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Overview

TOEFL® - Test of English as a Foreign Language

The TOEFL test is a requirement for admission into colleges and universities where instruction is in English. In addition, many government, licensing, and certification agencies, and exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people for whom English is not their native language.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL) measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings.The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on a test taker's location.

Most people take the TOEFL test as a prerequisite for admission into colleges and universities where English is used or required. In addition, many government, licensing, and certification agencies and exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL scores to evaluate the English proficiency of people for whom English is not their native language.

Nonnative English speakers at the 11th-grade level or above should take the TOEFL test to provide evidence of their English proficiency before beginning academic work. The test content is considered too difficult for students below 11th grade.

Many institutions report that they frequently do not require TOEFL test scores of certain kinds of international applicants. These include:

  • nonnative speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from postsecondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand)
  • nonnative speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-year course of study in which English was the language of instruction
  • transfer students from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work was favorably evaluated in relation to its demands and duration.
  • nonnative speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years
  • nonnative speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period, generally two years.

Students should contact their prospective institutions directly concerning their specific admission requirements.

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