Post-pandemic Increase of 59% in TOEFL Test Takers in India: ETS


The number of TOEFL test takers in India has surged by 59% since international travel resumed following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Corresponding with this trend, Indians made up 12.3% of the total test takers globally in 2022, up from 7.5% the previous year. The growth in Indian test takers reflects rising aspirations to study or immigrate abroad, with interest extending beyond traditional destinations like the US and UK. Sachin Jain, Country Manager at ETS India and South Asia, highlighted the increasing appeal of countries such as Singapore, Australia, France, and Sweden. Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) program, which offers expedited study permit processing for international students, recently approved TOEFL as an accepted test, further boosting Indian participation.

The top Indian cities with the highest number of TOEFL test takers are New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. TOEFL is widely accepted by universities worldwide, making it a preferred choice for Indian students aiming to study in English-speaking countries. In the US, top institutions for Indian TOEFL test takers include New York University, Columbia University, Boston University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the UK, popular destinations include the University of Hertfordshire, the University of East London, Kingston University, and the University of Leicester.

To enhance the TOEFL experience, ETS introduced several changes in July 2023, including reducing the test duration to less than two hours and providing candidates with their official score release date upon completion. These changes aim to meet the preferences of Generation Z test-takers for a faster and more concise test while maintaining the test’s credibility.

India’s growing interest in international education is evident in the rising number of students studying abroad. In 2022, the country sent over 750,000 students abroad for higher education, reaching a six-year high. India even surpassed China as the country with the most international students in the US in 2022.

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