3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is TOEFL really necessary?

I have heard that many top tier schools are looking at the SAT EBRW score in case we don't take the TOEFL. Would you recommend taking it? Note: I have my SAT coming up too and also it's expensive. I'm an international student studying in an English medium school. Thanks.

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@rgzz3 years ago

I'm wondering where u got the info that EBRW can replace TOEFL?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Paras3 years ago

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! I believe all of the above responses are valid. I will provide some elaboration but here is my recommendation to start: if even one school that you are considering attending only will allow and requires the TOEFL than it is necessary to take the exam.

That being said, as @CameronBameron mentioned, there are plenty of alternatives at most schools in place of TOEFL. One I would like to add is the verbal portion of the SAT -- a high enough score will allow you to bypass TOEFL requirements. It is worth mapping which schools you are applying to that require English proficiency testing -- so you know what you have to submit. Most schools that request TOEFL will require it for international students who do not come from English-medium schools or English is not their native language.

Additionally, I will add that TOEFL scores are often graded on a "pass/fail" basis. So as long as you have a passing score, you should be good to go. The scale that you pass is not a huge factor in admissions.

For more information, check out this blog post:



3 years ago

The TOEFL is not necessary if the college you are applying to also accepts either IELTS, Cambridge Assessments, or Duolingo. If I were you I'd look into Duolingo because it's accepted by 1500 schools including most of the Ivys and top Elite Colleges. Plus you can take it at home and it's like $49 USD which makes it the least expensive alternative.


Good Luck

3 years ago[edited]

if you asking if you should take TOEFL, then the answer is yes, I think you should. as an international student myself, the international pool is super competitive, 99.9% students have taken TOEFL and a lot of them have high scores. this is a language test, so you need to prove your English language fluency which is fundamental for studying in the states. and most importantly, most colleges require international students' TOEFL score.

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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