What is the TOEFL exam eligibility criteria?

Updated on: Mar 18, 2024

Are you planning to study abroad?

Excelling in the TOEFL exam is your first step!

Test of English as Foreign Language commonly abbreviated as TOEFL is an exam accepted in over 130 countries worldwide. Today more than 10000+ colleges and universities recognise this score for English language proficiency.

The exam is conducted in India over 60 times in a single year. More than half of the students rely on their TOEFL scores for studying abroad to pursue their education in their dream colleges!

Navigate your post-exam university options now

Secure your academic future

TOEFL is conducted to measure the candidate’s English language ability who are non-native speakers.

Closely following IELTS, TOEFL is the most widely attended exam worldwide. Education Testing Service(ETS), an international non-profit body conducts this test globally.

TOEFL exam eligibility

Before filling in the examination forms, eligibility criteria laid down by the ETS are mandatory to be followed religiously. Although there are not many criteria requirements for this test it’s important to know what they are.

Educational qualification

To take this exam, the only requirement in terms of education is that you should have completed your 10+2 from a valid Indian board. In other words, the candidate should have a respectable score and pass their 12th standard.

Get ahead: Strategise your university choices for after your exams

Don't miss your dream course

Age limit

There is NO age limit! Yes, you heard it right. The ETS has not set a particular age limit for a candidate to be able to sit in this exam. Although, mainly students of 18 years take this test.

Eligible score

The score is yet another TOEFL exam eligibility. It mostly depends on the universities and courses opted for by the candidate. There are cutoffs announced and if the score meets those, the candidate is considered eligible for the respective college.

Certain universities prefer candidates with a higher GPA and some work experience. This will help you to prove your candidature.

Mandatory documents

The TOEFL ID proof needs you to submit a recent photo, signature, and a valid passport. If you are an Indian student, a valid passport is a compulsory document.

It is to be taken care that photocopies are not allowed. Therefore, only original documents are required. The TOEFL exam eligibility regarding the documents is quite strict. You should make sure that your name and signature are the same in all of the documents presented to you.

Indian ID proof along with the passport is also required for taking this test. The confirmation mail printout, photograph, signature, date of birth certificate, etc are required at the time of taking the test.

Here’s a list of documents that are mandatory for a candidate during the TOEFL examination:

  • ID card
  • Date of birth certificate
  • Employee ID card
  • ETS confirmation mail print out
  • Driving license
  • Student ID
  • Notary-prepared letter
  • College/ library IDs

Failing any of these documents may cause a delay in taking up the TOEFL examination since ETS is quite strict in following its eligibility criteria.

Guidelines for retaking the TOEFL exam

If anyone wants to retake the examination, there is no set number of attempts for this examination. You can take it as many times as you want.

TOEFL exam from home

Due to the number of cases of COVID-19 increasing at a rapid rate in the past two years, students have been given the freedom to take this exam from their homes. To provide transparency, certain rules for TOEFL exam eligibility have been set.

Equipment requirement

  • Only a laptop/computer can be used. Mobiles and tablets are not allowed.
  • Web Browser: Firefox or Chrome
  • ETS has its test browser, so make sure to install and run it beforehand

Speaker requirement

  • The TOEFL exam eligibility criteria prohibit the use of headphones/earphones.
  • External or internal speakers are allowed.

Microphone requirement

  • Internal/external microphones are allowed.

Camera requirement

  • TOEFL exam eligibility allows you to use both in-built or a separate webcam.
  • A 360-degree view of the room needs to be shown to the proctor.

Environment requirement

  • The test cannot be taken in a public place like a cafe, restaurant, etc. 
  • Wearing jewellery of any type is strictly prohibited.
  • The doors of the room should be properly closed.
  • The exam eligibility clearly states that a candidate must position their laptop and keyboard on a table.

Note-taking requirement

  • Due to security issues, the candidate is not allowed to take notes on paper.
  • As per TOEFL exam eligibility criteria, candidates should only use a whiteboard with an erasable pen, since the use of a pencil/pen is not allowed. 
  • After finishing the test, the candidate ensures their notepad is empty.

Also Read: Tips to prepare for the TOEFL Exam


Where can you enquire about TOEFL eligibility criteria?

In case you get stuck or are having any doubts regarding TOEFL, you can directly contact ETS. You can dial +1-609-406-5430 from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM during the working days.

Keep your documents ready as they may ask you specific details.

Final words

The above is all about TOEFL exam eligibility. Make sure to go through each one of these before filling in the forms to make the most of this opportunity and reduce your chances of making mistakes.