Know all about the TOEFL iBT Test and the TOEFL Special Home Based Edition from the Experts


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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 3, 2022 01:22 IST

TOEFL Exam 2024: In conversation with Sheena Kumar - Manager (Language Proficiency) Master Trainer for TOEFL iBT; Abhishek Paul - Sr. Manager; Mohammed Samiuddin - Senior Consultant; Jacob K A- ETS TOEFL Master Trainer; Joseph Augustine- Senior Consultant; Syed Ashraf Ali- Associate Partner; Crystal Kwentoh- Director, Strategic Marketing ETS TOEFL; Siddharth Iyer - Business Consultant, ETS TOEFL India; Sandy Bhangal - Associate Director, TOEFL Client Relations, ETS Global, United Kingdom; Tina Tuccillo- Senior Director, Marketing - TOEFL and Nuriya Ansari - Managing Partner discussed the important aspects of the TOEFL iBT Test and the TOEFL Special Home Based Edition Test for the benefit of our readers.

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Q. What is the right time to appear for the TOEFL test?

A. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test happens every month and candidates can appear for the TOEFL test 50 times a year. Candidates can re-take the test after 3 days after their previous test. There is no right or wrong time per se. Candidates looking to study abroad or universities that require TOEFL scores as part of their admission process are when candidates should register and appear for the test.

Q. Any preparation tips for the TOEFL test?

A. The intensity of preparation depends entirely on one's English Language prowess. Ideally, one should practice for three months prior to the test date. Candidates can visit the TOEFL preparation page or the official ETS website for the latest test prep material (both free and paid) which is also available on Amazon. Students can also check out the TOEFL GO App available on both android and iOS platforms. Candidates looking for a step-by-step TOEFL preparation guide can follow the expert tips mentioned below:

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  • Get to Know the Format of the TOEFL Test
  • Know Why You Are Taking the TOEFL Test
  • Have a Minimum Score in Mind
  • Get a Study Guide
  • Get Support from a Teacher or Peer
  • Practice Reading Non-technical English
  • Practice Listening to English with Your Learning Goal in Mind

Q. What is the fee for the TOEFL iBT Test?

A. The fee for the TOEFL iBT test as well as the TOEFL Special Home Based Edition is $190. The official website accepts payments made via Visa Card and PayPal.

Q. Who accepts TOEFL Test scores?

A. TOEFL is a Language Proficiency Test and is accepted in over 11,000 universities across 150 countries. The TOEFL test is preferred by 9 out of 10 universities and accepted in most universities. However, candidates are advised to check with the university before registering for the exam

Q. How do you register for the TOEFL test?

A. Online registration is the fastest, easiest method. Candidates can enter a location where they wish to appear for the test, and see what dates are available for that particular test centre. Registration is available five to six months before the test date, but be sure to register early to reserve your seat.

Q. What is the TOEFL Special Home Edition?

A. Introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, COVID -19. The TOEFL Special Home Based Edition is a version of the TOEFL test that can be taken from the comfort and safety of your home. To make the test-taking experience seamless during the pandemic when most test centres were shut, ETS brought the TOEFL test to the home of the candidate. Currently, the TOEFL test is available 4 days a week in India.

The TOEFL Special Home Based Edition is currently available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, except in Mainland China and Iran. The at-home testing option is available to anyone who meets the following requirements:

  • Your computer meets the equipment requirements for the test, including the installation of the ETS Test Browser, and can pass the ProctorU Systems Check
  • You have a room that provides an acceptable environment for the test

Note: The ability to register for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is dependent on the country name you enter in your ETS account, not your physical address or IP address. If the test is available in the country you enter, you'll see the "Special Home Edition" option as you begin registration. For example, if you select Mainland China, Iran, Chad, Fiji, etc., as your country in your ETS account, you won't see the at-home testing option.

Q. What about the technical issues faced by candidates opting for the TOEFL Special Home Based Edition?

A. Candidates who face technical issues immediately before the Special Home Edition test can contact ProctorU via the Live Chat feature in their ProctorU account. If the candidate faces a technical issue during their test that prohibits him from speaking to the proctor, he can call ProctorU at +1-855-772-8678 for assistance. This won't affect the amount of time the candidate has to complete the test. The timer for your test doesn't begin until the proctor enters the password.

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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. 

Q. Can a candidate fail the TOEFL Test?

A. There are no passing or failing the TOEFL test. Universities and programs that accept TOEFL scores set their own score requirements based on specific English skills their students need to have. Therefore, score requirements can vary. It is recommended that students contact the institution directly to fully understand the TOEFL score requirements.

Q. What are TOEFL Score Requirements?

A. TOEFL score requirements vary by country, course and university. In the UK, candidates will need a minimum total score of 72 (Listening: 17; Writing: 17; Speaking: 20; Reading: 18) for a visa and some universities may require a total of 72 or slightly higher. In the US, the average TOEFL minimum score requirement for universities is 78. Candidates are advised to visit the university websites to get an accurate idea.

Q. How is the TOEFL test scored?

A. The TOEFL Test is divided into four sections. Each section is scored out of 30, bringing the total score to 120.

Q. Does TOEFL provide scholarships?

A. For scholarships candidates will need to visit the university website but the score requirements are usually high but achievable.

Q. When are the scores available to the candidates?

A. Candidates can expect their TOEFL iBT test centre results six days from the day of appearing for the exam. ETS has dropped the turnaround test score duration from 10 days the last year to six days this year. The score for the TOEFL iBT home version takes a little bit longer, it is between 6 to 10 days, but students can be assured not more than 10 days.

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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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