ETS has just published its “Test and Score Data Summary” for 2021.  This document contains a ton of valuable information, including average scores (and section scores) overall and in specific countries.

The average TOEFL score is now 88 points.  That’s an increase of one point since last year.

Here’s a history of the average score since the test began:

  • 2006: 79
  • 2007: 78
  • 2008: 79
  • 2009: 79
  • 2010: 80
  • 2011 (not available)
  • 2012 (not available)
  • 2013: 81
  • 2014: 80
  • 2015: 81
  • 2016: 82
  • 2017: 82
  • 2018: 83 
  • 2019: 83
  • 2020: 87
  • 2021: 88

As you can see, this year’s jump is not as wild as in 2020, but a one point increase is still significant.

Here’s how the section scores changed (compared to last year):

  • The average TOEFL reading score is now 22.4 (+0.2)
  • The average TOEFL listening score is now 22.6 (+.03)
  • The average TOEFL speaking score is now 21.1 (-0.1)
  • The average TOEFL writing score is now 21.6 (+0.1)

I pay special attention to trends in a few key markets.  I noticed that in all of the countries I track, the average score is unchanged.

  • The average score in China is 87 
  • The average score in Korea is 86 
  • The average score in Japan is 73 
  • The average score in Brazil is 90 
  • The average score in India 96 
  • The average score in the USA is 93

At first glance, it seems like the overall score increase is due to smaller markets “catching up” to the increases in the rest of the world that were observed in last year’s numbers.

 

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