TOEFL logo

TOEFL iBT 2021: TOEFL iBT Home Edition, Exam Pattern, Score, Preparation Tips

Sayantani Barman logo

Sayantani Barman

Study Abroad Expert | Updated On - May 6, 2021

TOEFL iBT is a 3-hour long internet-based test that tests the reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills of international candidates planning to study/work/immigrate abroad. TOEFL pattern is marked on a score range of 0 - 120 with the average score being 82 and above. Due to the pandemic, ETS has also arranged for TOEFL iBT Home Edition that allows candidates to take the exam from the safety of their home.

TOEFL iBT Home Edition

Due to covid-19, TOEFL iBT home edition is developed by ETS to allow the test-takers to take the test from their homes. TOEFL test pattern of the home edition is similar to that of the test-center-based exam that contains: TOEFL Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. 

The at-home option is available across the world where TOEFL test center exams were conducted, with the only exceptions of Mainland China and Iran. TOEFL iBT test pattern also consists of reading, listening, speaking, and writing but the monitoring is done by ProctorU®. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition registrations can be availed 24 hours a day, and 4 days a week.

Check TOEFL Registration

TOEFL iBT - Highlights

The following are the key features of TOEFL exam pattern of iBT are:

TOEFL iBT full form TOEFL internet-based test
Conducting authority ETS
Meant for International students willing to study abroad
Sections tested 4 - reading, listening, speaking, and writing
Exam Pattern Answer 30-40 MCQs (for reading section) in 54-72 minutes
Answer 28-39 MCQs (for listening section) in 41-57 minutes
Speak for 10-17 minutes (for speaking section)
Write 2 descriptive answers (for writing section) in 60 minutes
Duration 3 hours to 3½ hours
Score range 0-120
Average score obtained in India 91
Average score accepted 65-115

Check TOEFL Syllabus


TOEFL test pattern is preferred more in the US universities and IELTS is more favored in the UK and Australia. Both the IELTS and TOEFL test pattern and syllabus have 4 sections - listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Both are equally renowned English proficiency tests abroad.

The only difference between IELTS and TOEFL iBT is the score calculation process:

IELTS overall score is the average score obtained in 4 sections, but, TOEFL iBT overall score is the total score of 4 sections.

For example, a candidate secures 7 in IELTS reading, 8 in IELTS listening, 8.5 in IELTS speaking, and 6.5 in IELTS writing. Here the overall IELTS score will be: (7+8+8.5+6.5)/4 = 7.5.

On the other hand, a candidate receives 24 in TOEFL reading, 21 in TOEFL listening, 26 in TOEFL speaking, and 22 in TOEFL writing. The overall TOEFL score will be 24+21+26+22 = 93.


IELTS to TOEFL iBT Score Conversion

The following tables show the conversion from IELTS to TOEFL iBT score:

TOEFL iBT score IELTS Score
118-120 9
115-117 8.5
110-114 8
102-109 7.5
94-101 7
79-93 6.5
60-78 6
46-59 5.5
35-45 5
32-34 4.5
0-31 0-4

Is TOEFL iBT Easier than IELTS?

According to certain test-takers, IELTS has been found more difficult than TOEFL. The IELTS reading section is considered more complex than the TOEFL though both of them test English language proficiency.

Check IELTS Syllabus


TOEFL PBT is the paper-based exam of TOEFL and this format is available only in locations where the internet is not available. The picture below shows how different these formats are :

Frequency 97% of candidates take the TOEFL iBT exam A very less percentage of candidates take the TOEFL PBT exam
Syllabus TOEFL iBT tests all 4 sections – listening, speaking, writing, and reading TOEFL PBT is limited to only listening, writing, and reading
Scoring TOEFL iBT is calculated on a score scale of 0 – 30 for each 4 sections TOEFL PBT follows a complex process where the three sections are calculated on a score scale of 310 – 677
University Policies TOEFL iBT is accepted by the majority of universities TOEFL PBT has certain restrictions

TOEFL iBT Exam Pattern

TOEFL iBT syllabus includes four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing each having a specific TOEFL question pattern. As per the changes in the pattern of TOEFL exam, details of these sections are discussed in the section below:

Parameters TOEFL Reading TOEFL Listening TOEFL Speaking TOEFL Writing
Task Read 3-4 passages of 700 words each Listen to lectures (3-5 minutes) and conversations (3 minutes) Answer the questions in English after reading a passage or listening to an excerpt Write an essay on the prompt
Special instructions Note-taking allowed Note-taking allowed The speakers will have different accents The essays must contain examples
The recordings of the lecture and conversation will be available only Once
Speakers will have different accents
Number of questions 30-40 (10 questions with each passage) 28-39 questions 4 questions 2 questions
Duration 54-72 minutes 41-57 minutes 10-17 minutes 50 minutes

Check TOEFL Reading Question Types


TOEFL iBT score is all about the raw score to scaled score conversion. TOEFL iBT score range is 0-120 and each section has a score range of 0-30. The following table denotes the raw score range of each section and how TOEFL scores are calculated:

Section Raw Score range TOEFL Score Calculation
TOEFL Reading 0-45 Based on the number of correct answers
TOEFL Listening 0-34 Based on the number of correct answers
TOEFL Speaking 0-24 (each speaking task carry equal points) Based on the quality of the answer, fluency, and range of vocabulary
TOEFL Writing 0-10 (each writing task carry equal points) Based on the structure of essays, usage of relevant examples, words, and connecting words

During the TOEFL score calculation, raw TOEFL scores are converted into scaled scores. Check this table to understand the equivalent scaled score of the obtained raw points in TOEFL iBT.

Reading Raw Score Listening Raw Score Speaking Raw Score Writing Raw Score Scaled Score
45, 44 34 16 10 30
43, 42, 41 33 29
40, 39 15 9 28
38, 37 32 27
36 31 14 26
35, 34 30 8 25
33 29 13 24
32 12 23
31 28 7 22
30 11 21
29 27 6 20
28 26 10 19
27 25 18
26 24 9 5 17
25 23 16
24 22 8 15
23 21 4 14
22 20 7 13
19 3 12
21 6 11
20 18 10
19 17 5 9
18 16 4 2 8
17 15 7
14 3 6
16 13 1 5
15 12 2 4
14 11 3
13, 12 10 1 2
11, 10 9 1
9 and below 8 and below 0 0 0

To obtain the score, the candidates need to proceed with the TOEFL iBT login. It will direct them to their TOEFL IBT account. From here, they need to navigate to the score section to receive the TOEFL score report.

Check TOEFL Average Score

What is a Good Score on the TOEFL iBT?

Candidates are always advised to aim for a score of around 100 – 110 which is considered a perfect score as demanded by the top universities. To get yourself admitted in one of the Ivy Leagues then scoring around 110 – 120 will be very helpful.

Check What is a Good TOEFL Score?

TOEFL iBT Preparation

TOEFL iBT pattern requires the candidate to follow a solid TOEFL preparation plan to be able to obtain the a TOEFL score:

  • Prepare a TOEFL study plan and set a target score
  • Opt for official TOEFL resources like ETS’s Official Guide to TOEFL Test
  • Work on vocabulary to excel in TOEFL writing pattern
  • For TOEFL speaking pattern preparation, work on pronunciations and scoring criteria
  • During the TOEFL listening preparation, pay attention to the intonations
  • Regularly practice from TOEFL practice papers
  • Opt for TOEFL coaching, or online classes that offer tailor-made preparation classes

Check TOEFL preparation time

TOEFL practice tests often come with solved answers and explanations, which helps the candidates to prepare for TOEFL in the best possible way. So, securing a good TOEFL score can be easier with these TOEFL practice papers.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


bhagyashri kene
What are the PC requirements while giving iBT from home?
diya suresh

TOEFL iBT home edition has been introduced this year due to pandemic situation and to undertake the same, certain guidelines for the PC or desktop has been issued by the conducting body which includes the following:

  • Functional laptop or computer
  • Updated browser
  • ProctorU equipment
  • Internal or External speakers

Has there been any change in TOEFL iBT Home edition?
diya suresh

TOEFL iBT Home Edition was introduced during pandemic time as several test centers were closed. The exam pattern and scoring system for the home edition is more or less similar to the original exam except for the fact that it is monitored by ProctorU. Candidates will not get a hardcopy for the exam but the online scorecard will be available between 6-10 days after the exam. 

bhagyashri kene
Can you tell me the cutoff of iBT to get admission in best Universities in UK?
nitin yaduvanshi

Most UK universities accept the TOEFL score as a performance metric and test-takers try hard to secure a high score. A good score is considered when the candidate scores higher than their target score. The most renowned universities ask for a 100 or above TOEFL score; The comparatively less famous ones ask for 70-80; Few universities don’t even consider the TOEFL score; Few universities have program-specific TOEFL score. 

Is there difference in syllabus of iBT and PBT paper?
nitin yaduvanshi

No, there is not any difference between the syllabus of IBT and PBT mode of examination. The syllabus is same for both modes. PBT mode of examination takes place at designated Exam Centre whereas in IBT mode you can take exam from the convenience of your home. 

mizna harmain
Can I get the cutoff of the colleges in Canada for iBT?
diya suresh

Cut off varies withd ifferent colleges and Canada being one of the most preferred destination for higher studies, usually accepts score above 70. Some of the Universities/Colleges accepting TOEFL score are given below:

  • University of British Columbia – 100
  • University of Toronto – 93
  • McGill University – 100
  • Univeristy of Alberta – 100

Some of the Universities require individual scores of different sections for selection as well. To know more details visit TOEFL cut off 2021.

vikram dewan
Is TOEFL iBT tougher than TOEFL PBT?
diya suresh

The exam pattern with respect to toughness is similar for both versions of TOEFL but otherwise, there will be slight difference in the exam pattern. Registration for iBT and PBT is different, speaking section will be absent in PBT mode, duration for PBT is 1 hour less than iBT and score calculation is also different for both versions. Find more details at TOEFL 2021 exam pattern.

vanshika chandra
What is the best score as well as average score in iBT ?
diya suresh

The score is calculated by summing ups scores of different sections and overall average score for TOEFL exam is 82 out of 120. Also average score varies with the country as well. For admissions to top ranking universities, a score in the range of 90-100 is considered best score, however many colleges accepts score below this as well. To know more details visit TOEFL average score.

sheetal chib
What is the difference between TOEFL iBT and PBT?
swati srivastava

Hi Sheetal, TOEFL IBT includes spoken english as a section and TOEFL PBT does not access speaking skills. For more details visit: TOEFL EXAM

anuj singh chauhan
How is it different from paper delivered test?
aditi arun

Hello Anuj,

There isn’t much of a difference between the paper-based test (PBT) and Internet-based Test (iBT). The paper-based test is taken in places where the internet isn’t available. The iBT is however 4 hours long and if you have both the options, you should choose the internet-based only if you’re comfortable with typing and have a decent skill.

saurav kumar
Is there difference in exam fee than TOEFL PBT?
diya suresh

Hi Saurav, the fees for TOEFL iBT is INR 11468-17919 and for TOEFL PBT is INR 12901. For details on TOEFL 2020 fees and other details click here.

riya gupta
Is TOEFL iBT tougher or easier than TOEFL PBT?
diya suresh

Hi Riya, There is no conclusion to the question that which is tougher, but PBt has limited sections in comparison to iBT. Also, score in PBt is bit complicated in comparison to iBt. The fact is TOEFL iBT is more preferred than PBT mode. Check details of iBT and PBT exams from here.

kashish tomar
What is a good Toefl score?
devnath tiwary

Dear Kashish Tomar

Greetings from Collegedunia. The Average good score for all 4 sections is 90. There are different scores accepted at various Universities all over the world. For more details, kindly go through this link – TOEFL Cut-Off

uma goenka
What is the passing score of Toefl?
devnath tiwary

Dear Uma Goenka

Greetings from Collegedunia. The passing score in the TOEFL exam is 90 and the score is accepted at different levels in various universities all over the world. For more details, kindly go through this link – TOEFL Cut-Off

What is toefl ibt special home edition and how can I apply for it?
manika gupta

Hi Bhavya, The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.Follow these steps to start your registration in your ETS account:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. On your My TOEFL home page, select Register/Find Test Centers.
  3. On the Find Test Centers and Dates page, select the option for the Special Home Edition.
  4. Follow the directions to continue your registration and pay for your test.