TOEFL score not available? What to do if this happens…

So you have just read on the TOEFL website or on your app that your TOEFL score is not available. Rightly so, you start to panic because deadlines are approaching. Here’s what you must do if you run into this situation.

You should call ETS if you find out that your TOEFL score is not available 6-11 days after taking the test. You can call the main office at 1-609-771-7243, and if they are not able to help you, you can call the ETS Office of Testing Integrity at 1-609-406-5430.

Let’s go a little more in depth into this as well as what you need to do if your scores end up getting canceled due to test center irregularities. Once you do get your scores, you might want to know if you can cancel them or have them reviewed, so we will go into that as well.

What to do when your TOEFL score is not available

So you have taken the TOEFL, but universities have deadlines for scholarships and getting your scores in for admission, so if that time is tight, I understand that it can be quite nerve-racking!

If you are in this situation, the best thing to do is get in contact with ETS, because they will be in the best position to tell you what has happened. The number you can call for the ETS office is 1-609-771-7243. You can also call office of Testing Integrity at 1-609-406-5430.

Sometimes there are testing irregularities (for example, they suspect someone might have cheated), in which case ETS needs to investigate further to ensure the integrity of the test. For this reason, ETS’ Office of Testing Integrity might be able to give you more information as to why there is a delay.

Once you have this information, get in contact with the universities you have applied to who are waiting for your TOEFL results so that they are aware of what is going on.

In some cases, it may be taking longer than usual for them to great the exams. In this case, you will need to be a little patient, even though it can provoke quite a bit of anxiety!

When do TOEFL results usually come out?

It typically takes 6-13 days for TOEFL scores to be released to test-takers, depending on what test you took.

TOEFL version Time for results to be released after test date
TOEFL iBT 6 days
TOEFL iBT Home Edition 6-10 days
TOEFL Paper Edition 11-13 business days

Once released, you can access your scores in your ETS account.

ETS investigation and score cancellation

If ETS discovers that the integrity of the test was compromised at the testing center the date you took the test, ETS may cancel all scores and you will need to schedule another test. You can schedule this re-test at no additional cost to you, and you may be entitled to reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses for the original test date.

While this can be painful for a test-taker, ETS has to guarantee that everybody taking the test is on a level playing field. Thus, if they discover that someone had an unfair advantage over others, or that test center conditions would give an unfair advantage to that group of people, it is likely that the scores will be cancelled and test-takers will need to retake the test.

Here are some irregularities that could cause ETS to cancel scores of either a group or an individual, depending on who it affected:

  • Unethical behavior, such as cheating
  • Knowledge of something that would be on the test before the test was administered
  • Problems with timing, such as more or less time given for part or all of the test
  • People sitting in the incorrect seats
  • Defective testing materials/technology
Some irregularities that could cause some or all test scores to be cancelled for your test date

When do universities get my TOEFL scores?


ETS uses the ETS Data Manager and Scorelink® services to provide your scores electronically to the institutions where you have applied and want ETS to send the scores to automatically. The amount of time it takes for the institutions to receive your report depends on whether they use the ETS Data Manager or the Scorelink service.

The ETS Data Manager typically takes 6-8 days from your test date to deliver your scores, while Scorelink typically takes 8-10 days to deliver them.

By mail (physical copy)

Score reports are typically mailed 9-11 days after your TOEFL test date, and take another 7-10 days for US delivery or 4-6 weeks for other locations around the world. Because ETS will typically give you your scores 6-11 days after the test date, it means that reports will be mailed 3-5 days after your scores become available to you. Keep this in mind if you have any deadlines so that you can contact the university to let them know.

Can I get a PDF of my TOEFL scores?

If you want a PDF of your TOEFL scores, you can download it directly from your ETS account around 8 days after your test. If you live in mainland China, this option will unfortunately not be available to you. This is great for easy reference for the 2 years for which your TOEFL scores are valid.

Can you cancel your TOEFL scores if you don’t like them?

Once you get your TOEFL scores, you may be wondering if you can cancel them before the universities receive them. Unfortunately, this option is not available to you once you have left the test center. The only time in which you can cancel your scores is just after you have completed the TOEFL iBT and your unofficial reading and listening scores are shown to you on your computer screen.

Can I have my scores reviewed if I think they are wrong?

If you think there is a mistake in your scores and you think you should have scored higher, you may request ETS to review your scores through their “score review” process. Here is a brief summary of the rules and regulations around score reviews:

  • Score reviews are for the Writing and Speaking sections only.
  • If you have requested to send your scores to an institution where you have applied, you are not able to request a score review.
  • Each section costs $80 to review.
  • You can only have your scores reviewed once and if you want both sections reviewed, you will need to request the score review of both sections at the same time.
  • If there is a change in your scores, whether your scores go up or down, then your final score will include those changes

Best of luck!