You will not be permitted to bring any personal items to the test centre, including but not limited to wrist-watch, cellphones, calculators, etc.

I think it means a candidate will not be permitted to bring any items. Is this right or wrong? Please explain with some examples.

  • 1
    Have you searched that very phrase on the internet? Aside from the fact that it should be clear to anyone knowing meaning of to include and to limit. This may help: phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/20/messages/319.html – Cardinal Jan 9 '18 at 17:51
  • I know this isn't the question, but it's worth noting that "including but not limited to" and "etc." are redundant expressions that mean the same thing: "the things on this list, plus other similar things." A better-written sentence would have used only one of these two expressions. – Canadian Yankee Jan 9 '18 at 18:56

Your intuition is right. Here's how I would explain this phrase. The range of items that you will not be permitted to bring with you to the test center include wristwatches, cellphones, calculators and other similar objects. However, there are probably millions of other things a person can take with them when they go somewhere. It would be practically impossible to list every single one of them. So, here we give you a list of the items that you are specifically not allowed to have with you at the test center, but due to the impracticality of listing all possible items that you can't bring with you, the list is not limited to the ones directly specified.

Here's another example:

He has done scientific work in many different fields of science including but not limited to physics, mathematics and biology.

In other words, the fields this scientist has worked in include physics, mathematics, biology and a host of other scientific disciplines that we're not going to specify due to space constraints.


You are right. It says you cannot bring anything belong to you into the test center. The items they show as example are the ones that concern them most, but it's not very reasonable to go anywhere without those items.

I think you can ask them if there's a safe place outside the test room where you can put your stuff while taking the test; such as a coin-operated locker. I recall there's a place where the test takers were asked to leave belongings outside the test room when I took a TOEFL exam long long time ago. I did feel nervous to leave my stuff behind, but fortunately nothing happened. They provided us with pencils in the test room.

If you have your car, you are lucky to leave your stuff in it. Just bring your ID cards and the car key with you.

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