Administration of the TOEFL
The TOEFL iBT is administered more than 50 times per year at test centers in 187 countries and territories around the world. The test is usually offered on Fridays or Saturdays, and test centers are mostly in or near major cities. Educational Testing Service (ETS) lists available test centers and dates several months in advance on its website, which allows students to search TOEFL availability by country and city. Students may register for the TOEFL online, by phone, or by mail. Online registration is the most practical method of signing up for the TOEFL, and it is completed by creating an account on the ETS website. Test-takers with an ETS account can fill out a user profile, register for the exam, pay the associated fees, view scores, and designate institutions to receive score reports.
In order to be admitted to the test center, students must bring two forms of valid photo identification that exactly match the name used for registration. All identification documents must be original (no photocopies) and current (unexpired). In the United States, examples of acceptable identification include passports, driver's licenses, or military IDs. Birth certificates, social security cards, or employee ID cards are not acceptable forms of identification. Some types of students may be legitimately unable to meet ETS identification requirements, for reasons such as refugee status. These students should contact ETS at least seven days before registration. All test-takers are advised to review country-specific ETS policies on identification before registering for the exam.
Students taking the TOEFL may not bring any personal items into the testing area, and all belongings brought to the test center must be stored in a separate area during the test's administration. This policy includes specifically prohibited items such as phones, watches, cameras, recording devices, drinks, food, and scratch paper (the latter will be provided, but all scratch paper must be turned in at the conclusion at the exam). Test centers may be subjected to video monitoring, and certain types of clothing (e.g. neckties, jackets, or headbands) may be searched. While taking the test, students may not leave the test room without authorization or tamper with the test computer, and students must not communicate with other test-takers in any way. Test proctors are authorized to dismiss students from the test center for violations of any of these policies or for any other disruptive behavior.
Test-takers may not share information with each other before, during, or after the administration of the TOEFL, and students may not take the TOEFL on behalf of someone else. ETS investigates suspicious test results by using statistical analysis and other methods to determine if a student received any unfair advantage, including advance knowledge of the questions or answers. Penalties for violations of policies on academic honesty range from cancellation of scores to bans on future testing, depending on the severity of the violation. When violations of testing policies have occurred, ETS may notify the undergraduate or graduate degree programs associated with an offending test-taker's account. Testing fees will not be refunded for students who have been found to be in violation of ETS testing or academic honesty policies.
Students with medical conditions that affect their ability to take the TOEFL under standard testing conditions must register for the exam via ETS Disability Services. Registration for students requesting accommodations can only be completed by mail or email. Disabled students must submit supporting documentation, which takes approximately six weeks for ETS to review. Extra testing time, extended breaks, ergonomic keyboards, sign language interpreters, and Braille slates are some of the commonly requested accommodations.
According to ETS, the TOEFL is accepted by about 9,000 colleges in 130 countries. The TOEFL Destination Search (available on the ETS website) is a suggested starting point for learning about TOEFL requirements at a given institution. Most colleges and universities that teach in English will accept the TOEFL iBT as proof of English-language abilities, but students should verify the preferences of a given program. The TOEFL is considered for skilled worker visa applications by immigration departments in many countries, and the TOEFL can be used to satisfy the English-language requirements associated with the issuance of some professional licenses. The TOEFL can also be an informal means of assessing progress in the development of English language skills for any type of learner.