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Important Policy Changes for the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests

ETS has introduced two policy changes effective June 1, 2019, to enhance the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing testing experience:

  1. Note-taking is now allowed during TOEIC Speaking and Writing test sessions. ETS will no longer cancel a test taker’s Speaking or Writing score if notes are taken on approved scratch paper provided by the test center during a test.
  2. The preparation time for certain TOEIC® Speaking tests questions has been increased.

Note: These policies are not retroactive.

ETS periodically reviews the policies associated with its assessments and test administration practices to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of test takers and score users. ETS is implementing these two changes in an effort to increase test takers’ comfort and allow for their best performance on the TOEIC Speaking and Writing tests.

New Note-taking Policy

  • Test takers are now allowed to take notes, but they may only use scratch paper and pens/pencils provided by the test administrators and proctors during the TOEIC Speaking and Writing test administrations. Test takers are not permitted to use their own scratch paper or pens/pencils. 
  • All scratch paper and pens/pencils must be collected by the test administrators and/or proctors at the conclusion of the test administrations. 
  • Test takers cannot bring the scratch paper or pens/pencils outside the testing room at any time.

Extended Preparation Time for Certain TOEIC® Speaking Test Questions

The preparation time for some TOEIC Speaking test items has been extended. The table below compares the item preparation time before and after the changes.

Speaking Item #Item TypePrevious Item Preparation Time (effective through 05/31/2019)New Item Preparation Time (effective starting 06/01/2019)Preparation Time Change
1 Read Aloud 45 seconds 45 seconds No Change
2 Read Aloud 45 seconds 45 seconds No Change
3 Describe a Picture 30 seconds 45 seconds +15 seconds
4–6 Respond to Questions
  • Set Preparation time: 0 seconds
  • 0 seconds after each question and before the beep
  • Set Preparation time: 0 seconds
  • 3 seconds after each question and before the beep

No Change

+3 seconds/Question

7–9 Respond to Questions Using Information Provided
  • Set Preparation time: 30 seconds
  • 0 seconds after each question and before the beep
  • Set Preparation time: 45 seconds
  • 3 seconds after each question and before the beep

+15 seconds

+3 seconds/Question

10 Propose a Solution 30 seconds 45 seconds +15 seconds
11 Express an Opinion 15 seconds 30 seconds +15 seconds