Many universities have a minimum required score for speaking section. In particular my top choices Notre Dame (23) and Northwestern (26).
Some other universities that require a minimum speaking score, are UIC (23), UMN (23), UOregon (26).
Of the universities that I listed above, Notre Dame and Northwestern mention on their websites that this is not a hard criteria.
Notre Dame have this in their FAQ section:
Similarly, Northwestern says that,Q: If my speaking score is below the minimum, should I apply, and will my application be reviewed?
A: Yes we encourage all applications, and all applications are reviewed.
While, UMN says that,For the TOEFL, official scores must be less than two years old. On the internet based test an applicant must score 100 or higher, and we would like a score 26 or higher on the speaking portion.
My question is should I bother applying to these places? Or will they turn me down based on the speaking score itself?The probability that you will receive an offer of support diminishes sharply for total scores below 100 or speaking scores below 23.