The Surge in Indian Students Taking the TOEFL Exam

As soon as the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted, there was a noticeable surge in the number of Indian students going abroad. According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the number of people taking the TOEFL exam in India increased by a remarkable 59 percent since the resumption of international travel that was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from Princeton-based ETS shows that Indians accounted for 12.3 percent of the total test takers globally for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in 2022, up from 7.5 percent the previous year. This substantial increase in the number of Indian candidates is in line with the overall rise in the number of Indians studying abroad and immigrating.

Further data reveals that there was a remarkable 53 percent increase in the number of Indian TOEFL exam takers in 2021 compared to the previous year. In 2022, this number saw an even more impressive increase of 59 percent compared to 2021. These numbers unequivocally indicate the growing aspirations of Indians toward foreign countries as destinations for education and immigration.

Sachin Jain, the country manager of ETS India and South Asia, pointed out that this trend is not limited to traditional destinations like the US or UK. The destination landscape has become broader, reflecting a more diverse range of choices. He emphasized that this number is expected to rise even further as more score reports are received from Indian candidates studying in countries like Singapore, Australia, France, and Sweden.

What is the TOEFL Test?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a venerable exam with a history spanning over 60 years. It is recognized as the most widely accepted test for assessing academic English proficiency across all levels of candidates. TOEFL assesses students’ knowledge of the English language and reveals their proficiency in standard English.

TOEFL is primarily designed for students whose mother tongue is not English and who use English as a second language. This comprehensive test is accepted by over 12,000 institutions in more than 160 countries. Remarkably, it is universally recognized by over 98 percent of universities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Top Institutions for Indian TOEFL Test Takers

Indian students aspiring to study in the United States can apply to a plethora of prestigious institutions. Some of the top US institutions where Indian TOEFL test takers apply include:

  • New York University
  • Columbia University
  • Boston University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cornell University
  • Arizona State University
  • California Institute of Technology

In the United Kingdom, Indian candidates can explore opportunities at institutions such as:

  • The University of Hertfordshire
  • The University of East London
  • The University of Greenwich
  • Kingston University
  • The University of Leicester
  • The University of the West of Scotland
  • The University of Northampton

Changes to the TOEFL Exam

Starting July 26, ETS has implemented several changes to enhance the TOEFL test-taking experience. These changes include:

  • Reducing the test time to two hours, down from the previous three-hour duration.
  • Allowing candidates to view the release date of their official scores immediately upon completing the test.

These updates aim to create an optimal testing environment for individuals taking the English Language Proficiency Test.

In conclusion, the remarkable increase in Indian students taking the TOEFL exam reflects their growing enthusiasm for pursuing education and opportunities abroad. The TOEFL test continues to play a pivotal role in assessing English language proficiency and opening doors to academic excellence around the world.

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