Thursday, November 14, 2013

TOEFL Scores - How Are They Computed?

Have you already taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination? What was your score? Do you wish to take it again and get a better score?

a sample TOEFL certificate indicating the taker's score (photo source)


Some candidates for the TOEFL examination are already satisfied with the scores. These are usually the required scores of companies and academic institutions that individuals – professionals and students – are applying for. However, for some, they take the TOEFL exam again to attain their personal target scores.
The TOEFL test is a computer-based examination using the four language skills – reading, listening, speaking and writing – to gauge the candidate’s expertise in using the English language. In the TOEFL, the perfect score one can get from the examination is 120 with a perfect score of 30 from each section. In some companies and schools, there are specific scores that candidates need to obtain to comply with their requirements. However, do you know how the test is scored? Here’s how. 

The ETS or the Educational Testing System score the exam using both human rates and automated scoring methods. Using these two, the score is guaranteed to be complete and accurate of the candidate’s ability.  The automated scoring method is basically used in the reading and listening parts of the exam. The automated scoring method has advantages; however, it does not directly measure the effectiveness of the language response and appropriateness of the content. This is the reason why human raters are employed to do the scoring that involves evaluating the quality of ideas, content and form. With the combination of human scoring for the content and meaning plus the automated scoring method for linguistic features, the candidate’s score is sure to be consistent and with the highest quality. 

Some may be wondering the efficiency of these human raters. ETS raters have undergone extensive training before they can work for ETS. After this training, a certification test is conducted and is calibrated daily. This calibration covers task familiarization, guidance on scoring the task, and practice on a range of responses. These raters are constantly monitored. This pool of raters is from different cultural backgrounds making them diverse and scoring is fair. This removes the biases among the judgments of raters. 

It is important for candidates for the TOEFL examination to understand how the TOEFL is scored. This will make the candidates think that the scoring is fair and accurate. They will work harder on their speaking and writing sections as these are also rated by a pool of human raters. 

1 comment:

  1. I am sure toefl is not a hard test only its required students attention.

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