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TOEFL Tip #45: How TOEFL Scores Are Broken Down

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on June 25, 2009

The entire TOEFL has a perfect score of 120, and although 30 points are alloted to each of the 4 sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing), these sections are not scored initially from 0-30. The Rater uses a different scoring system, called the “raw score”. No one but ETS Raters know how this raw score is exactly computed nor how it is then converted to the 0-30 score you receive.

For both the Reading and the Listening sections of the test, you only receive the final score, ranged between 0-30. Meanwhile, you receive sub-scores for both the Speaking and the Writing along with the 0-30 score.

The Speaking section is broken down into three subsections:

1. Speaking about familiar Topics (which indicates how well you did on Tasks One and Two)
2. Speaking about Campus Situations (which indicates how well you did on Tasks Three and Five)
3. Speaking about Academic Course Content (which indicates how well you did on Tasks Three and Five)

These three sections are rated as being “weak” “limited” “fair” or “good”. To receive a 26 on the speaking (which Canadian Nurses and North American Pharmacists need for their licensure), you need to score a “good” in all three subsections of the Speaking.

The Writing section is broken down into two subsections:

1. Writing Based on Reading and Listening (commonly called the 20-minute essay)
2. Independent Essay (commonly called the 30-minute essay)

These two sections are rated as being “limited” “fair” or “good”.


Categories: Industry Issues,Uncategorized

2 comments so far. Leave a comment.

  1. AIGAC Blog » Blog Archive » All About the TOEFL

    wrote on June 30, 2009 at 11:38 am

    [...] This means that if a school says it will accept a 90 (a perfect score is 120; more on scoring here), then you will not be more competitive if you score a 110.  The admissions office is usually not [...]

  2. TOEFL Practice

    wrote on November 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Good review, thanks!

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