The TOEFL for Indians

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TOEFL for Indians

In the journey towards pursuing higher education abroad, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, has emerged as a crucial stepping stone for students worldwide, including those from India. This globally recognized test is a testament to your English language proficiency and is often a mandatory requirement for admission into universities and institutions where English is the medium of instruction. That is exactly why we wrote this article on the TOEFL for Indians.

For Indian students, the TOEFL offers an opportunity to showcase their English language skills and open up a world of academic possibilities. However, the path to achieving a high TOEFL score may seem complex and daunting, especially with the myriad of study resources, exam format intricacies, and payment procedures. This is what makes the TOEFL for Indians a challenge.

Welcome to our comprehensive article ‘The TOEFL for Indians’, where we aim to demystify the TOEFL journey, from understanding the test structure, reviewing the best preparation materials, to navigating the payment procedures in India. This blog is your one-stop resource to unlocking your potential and achieving your TOEFL goals. So, let’s embark on this journey together, towards academic success and beyond!

Section 1: Understanding the TOEFL

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a standardized test that measures your ability to use and understand English in an academic setting. It is one of the most widely accepted English proficiency tests in the world, and is required by many universities and institutions for admission or scholarship purposes.

The TOEFL has four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each section tests a different skill and has a different format and scoring system. Here’s a brief overview of each section:

Reading: You will read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer 10 questions for each passage. The questions will test your comprehension, inference, and vocabulary skills. You will have 54 to 72 minutes to complete this section.

Listening: You will listen to 3 or 4 lectures and 2 or 3 conversations on academic topics and answer 10 questions for each audio clip. The questions will test your understanding of the main ideas, details, and speaker’s attitude. You will have 41 to 57 minutes to complete this section.

Speaking: You will speak into a microphone and answer 4 questions based on what you read and heard in the previous sections. You will also answer 2 questions based on your own opinion or experience. The questions will test your ability to communicate effectively in English. You will have 17 minutes to complete this section.

Writing: You will write two essays based on what you read and heard in the previous sections. One essay will be an integrated task, where you will summarize and compare information from a reading passage and a lecture. The other essay will be an independent task, where you will state and support your opinion on a given topic. The essays will test your ability to write clearly and coherently in English. You will have 50 minutes to complete this section.

The TOEFL is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points, with each section contributing 30 points to the total score. The minimum score required by different universities and institutions may vary depending on their policies and standards. Generally, a score of 80 or above is considered good enough for most programs.

The TOEFL is administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), a non-profit organization that develops and administers various standardized tests worldwide. You can take the TOEFL either online or at a test center near you. The online version is called the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test), while the test center version is called the TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). The TOEFL iBT is more widely available and preferred by most test takers.

Section 2: Registration Process for the TOEFL for Indians

If you have decided to take the TOEFL exam, the first step is to register for it. You can register for the TOEFL exam in four ways: online, by mail, by phone, or in person at a TOEFL test registration center. The online registration is the most convenient and preferred method by most test takers. Here’s how you can register for the TOEFL exam online:

Visit the official website of ETS (Educational Testing Service), the organization that administers the TOEFL exam. Create a new profile as a TOEFL test taker by providing your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, email address, phone number, etc. Make sure your name matches exactly with the name on your identification (ID) document that you will bring on the test day.

Choose a test date and location that suits your convenience. You can search for available test centers and dates by entering your city or country. The TOEFL exam is offered more than 60 times a year at authorized test centers around the world. You can also take the TOEFL exam at home using the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, which is a safe and convenient option for students who prefer to test at home rather than at a test center.

Pay the registration fee using an acceptable form of payment. The registration fee for the TOEFL exam in India is INR 16,900. You can pay using a credit/debit card, UPI, PayPal account, or Bharat QR. The payment methods may vary depending on how you register: through your ETS account, by phone, or by mail.

Confirm your registration and receive a confirmation email from ETS with your registration number and other important information about your test.

You should register for the TOEFL exam at least seven days before your preferred test date to avoid late fees. However, it is advisable to register two to three months in advance to secure your preferred test date and location. You can also reschedule or cancel your test if you need to, but you will have to pay an additional fee for that.

Section 3: Preparation for the TOEFL

Taking the TOEFL exam requires a good amount of preparation and practice. You need to familiarize yourself with the test format, content, and skills that are assessed in each section. You also need to improve your English proficiency in reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the TOEFL exam effectively:

Start your preparation early. Ideally, you should start preparing for the TOEFL exam at least two to three months before your test date. This will give you enough time to cover all the topics and practice all the skills that are tested on the exam.

Use reliable study resources. There are many books, online courses, and practice tests that you can use to prepare for the TOEFL exam. However, not all of them are of good quality or updated with the latest changes in the test. You should choose study resources that are recommended by experts or other successful test takers. Some of the best TOEFL preparation books for Indian students are:

Official Guide to the TOEFL Test: This is the official guide from ETS, the makers of the TOEFL exam. It includes a book with 4 full-length authentic TOEFL practice tests (online), real essay prompts and sample responses in the writing and speaking sections, and detailed explanations for every question. The price of this book is around INR 1,200 and it is available on Amazon.

Practice regularly and review your performance. You should practice each section of the TOEFL exam multiple times and review your answers carefully. You should identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on improving them. You should also monitor your progress and track your scores using score reports or score calculators. You should aim to achieve your target score or higher before taking the actual exam.

Develop effective test-taking strategies. You should learn how to manage your time, eliminate wrong choices, guess intelligently, take notes, paraphrase, summarize, and organize your ideas on the TOEFL exam. You should also familiarize yourself with the test instructions, scoring criteria, and format of each section. You should practice using these strategies on mock tests or sample questions until they become second nature to you.

By following these tips, you can prepare for the TOEFL exam confidently and successfully. Remember that preparation is the key to achieving your desired score on the TOEFL exam.

Section 4: On the Test Day

The test day is the most important day for your TOEFL exam. You need to be well- prepared, confident, and calm to perform your best on the test. Here are some tips on what to expect and what to do on the test day:

Check your appointment details. One day before your test date, sign in to your ETS account and confirm that there are no changes to your registration details, such as the time or location of your test center. You can also print out a copy of your registration confirmation number and the codes for the institutions you want to send your scores to.

Bring valid ID and other required items. You must bring an ETS-approved form of identification that contains your name, photograph, and signature, such as a passport or a national security card. The name on your ID must match exactly with the name on your registration confirmation. You must also bring a mask and proof of COVID-19 vaccination if required by your test center. You can check the latest health and safety requirements on the ETS website.

Arrive early at the test center. You should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time to check in and complete the security procedures. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test and you may lose your test fee. Follow the instructions of the test center staff and cooperate with them during the check-in and security process.

Take the test in a secure room. You will be assigned a seat in a secure room where you will take the test on a computer. You will be given a headset and a microphone for the listening and speaking sections. You will also be given scratch paper and pencils for taking notes during the test. You are not allowed to bring any personal belongings or prohibited items into the testing room, such as phones, watches, books, pens, etc.

Manage your time wisely during the test. The TOEFL exam is about four hours long and consists of four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. You should pay attention to the timer on the screen and pace yourself accordingly. You should also use the 10-minute break after the listening section to relax and refresh yourself.

View your unofficial scores after the test. Once you finish the TOEFL exam, you will have the option to view your unofficial scores for the reading and listening sections on the screen. You will also have the option to report or cancel your scores. If you report your scores, they will be sent to ETS and to up to four institutions of your choice within six days after your test date. If you cancel your scores, they will not be reported or recorded by ETS.

By following these tips, you can make your test day stress-free and smooth. Remember that you have prepared well for the TOEFL exam and you can do it!

Section 5: After the Exam

After taking the TOEFL exam, you may be eager to know your scores and how to use them for your academic goals. Here are some tips on how to receive and send your TOEFL scores:

Receive your scores through your ETS account. You will get an email when your scores are available in your ETS account, which is usually 4–8 days after your test date for the TOEFL iBT test and 11–13 days after your test date for the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition. You can also download and print a PDF copy of your score report from your ETS account. Your scores are valid for two years after your test date.

Send your scores to institutions or agencies. Your test fee includes up to four free official TOEFL score reports to be sent to the institutions or agencies that you select before you take the test. You can add or delete recipients through your ETS account until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before your test2. If you want to send additional score reports after your test, you can do so through your ETS account or by mail for a fee of US$20 per recipient. You can also cancel or reinstate your scores through your ETS account or by mail for a fee of US$20 per request.

Check when your score recipients will receive your scores. The delivery time of your score reports depends on how you took the test and how your score recipients receive scores. For example, if you took the TOEFL iBT test and your score recipients use ETS Data Manager, they will receive your scores in 4–8 business days after your test date. If they use postal mail, they will receive your scores in 10–12 business days plus mailing time. You can check the approximate delivery times for different methods on the ETS website.

Request a score review if you are not satisfied with your score. If you think there is an error in scoring your writing and/or speaking sections, you can request a score review within 30 days after your test date. You can do so through your ETS account or by mail for a fee of US$80 per section. However, if you choose any institution or agency to receive your scores, you cannot request a score review.

By following these tips, you can make sure that you receive and send your TOEFL scores smoothly and efficiently. Remember that your TOEFL scores are an important part of your academic profile and can help you achieve your dreams of studying abroad.


You have reached the end of this comprehensive guide to taking the TOEFL for Indian students. You have learned about the TOEFL exam, its format, scoring system, registration process, preparation tips, test day advice, and score reporting procedures. You have also discovered some of the best TOEFL preparation books for Indian students and how to use them effectively.

We hope that this guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the TOEFL exam and how to prepare for it. We also hope that you feel more confident and motivated to take the TOEFL exam and achieve your desired score.

The TOEFL exam is not an easy test, but it is not impossible either. With proper planning, preparation, and practice, you can ace the TOEFL exam and prove your English proficiency to the world. You can also open up many opportunities for studying abroad and pursuing your academic goals.

If you found this guide useful, please share it with others who might benefit from it. You can also leave a comment below and let us know your feedback or questions. We would love to hear from you and help you in any way we can.

Thank you for reading this guide and good luck with your TOEFL exam!

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