What to Expect

The following outlines procedures specific to taking the THEA IBT.

Arriving at the Test Center

You must arrive at the test center promptly at your scheduled time. A total of four hours of testing time will be provided. You may use the time available to work on any or all of the three sections of the test. The individual test sections (Reading, Mathematics, Writing) are not timed within the test session. You may spend as much time as you want on each section until the test session ends. If you are retaking only one or two sections, you will have the entire four-hour test session to complete whichever sections you have not previously passed. The test includes a countdown clock that will allow you to track your remaining time. You may leave when you have finished testing.

A proctor at the test center will guide you in registering for the test and arranging for payment (if you have not already done so) and will be present at all times while you are testing.

On the day of the test, you may wish to dress comfortably in layers. This will allow you to adjust for the temperature at the test center, which may vary and may not be under the control of the test administrators. Please wear soft-soled shoes to help maintain a quiet testing environment. See "What to Bring to the Test Center" and "Test Center Rules" for more information.

Enhanced security measures, including additional security screenings, may be required by test center facilities. If an additional screening is conducted, only screened persons will be admitted to the test center. If you do not proceed through the security screening, you will not be allowed to test and you will not receive a refund or credit of any kind.

During the Test

A nondisclosure agreement will be presented to you on the computer at the beginning of the test session. It will ask you to indicate your agreement to the conditions set forth on the current THEA IBT Web site, including the Rules of Test Participation and the rules communicated to you, orally or in writing, at the test administration. If you indicate that you do not accept the terms of the agreement, your test session will terminate, you will not be permitted to test, and you will receive no refund of test fees.

Before you begin the test, you will have time to review the online tutorial that offers a brief introduction to the Internet-based testing software. The tutorial includes guidance on how to take the test online.

During testing, only pencils, erasers, your identification, and the notepaper provided by the test proctor will be allowed at your computer workstation.

During the test, you may take a break to go to the restroom. Any time that you take for restroom breaks is considered part of the available testing time. You may not leave the test center or room in which you have been seated for any purpose (other than to use the restroom, as permitted) until you have been officially dismissed by the test proctor. The test proctors will use procedures designed to maintain test security, minimize any disruption to examinees, and prevent any examinee from gaining an unfair advantage. During the test session, you may not communicate with other examinees or any unauthorized persons in any way, including in person or by using any communication device. Failure to comply may result in the voiding of your test scores.

You may answer the test questions in any order, flag questions for later review, and change your answers as needed.

If you are taking the Writing Section of the THEA IBT, you must take both the multiple-choice portion and the writing sample portion. As part of the writing sample portion, you will be asked to write a 300- to 600-word essay in response to a prompt. Your essay may be no more than 1,000 words.

Ending the Test

You may end the test whenever you are done—you are not required to stay for the full test session. When you have completed testing or when the test session ends, you will be prompted to submit your answers for scoring.

In most cases, your score report will be available once your writing sample is scored, which may take up to 10 minutes. You may access your score report from any computer with Internet access by logging in to your account at http://thea.starttest.com. Link opens in a new window

Automatic scoring of your writing sample may not be possible if the writing sample is too short and/or off topic. If your writing sample cannot be automatically scored, it may take up to two business days for your score report to become available.

All of your test materials will be collected before you are dismissed. You may not reenter the test center once you have been dismissed. At the end of the testing time, all test materials will be collected and all examinees will be dismissed.

Absentee Policy

If you are absent from a test session you may reschedule the test session by contacting the institution where you will be taking the test. If you purchased your THEA test in advance of your test session and are absent from a test session because of an emergency circumstance (e.g., illness, injury, hospitalization, death in the immediate family), you may be eligible for a refund. You must mail Evaluation Systems written documentation that is signed by a professional licensed to diagnose or treat the emergency condition (e.g., physician), on that person's professional letterhead, and a letter from you indicating the emergency situation.

These materials must be postmarked within one week of the test session from which you were absent. If you have not received a response, it is your responsibility to contact Evaluation Systems.

Please note that work-related and athletic issues or other extracurricular activities will not be considered emergency situations.