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Posted 06-07-2019 11:39:34 AM
What to Expect on the TOEFL® iBT test day

Plan your trip to the test center to be on time

The test starts at 9:00 am. All test-takers must arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before the test begins, to check in. Late arrivals include students without enough time for check-in, who will not be allowed to take the test.

Plan your trip to the test center, learn the way there, and note the traffic, parking situation, etc.


Check-in involves electronic scanning of all test-takers for test security, producing your ID document, signing a confidentiality agreement, and the assigning of test stations.

Lock up your personal items

When checking in, you will be told to place all your personal items in a secure locker.

Other than the key for your locker and your glasses, the only item allowed in the test room is your ID document. Therefore, put everything else in the locker. If you bring water or a snack, you will be able to access them during the 10-minute break. IELTS articles

In some test centers where there are no lockers, you may receive a plastic bag in which to store your personal items. You will need to place the plastic bag under your chair.

Use the toilet before going into the test room!

Once you have gone into the test room, you will not be able to leave until the 10-minute break after the Reading and Listening sections.

Tip: You can be excused once for the toilet during the Reading and Listening section of the test. Just raise your hand and the supervisor will go with you to the toilet; however, the test clock will not stop during this time. If you ask to go to the toilet a second time, you will not be allowed to continue the test.

Dress in layers

Dress in layers so you can be comfortable in different room temperatures. If you take off an item of clothing during the test (e.g., a sweater), you will be told to place it in the storage area provided.

Inspection before going into the test room

The electronic scanning is to check the presence of metals, especially mobile phones. The administrator will check your ID. This is to prevent someone, who is not you, taking your test.

Going into the Test room

The test room is a computer room, usually with 30-40 computers. Most test rooms have a divider between each computer station.

The test is due to start at 9:00 am, but many test-takers start at 8:45 am. There will be test takers coming into the test room one after another before 9:00 am, which can be disturbing for those already doing the test. Being aware of this should help you deal with the situation.

Photo-taking and seating

After you go into the test room, a test administrator will ask you to sit on a chair at the side of the podium for photo-taking. Your photo will be placed at your assigned seat and will also appear on your score report.

After photo taking, you will be guided to your seat. Seats are randomly assigned, so being first into the test room does not mean you will sit in the first row.

Starting test and sign-out during the break

Before you start, wait for the test administrator to enter the password to begin the test software and confirm your identity on the test interface.

Sign-out and sign-in

During the 10-minute break, the test administrator will enter the password again (to sign you out) and will do the same before the Speaking section (to sign you back in). If the administrator does not enter the password for you, just raise your hand.

Microphone and headphone testing

Your microphone and headphone will be tested by you to make sure they are working properly. If there is a problem, raise your hand to ask for help.

TOEFL iBT Reading Section

Reading is the first section of the TOEFL iBT test. There will be three to five passages, with 12-14 questions each. You have a total of 60-100 minutes for this section, including time for reading the passages and answering the questions.

Tip: You must read through and scroll to the end of each passage and click the “Continue” button to get the questions on that passage.

Experimental questions (extra passages and questions)

ETS is doing experimental questions for the Reading and Listening sections, and some test-takers will be chosen to do them. After completing the questions on the third passage, if you see a fourth and fifth passage, it means you have been selected to do the experimental questions. Another 40 minutes is added for these questions.

The marks you get for the experimental questions will not be counted toward your score; however, you will not know which two of the five parts are experimental; they may not be the last two. Therefore, answer all questions very carefully. TOEFL Questions

Tip: For the Reading section, you can go back to the previous pages to change your answers. You will not be able to do this for the Listening section.

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