TOEFL is an English proficiency test that is required by non-native speakers who wish to study in universities abroad. It is one of the two major English proficiency tests, the other being IELTS. However, in light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, ETS introduced the TOEFL iBT Home edition as a way for students to attempt the test from the safety and comfort of their homes. Read this blog to find out everything about the TOEFL iBT Home Edition.
Table of contents
- What is the TOEFL iBT Home Edition?
- How to Register for the TOEFL IBT Home Edition
- Equipment and Environment Requirements
- Environment and Testing Space Requirement
- Toefl IBT Home Edition: Preparation Checklist
- Check-In Procedure
- Do’s and Don’ts of TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- Cancellation and Rescheduling
- After the Test
What is the TOEFL iBT Home Edition?
There are two types of TOEFL exams, which are CBT (Computer Based Test) and PBT (Paper Based Test). However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ETS introduced the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, replacing the PBT, as a way for students to attempt the test from the safety and comfort of their home. It is a convenient and a more safe option for those students who are unable to take the test at the test centres because of the pandemic.
Some of the essential pointers that the candidates need to keep in mind before attempting the TOEFL iBT Home Edition are :
- The test is generally offered everywhere where the TOEFL testing is normally available, except in Mainland China and Iran.
- The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is identical in content, format and on-screen experience, in comparison to a test taken at the test centre.
- The test can be taken at your own computer at home. The Test will be 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.
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How to Register for the TOEFL IBT Home Edition
You can find below the steps to register for the TOEFL iBT Home Edition.
- The candidate must log in to their ETS account. In case, the candidate does not have an ETS account for the test, they must create an account. Make sure to check that the name of the account matches the name on the primary ID.
- On your TOEFL home page, the candidate must select Register/Find Test Centers. On the Find Test Centers and Dates Page, select the Home Edition Option. It is important to note that the Home Edition option will only be visible for those candidates who are eligible, which is based on their country.
- Verify your email address and then confirm your time zone or select a new one if required.
- The candidate must then select the two months period within which they would like to take the test, then select the available test date from the calendar.
- After selecting the available test date on the calendar, the candidate can go ahead and click “Register for this test”
- Then follow the directions to continue the registration and pay for the test.
- Upon completion, the candidate will receive a confirmation mail from ETS with the test appointment information along with the link to launch the test.
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Equipment and Environment Requirements
Before attempting the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the candidates must first verify certain requirements. These requirements include verifying your computer and testing room. On failure to meet these requirements, the candidate will be unable to take the test nor will he/she receive a refund or a free rescheduling.
Essential Equipment includes:
The candidates can only use a Desktop or a Laptop Computer. They cannot use Tablets or mobile devices. The requirement further includes:
- PC: Windows operating system, versions 10 or 8
- MAC: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra is recommended).
- The test is required to be attempted only on Chrome or Firefox Browser.
- A proper internal or external speaker to hear the proctor. Headsets and earphones are not allowed.
- The candidates need to use a proper external or internal microphone that is not a part of a headset, to communicate with the proctor.
- For the camera, it can either be an in-built camera or a web camera. Before the test, the camera should be able to move to show the proctor a 360-degree view of the room including the tabletop surface.
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Environment and Testing Space Requirement
- For the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the candidate cannot take the test in a public space such as Parks, Gardens or an Internet Cafe. They have to be in a room alone, without any interruptions.
- The candidate’s computer and the keyboard have to be on a table-top surface. Furthermore, the table and chair must be positioned in a manner that is visible to the proctor.
- The table-top surface must be clear of any equipment that is not required for the test such as cellphones, notes or any study material. Also, Food and any other beverage are not allowed during the test.
- The candidate has to dress formally and appropriately, without any jewellery and hair accessories such as headbands and combs. The candidate’s face and ears must be visible at all times to the proctor. It cannot be covered by hair, hat, face masks or any other related items. However, religious headwear is allowed provided the ears are visible during the duration of the test.
- For taking notes, the candidates can only use either one small desktop whiteboard with an erasable marker or a sheet of paper inside a transparent sheet protector with an erasable marker. At the end of the test, the candidate is required to show the proctor that all the notes have been erased.
Toefl IBT Home Edition: Preparation Checklist
Before taking the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the candidates must first check a few things such as :
- The candidate must first run a ProctorU Equipment Check and check for any issues before check-in for the test. All issues should be fixed before the appointment time.
- Also, all browsers and applications must be closed before the beginning of the test. Also make sure there are not any other devices that may use the internet, to prevent any bandwidth issues during the test.
- Keep all the items that are required during the test such as a Passport or any other acceptable ID and acceptable note-taking materials mentioned earlier.
- The candidate must ensure the testing area meets all the required settings which were mentioned earlier.
- Also, make sure to dress appropriately and to keep your ears and face visible to the proctor.
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Before attempting the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the candidate must first check in. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete. The candidate will have up to 12 minutes after the scheduled test time to check-in, after which the test will be cancelled and the fee will not be refunded. Furthermore, other steps include :
- At the appointment time, the candidate should select the “Start Your Test” Link which is available on the ETS confirmation mail.
- Select “Start Session” and complete the authorisation steps which include showing appropriate ID to the proctor. Also, make sure the name of the ID matches that of your ETS Account.
- Then the proctor will go through the rules and regulations of the test and request access to the computer screen for monitoring purposes.
- The proctor will then request a hand-held mirror or a cell phone to show your computer screen. Furthermore, the proctor will also ask the candidate to move the computer’s camera to show a 360-degree view of the room and table-top surface. It also includes any other places that the proctor wishes to check.
- Finally, the proctor will launch the ETS test browser and enter the ETS ID and password to gain access to the test.
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Do’s and Don’ts of TOEFL iBT Home Edition
Do’s of the test include :
- During the test, the proctor will monitor the candidate through the computer’s camera and the computer screen. Hence, ensure that all the test procedures are followed thoroughly.
- Candidates must always ensure that they are visible on the camera. Any suspicious movement can lead to immediate invalidation of the test.
- The candidate must conduct a thorough check with the help of the ProctorU Equipment Check to ensure there are no issues. In case the candidate needs to contact or gain the attention of the proctor, they can use the LogMeIn chat. The proctor may take 30 to 60 secs to reply or address your concerns.
- Make sure all the equipment and environment requirements are met including proper attire.
- Make sure to check-in at the most appropriate time to ensure you are not late for the test.
Dont’s of the test include :
- The candidate should not use unauthorised material or equipment such as mobile phones, pre-written notes or any textbook while taking the test. This is also not allowed during break time. Furthermore, any kind of personal recording is not allowed.
- The candidate should disable any screen-sharing or remote access software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams before beginning the test. They must make sure the software does not open unexpectedly during the test and only communicate with the proctor.
- Candidates are not allowed to use headphones or earphones as stated earlier.
- The candidates are not allowed to take unscheduled breaks. The candidates are given a 10-minute break after the listening section of the test wherein they are allowed to leave their seats. Also, they must return to their seats on time.
- Also, the candidate must make sure there is no inappropriate reuse of shared testing devices and common testing locations which may result in either score delay or score cancellation. Not to mention, it could impact the candidate’s eligibility to take future ETS exams.
Cancellation and Rescheduling
In case candidates are unable to attend their TOEFL iBT Home Edition on the scheduled date, they can always either cancel or reschedule their test dates:
- For cancellation and rescheduling of the test, the candidates must do it full 4 days before the date of the test. ( However, it should be noted that in the case of test-takers in Korea, they need to cancel within 7 days after registration to receive the full refund)
- Also, a fee of US$60 rescheduling fees has to be paid before the candidate can register for a new test.
- While the candidates cannot cancel or reschedule the TOEFL iBT Home Edition test through email, mail or the TOEFL Official App, they can cancel or reschedule either online through their ETS account or by phone.
- For cancelling or rescheduling via phone, the candidates must provide their appointment number and full name that was used while making the appointment. In the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or Canada, the candidates can call +1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-468-6335. In the case of other countries, the candidates should contact their regional registration centre.
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After the Test
In the case of TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the post-test procedures are almost the same as that of a test attempted at a test centre.
For Scores and Results :
- In the case of Electronic Score Reporting, the candidates can expect their scores within 6-10 days after the date of the test in their ETS account. The candidate can always ask for additional score reports via their ETS account.
- Due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paper Score Reporting may be delayed. Most of the paper score reports may be sent 1 to 2 weeks after the date of the test.
- Additionally, the scores will also be sent to the institution that the candidate had selected during registration.
- Also, if the candidates wish to appear for retesting, they can register for another TOEFL iBT Home Edition appointment and need to follow the same procedure as before.
- It is important to note that the candidate cannot test more than once within three days.
This was all about the TOEFL iBT Home Edition. Also, if you are planning to prepare or appear for the TOEFL test and want to score well, you can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you in building a proper and strong preparation plan.