How TOEFL iBT® remains the premier test of English-language proficiency

Published: October 23, 2023

Have you heard?

TOEFL iBT is now accepted for Canada's Student Direct Stream (SDS) Program. This means you can use your TOEFL iBT score to help you fast-track your application to the Canadian government for a study visa. In addition, the TOEFL iBT is accepted by 100% of colleges and universities in Canada.

In addition, the TOEFL iBT® test recently implemented some exciting enhancements – and they’re all with test takers in mind!

But before we get into what is changing, let’s start quickly with what’s staying the same – namely, what makes the TOEFL iBT test the best choice for demonstrating your English ability:

  • The TOEFL iBT test continues to be the most accepted and respected English-language test worldwide, used by more than 12,000 institutions in more than 160+ countries.
  • A TOEFL iBT score provides you with the best indication of your English-language proficiency in an academic setting – in other words, the skills you’ll need for college and university classrooms.
  • The test remains valid, reliable and secure.
  • The score scale is staying the same which means that universities’ TOEFL iBT score requirements can stay the same, too. So, if you’ve recently conducted research on college/university score requirements and set a target score for yourself, it will still hold true!

    Discover more information on TOEFL iBT!

Sounds great, right? Now that you know TOEFL iBT can serve as your ticket to study abroad, let’s review the enhancements in detail:

1) The test is shorter. As of July 26, 2023, the TOEFL iBT test can be completed in under two hours. It’s now the shortest test among the three most widely used English-language testing options. Here’s what contributed to the time reduction:

  • Streamlined test instructions and navigation. The upfront material, instructions and collateral have been simplified, so you can spend more time focusing on the test questions themselves.
  • Removal of all unscored questions. Every question you answer now counts directly towards your score – meaning, you no longer have to worry about unscored questions or sections.
  • Shortened Reading section. You can showcase your reading abilities in less time as the Reading section has been shortened by one passage and associated test questions. All task types within this section remain consistent.
  • New Writing for an Academic Discussion task. Much like a discussion board task you’ll see in university classroom settings today, you’ll be provided with a topic and asked to state your opinion within an online forum. The task will take less time than the previous Independent Writing task it replaces, while still providing sufficient evidence that your Writing skills are what institutions are looking for.

2) The registration experience is better. Creating an ETS account and registering for the test is now faster and easier than ever before, which leaves you more time in your day to focus on all the other activities on your busy schedule.

3) Score delivery is more transparent. We’ve implemented a couple things to make the process of receiving your scores more seamless and less stressful. First, once you complete your test, you’ll not only continue to see your unofficial Reading & Listening scores, but you’ll also see the date you can expect to receive your official scores for all four test sections. In addition, you’ll receive real-time notifications when your score status changes, giving you more insight on where your scores are in the process.

To recap, the TOEFL iBT test and experience are getting even better while continuing to unlock more opportunities than any other English-language test out there.

So, you’ve learned all about what to expect. What should you do now?

1) Visit the TOEFL website to create an account and find a test date that works for you. You’ll have the option to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test centre near you, or from the comfort of home with TOEFL iBT Home Edition.

2) Check out ETS’s test prep options. Regardless of when your test date is, we have a variety of prep materials that can help you navigate what to expect on test day. Check out our new TOEFL Go! app, which features AI-powered scoring, performance feedback, coaching and tips, and more. We also offer dozens of sample questions for the new Writing for an Academic Discussion task. The TOEFL iBT Free Practice Test and TOEFL iBT Practice Sets are also great tools that reflect the enhanced test. Check out the TOEFL website for a full listing of prep options.

3) Prepare and build confidence. Have you heard the saying; practice makes permanent? The more you practice your English-language skills, the better prepared – and confident – you’ll be on test day. This can only help you achieve your target score!

4) Show off your skills on test day. Get enough rest, eat a good meal, do some meditation – whatever the routine looks like to put you in the best mindset. And show off everything you know!

5) Share your success with us. We’d love to hear how you did on test day. Did you achieve your goal score? Secure admission from a dream university? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Discover more information on TOEFL iBT!

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Will Canada make its current international student off-campus work hours policy permanent?
Portrait of a girl with a backpack and school supplies in the hallways of the university campus with her classmates in the background.
Can I extend or renew my Post-Graduation Work Permit? 
Happy business man listening to a discussion in an office boardroom. Business professional sitting in a meeting with his colleagues.
What are my options if I need to defer my enrollment after obtaining my Canadian study permit?
Large group of students cheering at college sporting event
Changes to Canada’s inadmissibility fees starting December 1st, 2023
Canadian flag over Quebec city
Top Stories
Getting to know IRCC’s decision-making committees
Housing Accelerator Fund: New housing in 10 Canadian cities
Why should I enter the Express Entry pool now despite a temporary pause in draws?
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Express Entry
Why should I enter the Express Entry pool now despite a temporary pause in draws?
Edmonton skyline
How does IRCC decide when to hold Express Entry draws?
There are many possible reasons IRCC has not been holding Express Entry draws.
IRCC holds Express Entry draw for healthcare occupations; third draw this week
Candidates have been invited in the latest Express Entry draw.
Express Entry targeted occupations: How many healthcare workers does Canada need?
healthcare workers
Link copied to clipboard