How to Register for TOEFL iBT

The TOEFL iBT is one of the most popular English language tests today. Aimed at assessing the language proficiency of non-native students and workers, TOEFL iBT is used all over the world. More than 130 countries—including the United States, Canada and Australia—consider the iBT as a valid and reliable language test. Additionally, more than 10,000 colleges and universities require students to submit their TOEFL scores prior to admissions.

Whether you want to take the TOEFL exam for pursuing higher studies or obtaining a visa, here are some facts about it:

  • Currently, the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL is the preferred option. Unlike the paper-based test (PBT), the iBT test takes place online.
  • Both PBT and iBT tests consist of four sections. But, the PBT test has a grammar section, while iBT consists of a speaking section instead of grammar. Additionally, the PBT test has one essay, while the  iBT has two essays. Moreover, the score range for the PBT is 310-677, while the iBT’s range is from 0 to 120.
  • The TOEFL iBT test takes four and a half hours to complete.
  • The Educational Testing Service, also known as the ETS, creates and administers the iBT test.
  • As mentioned earlier, more than 10,000 universities accept TOEFL iBT as proof of English language proficiency from international students. This includes several IVY League universities in the United States.
  • Universities set their own TOEFL score requirements. Applicants must meet the minimum TOEFL score requirement. The test aids universities in selecting candidates who can use and understand English clearly at an academic level. Along with the TOEFL score, universities may have additional admission requirements, such as a high CPA or GRE score.
  • The TOEFL iBT exam is broken down into four sections. These include reading (60 and 100 minutes), listening (40 and 60 minutes), speaking (20 minutes) and writing (50 minutes).
  • The reading section consists of 3-4 academic passages.
  • The listening section involves listening to audio recordings—a conversation, a classroom discussion or a lecture.
  • The speaking section involves answering questions.
  • The writing section involves writing two essays.
  • The TOEFL iBT consists of multiple choice questions. As a result, they require some degree of critical thinking, along with English comprehension.
  • The score range for all sections is from 0 to 30 points. The majority of universities accept scores ranging from 70 to over 100.
  • The TOEFL iBT is held at Educational Testing Service-approved testing centresaround the world.
  • In order to register for the test, you need to select an authorised centreand pay the test registration fees. The fees may vary from one country to another. The ETS website provides information about the fees. Keep in mind, the registration fee is subject to change, without notice.
  • In case of low score, you can retake the test as many times as you wish. But, you cannot appear for the test twice in a 12-day period.
  • The TOEFL iBT score expires within two years. You can retake the test after your score expires.
  • You will receive your score report online 15 days after you appeared for the test. In addition to the electronic copy, the ETS also provides a hard copy to test takers.
  • Test takers need to specify that official scores be sent to up to 4 universities. If you need additional copies of your score report, you will have to pay US $19.00 per copy.
  • As test seating is limited, it is advisable to register for the TOEFL iBT a few months prior to taking the test.
  • In case of cancelation, candidates may receive partial refunds. But, they must make cancellation request within four days of the test.

The TOEFL iBT Registration Guide 

The ETS has simplified the iBT test’s registration process. After checking your authorised testing centre, you will have to select the registration process.

You can register via mail, phone or online. Generally speaking, the online system is the fastest way to register for the iBT test.

As a first step, you will need to create an account on the ETS website. Refer to your ID card or passport while entering your details. They should be exactly the same. The name you use must match the name on your ID card. Keep in mind that you will have to bring the ID card on the test day.

Online registration is available 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. Use a credit card or debit card (American Express®, MasterCard®, Discover®, JCB® or VISA®) to make the payment. If you have an account in the US, you can use a PayPal® account or an electronic check.

That being said, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, JCB and e-checks are not accepted in the following countries:

  • Benin
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Togo

(VISA cards are accepted for these locations)

In addition, online registration closes seven days prior to the test date. Although the ETS allows for late registration, it closes 4 days before a candidate’s test date. It also comes with a US$40 late fee.

Some limitations …

For those living in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), registration takes place at: or see Disabled candidates who need special accommodations can make a request to the ETS.

Once you register for the test, you should practice as much as you can to get a high score. uMasterExam is an online TOEFL prep guide offering extensive information, study resources and materials to help individuals ace the language test.

The website features the best preparation guides, courses and practice tests, as well as a list of preparation books on vocabulary, grammar and more. If you need a TOEFL tutor, uMasterExam has a list of qualified, certified TOEFL tutors for test takers.

Preparing for the iBT test has never been simpler! uMasterExam aims to improve your learning experience by walking you through the entire TOEFL preparation process.



Lisa Scholfield

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