Is it allowed to take notes during the "read instructions" stage of TOEFL? At this stage the timer is stopped and it's a good time to take notes such as drawing tables for speaking and writing sections. But I'm not sure on whether it is allowed in the exam. I'm asking this question because I didn't find any section of the TOEFL rules that addresses this scenario.

  • I don't think anyone's written about it because it's not cheating and accepted as a valid strategy, otherwise someone would've written about it. You're gonna get reports like "I tried it and it worked", or "I tried it and I got written up"? ... If you get none of the latter, that's good. – Malady Nov 12 '19 at 4:28

I watched the test procedure video. At about 2:47 the paper was described as "scratch paper for your use during timed sections of the test". To me, that suggests you are not allowed to write on it outside the timed sections. You should be able to ask during check-in.

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Afaik the sections are sequential so you don’t get all the material in one go.

Then the reading time is reading time not writing time.

And I have run these exams in the past following their detailed instructions for each section.

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The 'read instruction' section is before the actual test. It will tell you how the actual test is structured and what you are and aren't allowed to do. It is also available online and doesn't depend on the particular instance of the test you get. So if you do a mock exam in preparation, this mock exam will have the exact same 'read instruction' section as the real test. You can and should familiarize yourself with the general structure of the test before taking it but I don't see what kind of notes you would want to take during this section of the actual TOEFL.

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