How difficult is it to pass the TOEFL?

How difficult is it to pass the TOEFL?

Franco Brutti

May 16, 2023

May 16, 2023

May 16, 2023

How difficult is it to pass the TOEFL?
How difficult is it to pass the TOEFL?
How difficult is it to pass the TOEFL?

Are you planning to travel to an English-speaking country and need to prove your language proficiency? Then it’s quite likely that you will have to pass the TOEFL.

It goes without saying that knowing how to master English is a knowledge that will open doors to many types of opportunities, both work-related and educational.

Therefore, it’s important that you dedicate the necessary time to the study of this language.

Now, if you’ve already studied and you’re happy because you know how to pronounce big words, you will still need a certificate. And it’s even more important if you’re going to travel to another country to study or work because then you will need an international certificate.

That's when the TOEFL is your salvation because it’s an exam in which you must achieve a specific score in order to pass.

That’s why many people fear that the TOEFL is too difficult to pass, but we will tell you more about this test so that you can be better prepared to take it.

What is the TOEFL?

First things first, before we start talking about whether it is difficult or not, it’s best that you have a clear perception of what this test is all about.

Its acronym stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language and it’s a test in which you will be able to measure your level of English proficiency in all the necessary aspects (reading, writing, and pronunciation).

Now, we know that we all take English exams during our academic training, but what makes the TOEFL stand out from the rest is that it will give you a certification with international recognition.

That's right, this exam is recognized in more than 130 countries and is presented as one of the essential requirements for access to many study centers and companies.

Especially for those located in English-speaking countries, since you will need to have a good command of the language to be able to work there.

This exam has been created by the company ETS and thanks to its great recognition and requests from people who wish to take it, they have approved centers all over the world.

Therefore, no matter where you are, you will surely have the opportunity to sign up for this exam.

Why should you take the TOEFL?

Today there’s a large percentage of the world's population that has at least a basic understanding of English.

We know that even many young people, beyond learning from schools, have learned English through video games, movies, and music.

So yes, it’s likely that many have a good command of this language, but you do not have a document certifying that you have this knowledge.

Even if you have taken courses, it’s likely that the certificate you have been given is only valid nationwide.

On the other hand, the TOEFL is presented as the entrance letter for all those people who want to go to study or work in countries such as the United States, Canada, or England.

Since, in most of the institutions of these countries, foreigners will be asked for the certificate of this test and this is one of the indispensable requirements.

So, if you have a good opportunity to go to an English-speaking country, it’s undoubtedly essential that you pass this test.

Formats in which you can take the TOEFL test

Now, another aspect that you should take into consideration is that, at present, you can take this exam in two formats: the PBT and the IBT.

The PBT is a paper-based format and its acronym refers to the face-to-face test in which you will have to complete the exam, the traditional way.

However, thanks to the possibilities that technology offers, you also have the IBT format. This is the option that will allow you to take the exam online and, as you can imagine, this is the most used option nowadays due to its convenience of it.

Fortunately, you will be able to choose the option you like the most according to the formats admitted in the ETS center located in your place of residence.

What is the necessary score to pass the TOEFL?

Another important point about which there are often doubts is the number of points that must be added.

It should be noted that the TOEFL does not work in the same way as other exams. That is to say, there is no minimum passing score, but rather, depending on the number of points you score, you will have a certain level of English.

In total, you can score from 0 to 120 points as maximum with the exam, but even if you get a slightly lower score you could be accepted.

To better understand this, it’s necessary to take into account to which level each range of points corresponds.

  • B1: 57-86.

  • B2: 87-109.

  • C1: 110-120.

score needed to pass the TOEFL

You should take into consideration that most international companies and institutions that have the TOEFL as an entrance requirement, usually request that the total score be between 60 and 80 points.

Of course, if you get more than that you will be accepted in a jiffy, but you don't have to have the highest possible score to pass.

What is the TOEFL difficulty level?

Now, we’ve come to the section that everyone is interested in reading: How difficult is the TOEFL?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear and direct answer to this question, because depending on how well you know the language, for some it can be a piece of cake and for others, it can be a real torment.

So, as this is something that is directly linked to the knowledge of each student, it’s impossible to give a single global answer to this question.

On the other hand, if there’s one thing you do know from various statistical studies that have been done, it’s that there are certain sections of the exam that are more difficult than others.

For example, it’s well known that listening is the most difficult part for TOEFL test takers.

Right after this would be speaking and writing, which undoubtedly also have a steep difficulty curve.

Reading is presented as the easiest of all and is the one in which a large majority of people tend to have a better academic performance.

Therefore, the difficulty that this exam may pose for you personally will depend on how prepared you are or not with the language and with each of the skills that will be measured with the exam.

What are the skills that are measured with the TOEFL?

As we mentioned earlier, the TOEFL is organized in such a way that students' skills can be measured in specific sections.

Of course, each section involves an analysis of how well a student handles each of the skills that a good English speaker should have.

Based on this, a total of five skills can be identified as important within this exam and those are as follows:

  • Reading: this section will measure your English reading skills.

  • Writing: this section will measure your English writing skills.

  • Listening: this section will measure your skills in understanding spoken English.

  • Speaking: this section will measure your English speaking skills.

  • Structure: this section will measure your knowledge of English grammar.

skills are measured by the TOEFL

How to sign up to take the TOEFL?

Now, an important point regarding this exam is to sign up for it to take it if we need this certification.

It should be noted that some academic or labor institutions are responsible for setting aside the date of this test for people who are taking into consideration entering.

But if this has not happened and you have to reserve a date on your own, you also have to be prepared.

The positive thing is that it’s not a big deal and, in fact, it’s something very simple to do, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Go to the official TOEFL website.

  2. Search for the accredited center that is closest to the area where you live.

  3. Select the one that best suits you and this will display a list of available dates.

  4. At this point, you will be able to choose the day you have free, as long as you are booking at least seven days in advance (i.e., no matter what day you’re setting, aside from the date, you must select a day in the following week).

  5. Now you will have to fill in a form where you will be asked for your personal information.

  6. Then it will be time to make the payment, which may vary depending on the country you are in.

  7. Verify that all the information is correct and complete your registration.

  8. Finally, you must print your registration form and bring it with you on the day of the test or have it in PDF if you are taking the test online.

Frequently Asked Questions about the TOEFL

To close with a flourish and so that you can be clear about all the relevant aspects of this subject, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this test.

That way, you will be able to be aware of all the details you need to know and confirm on your own if you find it difficult or not.

How much does it cost to register for this exam?

No doubt after reading that you have to pay to take this exam you are wondering how much it might cost to register for it.

Well, as we have already mentioned, it may vary depending on the country you are in, but to be prepared with an approximation, keep in mind that the amount is usually around 200 dollars.

When will I receive the results?

There are two things to clarify on this point.

Firstly, you should know that you will be able to check your scores 10 to 12 days after you’ve taken the exam.

Secondly, you should keep in mind that it will not be until four to six weeks later that you will be able to receive your physical scores together with your respective certificate.

In addition, a plus point is that after completing the exam you will be able to request the platform to send the results obtained to four institutions at once, and this for free.

Can I repeat the test if I have not obtained the expected result?

As we’ve already mentioned, there are no terms such as pass or fail that can be applied to this evaluation, you will have to take it with the objective of obtaining a specific number of points.

Therefore, if you have already submitted it and did not get the expected result, you are probably wondering if you can do it again.

Luckily, the answer to this is yes. In fact, you are free to do it as many times as you feel necessary.

However, you will have to wait at least 12 days from the time you took the exam to reschedule. Which fits quite well, since that is how long it usually takes to get your results back to you.

Plus, of course, you'll have to pay the amount due once again.

So, to avoid spending so much money on the TOEFL, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself very well to correct the mistakes you made on the first test and get the score you expected the second time around.

Undoubtedly, the key to getting a good score on the TOEFL is preparation and practice, so the secret to success is to start reviewing well in advance.

Do this and you can be sure that when you take the test, it won't seem as difficult as other people make it out to be.

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