TOEFL scores are different from the ones you find in Europe and other parts of the world. Many language exams nowadays base their scoring on CEFR levels or align their own scores with it. The CEFR stand for the Common European Framework of Reference. It is specific to language learning but one to only one language.
Here are the 6 CEFR levels and a little description of what each one means. They cover all four skill areas – reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
|Basic User||Understand and use basic expressions
Introduce themselves and ask questions for personal information
Interact simply as long as the other person speaks slowly and clearly
|Basic User||Understand frequently used expressions
Complete tasks that are routine and involve direct exchanges
Describe situations of need in simple terms
|Independent User||Understand topics relating to family, work, and leisure
Deal with most travel situations
Create simple tests on personal topics
Describe experiences, events,give opinions etc
|Independent User||Understand the main idea of a difficult text
Interact with people without planning or strain
Produce a detailed text
|Proficient User||Understand a range of conversations
Able to speak for longer
Express ideas comfortably, without delay
Use formal and informal language, depending on the situation
Create structured and detailed texts
|Proficient User||Understand almost everything read or heard
Summarize information from a range of sources
Express themselves in complex situations
Now that we have looked at what the CEFR level mean as far are language ability is concerned.
A lot of research has been done to properly map TOEFL ITP scores to the CEFR. Many papers were studied and scores were mean tested, amongst others, to make sure that the levelling is accurate. If you are interested to know more, the research document that explains the band descriptors is available from the ETS website.
Let’s see where the TOEFL ITP score correlate to. The overall conclusion of the research is the table below.
|CEFR||TOEFL ITP cut|
|Listening||Structure and Written Expression||Reading|
How can I achieve the score I want?
- Study hard but make sure you get a good night’s sleep too!
- Practice study skills and complete language activities too. They are both important.
- Get a score goal.
- Focus on areas that you feel need improving.
- Read anything available in English e.g. free newspapers etc
- Practice listening to spoken English e.g. talk radio
Where can I get help?
You can buy official books, talk to people who have taken the test, Google TOEFL ITP (but be careful of invalid sources), or let us help you in your learning journey. Global Exam is a great study platform we build to assist language exam candidates. Our materials are of a high quality and our success rate is impressive.