TOEFL Eligibility Criteria - Test of English as a Foreign Language


The Educational Testing Service (ETS) does not mention any specific educational or age related eligibility criteria to appear for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In fact, TOEFL can be taken by any candidate who wants to study outside his/her native country (where English is not the native language) and has to demonstrate his/ her proficiency/ fluency in English

Get to know here about TOEFL eligibility criteria.

Who appears for the TOEFL?

Simply put, the TOEFL score can reflect your English proficiency. The following kind of people take the TOEFL test:

  • Students who want to study abroad for higher education
  • Those who want to take admission/ exit to English-learning programs
  • Candidates applying for certain scholarships and certifications
  • People trying to learn the English language and want to track their progress
  • Students and professionals applying for visas


Some institutions and universities in the US provide admission to international applicants without Test of English Foreign Language score  on the basis of certain conditions:

  1. If you have a degree or diploma from a college in an English-speaking country like the United States, UK, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. If you’re applying for a PG program, then you’re exempted from writing TOEFL if your bachelor’s degree is from a regionally accredited U.S college/ university.
  2. If you have studied at least 3 years in a school/ college where the main language of teaching was English.
  3. Some American universities offer admissions to non-native English speaking candidates if they undergo the Intensive English Language Program (IELP.) IELP is a university-level preparatory course for international students that teaches basic English skills.
  4. You don’t need a TOEFL score if you have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5.5 (undergraduate applicants) or 6 (graduate & postgraduate applicants.)
  5. A few examples of universities that don’t need a IELTS or TOEFL score compulsorily are the California State University, Drexel University, State University of New York, University of Iowa, University of Arkansas, University of Dayton, University of Delaware and University of New Orleans.

Students should contact the institutions directly for admission without TOEFL scores, as the exemptions above do not apply at all institutions/ universities. Please note that for all the above mentioned cases, you may need to submit proof to be eligible for a TOEFL exemption.

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