TOEFL Requirements 2023: Documents & Minimum Requirements Guide

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Test of English as a Foreign Language, popularly called TOEFL, is an international level test for people belonging to non-English speaking countries who want to study or work abroad. Since English-speaking countries like the UK, United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia teach academic courses at the university level in the English language, they require proof of English language proficiency from international students to ensure that they will be able to understand the courses taught in the colleges.

TOEFL test scores for English language skills like reading, writing, listening and speaking as well as foundational English skills like vocabulary and sentence creation. Over 11,000 institutions accept the TOEFL score as valid proof of English language skills. Students who wish to pursue higher studies in native English countries have to give TOEFL after completing school. The TOEFL test scores have a validity of two years. However, there are certain TOEFL exam requirements that applicants have to fulfil at the time of registration for TOEFL. This blog discusses the requirements for the TOEFL exam in detail and tells who can write the TOEFL exam.

TOEFL Requirements

The following are the different TOEFL requirements for Indian students.

Eligibility Criteria

There are no eligibility criteria for giving TOEFL. There is no bar of age or class for taking TOEFL. It is mostly given by people in non-native English countries who want to study or work abroad. Indian students who want to take the TOEFL to study abroad must have completed their 10+2 or equivalent from a recognised educational board in India. This is because foreign universities accept applications from students who have completed their school. However, Indian students who give TOEFL in class 10th do not have to give it again after the 12th. They can use the earlier TOEFL score to apply to foreign universities because TOEFL test scores are valid for two years.

There is also no upper age limit to give TOEFL. People of any age can take the TOEFL test multiple times. Moreover, ETS hasn’t put a limit on the number of TOEFL tests one can take. People can take the TOEFL exam an unlimited number of times. However, there should be a gap of at least 15 days between two TOEFL tests.

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TOEFL Requirements 2023: Documents & Minimum Requirements Guide

General Identification Requirements

The applicants must enter identification information while registering for the TOEFL test. The following are the general identification requirements for TOEFL.

  1. The identification document has to be original and not photocopied.
  2. It has to be a physical document and cannot be presented on a mobile phone or any other electronic device.
  3. The ID must be a national or state identification card issued by the Government.
  4. The ID document must contain the full name and date of birth of the candidate, and the details must match the name and date of birth provided at the time of registration.
  5. There should also be a recent photograph in the ID and should have the candidate’s signature.

For Indian students, ETS considers a valid passport with a name and signature as the primary ID. However, ETS is also considering the Aadhar card as the primary ID for TOEFL temporarily. Candidates must carry the origin Aadhar Card and not the photocopy.

At Home Requirements for TOEFL iBT Home Edition

People can take TOEFL iBT at authorised test centres in India or other countries. However, ETS also allows flexibility to test takers. They can take the TOEFL test online within the comforts of their home through online proctored mode. However, there are special TOEFL requirements that test takers have to follow if they wish to give the TOEFL test at home. The following are the equipment and environment TOEFL requirements for the TOEFL iBT home edition or paper edition.

Equipment requirements

The essential requirements to give TOEFL iBT are the equipment requirements. It includes the following:

  1. Test takers have to take the test on a laptop or computer. It is not allowed to take the test on mobile devices or tablets.
  2. Applicants can use only one screen or monitor at a time. They cannot open the test on dual screens.
  3. The laptop or computer must have licensed versions of Mac OS or Windows operating system. Applicants cannot give the test through unlicensed versions. For PC, Windows 8 or 10 operating system is required, and for MAC OS, 10.13 High Sierra is recommended.
  4. The TOEFL iBT test has to be given through the ETS test browser application.
  5. Applicants have to download and install the ETS test driver extension on their Chrome browser.
  6. Also, during the test duration, candidates cannot use a headset or earphones. They have to compulsorily use an internal or external speaker to communicate with the proctor or an internal or external microphone that is not connected to a headset.
  7. For remote proctoring, test takers have to use the in-built camera on the computer or laptop or use an external webcam.
  8. Before the test, the candidates have to give a 360-degree view of their room and table to ensure that the test taker does not indulge in malpractices.

Environment and testing space TOEFL requirements

Test takers have to adhere to the following environment requirements in addition to the above-mentioned technical requirements.

  1. Test takers have to ensure privacy while taking the test. They have to give the test in a room where they are seated alone. It is not allowed to give the TOEFL home edition in a public space like an Internet cafe or a park.
  2. The computer and keyboard must be kept on a top or a table surface while taking the test.
  3. Test takers might also be required to position themselves in such a manner that the door of the room is visible to the proctor in the camera.
  4. The tabletop where the laptop or computer is placed has to be clear. There should be no notes or studying material on the table.
  5. Test takers have to dress up appropriately for the test, and their head is to be visible in the camera throughout the test. Also, they cannot cover their ears with their hair during the test.
  6. Also, test takers require a whiteboard with erasable markers to take notes during the test. The notes have to be erased at the end of the test.

The test takers must follow the above-mentioned requirements for the TOEFL exam before they register for the TOEFL iBT home edition test. Applicants are not allowed to give the test if these requirements are not met, and they are also not provided with a refund or free rescheduling option.

TOEFL is the most popular English language proficiency test for nationals of non-native English countries. There are several benefits of giving TOEFL. First, TOEFL test scores are accepted at nearly all the prestigious institutions across the world. TOEFL test takers become eligible to apply to a large number of academic programs in foreign universities.

The second and best advantage of TOEFL over other English language tests like IELTS is that there are no TOEFL minimum requirements or TOEFL exam criteria. People of all ages or nationalities can attempt TOEFL unlimited times. Also, the TOEFL iBT home edition provides more flexibility to the applicants. However, the test takers must follow TOEFL test requirements for taking TOEFL at home, or they are not allowed to sit for the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When to register for the TOEFL iBT Test?

    TOEFL iBT registration is done through the official website of the Educational Testing Service (ETS). People can give the TOEFL test at the authorised TOEFL test centres on any weekday. It is recommended that applicants choose the TOEFL exam date at least 2-3 three months before the college application deadline so that there is ample time to receive test scores before the college application deadline. Also, the registration process for TOEFL must be completed at least four months before the preferred test date.

  • How to register for the TOEFL iBT Test?

    There are three ways of registration for the TOEFL iBT test – registration with an ETS account, by phone, and by email. Registration with an ETS account is the easiest way. You have to create an account, select the TOEFL test, choose the location, date, and time, and complete the registration. For registration by email, test takers have to download the form available on the ETS website and mail the completed form to the authorised institution.

  • What documents are required for identification on the TOEFL test day?

    On the test day, applicants have to carry an ID to the centre for identification. The name and date of birth on the ID must match the details mentioned at the time of registration. The ID must have been issued by the Government and must be an original document. Photocopies of ID are not valid. The ID must also include the candidate’s photograph and signature. International student ID, employee ID cards, or birth certificates are not considered valid IDs.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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