How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

It depends

Students may sit for the TOFEL as many times as they wish to increase their score. A score is considered valid for two years from the test date. I recommend that students compare their TOEFL scores to that of the admissions requirements of schools that they are considering as good fit schools. If a student has a TOEFL score that is a good match with the schools that they are applying to then they should stop taking the exam. International students who attend a high school in the US and who are required to take the TOFEL to apply to an American college or university may apply for a fee waiver. The eligibility of a TOFEL fee waiver is determined by economic need and not by merit.

Robin Farris

TOEFL exams and fee waivers

You may only ask for one fee waiver during your senior year when applying to colleges. You can, however, take the TOEFL as many times as you would like before the application deadline, as well as after the deadline, you can take it again and send those scores as well, especially if your scores have improved.

Don Tamminga

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

I would go to the official TOEFL cite in order to find the answers to these questions. Generally, take the exam as often as you can until you achieve the score you want. Also, fee waivers depend on family income and need so the official cite again is where I would go.

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic Decisions

Just one!

Just one is sufficient

Brad Jackson
Director of College Counseling San Domenico School

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

You can take as many TOEFL Exams as you need. When you submit your TOEFL you only send in one score and colleges do not know how many times you took the test. I am not sure if you are asking about Fee Waivers for the TOEFL or for College Applications. Both are possible to get. Students in the USA can get ETS fee reductions. There are no waivers I know of for students outside the US. College applications can allow for fee waivers, each college differs in how they are given but your school counselor can approve you for the waiver in most cases if you meet the criteria.

Kathleen Harrington
Owner New Jersey College Consulting

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

Plan your exams accordingly. With proper preparation and remediation you score can improve significantly. There is no limit on the amount of times you can take the TOEFL test however, keep in mind that preparation and dedication are key in increasing your score. Be mindful of application deadline dates. You want all your application materials and test scores to be available when a college counselor is reviewing your application. To register and take a test close to the application deadline, may hold up the review of your application because of a missing TOEFL score. Keep in mind that you will need to focus time and attention on your applications. If you have to take exams on top of completing applications, you may be adding stress to your college process. Fee waivers are accepted for US residents. An application for a fee-reduction can be found on the TOEFL website in addition to reduction guidelines.

Nicholas Umphrey

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

The TOEFL is a different exam than most college admissions exams in that your most recent score is the score that is honored. Unlike the SAT or ACT where the highest score is honored in multiple tries. Thus, take the TOEFL when you feel like you have a good command of the English language. As a rule of thumb, most tests are worth taking 2 times. Fee waivers are available to those with financial need.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

How many TOEFL exams should I take before the application deadline and can I ask for a fee waiver?

You may take as many TOEFL exams as you wish, but try to make sure you prepare wisely as you don't want to waste time and money taking exams for which you are ill-prepared. If you are a college bound non-native English speaker and a high school senior, you may be eligible for a fee waiver if you meet certain other financial requirements. Please check out the ETS site here for more information: http://www.ets.org/s/toefl/pdf/toefl_fee_reduction_service_guidelines.pdf

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

TOEFL

Ideally you should take it one time and try to score above a 100 for the most competitive schools. There is no limit to the number of times you can take it but you will pay the fee for each sitting. Seniors attending high school in the United States who are non-native speakers might be eligible for a one-time reduced fee depending on their demonstrated need. This does not count for foreign exchange students. Go to the TOEFL site for details.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

TOEFL Tips

The TOEFL examination is used to determine a student's language proficiency. It should not be used to determine a candidate's potential for academic success at a given institution. Therefore, you should determine the minimum score needed to demonstrate proficiency and prepare and take the TOEFL until that level is satisfied. Unlike the SAT, an above average score won't be a plus factor for admission. If you do not meet the minimum score to satisfy proficiency requirements, don't be discouraged. Some schools (University of Maryland for one) offer semi-intensive English instruction alongside collegiate coursework for students still needing support for proficiency. As for a fee waiver, domestic students should seek one from their high school counselor. Students who will need an F1 visa for matriculation are unlikely to receive a fee waiver for the TOEFL.