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TOEFL® Test Security: Detection

Even with the most stringent security prevention measures in place, some test takers will try to gain an unfair advantage on the test. ETS investigates all reported incidents of misconduct, which can include photographic review, handwriting analysis and voice biometric analysis. The results of an investigation may lead ETS to cancel the scores or ban the test taker from future ETS tests.

ETS uses biometric voice identification software similar to the technologies used in the banking, law enforcement and healthcare industries. This technology helps ETS identify suspected impersonation and cancel those TOEFL iBT® scores before they are reported.

ETS closely monitors all test centers and tracks all security incidents. If it is determined that a test center does not meet ETS standards, the center is closed. ETS also conducts random inspections of test centers as well as audits at centers where concerns have been raised through supervisor reports, tips or test taker complaints. In some cases, ETS collaborates with local and national law enforcement agencies to prosecute professional impersonation rings.

Monitoring Score Statistics

ETS reviews and analyzes scores after each test session using statistical analysis methods to help identify invalid scores. The ETS Statistical Analysis team monitors score trends by test center, country and region.

  • System-generated irregularity reports are reviewed after each test administration.
  • Site historical performance data is maintained to identify any discrepancies that need to be addressed.
  • Sites are subject to quality audits and third-party observation.

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