Cancelling Scores for a TOEFL attempt
Test-takers may voluntarily cancel their scores for any reason, but selective score cancellation by section is not allowed (students may either reject or accept their scores for the entire exam only). ETS will not reveal scores while they are eligible for cancellation, as this would obviously lead to rejection of all low scores and undermine the TOEFL's legitimacy. Cancelled scores are omitted from a student's ETS record, and they cannot be reported to institutions. Test-takers who cancel their scores will not receive refunds of any fees, but there is no additional charge for score cancellation.
Involuntary score cancellation is reserved for instances of academic dishonesty or violations of testing policies. In cases of score cancellation for academic dishonesty, ETS may share its findings with the institutions previously designated by the offending test-taker. For violations of test rules, proctors are authorized to dismiss students from the test center, and this is accompanied by cancellation of scores. Examples of actions that can result in cancelled scores include misrepresenting one's identity, attempting to communicate with other test-takers, tampering with test center computers, behaving in a disruptive fashion, leaving the test room without permission, or possessing unauthorized items while taking the test. In rare cases, ETS may cancel all scores associated with an individual TOEFL administration if there is strong evidence that the integrity of the test has been compromised. If this happens, test-takers who have committed no violations will be reimbursed for their expenses.
Test-takers may only cancel their TOEFL scores immediately after completing the exam. While checking out of the test center, students will be asked if they wish to cancel their scores, and this is their only opportunity to do so. TOEFL scores may not be cancelled after leaving the test center.
ETS permits test-takers who have previously cancelled their TOEFL scores to reinstate those scores within 60 days of the test date. As with score cancellation, students must decide on reinstatement without knowledge of their performance on the test. Score reinstatement is completed by filling out the Score Reinstatement Request Form and faxing or emailing the document to ETS. The fee for score reinstatement is $20, and test-takers will receive their reinstated scores within three weeks of their request.
Test-takers must decide whether or not to cancel their scores before they know what those scores are. Furthermore, they can choose not to report substandard scores to universities or other agencies. Score cancellation is therefore almost always unwise, aside from extraordinary circumstances such as severe illness. Even if a student has little confidence in his or her performance, it is entirely possible that he or she will be pleasantly surprised, and if not, the student can simply decide not to reveal those scores.
Test-takers may voluntarily cancel their TOEFL registration at any time before the test, but cancellation must be completed at least four days in advance of the test date if the student wishes to receive a refund. Refunds for cancellation are half of the registration fee; ETS keeps the remainder as a processing fee. Test cancellation must be done via the ETS website or by phone, and students cannot cancel by mail or email. Students interested in rescheduling their TOEFL administration must follow the standard ETS procedures, and rescheduling is unavailable at the test center. ETS may involuntarily cancel registration if they have evidence that a test-taker has acquired advance knowledge of the test questions or answers, is attempting to take the test on behalf of someone else, or if there are test center issues such as inclement weather.
The wide availability of the TOEFL iBT mitigates some of the consequences of score cancellation for that version of the test, but cancellation of PBT scores is another matter. PBT offerings are infrequent, and test-takers who cancel their scores may not have the opportunity to take the test again for several weeks or months. This could cause students to miss deadlines for their university applications or for financial aid, which can greatly complicate the process of beginning postsecondary degree programs. All students are advised not to cancel TOEFL scores without very strong reasons, but students taking the paper-based TOEFL should take this advice even more seriously.