TOEFL iBT 2021 – All you need to know

If you are planning to study abroad and belong from a nation where English isn’t your native language, then it will be essential for you to appear for an English Proficiency Exam before applying to an international University; there are various exams for proficiency depending on the country you choose to apply for one such exam is TOEFL iBT 2021.

In this blog, we will be discussing the TOEFL exam in detail for the year 2021.

What is TOEFL?

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an English proficiency exam given by aspirants who want to pursue their higher studies abroad in English speaking countries. Also, this exam score is accepted by over 11,000 universities and institutions worldwide, including universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the United States, and Europe and Asia. Earlier students were required to appear for the exam in their allotted centres. Still, now you can also give your test remotely at home as TOEFL is conducting Internet-Based Test 2021 or TOEFL iBT 2021, which ETS conducts (Educational Testing Services. Aspiring students need not worry about the exam dates as they can choose from multiple TOEFL Test Dates available around the year.

TOEFL Syllabus

The TOEFL iBT 2021 comes with its benefits. A student who has a good TOEFL score can easily apply for the visa process and be eligible for various scholarships provided by universities for international students.

There are various methods through which a candidate can register for the TOEFL iBT 2021; the most convenient way is an online method. Other than this, a candidate can also register via phone or through the mail. The registration is opened 24/7, making it hassle-free for the candidates. However, the registration closes seven days before the exam dates and Indian candidates appearing for the TOEFL exam are required to pay the registration fee of US$185.

Due to the pandemic, many students weren’t able to appear for proficiency exams, due to which many universities switched to optional test policy or substandard language tests .keeping this change in mind, ETS Launched the TOEFL Essentials Test for test-takers which will be available from August 21, 2021

What is TOEFL iBT?

Due to the inconvenience caused by the current pandemic COVID-19, ETS launched the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test for the convenience of students. It was launched because of the guidelines by the government of various nations where centres were shut down and to follow the guidelines to maintain social distancing. This home edition test is only valid till the situation doesn’t get better. Moreover, the score for the test will be delivered to the student in a few days. For further understanding, you can check the official website.

Eligibility Criteria

There aren’t specific Eligibility criteria for the TOEFL exam. This exam is usually given by students who wish to study abroad to get admission to universities, colleges or educational institutions of English speaking countries.

Universities offering a TOEFL waiver in US, UK and Canada

TOEFL Payment Policies

While paying the fees, candidates should keep in mind that they are required to pay the entire fee at the time the service is requested, and payments are not accepted in cash or demand drafts, post-dated checks, any currency other than U.S. dollars, receipts for bank checks, UNESCO coupons and Western Union. However, you can pay through American Express, MasterCard or VISA debit/credit card.

Registration Process

Registration for TOEFL iBT 2021 can be done via phone, online, mail, or in person at the TOEFL 2021 test registration centre. One can register for the TOEFL exam throughout the year.

Firstly the candidate should choose the kind of mode he/she wants to register through. The application process depends on the mode you choose. Let’s discuss these methods in detail.

Online Application

The easiest way to register is with your ETS account, either online or via the TOEFL official app.

  • Candidates are required to visit the TOEFL login page and create an online profile.
  • Fill in the details required, such as name, address etc.
  • Then they’ll be required to pay the registration fees, which varies from country to country.
  • Be sure to spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you will bring on the test day, which for Indian students should ideally be their Passport.
  • You will be required to pay with a credit/debit card.

Once your online registration is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the test date, start time and test centre address. This information is also available via your ETS account.

IELTS Or TOEFL : Which One Is Easy?

Phone Application

Candidates applying through phone are required to follow the following steps:

  • Call the Regional Registration Center
  • Spell your name correctly and precisely as it appears on your passport.
  • Make sure you go through the registration form before calling.
  • Pay with a credit/debit card.
  • Test takers can register by phone until 5 p.m

Mail Application

Candidates applying through the mail are required to follow the following steps:

  • Candidates are required to download and print the registration form.
  • Then fill in the details required.
  • Spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you will bring on the test day.
  • Send the form with your payment to the address on the form
  • Documents must be submitted at least four weeks before your test date.

TOEFL Exam Dates

There is no specific exam date as one can appear for the exam throughout the year. But it is suggested that a candidate appear one month before the deadline for his/her application form. This will give you enough time to prepare for the exam. Furthermore, you can also retake the exam after three days of the first attempt.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The TOEFL exam is divided into four sections – Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Each section has a score range of 0-30. Scores will be posted online six days after the test date. Together these four sections scores make the total score. The exam pattern has both MCQ and descriptive based questions.

TOEFL Syllabus

The TOEFL iBT 2021 syllabus for students includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Here is the TOEFL exam format covering the TOEFL writing syllabus, TOEFL reading syllabus, TOEFL listening syllabus, and TOEFL speaking syllabus:


Reading sections assess how well you can read and understand. This section includes 3 or 4 reading passages, each approximately 700 words long, with ten questions per passage. You have 54 to 72 minutes to answer all the questions in the section.


The listening section assesses your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. It includes listening to basic comprehension and understanding, connecting, and synthesising information. There are two types of listening items in the Speaking section:

  1. 3–4 lectures (3-5 minutes long), 6 questions each.
  2. 2–3 conversations with two speakers (about 3 minutes long) with five questions per conversation.

The speaking section assesses your ability to speak English effectively. It is composed of 4 tasks, and you are scored according to your delivery, language use, and topic development.

Question type:

Question 1 is called an “independent speaking task” because it requires you to draw entirely on your ideas, opinions and experiences when you respond.

The rest of the questions are “integrated speaking tasks” because they require you to combine your English-language skills — listening and speaking, or listening, reading and speaking.

Countries and Scholarships accepting TOEFL Scores


The writing section assesses your ability to write in English. Make sure that you can present your ideas in a clear, well-organized manner. There will be two writing tasks:

  1. An integrated task, which will be 20 minutes where you are supposed to read a short passage, listen to a short lecture, and then write in response to what you read and listened to.
  2. The independent writing task will go on for 30 minutes in which you are supposed to write an essay based on personal experience or opinion in response to a writing topic.


At the end of the test, the system scores your Reading and Listening sections instantly. Your writing responses go to the ETS, where they get scored using AI scoring and certified human raters to ensure fairness and quality. The official TOEFL iBT score become available to you in approximately six days from the test date, and test-takers who opt for the Special Home Edition of the TOEFL test would receive their results in 6-10 days from the day of the test. If the candidate had requested a paper copy of their score report before taking the test, it would be mailed within 11 days after the test date.

TOEFL Scores

Your TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the declaration of your result. If you are not satisfied with the scores on your first attempt, you can try again as there is no limitation on the number of retakes. However, there must be at least a three-day gap between your retakes.

You need not worry about the scores as there are no bad or good scores. However, you have to meet the TOEFL score requirement of the university you have applied to. Experts recommend checking the minimum requirements for the program. At the time of registration, the candidate gets the option of sending four free score reports to colleges/universities/programs of their choice.

Once you complete your preparations, you can now check your skills through solving TOEFL sample papers provided online. Since it is an English proficiency exam, experts suggest that you practice the four sections thoroughly.

Exam Day Instructions

  • Try to reach the exam centre one hour before the commencing time.
  • Further, you will not be allowed to carry any bag, eatable item or mobile phones with you in the examination room.
  • You are required to carry your valid and acceptable ID, which is valid passport proof.
  • Students won’t be able to leave the testing room or the test centre without permission, either during the test or during breaks.

Scholarships through TOEFL

The high tuition fees and expenses can be why students couldn’t go abroad for further studies. However, with the availability of various scholarships and education loans, students can finally make their dreams come true. Hence, with a good TOEFL score, it becomes easy for you to apply for a scholarship provided by international universities.