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TOEFL Tip #221: Using TOEFL Scrap Paper

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on June 9, 2015

We had a student tell us that his test center in Mexico restricted the amount of paper it would give him. So we reached out to TOEFL on Facebook to ask what its official policy is on paper distribution.

Here is the conversation:

 Thursday, June 4, 2015


In sum: the test center cannot limit the total amount of paper you use on the test, but it can limit the amount of paper you have at any one time during the test.

For example, if the test center only gives you 3 pieces of paper, then if you ask for more, you will have to hand back the paper you have already used. That way, even though you used *6* pieces of paper during your exam, you only ever had *3* pieces of paper in your position at any given moment.

Strictly English also suggests that you ask for all new paper during the 10-minute break. This way, you won’t have to interrupt your test to ask for paper. It would be terrible if, 1/2 way through the Speaking Section, you needed to raise your hand, wait for the proctor to see you, wait for her to walk over, take the time to talk to her, then wait for her to return with your paper. That could be a total of 2-5 minutes! So instead, just turn in all your paper at the break (you should have used most or all of it anyway in the Listening). Then you’ll have enough paper to finish the Speaking and Writing.

Finally, having CLEARLY ORGANIZED notes is very important, so we also tell students to fold their paper in half. This way, instead of having one sheet of paper with only a front and back, you now have a little “book”, with 4 “pages”. Each page can be used for 1 listening passage or for 1 Speaking Task.  Here is a visual to help you understand what we mean:

.2. How to Fold Your Paper for Speaking Notes

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1 comment so far. Leave a comment.

  1. Cora

    wrote on October 1, 2015 at 6:37 am

    With stricktly reading strategy we need to take some notes from reading . I believe we should ask for new set of paper after finishing reading and of course before starting the listening.

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