TOEFL Score analysis - Can that score really hurt my application?

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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:42 pm

TOEFL Score analysis - Can that score really hurt my application?

Post by PedroSouza » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:18 pm

Hey guys, I received today the results of the TOEFL test I took October 19th.

My results are:

Reading : 30/30
Listening: 29/30
Speaking: 26/30
Writing: 24/30
Total: 109/120

It was a good overall result as I expected, since I consider my english to be very good for a non-native speaker. I think this is more than enough for most of the US Universities. However, I was checking the minimum TOEFL requirements to apply to UChicago and it's said in their website that they prefer a minimum of 26 in each section, except for the speaking one, to which they require 24, and a 102 minimum overall. They say that applicants below the minimum scores are still considered but may be in disadvantage for admission.

Well, as you can see I got more than the needed results in every aspect except for the writing, in which I got 24 instead of 26. I was wondering if this can really hurt my application, specially because my overall score was considerably higher than what they ask for and because in accordance to ETS' Performance Descriptors 24 is still considered to be an Advanced Level score.

This is a really expensive test and retaking it just in order to meet this writing requirement for one specific university doesn't sound great...

So, in summary I'd like to know if this can really hurt my chances of being accepted in Chicago or not. I mean, if they consider making me an offer to which extent can it determine their final decision?

I know that it is difficult to give an accurate answer, but I would like to read your sincere opinions...thank you so much!!

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Re: TOEFL Score analysis - Can that score really hurt my application?

Post by Nishikata » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:19 am

I did not apply to UChicago, but from the other universities I applied to, I got a feedback that if you did not meet the TOEFL requirement only, they may still send you an offer that comes with a stated condition of fulfilling the criteria by the matriculation date. In such case, the applicant can re-take the TOEFL test after getting the provisional offer which is great. However, this applies only to borderline cases like yours, but not to candidates which are miles off the minimum score.

The good thing, is that you did not meet the criteria in writing. This is more easily verified by checking the GRE AW scores, which can help your case if it is a 5-6. However, if you fail the speaking section, that will be more difficult to counter-prove.

TL;DR: I don't think it is a problem. It won't matter as long as other parts of your application is stellar.

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