Students often ask questions like: “If I get 17 answers right in the reading section, what is my final score?”

The answer, of course, is something like: “I have no idea. Every test is different!”

The best I can do is share this chart from the new Official Guide to the TOEFL.  Check it out:

As you can see on the chart, if the student answers 17 questions correctly, their final score could be anything from 22 to 28 points!

That’s because the difficulty level of every test is slightly different, and scores are adjusted accordingly. I think the boffins at ETS call this process “equating.”

And in the listening section?  The same thing!  Here’s the listening chart from the same book:

So, as you can see, not every TOEFL test is the same.

And one more note, since it answers a frequent question:  the unofficial reading and listening scores displayed at the end of the TOEFL are scaled scores.  


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