## Sunday, January 29

Okay, so you want to know your TOEFL iBT score, but you don't want to give ETS \$175.00 and sit for four hours to find out. What can you do? Use the Pro's TOEFL iBT score estimator. Sounds complicated. It's not. All you have to do is write an independent essay for 30 minutes, then have it scored by an objective rater.

So let's say you scored 3.0/5.0. Converted, that's a 20/30 writing section score. Now this is the interesting part: If you scored 20/30 on your independent essay, you will score the same on the listening section, the reading section and on the speaking section. Yes, your section scores might vary a bit. Let's say you scored 22/30 on listening, 21/20 on speaking, and 19/30 on reading. Put them all together and it means you will score in the 75-85/120 range on test day.

1) write an independent essay
2) get it objectively rated by your instructor (let's say you scored 4.0/5.0)
3) convert your writing score (4.0/5.0) to a section score out of 30 total points (25/30) (click here to convert your writing score to a writing section score)
4) multiply your section score (25/30) by 4 for a test score out of 120 total points (25/30 X 4 = 100/120)
5) use 100 as a mid-point in a ten-point range (95-105/120)

The above test-taker will score between 95-105 on test day.

My method of TOEFL-score estimating is very accurate. Why? Because for years, I have recorded all my TOEFL students' practice scores this way, then averaged them at the end of the semester. For example, Anna averaged 100/120 on in-class practice tests. At the end of the semester, I said, "Anna, if you take the TOEFL iBT tomorrow, I predict you will score in the 95-105 range." What happened? Anna scored 103. Peter averaged between 85-95/120 on in-class practice tests and scored 88/120 on the official TOEFL iBT.

Why do I score this way? Because providing my students with a single TOEFL score, such as 98/120, is not possible when practicing. Even the best practice conditions can not replicate the pressure of official test conditions.

Not convinced? Take a look at the official TOEFL scores for the year ending 2009 (see scores). Notice how consistent they are? Lionel in Gabon probably scored 18/30 on his independent essay, and he scored the same - or almost the same - on the other three test sections.

Remember: The level of your English language proficiency is consistent across four disciplines: reading, listening, speaking, writing. Never do I see a writing score of 28/30 and a reading score of 18/30. Never. If you write English proficiently, you will read, speak, and hear it proficiently. Conversely, if you do not write English proficiently...Well, you get the picture.

Want to know more TOEFL iBT scoring strategies? Click on the book.