What is the English proficiency level of a 90 score in the TOEFL iBT?


Many English learners who are thinking of studying abroad will be planning to take the TOEFL. The TOEFL score may be required to be submitted when studying abroad as an admission standard. In addition, since it is possible to measure the abilities of the four English skills, it may be used for the purpose of confirming the English level of working adults who want to improve their English proficiency comprehensively.

This time, we will explain the English level of TOEFL 90 points, preparation for the TOEFL test, and measures necessary for improving the score. If you are going to challenge TOEFL and aim for 90 points, or if you want to aim for a higher score, please refer to it.

What is the TOEFL 90-point English level?

If you can get a TOEFL score of 90, you may be wondering what your English level is. The TOEFL is a 120-point test, so you can see that the 90-point score is reasonably high. Here, I will explain the specific level of TOEFL 90 points.

Can read, write and speak academic English

TOEFL is a 120-point test, with 30 points each for reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Assuming you score evenly in every section, you need to score at least 23 points. The TOEFL 90-point level can be said to be an intermediate-advanced level with a very high level of English proficiency.

You can read and write advanced and long sentences, including academic themes at the university introductory level. Even if the information is not clearly presented in the passage, you will be able to combine the information and read the content. You can also correctly recognize the importance of the information in the text.

In addition, you can speak fluently in English and understand the main information and details even in complicated contents. You can understand the logical relationship of the information given, and you can correctly grasp the purpose even with fragmentary information. You can also show your opinion accurately and explain it to the other person.

You can apply to a general university overseas

As you can see from the official name "Test Of English as a Foreign Language", TOEFL is a test conducted for non-native English speakers. It is actually used as an application/admission standard for educational institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

TOEFL 90 points is a level at which you can apply to general universities and some higher schools. There are still not enough points to apply to the highest level educational institutions in the United States, but some top schools may be able to take advantage of their scores.

Highly appreciated in business

TOEIC score is often emphasized in business. However, TOEFL, which tests all four English skills, is a more difficult test than TOEIC. In some places, the recognition of TOEFL is lower than that of TOEIC, but if you can get a high score in TOEFL, it will be highly evaluated by foreign-affiliated companies and global companies. If you are thinking of changing jobs, moving overseas, or promoting to a company that is focusing on overseas business, the TOEFL score may be more useful.

However, even if you get 90 points or more in TOEFL, it is different from the level of a native speaker. Learning practical English in the workplace requires experience and familiarity. Especially when doing highly specialized work such as technology and finance, it is important to carry around a dictionary, input new words every day, and keep learning.

How do you convert 90 TOEFL points into TOEIC and Eiken?

If you convert 90 TOEFL points to TOEIC scores, you can say that it is about 870 points. As a non-native, I have the ability to use English fluently at a level where I can communicate in English sufficiently. With a wide range of vocabulary knowledge, you will be able to understand the content while grasping the logical relationships over a wide range even in long sentences.

In addition, it can be said that getting a TOEFL score of 90 to 100 is a very high level worthy of Level 1 when replaced with Eiken. Level 1 of the Eiken is supposed to have an English proficiency equivalent to that of an advanced university, and not only knowledge of English, but also the ability to communicate and express in English is required.

Measure points to get 90 TOEFL points

High English proficiency is required to break the TOEFL score of 90, but an overall strategy is also required for the exam. Especially for those who have a TOEFL score of 70 or higher at the moment, the score may be sluggish. Also, some people say that even if they get a high score in TOEIC, they do not get a score in TOEFL. If you are self-taught, you may be confused about how to study, or you may have too many assignments and all of them will be untouched.

To get a TOEFL score of 90, it is effective to set a target score for each section before taking the exam, thoroughly vocabulary, and work on mastering high school English. Here, we will introduce each countermeasure point.

Set goals for each section

TOEFL is a total of 120 points, with 30 points for each of the reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. To break through 90 points, it is efficient to set goals for each section and study systematically.

Ideally, you should get a good balance of 23 points or more for any skill, but if you want to use TOEFL for study abroad or job hunting, you should get 90 points for any score structure. Determine your strengths and weaknesses at the moment, and take measures to ensure that you can score in the areas that are easy to score. Also, if your score is sluggish, you can take the time to focus on the sections you are not good at.

Acquire 10,000 word level vocabulary

To overcome the 90 TOEFL barrier, you need to have a vocabulary of about 10,000 words. However, if you are already at the intermediate level or above, you can say that you have acquired the basic vocabulary of about 5,000 words. It is a good idea to learn a new vocabulary of about 5,000 words.

Vocabulary is difficult to learn in a short period of time, so it is recommended that you learn it little by little. It is effective to purchase a word book for TOEFL and take measures. It will be easier to acquire knowledge if you study the same vocabulary over and over again. To aim for 90 points, you need to master the advanced vocabulary.

Master high school English level grammar

Knowledge of grammar is useful for all sections. If you are not good at grammar knowledge, focus on mastering high school English grammar.

If you have high school English grammar knowledge, you can apply it even in practical situations. On the other hand, if you have anxiety about your grammar level, it will take time to make up for the lack of knowledge later.

If you are worried about your high school English grammar knowledge after taking the TOEFL test, it is recommended that you review and master it. Choose and use grammar-themed reference books and workbooks at the high school English level in an easy-to-use format.

[By skill] Study method when aiming for TOEFL 90 points

Here, we will introduce the study methods for getting 90 points in TOEFL by reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Please refer to it as a measure to improve your score in each section of TOEFL.


Many test takers will find it easy to score TOEFL reading questions without studying abroad or having overseas experience. The point of improving the score is to improve your vocabulary. Since many questions are asked in the academic field, it is recommended that you practice long reading comprehension while strengthening your vocabulary with the TOEFL vocabulary.

Also, in order to complete the solution in time, it is effective to practice while being aware of the reading speed. TOEFL reading questions must be answered in 18 minutes or less per long sentence, in about 1 minute per question. You will also need to acquire the skills to instantly identify problems that can be solved and problems that cannot be helped over time.

Solve the TOEFL problem book repeatedly at a fixed time

Prepare a collection of questions for TOEFL, set a time limit, and ask exercises. Some of the question books provide an estimate of the answering time. It's a waste to not be able to answer the problems that you should be able to solve due to lack of time, so it is recommended to practice with the problem collection repeatedly while being aware of the sense of speed.

In the TOEFL dedicated question collection, there are many cases where explanations in the form of questions and tips for answering are explained. You can steadily improve your level by selecting the problem collection that suits your current level.

Read newspapers and dissertations to get used to reading

Extensive reading of English texts such as newspapers and dissertations will help you become accustomed to reading and read faster. If you are reluctant to write long sentences, start with sentences that are based on the subject of your interest. By reading newspapers and dissertations, you can acquire new knowledge other than English and increase your intellectual curiosity.

If you read a lot of English sentences other than the workbook, you will be able to overcome your weakness in long sentences. Another advantage is that you can check how to use the vocabulary learned in the vocabulary in the actual context, and you can distinguish between important information and non-important information in a long sentence.


To get a high score in listening, you need to understand all the content of the audio and then capture the nuances and detailed information. TOEFL deals with lectures and themes on academic themes.

Candidates find it difficult to use vocabulary used in academic fields, abstract expressions and complex sentence structures, and speaker intonation. You need to understand the logical and causal relationships of the information given, and distinguish between what is important and what is not. Also, even if the information given is not presented in order, the ability to understand the meaning correctly and reason appropriately is required.

Try pronouncing the part you couldn't hear in the script

In listening learning, it is necessary to look at the script to thoroughly understand the parts that could not be heard in the audio material. You may not be able to grasp the information correctly due to partial missed English sentences.

It is effective to choose a reference book or a collection of questions with a script and try to pronounce the sentences that you could not hear. Listen to the parts you don't understand repeatedly, practice with shadowing and repeat, and then try to pronounce them yourself. By repeating this step, you will understand the reason why you cannot hear it, and it will be easier to get the hang of it, so your listening skills will improve.

Shadow the audio of official exercises and past exercises

By shadowing the audio attached to the official workbooks and past exercises, you can get used to the tendency of vocabulary and sentences that are easy to ask in TOEFL. Even if you have a high level of listening ability, you will not be able to earn points unless you understand the contents of the meetings and lectures handled by TOEFL. To enhance the listening of the themes covered in the production, it is effective to shadow using the TOEFL specialized problem collection.

Shadowing, which follows and pronounces to imitate the voice you hear, trains not only your speaking ability but also your listening ability. The point of shadowing is to pronounce it exactly like the voice. Only by pronouncing it yourself will you notice details such as English rhythm, intonation, and voice changes. Understanding these characteristics of English will help improve your listening comprehension.

Practice how to take notes efficiently and effectively

Due to the large number of questions, some people may lose their concentration. In the listening section, it is also important to devise a way to take notes. If you understand the meaning of the voice correctly, there are many problems that can be answered straightforwardly, so it is recommended that you focus on the main points and take notes instead of recording everything.

From the stage of studying for the exam, it is a good idea to practice writing down the main points such as subjects, subtopics, phrases that are likely to be key points, proper nouns, dates, and numbers. You don't have to write non-essential information, so you can focus on listening without being too distracted by the act of writing.


Speaking ability is required to be able to discuss academic content and complex themes in addition to general and familiar topics. Acquire the skills to speak clearly, fluently, and clearly to the other person.

Speaking ability is one of the four skills that is difficult to master. Especially since many people face few opportunities to speak English, it is necessary to control the tendency of TOEFL and take intensive measures.

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Practice expressing your opinion on news and social issues

TOEFL requires you to express your opinion in time. As a countermeasure, it is useful to have regular training to give your own opinions on news and social issues. Listen to English news and talks and practice speaking out your opinions within the time limit.

If you record your speech using a smartphone etc., you can listen to your English and analyze it objectively. Check that you understand the meaning, that you can explain your opinion logically, that you use the vocabulary correctly, and that the expressions are not childish. It is natural for an English learner to make small mistakes while talking, but if you make the same grammatical mistakes many times or if you have a good pronunciation habit, you need to fix it by the time of production.

Develop practical speaking skills through actual conversation

It is effective to practice by yourself using the recording function, but if you improve your practical speaking ability while actually having a conversation, the level will improve dramatically. Conversations with third parties can be immersive, and you may be asked questions you didn't expect or you may not be able to explain what you want to say.

Talking with a native speaker or an English teacher will help you correct mistakes and teach you expressions, so you can steadily improve your skills. In conversation, it is important not only to speak but also to listen, so it is an advantage that you can improve your listening skills through actual conversation.


The TOEFL writing problem is a bottleneck section for those who are not familiar with English. However, it is also a field where you can demonstrate your strength in production if you take measures.

At the advanced level, which scores 90 points or higher, the ability to accurately express in English on general topics is required. Even on complex topics and academic content, you need writing skills to articulate your opinions and ideas.

Make writing a habit and develop your English writing skills

If you make it a habit to write in the preparatory stage, it will not be a pain to write in English even in production. It is difficult to improve your writing ability in a short period of time, so it is important to repeat the training to write English composition by moving your hands on a daily basis. While looking at the reference book, increase the range of expressions that can be used, and let's make the expressions that you have learned once and use them in English composition.

If you create a template of your own English composition, you can apply it in production and it will be easier to write. Also, if you memorize your own ideas and experiences in sentences, you can output with confidence according to the theme of the question. By training in writing, you will be able to prevent the expressions and contents you want to write in production from becoming irritated.

Have the English text corrected

It is effective to have a native or professional instructor correct the English sentences you have created to improve your score in the writing section. Even if you make and remember the material of English composition, if you use it incorrectly, you will not be able to score in the actual production. By having someone with English proficiency check it, you can confidently add your own correct English sentences to your repertoire.

Also, by having a third party look at you and receive advice, you can understand your weaknesses, mistakes, and habits. You will also be able to learn ideas and expressions unique to English, and your expressiveness will be improved.

Points when aiming for TOEFL 90 points or higher

From here, I will introduce the points of learning when aiming for 90 points or more with TOEFL. A score of 90 or above requires a very high level of English proficiency. As you enter the advanced level, many people will find it difficult to improve their scores because they will end up doing what they can do. Please refer to the points introduced below.

Improving listening skills is essential

By the time you get a TOEFL score of 90, you have considerable vocabulary and grammar. If you improve your ability to hear and understand English voice from there, it will be easier to reach the correct answer by linking it with the vocabulary and grammar skills you have already acquired.

Also, as advanced English learners improve their listening skills, they can apply their skills not only to listening problems but also to other skills. In particular, in TOEFL, there is a complex problem called "Integrated Task" that requires skills of multiple skills.

The Integrated Task of Writing is a flow of reading a short passage first, listening related to the content, and then summarizing the content by writing. In the Speaking Integrated Task, you read the passages, listen, and answer verbally about what you read and hear.

Therefore, in order to aim for a high score in TOEFL, it will be essential to strengthen your listening skills.

If you can pronounce it, you will be able to hear it.

Focusing on learning pronunciation and acquiring the correct knowledge will help you improve your score. Being able to pronounce correctly will not only improve your speaking skills, but will also improve your ability to hear English.

It is effective to concentrate on learning pronunciation such as phonetic symbols, English-specific rhythms, intonations, and liaisons. In particular, voice changes such as liaisons are the number one cause of English learners' stumbling blocks in listening. A systematic understanding of how pronunciation works will help you understand what you've missed or couldn't understand in your listening comprehension.

Improve your listening and pronunciation with English conversation lessons

For those who have learned English by themselves, it may be difficult for them to improve their scores when they reach the advanced level. Taking English conversation lessons and receiving advice and guidance from professional language teachers can dramatically increase your score.

In English conversation lessons, you can actually pronounce English and practice in front of the teacher. You will notice that you have memorized it by mistake, and you will be able to point out pronunciation mistakes and habits. Also, in the case of one-on-one lessons, you will be taught the measures necessary to improve according to your level of understanding and level. Another advantage is that you can absorb live English during the lesson.