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Test Day

Before Your Test Session Begins

  • Run a final ProctorU® Equipment Check and fix any issues before you attempt to check in for your test.

  • Close all browsers and applications not needed for the test. This can help prevent bandwidth issues while you test.
  • Make sure any other devices in your home that use internet are not running.
  • Gather the materials you'll need for your test session. (All other materials are prohibited.)
    • Passport or other acceptable ID
    • Acceptable note taking materials, such as a whiteboard or plastic transparency sheet, that can be erased in view of the proctor
    • Cellphone or hand-held mirror for check in
  • Make sure your testing area meets all environment requirements, including:
    • The room is quiet and well lit.
    • The table and surrounding area are clear.
  • Make sure you are dressed appropriately, with your ears and face visible to the proctor. Avoid wearing any jewelry or other accessories. Masks may not be worn during check in or any part of the at home testing session.

Checking In

  • At your appointment time, click the "start your test" link in your appointment confirmation email. You'll have up to 12 minutes after your scheduled time to begin your check in. If you haven't checked in by that time, your test will be canceled, and your fee won't be refunded.
  • Select "Start Session."
  • Complete the authentication steps, which include showing your ID to the proctor. The name on your ID must match the name on your ETS account.
  • The proctor will review the exam rules and request access to your computer screen for monitoring purposes.
  • The proctor will ask you to use either a hand-held mirror or cell phone to show your computer screen.
  • The proctor will ask you to move the camera on your computer to show a 360-degree view of the room, including your tabletop surface, and any other places in the room the proctor may wish to inspect.
  • The proctor may ask you to position your table and chair so the door to the room is visible to the proctor.
  • The proctor will launch the ETS Test Browser and enter the ETS ID and password to access the test.
  • Expect this process to take approximately 20 minutes.

During Your Test

Your entire test session will be recorded by ProctorU and monitored by a human proctor, and your photo will be taken. Your photo from the test session will be shared with institutions as part of your TOEFL Essentials score report.

Note to test takers: ETS is monitoring the reuse of devices and testing locations for unauthorized purposes. Frequent, inappropriate reuse of shared testing devices and common testing locations may result in the delay and/or cancellation of your scores. It could also impact your eligibility to take future ETS exams.

Interacting with the Proctor

  • During the test, the proctor will monitor you (via video camera) and your computer screen to ensure you follow all testing procedures.
  • Make sure you can always be seen on camera by the proctor. Suspicious movements could invalidate your test.
  • If you need to contact the proctor during your test, speak and wave to get their attention. It may take 30–60 seconds for the proctor to reply.

Improper Behavior Leading to Test Termination: Test Security Procedures

Fraudulent or unethical testing behavior will not be tolerated. ETS may use statistical evaluation or other professional evaluation methods as evidence that a test taker did not complete the test or part of the test independently or that pre-knowledge of test questions or answers occurred. If ETS believes that a test taker may have gained an unfair advantage by sharing or obtaining test questions, topics or answers before, during or after the test, or that a test was completed in whole or in part by someone or with the assistance of someone other than the registered test taker, ETS may exercise its right to cancel the test taker's appointment in advance, hold or cancel the test taker's scores and/or ban the test taker from future testing.

If your scores are placed on hold, you will not be able to send score reports to any institution or agency until the investigation is complete and the scores are released.

If any of ETS's investigative methods result in a test taker's scores being cancelled, or if unethical behavior is identified on or after test day, ETS may also share its concerns with score recipients selected by the test taker, so that the information can be considered in the institution's or agency's decision-making process. ETS will send a copy of your cancellation letter to any institution or agency that has received your scores.

The test proctor is authorized to terminate your test, and ETS reserves the right to hold and/or cancel your scores, and/or ban you from future testing, for any action that violates any of the policies and procedures in the Bulletin, on the TOEFL® website or communicated to you by the proctor on the day of the test, including but not limited to:

  • Taking or attempting to take the test or part of the test for someone else, or having or attempting to have someone take the test or part of the test for you.
  • Removing or attempting to remove or transmit any test content, scratch paper or notes relating to the test. Under no circumstances may test content or any part of the test content be removed, reproduced, transmitted and/or disclosed to any person or entity by any means, including by hard copy, verbally and/or electronically.
  • Failing to provide valid, acceptable identification.
  • Obtaining or having improper access to any test content, a part of the test, or information about the test, including test questions, topics or answers, in advance of the test administration, or bringing pre-knowledge of any test information into the test environment. This includes on your ID documents, via prohibited devices, and any other method used as an aid in connection with the test. ETS reserves the right to cancel scores when evidence of pre-knowledge is found.
  • Using or having a phone, watch, or any other electronic device on the tabletop or surrounding area is prohibited and will result in your test being terminated and/or cancellation of your scores by ETS. Your test fee will not be refunded.
  • Enabling screen sharing and remote access software during testing.
  • Using or having of any of the following unauthorized aids:
    • mechanical pencils
    • pens
    • scan pens
    • calculators
    • watches of any kind
    • books
    • pamphlets
    • notes
    • scrap paper
    • rulers
    • highlighter pens
    • headphones
    • dictionaries
    • test preparation materials
    • translators
    • phones of any kind
    • any electronic listening, recording, scanning, listening or photographic devices
  • Bringing personal items other than ID documents into the testing area. Clothing and other personal items are subject to inspection by the test proctor. You may also be prohibited from wearing certain clothing or hair accessories during testing. Items that may be inspected and/or prohibited include, but are not limited to:
    • neckties
    • bow ties
    • hats
    • scarves
    • jackets and other outerwear
    • tie clips
    • cuff links
    • combs
    • barrettes
    • headbands
    • jewelry (other than wedding rings)
  • Tampering with the computer.
  • Leaving the testing area without permission during the test.
  • Having food or drinks into the testing area, unless you have been approved for an accommodation based on a disability or health-related need.
  • Having tobacco or electronic cigarettes in the testing area.
  • Taking unscheduled or unauthorized breaks.
  • Receiving assistance of any kind with your responses to the Speaking section questions.
  • Using note taking materials of any kind to prepare your essay prior to your test or during pre-authorized breaks.
  • Evidence that responses are invalid for reasons including unusual timing patterns, unusual answer patterns, inconsistent performance on different parts of the test, or performance inconsistent with other test administrations.
  • Evidence that a Writing or Speaking response includes material that is substantially similar to material in other TOEFL test taker responses, or the quoting or paraphrasing of language or ideas from published or unpublished sources without attribution.
  • Creating a disturbance by engaging in any kind of disruptive or threatening behavior. Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated. The test proctor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior.
  • Receiving or attempting to receive help, or giving or attempting to give help. Communication in any form is prohibited, including discussing or sharing test questions, topics or answers during the test or during previously approved breaks, and discussing or sharing test questions, topics or answer after the test. This also includes communication via chat, message board or forum, SMS message, text message, email or photographs.
  • Failing to follow any regulations in the Bulletin, on this website, instructions given by the test proctor or specified in any materials.
  • ETS reserves the right to take any and all action — including but not limited to banning you from future testing or holding or cancelling your scores — for failure to comply with test administration regulations or the test center proctor’s instructions. If your scores are cancelled, they will not be reported and your test fee will not be refunded.
  • ETS is monitoring reuse of devices and testing locations for unauthorized purposes. Frequent, inappropriate reuse of shared testing devices and common testing locations may result in score delay and/or score cancellation and could impact your eligibility to take future ETS exams.