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Checking In and Taking the Test: Test Security

More details about test center procedures and regulations can be found in the TOEFL iBT® Registration Bulletin.

Checking In at the Test Center

ETS respects individuals' privacy and has implemented procedures to ensure that the check-in process is completed in a respectful manner. You should be prepared to undergo these security measures to ensure a fair testing environment. Failure to comply may result in your dismissal from the test, and your test fee will not be refunded.

All test centers will require you to do all of the following:

  • Show ETS-approved identification that contains your photograph and signature. The name on your ID must exactly match the name you used when you registered for the test.
  • Provide handwriting and signature samples.
  • Have your photo taken. Your photo will be displayed at your computer station and embedded into your score reports.
  • Keep your face fully visible during check in and throughout the test session.
  • Keep your ears visible, including avoiding the use of a headset or earphones.
  • Allow a staff member to inspect your eyeglasses during check in.
  • Ask you to remove your head covering, if you wear one for religious or cultural reasons, for visual inspection during check in.
  • Empty your pockets, raise your pant legs above your ankles and pull up your sleeves above your wrists for visual inspection. Such inspections are routine prior to each entry into the testing room.

You may request that inspections be performed by a staff member of the same gender as you, and/or in an area that is sheltered from the view of other people. Test center staff will make every effort to accommodate such requests, but ETS cannot guarantee that all test centers will have the necessary staff and space available.

To request a staff member of the same gender, contact ETS at least 5 days before your test date.


1-800-750-6991 (toll free for test takers in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada) or +1-609-406-5430 (for all other locations). Phone hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. holidays)


Some test centers also require 1 or more of these:

  • fingerprinting/thumbprinting
  • ID with electronic chip
  • video monitoring of the testing room during the test
  • biometric voice and photo identification
  • the use of electronic detection scanning devices (for example, handheld metal detectors/wands)
  • visual inspection for unauthorized testing aids or other wearable technology

Taking the Test

Once the test has started:

  • You will not have access to personal items such as books, electronic devices, handbags or backpacks, which are stored separately to maintain security. See the list of unauthorized aids in the "Improper Behaviors" section. Test centers and ETS assume no responsibility for personal items you choose to bring to the test center.
  • You must present your ID to the test center administrator for verification when you leave and when you return from a break.

Next: Improper Behavior Leading to Dismissal from a Test Center