Well, since no one else has created one, I’m going to use this post as a TOEFL FAQ.  I’ll add to it gradually over time and will bump it to the top of the blog every now and then.  If there are any questions you think should be added, just leave a comment.  If my answers are faulty you should also leave a comment.

Please note that I am not associated with ETS, the owners of the TOEFL Test.  I’m just a guy on the Internet who gets asked the same questions day after day after day.

Q: How do I change my name in my TOEFL account?

You should call ETS support by phone. You can call them at +1-609-771-7100 or 1-877-863-3546.  They will likely ask you to email a copy of a document confirming the new name. Changes will show up in the account in a few days.  (source)

Q: When will I get my TOEFL scores?

If you take the test at a test center, you will get them six days after you take the test.  If you take the test at home, you will get them between six and ten days after you take the test. (source)

Q: When will score recipients (universities) get my TOEFL scores?

The ETS website and Score Bulletin contain somewhat conflicting information.  The TOEFL website suggests that they will get scores 6 to 10 business days after you take the test.  The TOEFL bulletin suggests that it could take 11 business days. (source and source)

Q: How do I know if schools have received my scores?  Is there some kind of confirmation? 

There is no confirmation from ETS.  You should ask the schools yourself.

Q: If I pay for extra score recipients after taking the test, how long will it take for them to get the scores?

3-5 Business days. (source)

Q: When will my TOEFL paper score report arrive?

Paper scores are mailed from ETS 10 to 12 business days after you take the test. (source) They are mailed using regular post so the delivery time mostly depends on your local mail service. Test-takers in certain Asian countries can pay extra for express mailing. (source)

Q: When can I download the PDF Score report?

The PDF score can be downloaded from your ETS account two days after your scores are provided. (source)

Q: Are the unofficial reading and listening scores scaled or raw scores?

They are scaled scores.

Q: Do the unofficial reading and listening scores ever change?

The unofficial reading and listening scores are considered “unofficial” so they could change.  However, it appears that they almost never change.  

Q: I ran out of time during the writing section, and didn’t click the “submit” button to send my essay.  Will it be graded?

Yes.  Whatever is on your screen when time runs out is submitted automatically.

Q: I accidentally cancelled my TOEFL scores at the end of the test. How do I reinstate them?

Try this:

  1. In your TOEFL account Click “view all my tests”
  2. From the drop down menu select “past.”
  3. Under Actions/Score Status” column locate the test date and time.
  4. Click the “reinstate scores” link
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen.

You will pay $20 to get your scores reinstated.  The above link might not be available immediately after you take the test.  If you don’t see it, wait a day or two.

Q: After I pay to reinstate my scores, how long will it take for schools to get them?

Your test will be scored and sent to recipients within three weeks. (source)

Q: My TOEFL score is “on hold.”  What does this mean?

It means that your test is being reviewed due to some abnormal event during the test.  It mostly happens after students take the TOEFL Home Edition. You will get an email from ETS explaining this.  For more information about the review of your test, you can call the Office of Testing Integrity.

Q: How long does it take for “on hold” scores to be checked by ETS.

According to the e-mail sent to students, “most of these routine reviews are completed in 2-4 weeks. In rare cases, the review may take longer. “

Q: My status is “scores not available.”  What does this mean?

It means that your scores are not available yet.  Don’t worry.  Everyone gets that status before their scores are available.  It is normal.

Q: Can I have water or some other drink during the TOEFL Home Edition?

No.  No food and drink are permitted during the TOEFL Home Edition.  Even if the proctor says it is okay… don’t do it. (source)

Q: I am getting an error when I try to pay for the TOEFL.  It says “Error 481” or “Error 101.”  What should I do?

Payment errors are common.  The easiest solution is to use PayPal, since it has a totally separate billing system.  You can also try paying in a different browser, or paying over the phone like it is the 1980s.

Q: Can I use my user name and password from my GRE account on the TOEFL page?

No.  You must make a new account for TOEFL.

Q: Can I take the TOEFL Home Edition using Windows 11?

According to ProctorU’s social media team, you can take the TOEFL Home Edition using Windows 11.  However, the ETS website says that you must use Windows 10 or 8, so that’s what I recommend. (source)

Q: I need to cancel my TOEFL test. Will I get my money back?

You can cancel your test up to four days before the test date.  You will get 50% of your money back. (source)

Q: I have an emergency.  Can I cancel my test after that?

According to the ETS social media team, you can call ETS and make a request to cancel your test after the deadline. A refund may be granted. You can call them at +1-609-771-7100 or 1-877-863-3546.

Q:  The TOEFL is really hard.  I don’t know how to prepare.

That’s more of a comment, really.

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