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What's a competitive TOEFL score?

SandroRodriguesSandroRodrigues Registered User Posts: 683 Member
edited February 2011 in International Students
I realize some international students go to the US for their high school careers. No need to say that these applicants (in the case they apply to American universities) have probably greater aptitude to take the TOEFL than others who are in the same category (internationals; English as a second language) but have never lived in the US.

Is anything in this context taken into consideration while comparing international applicants?
Post edited by SandroRodrigues on

Replies to: What's a competitive TOEFL score?

  • periklisperiklis Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    They probably look at it because they will see in the student records that the school attended was an American in which they spoke English all the time.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,171 Senior Member
    The TOEFL is not used like SAT scores; it's more of a pass/fail thing. Colleges need to know whether your English is good enough to function in an American classroom. Many colleges will waive the TOEFL requirement for applicants with sufficiently high Critical Reading scores on the SAT.
  • periklisperiklis Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    It is not exactly pass/fail cause depending the university the score they require varies.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,171 Senior Member
    Yes, that's the point. If a university requires a TOEFL score above 100, it doesn't really matter if you score 103 or 113. As long as you are above their institutional recommendation, you are good. TOEFL scores are pass/fail in that sense.

    Your SAT scores and grades and letters of recommendations and essays say way more about your academic preparation, potential, personal qualities and professional aspirations. Universities have little to gain from scrutinizing TOEFL scores. (That is different for undergraduate and graduate applicants, by the way. Graduate students are often funded on teaching assistantships and that's why the speaking subscores might be given more attention.)
  • SandroRodriguesSandroRodrigues Registered User Posts: 683 Member
    Here's a response I got from MITChris in an MIT forum thread:

    "I think it's fair to say we treat the TOEFL as a bar that must be hurdled. If you clear a 90, we know that you can handle English well enough to do classes at MIT. As long as we're confident on your ability to handle the English language enough to succeed here (i.e., clear a 90), we're going to be fine with it, and not compare apples to oranges.

    In other words - clear a 90, and don't worry about it."
  • pakipowerpakipower Registered User Posts: 585 Member
    i think the 'bar' is closer to a 100. the 90 is just a minimum used to attract more applications.
  • periklisperiklis Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    That is true get 100+ and you are ok I think.
  • macmillmacmill Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    The most competitive TOEFL score is not having to take the TOEFL at all because you are already fluent in english.
  • paukidpaukid Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    They dont ask for the TOEFL to kids that studied in an english speaking country or if they attended at least the last three years, a school where classes are imparted in english.
  • GreekStudentGreekStudent Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    Actually, a high score in TOEFL can boost ones chances for admission...
    I got a low CR score(600), while a very good TOEFL score (111)...and got accepted...
    so, I think that TOEFL showed the admission committee that my english in good, despite the low CR...
    My advice: get the best TOEFL score you can possiibly get... take the exams once, twice or even three times.
    Good Luck :-)
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,171 Senior Member
    Congratulations on your acceptance to Middlebury!!! A 600 CR score is not at all low for a non-native speaker. Good job! I am sure Middlebury was impressed by other accomplishments besides your TOEFL score.

    There's generally no need to retake the TOEFL if you make 100+ on the first try. I have heard several admissions people say that they don't look at TOEFL scores once you are past the benchmark, and not a single one saying they do care.
  • ArarVenArarVen Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Guys, I got 680 in CR and I I'm EFL...
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,171 Senior Member
    Your point being...?
  • paukidpaukid Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    I second Barium
This discussion has been closed.