What to Expect on Test Day

Because so many individuals and institutions rely on TOEFL® test scores, there are rules that need to be followed at the test center to ensure the test is administered in a fair, secure manner.

Knowing what to expect can put you more at ease on test day. Here is what typically happens:

Before the Test

  • Plan to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your specified start time. If you arrive after your start time, you may not be able to test and could lose your test fee.
  • Your photo will be placed at your assigned seat. It will also appear on your score report.
  • You will be asked to sign a required confidentiality agreement.
  • Identification documents are the only personal items you are allowed to have in the testing room. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted.
  • Your seat will be assigned by the test center staff.
  • No schedule changes can be made at the test center.
  • Testing premises may be videotaped for security reasons.

Personal Items

  • You will receive instructions on where to put personal items.
  • If you bring personal items into the testing room, they will be collected by test center staff.
  • In order to take the test, you must follow directions and comply with all rules.

Any violation of this procedure may result in cancellation of your scores, dismissal by the test center staff, or banning from future testing. Test centers and ETS assume no responsibility for personal items or devices brought into the test center.

During the Test

  • The test takes about 3½ hours and the TWE® writing test takes about 30 minutes. You may not continue beyond the time limit.
  • If you need help for any reason, simply raise your hand.
  • Cell phones and other devices are not permitted during the test or during breaks.
  • If you have health-related needs requiring you to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks, you need to request accommodations in advance. Procedures for requesting accommodations are described in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs.

After the Test

  • Your scores will be sent to you approximately 5 weeks after your test date.
  • Scores are also mailed to the universities or institutions you selected.
  • You can take the test again to improve your scores.