The TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE™ (TOEFL®) Test measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings.

The TOEFL Test is administered by American not-for-profit organisation Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Many colleges and universities in the United States require or recommend TOEFL test scores as part of their application process for international students whose native language is not English.

The TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT)

TOEFL is offered in New Zealand as an internet-based test. TOEFL iBT tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The test helps students demonstrate that they have the English skills needed for success.

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Who needs to sit the test?

You may need to sit the TOEFL test if your native language is not English and:

  • you are applying to study at a university in the US;
  • you are applying to be a teaching assistant as part of your (post)graduate programme at a US university;
  • you are applying for a license to work as a doctor or nurse in the US; or
  • you are applying for university entrance or professional licensure in New Zealand.

However, many US institutions do not require you to sit the TOEFL test if:

  • you hold a degree or diploma from a postsecondary institution in an English-speaking country; or
  • you have successfully completed at least a two-year course of study in which English was the language of instruction.

Please check admissions criteria of the institution(s) you intend applying for in order to determine whether you need to take the test.

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Where can I sit the tests?

There are TOEFL test centers in Auckland and Dunedin.

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When can I sit the tests?

The TOEFL test is given on set dates throughout the year, although not every test centre offers the test on every test date. For the most current information regarding test centers and dates, visit the TOEFL iBT online registration system on the ETS website.

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What do I need to do to sit the tests?


You can register online at the ETS website, by phone or by mail. Registration forms cannot be faxed.

Online and phone registrations require a valid credit card. Regular registration closes seven days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test). Late registration (which incurs an additional fee of US$35) closes three days prior to the test date (not including the day of the test).

To register by phone, call +61 2 9640 5899.

To register by mail you need to obtain the TOEFL iBT Registration Bulletin, which you can download from the ETS website.

The registration form must be received at ETS at least four weeks before your earliest test date.


The 2012-2013 fee for taking the TOEFL iBT in New Zealand is US$245.

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How can I prepare for the test?

Candidates who register for the TOEFL test will receive access to a TOEFL iBT Sampler to help them become familiar with all four sections of the Internet-based test (free of charge).

The ETS website also offers test-taking tips and strategies, and free access to a TOEFL Practise Online community with practise questions and discussion boards.

ETS publish an official TOEFL study guide – The Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test – which can be purchased online from the ETS store. Popular study guides are generally also available to purchase from major book shops and online booksellers.

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Further information

For other useful information visit the ETS’s official TOEFL website – – or contact our educational adviser, Shauna Mendez: / (04) 494 1500

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TOEFL is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE is a trademark of ETS. This website is not endorsed or approved by ETS.

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