Benefits of the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test during COVID -19


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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 3, 2022 01:33 IST

In response to the current pandemic COVID-19, ETS the conducting body of the TOEFL test has launched the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test, which enables testing from home for the convenience of students wanting to study abroad. The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test started in response to TOEFL test centres being temporarily shut due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now that test centres have begun to open, test takers have the choice of testing at home or in a test centre, based on their preference. If testing at home with the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test, candidates should ensure that their computer meets the equipment requirements for test-taking.

The home edition of the TOEFL test will be available to students until test centres resume functioning in full capacity around the world. In conversation with an expert from ETS-TOEFL, we have answered the most frequently asked questions about the safety and the validity of the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test.

Q. What is the current status of TOEFL test centres in India?

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A. India is in the process of gradually unlocking and returning to the new normal. Similarly, TOEFL test centres are currently operational in 16 cities including Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Currently, around 80% of the TOEFL test centres are fully functional and candidates can expect this number to rise in the next couple of months. Students wanting the latest information about the status of test centres can visit the official website, for more information. Once on the exam registration page, students will find information about open test centres, available TOEFL test dates and time slots for booking the exam.

Q. What are the safety precautions being adopted by TOEFL test centres? How are test centres ensuring adequate social distancing is maintained?

A. Both the TOEFL and GRE test centres in India are run and managed by Prometric. ETS and Prometric ensure that the highest standards of safety measures are adopted in the day-to-day functioning of the test centres. The health and safety of test-takers and staff are paramount.

The use of facial masks has been made mandatory at all times as well as during the duration of the test (optional during the TOEFL Speaking section). Human interaction within the test centres have been brought down to a minimum and the use of technology strengthened. The six feet distance is maintained at all times in the test centre premises. The use of disposable mic covers and regular sanitization of headsets and test centre premises are carried out repeatedly.


Q. Why should a student take the TOEFL Special Home Edition test?

A. The TOEFL Special Home Edition is the same version of the test taken in a test centre, that is accepted and preferred by universities worldwide. Keep moving forward and get where you want to go, even during a global pandemic. TOEFL Special Home Edition is also a very convenient option as the test is taken on your own computer at home and monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®. The test is available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week, with appointments as early as 24 hours after you register. 

Q. Are TOEFL test takers facing any technical glitches? What steps are being taken to resolve such issues?

A. As with anything that has a reliance on technology, there is the opportunity for glitches based on internet speed and connectivity, abrupt power cuts among others. However complications such as these stand at an all-time low of 3%. Test takers should be sure to check their equipment and run the available system check prior to their testing session to ensure a smooth experience. Candidates should also note that the test has been created for the benefit of the student and in no way would test takers be penalized while facing external difficulties. Some measures in place to tackle such incidents include the following:

  • If a bandwidth issue is experienced during the three-hour test, then no time is lost as the timer is picked up once the internet connection is restored. If test completion cannot occur during the session, there is a free reschedule option available.
  • If the student has a power failure and is unable to connect after 30 minutes the test taker can reschedule the test at no extra cost. Candidates can also chat with a representative in case of a live problem.

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Q. What are the safety measures in place to maintain the integrity of the exam?

A. There has been a number of security measures including Artificial Intelligence technology and live proctors that have been adopted by ETS for the smooth functioning of the test at home. Students are thoroughly informed about how they should conduct themselves during the test. Students using or suspected to be using any unfair means would be flagged and their recordings would be sent to the ETS Office of Testing Integrity (OTI) for cross verification. There is a keyboard tracking mechanism in place to ensure that it is the candidate who is typing and nobody else.

Candidates are required to remove all jewellery, they could be required to display their testing area to prove it is free of any recording devices and all secondary and tertiary applications have to be closed – these are some of the measures in place to maintain the reliability of the test.

Q. Is there any difference between the TOEFL test taken at home and at the test centre?

A. There is absolutely no difference in the value of the TOEFL test taken either at the test centre or from the safety of your home. The TOEFL test fee remains the same at $190 for both mediums. The extra costs which come with the Home Edition of the test have been absorbed by ETS. The TOEFL test scores are available within six working days unless your performance has been flagged then it would take up to eight days. The TOEFL format remains the same. Candidates should note that while there is no mention of your test centre in your GRE Score Card, your TOEFL Score Card would have your test centre mentioned.  

If you got more queries regarding the TOEFL Home Edition of the Test, feel free to write to us in the comments below.

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About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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