The TOEFL exam is one of two well-recognized tests that is used to measure and prove English proficiency. Along with the IELTS (its British counterpart), the TOEFL exam is widely viewed as an international standard, so it’s no surprise that there are some fees associated with taking the test. This article will examine how much the TOEFL exam fee is, as well as other factors related to its costs.
How Much is the TOEFL Exam Fee?
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The TOEFL exam fee varies due to location, but prospective test-takers can generally expect to spend between $180 to $250 USD to cover the base registration. In some situations, however, there may also be other fees to consider. For example, last-minute registration costs an additional $40 USD. Unforeseen circumstances such as cancellations or postponements can also incur additional fees. The chart below details the extra items that ETS (Educational Testing System) offers and their associated costs
|Reinstatement of canceled scores
|Additional score reports (per institution or agency)
|Speaking or Writing Section score review
|Speaking and Writing Section score review
Although the TOEFL exam is administered internationally, all fees paid to ETS must be in USD. In most cases, taxes are included in the fees unless otherwise specified.
How Do I Pay the TOEFL Exam Fee?
There are various ways to pay the TOEFL exam fee. They include credit/debit, e-checks, PayPal, paper cheques, and money orders. Each payment method is subject to an individual’s initial method of registration. Cash is not accepted, nor are post-dated cheques. The chart below details each registration type’s accepted forms of payment.
|Electronic Check (e-check)
|Paper Cheque or Money Order
Why is the TOEFL Exam Fee So Expensive?
For a standard test, the TOEFL exam fee may seem steep. The TOEFL exam, however, is one of two primary tests of English proficiency. It is recognized by institutions and organizations across an international sphere, therefore it is in high demand. There are also multiple ways that test-takers can utilize their scores. The TOEFL exam can be used to meet a prerequisite for university admission while also allowing someone to pass a job interview. So although the cost is high,
taking this test opens many doors of opportunity. In addition, each testing center is independently owned. Although ETS designs and administers the TOEFL exam, testing centers are responsible for hosting the examination itself which includes providing up-to-date equipment, tools, and the appropriate facilities.
Are There Any Student Discounts?
Some institutions or training centers may offer extra support (financially or academically) which may alleviate the burden of taking the TOEFL exam itself. Unfortunately, there are no current widespread discounts offered to prospective test-takers except for the TOEFL Fee Reduction Service which is only available to American high school seniors. This service is intended for students in the United States who are in their last year of high school and require a TOEFL score for university or college admission. It covers 50% of the cost of the regular exam fee.
How Difficult is the TOEFL Exam?
With its sizeable fee, the TOEFL exam can maintain its professionality and reputation. With that said, some may worry that the high cost equals a high level of difficulty. It is worth remembering that the TOEFL exam does not exist to deceive test-takers. Its primary goal is to provide an accurate overview of one’s English proficiency. So while the test may be challenging in some facets, it is only as difficult as the test-takers ability allows it to be. For high school students, the TOEFL exam is generally considered “easier” than the IELTS test. This is largely credited to its grading scheme and test structure. The TOEFL exam consists of excerpts from university texts for each of its four sections, but the questions are mostly multiple-choice, and the speaking section is simply recorded without any interactor from an examiner or invigilator. In short, many students find the test challenging, but as long as they have prepared themselves, then they should be able to apply their skills to do well on the test.
Can I Take the TOEFL Exam at Home?
In addition to testing centers, it is possible to take the TOEFL test in your own house or location of choosing. This can be done via the “TOEFL iBT Home Edition” or the “TOEFL iBT Paper Edition.” With various testing centers temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the take-home versions of the TOEFL exam have become especially popular. The Home Edition essentially functions as a virtual class over online platforms such as Zoom or Webex. Test-takers will be monitored by a proctor via webcam and screen sharing, and rules will be strictly enforced before, during, and after the exam period. For those without an internet connection and/or computer, the Paper Edition provides an alternate option. This version does not consist of a speaking section, however, and as such, a total score is not provided.
What Do I Need to Take the TOEFL Exam at Home?
Although it’s easy enough to decide to take the exam at home, there are still some requirements before being allowed to do so. Test-takers will have to prove that they have access to a quiet and private space with sufficiently working equipment. For the Home Edition, a desktop or laptop computer with an approved and licensed operating system is required. A browser download and equipment check will also need to be conducted prior to the test day. It is important to note that exams interrupted due to connectivity, technical, or security problems may not be subject to refunds or rescheduling. Therefore, ensuring the proper facilities is vital in avoiding additional fees.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned, testing centers themselves will have individual policies which may result in additional fees. Anyone who plans to take the TOEFL exam will also have their own requirements and/or preferences which will affect the final cost itself. Make sure to plan ahead and make inquiries specific to your situation beforehand to take the TOEFL exam fee and its associated costs worth it!