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Put Your Students on the Right Path, Right From the Start

The TOEFL Primary® tests are the newest addition to the TOEFL® Family of Assessments and the first step on a student’s path to reaching his or her full potential.

TOEFL Primary ® Tests

The TOEFL Primary® tests are assessments from ETS that help you shape young students’ English-language instruction in a way you never could before. Based on the rich heritage of the TOEFL® test and best practices in English-language testing

 TOEFL Primary® tests are designed to:

Assess the general English-language proficiency of young students ages 8+

Provide a snapshot of each student's ability in listening, reading and speaking

Support teaching and learning by giving information about students' abilities in relation to a widely accepted international standard 

The goal of the TOEFL Primary tests is to measure students’ English-language communication skills and progress in English classes — and provide meaningful feedback about their abilities.

Each test provides reliable scores, and scores from all tests are mapped to Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels. TOEFL Primary® Reading scores are also matched to MetaMetrics® Lexile® measures, making it easier to find the books and articles that best match students' English reading levels. 

Different Test Components for Students at Different Levels

TOEFL Primary® Reading and Listening tests assess students' knowledge, skills and abilities to fulfill core communication goals in English. They are offered at two levels of proficiency, Step 1 and Step 2, so that you can select an assessment that more closely matches the skills your students have acquired. 

TOEFL Primary® Reading and Listening Test — Step 1

A paper-delivered test of reading and listening proficiencies designed for young students at the beginning stages of learning English.

TOEFL Primary® Reading and Listening Test — Step 2

A paper-delivered test of reading and listening proficiencies designed for young students who have acquired some communicative English skills.


The TOEFL Primary® Speaking test is designed for students at many different levels of English ability, from beginners through more proficient speakers. 

TOEFL Primary® Speaking Test

A computer-delivered test of speaking proficiency suitable for young students at various levels of English‐language proficiency. 

TOEFL Primary® Reading and Listening Test — Step 1

Step 1 is intended for students in the earlier stages of English learning and covers: 

Familiar contexts (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 

TOEFL Primary® Reading and Listening Test — Step 2

Step 2 is intended for students who have acquired communicative English skills and 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 

TOEFL Primary® Speaking Test

The Speaking test is intended for Reading and Listening test takers — Step 1 or Step 2 — and covers:

Giving simple descriptions
Expressing basic emotions, feelings and opinions
Making simple requests
Asking questions
Giving directions
Explaining and sequencing simple events 

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is a widely used tool for understanding different stages of language development and proficiency. The CEFR provides descriptors of language performance across a broad range of tasks that are mostly relevant to adult language learners. CEFR descriptors modified to reflect young language learner ability are used to evaluate TOEFL Primary® test content and determine the student’s proficiency level according to the CEFR. Large age differences should be kept in mind when comparing CEFR levels across different assessments.

Lexile measures, from MetaMetrics®, help students, teachers and parents select reading material appropriate for a particular student’s English reading ability. Lexile measures are based on a developmental scale for measuring both readers and texts.


Discover the Ways the TOEFL Primary® Tests Can Help You 

Guide Your Teaching Goals


Monitor student progress

Identify students’ strengths and weaknesses

Determine instructional plans

Inform placement decisions, if appropriate

Focus your work with both individual students and groups

Shape your communication with parents about student learning

Handbook for the TOEFL Primary ® Tests 

View latest handbook for information on what to do before the test, what to expect on test day, getting ready for the test, score reporting, and policies and guidelines.

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Handbook for the TOEFL Primary ® Tests (Teacher Edition)

View Teacher handbook to get more information 


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Each test provides reliable administration, scoring with meaningful and detailed feedback to help young learners progress.


Valid and reliable tests that support educational purposes and reflect the latest research innovations.

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Pioneering new ways to assess English-language proficiency for over 55 years, the research behind our advancements in English language learning and assessment.

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