TOEFL is done, 109! Undecided about Harvard

Some good news! I’ve scored 109 in TOEFL! Enough for any top business school :). I was very concerned about not getting 104, the required minimum of Chicago Booth.

I’m very happy, this score was my ultimate goal.

The breakdown is:
– Reading: 29/30
– Listening: 29/30
– Speaking: 22/30
– Writing: 29/30

I’m a bit disappointed with the speaking score (worse than my previous attempt in March), as I think I did much better this time. I hope it’s nothing related with the microphone as during the exam I had to change it several times as no one worked fine (remember the story about the exam conditions).

However, I think the score is fair and the breakdown shows the reality of my English level. The speaking is by far the point I should improve from now to the beginning of the MBA. I will concentrate on that once I’m done with the applications.

This score may help me decide to apply to Harvard (its requirement is 109). Honestly Harvard is not my top choice, but well, it’s still Harvard… I will see if the application is easy and doesn’t need too much effort.



  1. ¡Enhorabuena! Your blog helped me sooo much the day before the test, it helped me to stay calmed down and reassure me. I was so nervous because I only had one week to prepare it properly. Also, coming from a Spanish like me it was like sharing many feelingsI think my English is quite good, I've been living in England with British people and my only problem was staying with enough concentration and the timing of the test.I took the exam on the 28th and your scoring/rubric tables and your templates also provided me with very valuable information.The day of the test I was very nervous (como un flan) but also confident. The test is the last condition I have to meet to join a masters in London and another issue with the iBT (apart from the noise and distractions in the room) is that it's always linked with something very important in our careers (the MSc in my case, and the MBA in yours). I just said to myself "stay focused and do your best).I need 90, with 24 in writing and 20 in speaking. It's much less than your MBA requirements, but as they ask ask me some specific requirements for the essays and the speaking I was quite scared.Once I was there I started very slowly, with many distractions and also still rather scared. I think I found the reading test a bit tougher than the Kaplan tests which I used to practice. I had a bit of trouble with the last question because the reading part terminated with a minute yet to go :s I reported this problem but continuing with the listening. This part was the most difficult for me. It was a longer one, 5 lectures, and in the end it was so difficult to stay focused… the notes I took weren't very good and I think I messed up with one of the lectures. I don't know if they take into account all of them but still, overall I did a good job considering how long this part was.The speaking and writing were as usual. In the first one I was fluent but with some interruptions (uhm… ehm…) due to the lack of time. In the writing, I couldn't read over the essays properly and don't know if they don't like longer essays (the first was 250 words when they ask for 175-225 and the second was 320 when they ask for 300).[…Follows…]

  2. Chema, thanks so much for your great debrief of your exam, I hope you achieve your target score. I'm glad this blog helped you.Regarding the length of your writing essays, for my experience they like long essays (I also wrote a lot). What I think is essential is to let at least 5 minutes to review them.Please let us know how it turns out!Good luck,rid

  3. Rid and all the blog readers, I achieved my target score!! 114 (R:30, L:29, S:28, W:27). I literally jumped of joy when I saw the results. Rid, I have to thank you for al your help, especially with the templates. I really hope you also succeed in your career and can join the course you like.Good luck with everything!


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