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What to Expect on Test Day

Watch our TOEFL iBT® Test Day video for a preview of what to expect at the test center, including:

  • checking in
  • presenting your identification
  • test security procedures
  • using your headset and microphone
  • taking the test
  • viewing your Reading and Listening scores
  • the option to cancel your scores

Plan Ahead

  • Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test time, to allow time for check in.
  • You can't bring any food or drink into the testing room unless you have an approved health accommodation. (You must request accommodations before you register for the test.)
  • Familiarize yourself with the test day policies and procedures outlined in the Registration Bulletin

Bring Your ID

The only item you must bring on test day is valid, acceptable ID. We recommend that you bring at least 2 forms of ID, if you can, in case the test administrator questions the first ID you present.

If you don't bring valid and acceptable identification, or if the name on your ID doesn't exactly match the name in your account, you won't be able to take the test, and your test fee won't be refunded.

Don't Bring Personal Belongings

If it's not ID, don't try to bring it into the testing room! This includes phones, watches or any other electronic, recording, listening, scanning or photographic devices.

For a full list of prohibited items and items that may be inspected, see the Registration Bulletin.

Understand the Test Security Procedures

Because so many individuals and institutions rely on TOEFL® test scores, test security is very important to ETS. There are procedures that test centers must follow to ensure the test is administered in a fair, secure manner. If you refuse or fail to follow any instructions of test center staff, you won't be able to take the test, and your test fee won't be refunded.

Learn about test security policies.

Know What to Expect During Your Test

  • The test administrator will assign you a seat shortly before the test begins.
  • You'll be given noise-reducing headphones with a microphone that you'll speak into for the Speaking section of the test.
  • If you need help, raise your hand.
  • You won't be able to leave the testing room or the test center without permission, either during the test or during breaks.
  • If you leave the testing room to go to the storage area or the rest room, the test clock won't stop.
  • The test center staff will provide scratch paper. At the end of your test, return all scratch paper to the test administrator. Don't tear or remove any part of it. You can ask for more paper if you need it, but you have to return the paper you have before you can get more.
  • You'll use a standard QWERTY English-language keyboard for the test. In some countries, the common keyboard used is configured to QWERTY and a template is provided to each test taker to help with locating the few keys that are in a different location.
  • If you think there is a problem with a test item and want to question it for any reason, notify the test center administrator before leaving. Learn more about Inquiries on Test Questions.

Cancelling Your Scores

At the end of the test, your Reading and Listening sections are scored instantly. These unofficial scores can give you an idea of how you did on the test.
You will then have the choice to report or cancel your scores. Consider this carefully! This is your only opportunity to cancel your scores. When making your decision, keep in mind:

  • You have to cancel all section scores if you wish to cancel. You can't cancel 1 section and have other section scores reported.
  • If you cancel your scores, you won't receive a refund.
  • There is no fee to cancel your scores, but there is a fee to reinstate them.
  • Cancelled scores aren't reported to you or to any institution or agency.

Reporting Suspicious Behavior – Test Fraud Hotline

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 (Toll free for test takers in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada)