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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 and a Mask

The only items you must bring on test day are:

  • A mask. If you don't have one, you won't be admitted to the test center. See below for more information about safety procedures.
  • 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.

Don't Bring Personal Belongings

If it's not your ID or a mask, 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.

Be Familiar with Updated Health and Safety Procedures

All of our test centers are following prevention steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Be sure to check with your local test center for a complete list of health and safety procedures.

  • You must bring your own mask, or you will not be admitted to the test center. Depending on the test center and/or local policy, you may be required to wear it some or all of the time you are in the test center. You're permitted to wear a mask even if it isn't required. Medical masks and cloth face coverings are acceptable. Masks with valves or vents aren't permitted.
  • You must remove the mask temporarily to have your photo taken and to enable the test center to verify your ID during check-in and upon returning from breaks.
  • You may bring rubber gloves to wear during the test, but they aren't required.
  • All test centers have regular schedules for frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and provide disposable wipes so that you can wipe down your testing area.

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)