Generally, yes, you can send multiple TOEFL scores to a school or university, and they can date any time as long as they are no more than 2 years old. However, each school or university will have its own rules, so you should make sure to research these rules on their respective websites.
These are the important rules you need to research before you try to submit multiple TOEFL scores:
- What is the deadline? Also, do you need to send an “official” score? You usually can send multiple TOEFL scores as long as they arrive before the deadline. Also, most of the time, the school or university will want you to send an “official” score. This means that you need to sign up to send the school your score directly from ETS (the company that does the TOEFL).
- Does the school or university “superscore”? “Superscore” (sometimes spelled as “super score”) means that the school will take your best section scores from different TOEFL tests to give you the highest score possible.
- So this means that your highest Reading section score will count, your highest Listening section score will count, your highest Speaking section score will count and your highest Writing section score will count from all the different TOEFL tests you send to the school. For example, if you sent two TOEFL scores to a university:
- Test 1: Reading 20, Listening 20, Speaking 18, Writing 22, with a total of 80;
- Test 2: Reading 18, Listening 18, Speaking 22, Writing 21, with a total of 79;
- If your school “superscores,” then your final TOEFL score is Reading 20, Listening 20, Speaking 22, Writing 22 for a total of 84.
- If your school does not “superscore,” that usually means that it will take the highest score from a single time you took the TOEFL. That would mean the school would use the Test 1 score (with a total of 80).
3. Finally, some schools might think it is strange if your TOEFL score increases a lot in a short period of time. For example, if your first TOEFL score is 74, then your second TOEFL score is 103 one month later, some schools might not believe your second score. They may ask you to take a third TOEFL to make sure.
Overall summary: If you are thinking about submitting multiple TOEFL scores, this is a good strategy overall:
- Research the TOEFL rules for each school or university you are interested in via their websites. What is the deadline? Do you need to send official scores?
- Take high-quality full-length TOEFL practice tests online before the real TOEFL to get a good estimate of your expected score. This will help you figure out which schools are realistic for your expected score.
- Sign up to take the TOEFL early—minimum three months before the deadline (TOEFL scores are good for two years, so there is no risk signing up early). Give yourself extra time in case you need to take the TOEFL more than one time.
- On the real TOEFL, sign up to send your official scores to different types of schools. Choose a mixture of “dream schools” that require a high score that you are not sure you can achieve, “realistic schools” that require a score that you are pretty sure you can achieve, and at least one “back-up school” that requires a lower score than you feel can achieve.
- When you finish the TOEFL, if you feel like you did a terrible job, then cancel the scores. Don’t send your scores to the schools. Even if it feels like a waste of money, your education is important and you don’t want to risk sending schools a poor score.
- If you receive a TOEFL score that is lower than what you expected, practice your weakest areas before trying again. The best way to figure out how to improve is to take our online practice tests. Don’t try to take the official TOEFL again until you figure out how you can improve your score. You don’t want to submit more than two or three official scores to a school.