How do I Complain about a TOEFL Test Center Online?

You have two ways to complain.

Complaining by E-Mail

This is recommended way to complain.  You can send an email to toefl@ets.org

Complaining by Regular Mail

You can also complain by regular mail, if that is your thing:

TOEFL iBT Complaints
MS 16-Z, Internet-Based Testing Network Group
Educational Testing Service
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541-6163, USA

Since you are supposed to file a complaint within seven days, using mail is not recommended (by me).

How Long do I Have to Complain About a Test Center?

You must complain within seven days of taking the test.  This is outlined in the TOEFL Bulletin.

What will Happen After I Complain?

ETS might reject your complaint and do nothing.  If you are lucky they will cancel your scores and let you take the test again for free.  Note that they will give you the option of having your scores canceled.  You will have to confirm that you accept that option by responding to their message.

What Can I Complain About?

Anything, I guess.  The most common complaints I hear are:

  • Malfunctioning computers and headsets at the test center
  • Incorrect keyboard layouts
  • Insufficient refills of note paper
  • Interruptions by test center staff when answering questions
  • Too much outside noise
  • Timing Issues
  • Feral Dogs

What Should I Write in My Complaint about the Test Center?

Describe the problem as specifically as possible.  Proofread your English to ensure it is easy to understand.  In addition, make sure that you also include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address (include country)
  • Date of birth
  • Daytime telephone number (if you are in the USA)
  • Email address
  • Test date and location
  • Registration number

How about a Sample Complaint I Can Copy?

Sure.  Try something like this:

"I am writing to report a serious problem with a TOEFL test center that affected my ability to take the test.

I took the test on [DATE OF TEST, 20XX] at the test center located at [LOCATION OF TEST CENTER] in [CITY, COUNTRY].  During the sitting, [DESCRIBE THE PROBLEM HERE IN A FEW SENTENCES.  INCLUDE LOTS OF DETAILS]. 

In my opinion, this problem prevented me from completing the TOEFL.  To be frank, I do not believe that the conditions at the test center followed your standard procedures, nor that they met your basic requirements.  Moreover, I feel that I was not granted an equal opportunity to demonstrate my abilities. For this reason, I am requesting an additional chance to sit for the TOEFL.

For the record, my essential information is as follows:

  • Full Name:
  • Address:
  • Date of birth:
  • Daytime telephone number:
  • Email address:
  • Registration number:

Thank you for your consideration,

[NAME]."

Where Can I read the Official Complaint Policy?

Check out the most recent edition of the TOEFL Bulletin. Here is what the 2018-19 edition says:

"If you have a complaint about the testing facilities or the test center staff, contact ETS  within 7 days after the test date. Be sure to give the test date, the name of the test center and the city, state/province and country or location where you took the test."

Anything Else?

If you need any help just send me an email.  I'll be happy to help... free of charge.