TOEFL iBT® Testing Policies

ETS is committed to providing tests that are fair to all test takers and administered in a secure environment. ETS has established and maintains policies and procedures designed to ensure the integrity and fairness of your testing experience.

Test Security Procedures

Make sure that you understand what is expected of you at the test center. More details about test center procedures and regulations can be found in the TOEFL iBT® Information and Registration Bulletin. Watch the TOEFL iBT® Testing Site video (Flash) for a preview of what to expect on test day.

Checking In at the Test Center

All test centers will require you to do each of the following:

  • Show ETS-approved forms of identification that contain a photograph and signature. The name on your ID must exactly match the name you used when you registered for the test.
  • Provide handwriting and signature samples.
  • Have your photo taken. Your photo will be displayed at your computer station and embedded into your paper score report.
  • Testing premises are subject to videotaping.

Some test centers also require one or more of these:

  • Metal detector scan or security wanding
  • Thumb scan
  • ID with electronic chip
  • Video monitoring of the testing room during the test
  • Other forms of electronic ID confirmation

Taking the Test

Once the test has started:

  • You may not have access to personal items such as books, electronic devices, handbags and backpacks, which are stored separately to maintain security. See the list of unauthorized aids in the "Improper Behaviors" section below.
  • You must present your identification to the test center administrator for verification upon return from a break.

Improper Behavior Leading to Dismissal from Test Center

Fraudulent or unethical testing behavior will not be tolerated. ETS may use statistical evaluation, or other professional evaluation methods, as evidence that a test taker did not complete the test or part of the test independently or that pre-knowledge of test questions or answers occurred. If ETS believes that a test taker may have gained an unfair advantage by sharing or obtaining test questions, topics or answers before, during or after the test, or that a test was completed in whole or in part by someone or with the assistance of someone, other than the registered test taker, ETS may exercise its right to cancel the test taker’s appointment in advance, hold or cancel the test taker’s scores and/or ban the test taker from future testing.

If your scores are placed on hold, you will not be able to send score reports to any institution or agency until the investigation is complete and the scores are released.

If any of ETS’s investigative methods result in a test taker’s scores being canceled, or if unethical behavior is identified on test day, ETS may also share its concerns with score recipients selected by the test taker, so that the information can be considered in the institution's or agency’s decision-making process.

ETS reserves the right to dismiss you from a test center, hold and/or cancel your scores, and/or ban you from future testing for reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • attempting to give or receive assistance; communication in any form is not permitted
  • taking the test for someone else or having someone take the test for you
  • removing or attempting to remove, reproduce or disclose by any means (for example, hard copy, orally or electronically) to any person or entity any test content, test questions, topics or answers, or scratch paper or notes relating to the test
  • referring to, looking through or working on any test or test section when not authorized to do so or after time has been called
  • failing to provide valid identification
  • obtaining improper access to the test, part of the test, or any information about the test (for example, pre-knowledge of test questions, topics or answers)
  • using or having a cell phone or other electronic device during the test or during breaks
  • using of any of the following unauthorized aids:
    • mechanical pencils
    • pens
    • scan pens
    • calculators
    • watches of any kind
    • books
    • pamphlets
    • notes
    • unauthorized scrap paper
    • rulers
    • highlighter pens
    • stereos or radios with headphones
    • dictionaries
    • test prep materials
    • translators
    • smartphones (for example, BlackBerry® or iPhone®)
    • any hand-held electronic recording, scanning, listening or photographic devices
  • tampering with the computer
  • leaving the testing room or test center building without permission during the test or during breaks
  • taking a weapon or firearm into the test center
  • taking food, drink or tobacco into the testing room
  • taking excessive or extended unscheduled breaks
  • engaging in any kind of disruptive or threatening behavior
  • failing to follow regulations specified by the test administrator, in any test day materials, in the Information and Registration Bulletin or on this website

ETS reserves the right to take any and all action — including but not limited to banning you from future testing or holding or canceling your scores — for failure to comply with test administration regulations or the test center supervisor’s instructions. If your scores are canceled, they will not be reported and your test fee will not be refunded.

Reporting Suspicious Behavior

Contact ETS to report behavior that may interfere with test security or cause a disturbance. All reported incidents of fraud are taken seriously and investigated closely. All information is held in the strictest confidence.

1-800-353-8570 (United States, U.S. Territories, Canada)
1-609-406-5430 (all other locations)

Rescheduled Tests

On occasion, weather conditions or other circumstances beyond our control may result in a delayed start or rescheduled test, or scores may be canceled after you take the test.

If your test is rescheduled by ETS before you test, you can select a different test date and you will not be charged the rescheduling fee.

If you travel to the test center and find out that the test administration has been canceled by ETS, you can reschedule your test at no charge or receive a full refund of your test fee.

If you take the test and your scores are canceled by ETS, ETS will determine, at its sole discretion, whether or not you are eligible to re-test at no charge or receive a refund.

If ETS cancels a test administration or cancels scores after you test, and you have incurred travel costs to get to the test center, you may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable and documented travel expenses for yourself only within 30 days of your original test date. Refunds are in U.S. dollars.

When you contact TOEFL® Services, have appropriate receipts available and be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Daytime phone number
  • Email address
  • Original test date
  • TOEFL registration number
  • A description of the problem

If you have any questions about the rescheduling and refund policies, please contact TOEFL Services.

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