Do you need a TOEFL test?

Do you need a TOEFL test?

February 23, 2022

The TOEFL is the most popular exam for academic North American English and is accepted by more than 11,500 universities and other institutions in over 160 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, the U.K., and across Europe and Asia. Do you need to take the TOEFL exam to enter a program of study? Kickstart School can help!



English Level and the TOEFL

Success on the TOEFL requires two main things: the appropriate level of English and preparation for the exam. If you don’t yet have the level of English to get the score you need, start with a general English course to get ready. Kickstart School can help you determine what your current level is and make a plan for improving your English skills.


What level of English do you need to achieve your goal? It depends. Each course, program, or university has its own requirement, but this requirement is typically between 70 and 110 out of a total 120 possible on the TOEFL. Some programs require a minimum overall score, but some require a minimum in each skill. In the chart below, you can see that, for example, if your program requires you to obtain an overall score of 75, you should already be at level B2 before preparing to take the test.





















































Preparing for the TOEFL

When you’re ready, you can focus on preparing for the exam. Getting the score you need depends on understanding the TOEFL, how it works, and what assessors are looking for. Having the necessary level of English won’t help you with this. There is no substitute for preparation and practice, and the most effective way to do this is with the guidance, advice, and feedback that only an experienced TOEFL instructor can offer. Kickstart School can connect you with a tutor who can help prepare you for this in your time and at your pace.





TOEFL Test Options

You’re ready to take the exam, but you’re not sure which test is for you. If you are taking the TOEFL for academic purposes, the test is the same, but the method of testing can be different. As for cost, in the Netherlands it is currently $270 USD for any version you choose (but this fee can vary by location around the world). Let’s have a closer look at the options available (adapted from the ETS TOEFL website):


1.         TOEFL iBT test: Test on a computer at a test center.

Choose this option to go to an authorized TOEFL iBT test center in locations around the world. Opening hours can vary by location and may depend on local conditions and government requirements. Each center has its own structure and way of functioning. Make your reservation at the center of choice for more information about their specific requirements on testing day. For this option, you will take all four sections of the test consecutively, with a 10-minute break in the middle. To book your test at the testing center of your choice, click here.



2.         TOEFL iBT® Home Edition: Test on a computer at home.

This option allows you to take the test at home, monitored by a remote proctor. This option is available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week, with appointments available as early as 24 hours after you register. It's available worldwide, except in Iran. For this option, you will take all four sections of the test consecutively, with a 10-minute break in the middle. To be able to take the test at home, you must meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements, and you must create an ETS account to see available appointments.



3.         TOEFL iBT® Paper Edition: Test in 2 sessions — Reading, Listening, and Writing on paper at a test center, and Speaking on a computer at home.

This option allows you to do both: test partially in a testing center and partially at home. But if you prefer to take your test on paper and not on a computer, this is the test for you. Only the speaking portion (for which you you must meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements) is done with a computer within three days of the paper test, and is monitored by a human proctor. It is currently only available in Colombia, India, Mexico and the United States, but ETS expects more countries will be added in the future. To see available appointments, you must create an ETS account.



IMPORTANT: Schedule your test at least 2 to 3 months before your earliest admissions deadline to ensure your scores will be reported in time. Score reports are sent to your designated recipients approximately 8–16 days after your test date. Be sure to allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution.



Remember, it is not enough to prepare for the TOEFL without the necessary English level, and having the right level without understanding how to take the TOEFL will not guarantee success. With Kickstart School, you can get the expert guidance you need to do it right the first time and reach your goals.