What is The TOEFL Exam? Why Do You Need It?

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 18 October 2023 & Read Time 6 minutes



Studying abroad is one of the biggest dreams lakhs of international students add to their bucket list. Now, when we think of fulfilling this journey of studying abroad, some of the top countries that come to our mind would be the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia, all of which are English-speaking nations!


So, while embarking on the journey to enrol in an educational institution in these countries, one has to prove their English language skills through proficiency tests. One such common English proficiency test is TOEFL. So, if you are planning to study abroad, then read this blog till the end to know all about the TOEFL exam and its advantages.


What is the TOEFL Exam: A Quick Overview

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a standardised test designed to measure the English language proficiency of non-native speakers who wish to study or work in English-speaking environments. It is widely recognised and accepted by academic institutions around the world as a reliable assessment of an individual's English language skills.


The TOEFL exam is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is available in multiple formats, including the TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and the TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test). The TOEFL iBT is the most commonly taken version, and it assesses the four fundamental language skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Now, let’s explore all four parts of the TOEFL test below:

  • TOEFL Reading Test: This section evaluates your ability to comprehend and analyse written texts. Test takers read academic passages and answer questions to demonstrate their reading skills.

  • TOEFL Listening Test: In the listening section, you are required to understand spoken English in various contexts. This includes lectures, conversations, and discussions.

  • TOEFL Speaking Test: The speaking component assesses your ability to express ideas and opinions coherently and fluently. You respond to prompts and complete speaking tasks.

  • TOEFL Writing Test: The writing section measures your ability to compose well-structured essays based on reading and listening materials. You are required to provide well-reasoned arguments and support them with evidence.


Further, the TOEFL scores range from 0 to 120, with each section scored on a scale of 0 to 30. The total score reflects an individual's overall English proficiency. However, different institutions have varying score requirements, so checking the specific TOEFL score prerequisites for your intended purpose is essential.


Moreover, if we talk about the duration of the test, then the TOEFL Internet-based test takes 3 hours to complete. However, an exam taker should budget 3 and a half hours, i.e., an extra 30 minutes for check-in. On the other hand, the TOEFL Paper-based test takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Apart from this, the scores of the test are valid for up to 2 years.


Why TOEFL Exam is Required to Study Abroad?

Now, you must be thinking about why one should consider taking the TOEFL test if they are planning to study abroad. Right? So, let’s explore some of the benefits of taking the TOEFL exam below:


Access to Education

One of the most compelling reasons to take the TOEFL is its significance in the world of academia. Many universities and colleges, particularly in English-speaking countries like the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, require TOEFL scores for admission. It's your ticket to pursuing higher education and securing scholarships.


Visa and Immigration

If you're planning to study abroad, your TOEFL scores can play a critical role in visa applications. It can be an important requirement for student visas, work permits, and immigration processes in certain countries, ensuring your ability to communicate in the host country.


Career Advancement

In a globalised job market, strong English language skills are an asset. Some multinational companies and employers may request TOEFL scores as part of their hiring process, particularly for roles that demand effective communication in English.


Confidence in English

Preparing for the TOEFL test is an opportunity to comprehensively enhance your English language skills. It will sharpen your reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities, giving you the confidence to navigate various professional and social situations. Moreover, in an increasingly interconnected world, strong English language skills are valuable for international communication and collaboration.


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Q: What is the minimum age to appear for TOEFL?

A: There is no minimum age required to appear for TOEFL. However, generally, students appear for this test after completing their high school studies (12th).


Q: What is the fee for applying for the TOEFL exam?

A: The TOEFL exam fee for the TOEFL iBT exam in Indian is INR 16,900.


Q: Is it better to take TOEFL or IELTS?

A: The choice between IELTS and TOEFL depends on your specific needs and the requirements of the institution you're applying to. Both tests are widely accepted, so it's best to check with the institution and choose the one they prefer or find more suitable for your goals.



In summary, the TOEFL exam is a gateway to a world of academic and professional opportunities. It's not merely a test; it's a tool that can empower you to achieve your dreams and aspirations in English-speaking environments. Whether accessing quality education or becoming a confident communicator, the TOEFL paves the way for you to succeed in an English-centric world. So, if you're considering taking that next step toward your goals, the TOEFL might be the key to unlocking your future.


Are you excited about starting your study-abroad journey? If yes, then we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study abroad. Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also provide assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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