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Low TOEFL Score: Where to Apply

Those who want to study abroad often have to take the TOEFL language test. But what if you've been working really hard, and the result is still poor?

If you have not decided on a destination and a university yet, do not rush to take the test again. Many universities have pretty low acceptance rates.


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an international test designed to measure the English-language proficiency level of non-native speakers. It is often required when one wants to enroll in foreign universities or get a job abroad.

TOEFL is primarily used in the US, but it is recognized by other countries too. It is only available in the academic format but it can also act as an assessment tool for immigration agencies and foreign employers. The total test takes about 3-3.5 hours to complete.

The highest TOEFL score you can get is 120 which means 30 for each skill section (Writing, Speaking, Reading, and Listening). There are two types of the test: paper version (PBT – Paper-based Test) and online version (iBT – Internet-based Test).

If you want to learn more, we have a whole article about how much time you need to prepare for the test, how to find a TOEFL teacher, and whether it is possible to make it without a tutor.

Where to Apply With Poor Scores


Hotel Institute Montreux, a private hotel school, is ready to welcome students with an IELTS score of 5.5 or TOEFL iBT of 55 and above for the Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management program.

To enroll in Geneva Business School for International Management, one needs to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, a TOEFL score of 70, or a document confirming that they studied in an English-speaking environment for at least three years.


Low TOEFL scores should not stop you from applying to universities in Italy. Bocconi University accepts students with TOEFL iBT scores starting from 88, while the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan requires a TOEFL iBT score of 68 and more.


To be admitted to NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, one has to get 80 in TOEFL iBT and 550 in TOEFL PBT, or 6.0 in Academic IELTS (with 5.0 being the minimum score for each section).

HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht has a passing score of 80 in TOEFL iBT.


To enter undergraduate programs at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, one’s TOEFL iBT score needs to meet a minimum of 60-80, while postgraduate programs require applicants to earn a score of 90 and above.

Undergraduate programs at the Melbourne Institute of Technology accept students with TOEFL iBT scores ranging from 60 to 90.

TOEFL iBT 60 is enough for Master of Networking, Master of Engineering (Telecommunications), Graduate Diploma of Networking, Bachelor of Networking, Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Telecommunications), and Bachelor of Business, which means an applicant needs to gain the minimum score in each section (12 for Reading, 20 for Writing, 11 for Listening and 17 for Speaking).


Schiller International University requires a TOEFL iBT of 80. The same score would work for Medical Devices & Healthcare Management (MDM) at Hochschule Furtwangen.

To study at Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, one needs to have a B2 level of English proficiency, which is a 72 in the TOEFL.


The TOEFL iBT threshold score at Waterford Institute for Technology is 70, with 15 being the minimum acceptable score for each section. To get into the National University of Ireland, Galway, an applicant needs to gain a score of 88.


Colorado State University takes students with a TOEFL iBT score of 81 and higher. The threshold score at Cleveland University is 78.

So don’t get upset if your TOEFL results are not great. Even the minimum scores can get you not only into private colleges and business schools but also into public universities all around the world.