The TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language tests an individual’s proficiency in the English language. The test assesses an individual’s ability to read, write, listen and speak in the English language. The ability of an individual to converse in English is paramount for their studies in a predominantly English-speaking country. The curriculum is in English, so it becomes imperative for a potential undergraduate or graduate student to be fluent in the language.
For this reason, one needs to do well in each section, and it can only be done by extensive TOEFL reading practice and writing practice. The same goes for the listening and speaking sections. A balanced approach is needed for TOEFL exam preparation. But many times, students get confused about the TOEFL and take it as a test wherein they can pass or fail. However, it’s not wrong in entirety that nobody fails in TOEFL, but there is no per se failure as colleges have minimum scores below which they don’t consider students for admission.
However, there are several exceptions, and many colleges don’t have a minimum TOEFL score criteria. But when it comes to graduate courses, colleges do have a minimum score in almost all cases. So, a good TOEFL score is a must for a student who seeks admission to a top university in the US. A good TOEFL score also helps in later academics when students sign up for research projects and other activities. But the concept of a good TOEFL score is a variable. There is no definition of a good score as a particular score might be a good one if it lands an individual in their dream college, while for others, the same score might not help them secure admission in a college of their choice. So, most test-takers aim for a 100+ score to root out any possibility of getting rejected on the ground of scoring less in TOEFL.
What can a 100+ TOEFL score do in securing admission to a top university?
|College/ University||Minimum TOEFL Score for Undergraduate Courses (in iBT)||Minimum TOEFL Score for Post-graduate Courses (in iBT)|
|Amherst College||100||No minimum score|
|Boston University||Varies from 90-100||85|
|California University Of Technology (CALTECH)||No minimum score||No minimum score|
|Carnegie Mellon University||102||85|
|Dartmouth College||No minimum score||Varies from 90-100|
|Duke University||No minimum score||Varies from 90-100|
|Georgetown University||No minimum score||Varies from 80-100|
|Harvard University||No minimum score||Varies, but there is no limit per se.|
|John Hopkins University||97||Varies, but there is no limit per se.|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||Varies from 90-100||Varies from 90-100|
|New York University||More than 100||Varies, but there is no limit per se.|
|Princeton University||No minimum score||No minimum score|
|Stanford University||No minimum score||Varies from 90-100|
|University of California, Berkley||80||Varies, but there is no limit per se.|
|University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign||Varies from 100-110||More than 103|
|Yale University||100||Varies, but there is no limit per se.|
A 100+ TOEFL score is of paramount importance for all the test takers as it is evident from the table mentioned above that most of the universities keep their minimum scores in the range of 90-100. Once a student gets close to the perfect 120, the chances of getting the desired university increases exponentially. A 100+ score is also compulsory for a few colleges and universities, and it implies that the completion is way above the score of 100. Even in general, if a student wants to be assured of getting their dream college, it becomes imperative to have a score of more than 100. A good TOEFL score helps evaluators to select the best students with similar levels of intellect. It also acts as an advantage when students are missing a few points on the backdrop of poor academics; TOEFL covers it up. The cost-benefit analysis of a good TOEFL score is way more rewarding than what it appears to be.
Is there a sectional score requirement in the TOEFL for admission?
Some universities do put a sectional score requirement, but not all of them. So there is no requirement per se for the sectional score. The score requirement becomes important as the cumulative of each section makes up for the total score, so a student must have good performance in all the sections. For instance, a student gets 28 in reading and 28 in writing but performs poorly in the listening and speaking sections, scoring merely 20 and 21, respectively. The total score will be 97. A small effort in the last two sections could have landed the student in the 100+ segment. So, it becomes important to focus on each section and keep track of the sectional progress. If a student is getting poor scores repeatedly in one section then it can affect the overall score.
How a “Good Score” varies from one student to another?
To find the “Good score,” one must understand that students should make a list of institutions. Take their TOEFL score requirement for the last five academic years, and then plan accordingly to cross the required score limit every time they practice. Also, find the average of the last ten-year score requirement for the colleges that are on the list and then aim for that score. Also, the score requirement varies in some universities based on the student’s course. There are some cases where the score requirement is not of much use, as in the case of Harvard University, as they don’t even need the TOEFL score.
So, in such cases, a student has to be in the top score segment, i.e., in the 100+ score segment. Another crucial aspect of a good score is that students often confuse the minimum score requirement with the cut-off scores. The difference between being eligible and qualified should be understood. Top universities might accept students with scores as low as 84 or 85, but that doesn’t mean every student getting that score will be accepted. Aiming for a 100+ score helps students be assured that TOEFL scores can only increase their chances of getting into a university of their choice, and it can’t be the reason for their rejection.
What should be the goal in the TOEFL exam?
After seeing the minimum score requirement, one can assess the universities for which they have to apply. Now it’s time to set the goal, and it can only be set after seeing the highest score a student got who secured admission into the university. A test taker should always aim for the score that the highest scorer in that university got, and in any case, it will be a 100+ score. A 100+ score is the panacea for all the worries. It helps students in making it to the top applicant. Also, the perks that follow help students get easier access to internships and other on-campus and off-campus opportunities.
TOEFL scores can turn the tables for a student, and getting a degree from a top university is a life-changing opportunity. So, every test taker should put their all in for getting a perfect score and live the life they always dreamt for.