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What to Expect on Your revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered 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 will not be able to test and could lose your test fee.
  • Identification documents, your admission ticket, your Photo File Record and pencils are the only> personal belongings 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.
  • ID verification at registration and/or during check-in at the test center may include:
    • Biometric voice and photo identification
    • Fingerprinting/thumbprinting
    • Video recording
    • Signature comparison

If you refuse to have your ID verified, you may not be permitted to test and your test fee will not be refunded. This is in addition to the requirement that you must present acceptable and valid identification.

Personal Belongings

  • Personal belongings, other than ID documents, are not allowed in the testing room. This includes any phones, watches and other electronic recording, listening, scanning or photographic devices.
  • You will receive instructions on where to store your personal belongings outside of the testing room.
  • If you bring personal items into the testing room, they will be confiscated by test center staff.
  • If you are seen using or accessing any electronic device and/or transmitting data in any way — including via text message, email or photograph — your device will be inspected and/or confiscated.
  • During breaks, you are not allowed to access your phone or other device for any reason, including to check messages, to make a call or to check the time.
  • 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 session takes about 3 hours, including check-in. The test itself takes about 2.5 hours, and you cannot continue beyond the time limit.
  • If you need help for any reason, raise your hand.
  • Cell phones and other electronic 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 sent to the universities or institutions you selected.
  • You can take the test again to improve your scores.
  • ETS will at all times protect your personal information with operational, administrative, technical and physical security safeguards. Unless your photo or other biometric samples are being used in connection with a test security investigation, ETS will retain them for a maximum of 3 years, unless local regulations limit retention.
  • ETS will keep your information as needed to meet the following requirements:
    • To protect against fraud, theft and misrepresentation by unauthorized test takers
    • For the purpose of identity verification
    • To maintain the integrity of the testing process

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