When i’m processing with my online app in “Carleton University”, i came across a question as “First language:” the options are English, French and others. I’m confused that, Is the 1st language is similar to native language or medium of education?
Bcoz if i check for English as my first language then they are not requesting for TOEFL score. And they also had a separate question for “Language of Instruction”. Plz guide me what will be my first language : English or other. – Karthick

Why TOEFL is Required

University of Houston: All applicants who did not graduate from native English-speaking countries are required to provide adequate proof of their English proficiency before receiving admission to the university.

University of California at Berkeley – Although we do not expect all students who are not native English speakers to be perfectly fluent in English, it is clear that a student with serious language limitations will have great difficulty coping with a new cultural, social and academic environment.

Brown University – All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. These tests measure the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is used in college and university settings.

Admission without TOEFL

Wouldn’t it be nice if all non-native English speakers can get admission in universities in USA without TOEFL or IELTS?

First Language (or native language) is often referred to Mother Tongue  and the language a person has learned from birth.

Some universities waive TOEFL Score if medium of instructions was in English, but that’s very rare.

When TOEFL is Waived

According to University of Houston – TOEFL Test requirements is waived for International Students under following conditions

  • Earned a high school diploma, Associates of Arts, Associates of Science or bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. high school, college or university, or
  • Completed your education in one of the following countries; Australia, the English Speaking Caricom countries together with the British overseas territories: Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St.Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago; the English-speaking Canadian provinces, the Fiji Islands, Liberia, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Trinidad, the United Kingdom, the Virgin Islands, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

To answer your question, first language is not English if your mother tongue is not English. Assuming you are from India, English will not be your native language.

Are you applying for Carleton University in Canada or  Carleton College?


  1. Kismat Alwan on March 28, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    Hi I graduated from an Amarican school in Beirut Lebanon (Eastwod college) I want to register in a college in Boston ma ،that doesn’t require tofel I have my (sat1) score please can you help me find a collage in Boston
    Thank you

  2. mervy on October 30, 2017 at 6:54 AM

    If there is some college that don’t require TOEFL in USA please tell me the name of them

  3. mervy on October 30, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    I need to apply in USA college but I didn’t do TOEFL would I get an admission because I have all they require me but TOEFL it’s not included …thank you

  4. Annabel on July 12, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    I am omorogbe Annabel, is there anyway I can get admission into any of the american universities without a TOEFL/ielt?

  5. angaicphom on July 2, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    I want to study theology in USA .
    Please tell me is there any Bible college in USA that doesn’t need TOEFL score .

  6. egbe martha egbe on June 1, 2017 at 3:07 AM

    Hello….my question is unlike some English provinces in Canada being exempted from taking the TOEFL or IELTS exams, why can’t they also consider the English provinces of Cameroon as an exception for the exams….I studied English language from primary through secondary and high school and now I hold a Bsc all in English. I have never been to the French provinces of my country so with my mother tongue being english, i wish you try to reconsider some african countries like Camerooon or better still all those who studied in the anglophone community should be exempted from taking the exams…so many students here intend furthering their studies abroad but the fact that they have studied in English throughout their lives but are still obligated to take the English proficiency exams which is also expensive, make them give up.thank you

  7. Oladipo Oseni on March 6, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    Pls what are the requirement for international students coming for masters program from Nigeria in any university in Texas

  8. Kofi Nimako on January 19, 2017 at 4:55 AM

    Why do you not consider Ghanaians as well because we use the English Language from the Kindergarten level right up to tertiary in our education system. I think universities in America should consider graduates coming from Ghanaian schools as well.

  9. NK on August 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Hi, please can you tell me, in Canada which colleges are not demanding Toefl?

    • osman on February 3, 2017 at 4:53 AM

      I have received MBA degree in Finance/Accounting from Busoga University, Uganda in 2016 and BA degree major Accounting and management minor from the University of Asmara, Eritrea in 1999.
      The medium of instruction was English from Secondary school.
      I want to admit in Canada university for MA or postgraduate, but I have not taken Toefl or IELTS

  10. damsamty on May 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I scored 63 in my toefl exam,plz is there any hope of getting admission into any germany or finland universities bcoz I have already prepared my documents.

    • John promise on January 4, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      Pls, whats is the requirements to apply in Germany ?

  11. dharmendra banjara on July 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    i want to take without tofel in samta clara any university

  12. May Yao on February 24, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    We helped lots of students apply schools without TOFEL, the only requirement is to take ESL before or same time while taking the regular class, this is true for high school or college.

    • shilpa on February 28, 2011 at 5:10 AM


      Mayo can you please help me i have scored 71 in toefl ibt im looking for masters in computer , U.S.A(new york) can you please shortlist few colleges please.

      i have applied for 3 colleges but still want to apply for more.

    • Tsedenia on November 22, 2016 at 5:09 AM

      Hello, this is Tsedenia from Ethiopia I am 20 years of girl. I am seariosly searching to get free scholarship in any international university without IELTS/TOFEL. Please help me!

  13. Hedayat on February 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I have 530 TOEFL socore in paper based test, would it be possible for me to get admission in one of america Universities. Plz quide me

    • richa on February 24, 2011 at 7:44 AM

      I think most universities require 550 score and some require with 535-537. I would recomend you to choose some universities then go on their website to check what is minimum toefl score required by them.

  14. Venugopalan R on February 23, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Tests like TOEFL/IELTS are basically tests to prove one's English proficiency. Primarily it would be in the student's own interest to satisfy himself and others about his English proficiency. Seen this way, one should not shy away from such language proficiency tests.

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