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Study in the UK, Get There With the TOEFL® Test

If your sights are set on the  United Kingdom for your study abroad adventure, you’re not alone! International students comprise almost 20% of the student population in the UK, which boasts over 150 higher education institutions including some of the best universities in the world. The UK is such a great place to study that it was ranked fifth in Europe and eighth in the world for studying abroad!

The UK has a global reputation for the excellence and quality of its education, and every university has its own entry requirements. Since English is the de facto official language and spoken in the vast majority of university programs, non-native speakers will need to prove their proficiency in English. 

The TOEFL® test is one of the most popular ways to prove your English proficiency and is widely accepted in the United Kingdom. 

Where are most international students in the UK from?

Most international students in the UK are from China, but there are also many students from India, the USA, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Italy, France, Germany, Nigeria, and Ireland. Therefore, the vast majority of international students coming to the United Kingdom do not speak English as a first language and must take a test of English proficiency like the TOEFL® test.

How to use TOEFL® scores to study in the UK

If you’re a citizen of a European Union member country, you don’t need a visa to study in the UK if you arrive before 1 January 2021! To use your TOEFL test scores, just find out if your university of choice accepts TOEFL scores.

I Need a Student Visa to Study in the UK 

Although there have been some changes in the visa rules from the UK Home Office, prospective students can still use TOEFL iBT® scores to obtain Tier 4 student visas. The TOEFL test is not currently on the list of Secure English Language Tests, or SELTs, but universities can make their own assessment of English proficiency using scores from tests like the TOEFL test in a process called vouching.

To use your TOEFL test scores under the vouching provision, the following must be true:

  • Your chosen UK university accepts the TOEFL iBT test for admissions purposes (99% of UK universities accept the TOEFL test).
  • Your course of study will be at degree level or higher*
  • You meet the TOEFL iBT score requirement for university entry and your course of study.
  • You meet the TOEFL iBT scores at the B2 level set by the Home Office for immigration. These scores are: 
    • Total: 72
    • Reading: 18
    • Listening: 17
    • Writing: 17
    • Speaking: 20

*As a result of COVID-19, some UK universities may accept TOEFL scores at B1 for pre-sessional courses, where progression on to the main degree level course is dependent upon passing the pre-sessional course.

For Pre-sessional Courses – B1 level, the scores required are:

  • Total: 42
  • Reading: 4
  • Listening: 9
  • Writing: 13
  • Speaking: 16

Where are TOEFL® scores accepted in the UK?

The TOEFL test is the English-language test most preferred by universities in the US, France, Germany, and Canada and is widely accepted in the UK. If you’re one of the 35 million people around the world who has taken the TOEFL test, you’re one step closer to obtaining your student visa to study in the UK!

Today, the TOEFL test is used by 99% of universities in the UK for admissions, including 100% of all Russell Group® institutions. Russell Group universities are world-class, research-intensive universities, any of which would make a great choice for your study abroad experience. 

If your chosen universities accept TOEFL scores under vouching provisions (send them an email or give them a call if you’re not sure!), it’s time to register for your TOEFL test!

Make sure to check your prospective school’s list of admissions requirements.

Ready to take the test?

Learn more and book your TOEFL® test today!

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Last update: 06 May 2020

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