.
  • Paper-Based Test (PBT): Be patient! Your scores will arrive within 11-13 business days after your test date. ETS will mail you a paper score report directly.

Top TOEFL-Accepting Universities In The World

Here’s a list of the top universities around the world that accept the TOEFL exam an English proficiency test:

United States of America

  • Harvard University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 104
  • Stanford University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 89
  • Princeton University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 108
  • Michigan State University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 80
  • University of Alaska– Minimum TOEFL Score: 71-79

United Kingdom

  • London School of Economics– Minimum TOEFL Score: 100
  • Imperial College London– Minimum TOEFL Score: 100
  • University of Oxford– Minimum TOEFL Score: 110
  • London Business School– Minimum TOEFL Score: 90-100
  • University of Cambridge– Minimum TOEFL Score: 100


  • University of Melbourne– Minimum TOEFL Score: 79
  • University of Sydney– Minimum TOEFL Score: 96
  • University of Queensland– Minimum TOEFL Score: 87
  • Monash University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 79
  • La Trobe University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 102


  • University of Toronto– Minimum TOEFL Score: 89
  • McGill University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 86
  • McMaster University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 92
  • University of British Columbia – Minimum TOEFL Score: 90
  • York University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 103

New Zealand

  • University of Auckland– Minimum TOEFL Score: 80
  • Auckland University of Technology– Minimum TOEFL Score: 100
  • Victoria University of Wellington– Minimum TOEFL Score: 80
  • University of Canterbury– Minimum TOEFL Score: 79
  • Massey University– Minimum TOEFL Score: 80-90


We believe we have successfully answered “what is TOEFL?” and you’re ready to take a TOEFL exam. If you’re still confused between IELTS or TOEFL, don't be; you can read this article on the difference between IELTS and TOEFL and know the easier one!  We wish you the best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is studying abroad possible with a low TOEFL score?

Are online TOEFL preparation courses worth it?

How common is cheating on the TOEFL?

Can I improve my TOEFL score quickly?

TOEFL or IELTS? Which test is better for me?

How much does TOEFL exam cost?

Is TOEFL harder than IELTS?

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