Do you need a certificate that proves your English proficiency level? A future employer may ask you to show proof of your English competency. Or you might need a certificate that demonstrates your English fluency to get into your dream university.
There are hundreds of reasons to take the TOEFL and prove your English skills.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the certificate you will obtain after taking the TOEFL test.
- Quick FAQs About the TOEFL
- What are the Different TOEFL Exams?
- What Is TOEFL Certification?
- Understanding Your TOEFL Score Report
- MyBest Scores
- How Is TOEFL Certification Different from TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc.?
- Can You Obtain A TOEFL Certificate Without the Exam?
- How to Obtain TOEFL Certification?
- Additional FAQs About the TOEFL Certificate
Quick FAQs About the TOEFL
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. As the name suggests, it tests the English ability of non-native English speakers. The TOEFL is mainly taken by people who want to attend university in an English-speaking country. The TOEFL tests your English level and assesses your ability to succeed in an English-speaking academic setting.
What are the Different TOEFL Exams?
There are several types of TOEFL tests — the iBT, PBT, and Junior Standard.
- The iBT stands for internet-based test. It is by far the most popular version of the TOEFL test. It is designed to be taken by students (ages 16+) and is mainly used for university admissions and higher education. The iBT is taken on a computer either at an official TOEFL test center, or at home via the TOEFL iBT At Home testing option.
- The PBT stands for paper-based test. While you may still hear this term used, it’s important to know that the TOEFL PBT is no longer offered. ETS (the company which runs the TOEFL test) stopped offering the paper-based test in April 2021.
If you happened to take a paper-based test in the past, your scores will still stay valid for 2 years from your test date, just as they would with the computer-based test.
- The TOEFL Junior tests are designed to measure the English proficiency of younger students (ages 11+). The test is designed to identify students’ strengths and challenges. It’s a helpful tool for placing students in appropriate classes and monitoring their progress when it comes to mastering the English language.
What Is TOEFL Certification?
After taking the TOEFL test, you will receive a score report, which is sometimes also referred to as a certificate. Your score report will be available online as a PDF two days after receiving your ETS scores. You will receive an email when your scores are available, and then you will be able to download a PDF containing your score report. (The only exception to this is for test-takers in China, where online score reports are not currently available.)
If you’ve requested a paper copy of your score report before taking the test, it will be sent to you by mail 13 days after the test date. Most test-takers receive their score report within 7 – 10 days in the US, but worldwide delivery may vary from 15 days to several months.
A free copy of your score report, or TOEFL certificate, will be sent to as many as four institutions of your choice, as long as you register them before you take the test.
Your TOEFL certificate will remain valid for two years from the test date. You can have additional copies of your score report sent to as many institutions as you like during those two years, although each extra copy will cost you USD 20.
Understanding Your TOEFL Score Report
TOEFL scores are based on a scale of 0 – 120. The test contains four sections:
Each section has a total value of 30 points. You will receive a score for each section of the test and an overall score, which is an average of your scores from each section.
The scores are broken down within each section to get a picture of your English abilities with that particular skill.
|Skills||English Proficiency Levels||TOEFL Scores|
|24 to 30|
18 to 23
4 to 17
0 to 3
|22 to 30|
17 to 21
9 to 16
0 to 8
|25 to 30|
20 to 24
16 to 19
10 to 15
0 to 9
|24 to 30|
17 to 23
13 to 16
7 to 12
0 to 6
Getting a complete picture of your overall TOEFL score may help compare it to the equivalent CEFR level. Although requirements vary from one university to the next, most universities require that you have a TOEFL score of anywhere from 79 to 100.
|CEFR level||TOEFL iBT|
|C2||114 to 120|
|C1||95 to 113|
|B2||72 to 94|
|B1||42 to 71|
As we mentioned earlier, your TOEFL score report will remain valid for two years. The reason it only remains valid for two years is that TOEFL wants to make sure that your score is an accurate representation of your current English abilities.
After all, your English skills will likely evolve. After the two-year period has passed, you’ll need to retake the test to get a fresh assessment of your English level.
This is a sample score report. You may notice that there are two different scores here. This is because ETS offers something called MyBest Scores.
MyBest Scores are a combination of a test taker’s best scores from each section of the test taken within two years.
For example, you may score 20 on the Reading section and 25 on the Listening section the first time you take the test. Then, a few months later, you decide to retake it. This time you score 22 on the Reading section and 24 on the Listening test.
MyBest Scores will take your highest score from each section – so 22 for Reading and 25 for Listening. These higher scores will then be used to calculate your overall score.
Additional Reading — TOEFL Scores
- Which Countries and Universities Accept TOEFL?
- TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in the USA
- TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in the UK
- TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in Canada
- TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in New Zealand
- TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in Australia
- TOEFL Scores for Top MBA Programs and Business Schools
How Is TOEFL Certification Different from TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc.?
There are so many acronyms – TOEFL, TESOL, CELTA, TEFL – it’s easy to get confused!
As we mentioned before, TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, and it tests the English skills of non-native English speakers. After taking the test, you will receive a score report (sometimes also called a certificate). ETS, an American assessment organization, offers the TOEFL test.
TESOL, CELTA, and TEFL are all qualification programs for teachers of English as a foreign language. TEFL, for example, stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Upon completing these programs, participants receive a certificate that allows them to teach English abroad.
You may also hear the term “TOEFL certification” used about businesses or institutions. If an institution has TOEFL certification, ETS authorizes them to administer the TOEFL test.
Can You Obtain A TOEFL Certificate Without the Exam?
Since TOEFL is a test designed to assess your English skills, if you receive a score report (or certificate) without taking the exam, it means that you have cheated on the test. You must accept the TOEFL test to receive a score report. If you come across a website or organization that offers you a TOEFL certificate or score report without taking the exam, stay away. It’s a scam.
How to Obtain TOEFL Certification?
If you need a certificate that demonstrates your English abilities, you need to take the TOEFL exam. You can take a look at test locations. ETS also offers an at-home testing option. Many official TOEFL test prep materials can help you prepare for the exam.
If you want to teach English as a foreign language, you may be confusing TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or EFL (English as a Foreign Language) with TOEFL. Unfortunately, quite a few fake programs offer online certificates for aspiring EFL teachers. Two of the most widely recognized and accepted qualifications for teaching English as a foreign language are CELTA (provided by Cambridge English) and TEFL.
If you are a business or institution, you may want TOEFL certification to administer the test at a university, office, language school, or other location with a computer lab. You can go to the official ETS website to look at the application form to see what you’ll need to get certified.
Additional FAQs About the TOEFL Certificate
How Can I Get a TOEFL Certificate?
As a student, the only way to get a TOEFL score report (or certificate) is to take the TOEFL test. There are thousands of testing locations around the world. It’s also possible to take the TOEFL test at home. Once you have taken the test and your scores have been calculated, you will receive a score report, which you can send to the institutions and businesses of your choice.
Can I Get an Online TOEFL Certificate?
Yes. The most popular TOEFL test is the iBt or internet-based test. The entire test is taken on the computer. Once you complete the test, your score report (or certificate) will be uploaded to your ETS account as a PDF. You will then be able to download it. Keep in mind that your score report only stays valid for two years.
Does TOEFL Provide a Certificate?
After you take the TOEFL test, you will receive a score report. The score report summarizes your scores in the four different skill areas (reading, listening, speaking, writing), as well as an overall score that is an average of the four skill sections. The official name for this document is a score report, although some people call it a certificate.
How Can I Get My TOEFL Certificate?
Once you’ve taken the TOEFL test, your score report will be available online two days after receiving your scores. You can also request a physical copy of your score report when you sign up to take the test. Physical copies are mailed out 13 days after your test date. The physical copy can take a while to reach you if you live outside of the USA.
Can I Have Another Copy of My TOEFL Score Report?
Yes. You can request additional copies of your score report online through your ETS Account. Each extra copy costs USD 20. You can have an official score report sent to as many as 4 TOEFL-accepted institutions for free. You can add or delete these recipients until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before your test.