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About the TOEFL Primary tests

1. Introduction

The TOEFL Primary is the English-language test from Educational Testing Service (ETS) designed for students from elementary school (ages 8 and up) to measure their English skills and provide a foundation for students’ future success.

TOEFL Primary tests are the newest addition to the TOEFL Family of Assessments, which also includes TOEFL Junior (for middle school students) , TOEFL iBT (for university admissions) and TOEFL ITP (for postgradute programs admission).

The introduction of TOEFL Primary completes the proficiency assessment test system of English learners from low to high levels with consistent and homogenous evaluation criteria.


2. TOEFL Primary Score Report:

- Valid worldwide, issued directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

- Band scores with meaningful information for each section, including clear descriptors of student English language skills.

-       Recommendations about the next steps students take to improve their English language abilities.

-       TOEFL Primary  scoresare highly appreciated because of the accuracy and impartiality of assessment and can be mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). 

3. The TOEFL Primary Tests – At a Glance



Number of Items

Testing Time

Score Reporting


Reading & Listening Step 1

Group, paper and pencil, with color test booklets


60 min

1-4 (star)

Reading & Listening Step 2

Group, paper and pencil, with color test booklets


60 min

1-5 (badge)

-          Reading and Listening Step 1 – Intended for students in the earlier stages of learning – covers:

  • Familiar context (e.g., school, home, playground)
  • Basic formulaic expressions
  • Basic vocabulary and phrases related to common objects and people
  • Short and simple requests and directions
  • Short and simple text relevant to everyday experiences

-          Reading and Listening Step 2 – Intended for students who have developed emergent communicative skills – covers:

  • Basic expressions, requests, phrases and directions
  • Simple short stories and conversations on topics beyond everyday experiences
  • Unfamiliar words, given sufficient amount of contextual clues
  • Simple content-based texts

4. Benefits of TOEFL Primary tests:

a.      To the students:

-    An effective tool to measure and evaluate the English-language proficiency of young learners in both academic and social settings.

-    A way to keep track of the development of learners and their progress in English class.

-    An effective way to prepare for higher testing levels, such as the TOEFL Junior and TOEFL iBT.

b.      To schools, institutions and English training centers:

-    A productive mechanism to arrange students into appropriate learning levels.

-    The test score report is designed to highlight what students have accomplished as English language learners and what they are ready to learn.

-    Gives an overall evaluation of a syllabus’ efficacy, allowing teachers and administrators to make appropriate  adjustments in a timely manner.

5. TOEFL Primary and Lexile Reading Measures

-          To help children develop a positive relationship with reading in English early on, TOEFL Primary reading scores are also matched with Lexile reading measures (and its library of more than 50,000 book titles) - a tool that helps a reader find books and articles that best match his comprehension level. Based on a text’s rating, students and teachers can determine how well student will likely comprehend a text, helping drive and monitor growth in reading ability over time.

-          Test-takers can match their TOEFL Primary score with Lexile reading measures. Using  Lexile measures, students can:

  • Find books that reflect their reading level and interests, and are challenging enough to help build reading skills.
  • Get access to the online bookstore, purchase books, and look up valuable information.

-          More information on TOEFL Primary and Lexile available at

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