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Frequently Asked Questions About the TOEFL ITP® Plus for China Solution

General Information

Why did ETS decide to offer the TOEFL ITP® Plus for China solution?

ETS knows how critical Chinese students are to your international student recruitment, and we are committed to supporting institutions and students during this global health crisis. The TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution, which combined the TOEFL ITP test and a video speaking interview provided by Vericant, offered a secure, alternative way to evaluate the English-language proficiency of Mainland Chinese students while TOEFL iBT® testing was unavailable. It allows institutions to make informed admissions decisions using a high-quality, reliable solution from ETS and the TOEFL® program.

ETS also wanted to do its part to help Chinese students continue their educational journeys, just as the tens of thousands of others around the world who have taken advantage of the TOEFL iBT at home testing solution have been able to do.

Why should I accept TOEFL ITP Plus for China scores?

The TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution was intended to give you the option and ability to continue to receive and process applications from Mainland China while the TOEFL iBT test was unavailable. Scores are valid for 2 years after the test date. You can trust the high-quality TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution from the TOEFL program at ETS for valid and reliable test results.

What institutions are currently accepting the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution?

View the list of institutions currently accepting the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution.

How long will this solution be available? Is it a long-term solution?

The TOEFL ITP Plus solution is no longer available. It was intended to be temporary and available until TOEFL iBT test centers reopened.

How were you able to offer the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution while TOEFL iBT test centers were closed?

ETS used a different test center network for these paper-delivered TOEFL ITP Plus for China administrations. These test centers were operated by ATA under strict ETS-mandated protocols, procedures and proctoring to provide security comparable to that of the TOEFL iBT test, as well as best-in-class procedures for high-stakes paper-based testing.

Were students from Mainland China residing outside the country take the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution?

No, only students physically located in Mainland China were able to take the test and interview.

What was the fee for the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution?

The fee for the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution was RMB 995 or US$140. This included the TOEFL ITP test and the unscored video speaking interview provided by Vericant.

After students purchased the combined solution once, they had the option to retake just the TOEFL ITP test, by purchasing the TOEFL ITP test only for RMB 495 or US$70.

How did you communicate this information about the testing to students in Mainland China?

ETS communicated frequently with prospective test takers through the ETS China Website, Sina Weibo and WeChat. We also reached out to test takers whose TOEFL iBT testing appointment had been rescheduled.

Information for test takers and applicants about TOEFL ITP Plus for China was available on https://toefl.cn/family-itp.php. In general, the best resources for students to keep themselves apprised of TOEFL news in Mainland China included:

When did testing take place?

Testing took place from May 30, 2020, through December 2020.

What is Vericant?

Vericant is an established, known provider of third-party interviews for higher education use. Vericant provided the secured video speaking interview in TOEFL ITP Plus for China, which can help admissions offices better evaluate each of their applicants.

What is ATA?

ATA is the leader in providing testing and assessment services in China and a pioneer of performance-based testing and innovative assessment technologies around the world. ATA operates more than 3,000 test centers with 700k+ testing seats in 31 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and special administrative regions across China. Learn more about ATA.

I have heard that video interviews are expensive? Isn’t this an undue burden for students and applicants?

On their own, some video interviews may be on the expensive side. However, for the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution, which included both the TOEFL ITP test and a Vericant video interview, an attractive special bundled price of RMB 995 (US$140) was offered. This, is far less than the cost of a standalone interview from Vericant or other major interview providers.

If test takers chose to repeat the TOEFL ITP test on its own, the cost to them was RMB 495 (US$70) for the test only, so the effective price for the video interview through this bundled option was only US$70.

I know some other tests available in China that may provide a free "video interview?" How does this solution compare to those?
Some tests that may claim to offer a free video interview may not offer an actual interactive interview, but only a set of video-recorded student spoken responses to computer-generated prompts. The university interview offered through TOEFL ITP Plus for China by Vericant was an actual interactive conversation with a native English speaker in real time, administered under secure conditions, designed to provide you with unique insights about your applicant.

Test Content, Score Scales and Score Requirements

What skills were measured by the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution?

The TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution measured the following 3 skills:

  • Listening Comprehension measured the ability to understand spoken English as it is used in colleges and universities.
  • Structure and Written Expression measured recognition of selected structural and grammatical points in standard written English.
  • Reading Comprehension measured the ability to read and understand academic material written in English.
What is the TOEFL ITP score scale?

The Level 1 TOEFL ITP test (Intermediate to advanced) has 3 section scores and 1 total score.

The current TOEFL ITP Test Taker Handbook provides information about the total and section score scales.

How will I know what score my institution should require?

Based upon TOEFL ITP research, ETS provided baseline recommendations for score requirements for the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution to help you with the process of establishing TOEFL ITP cut scores. When determining score requirements, institutions may also wish to consider institution-specific elements such as the English-language demands of its courses and the amount of language support available.

Below is a table that shows ETS recommendations for TOEFL ITP Plus for China total and section scores.

This recommendation for total and section score requirements is based on the TOEFL program’s experience working with score users as well as on studies conducted in recent years to facilitate the interpretation and use of TOEFL ITP scores.

Additional score level guidance is provided through the TOEFL ITP Section Score Descriptors.

In general, institutions require scores that map onto CEFR level B2 or higher (moderate language demands) or CEFR level C1 or higher (High language demands) when using the CEFR to set score requirements for admissions. Equivalent information for the TOEFL iBT test may be found at Comparing TOEFL iBT Scores to the CEFR.

What did the Vericant interview measure? How was it conducted?

The Vericant interview was an unscored, interactive, structured conversation with a native English speaker in real time, administered under secure conditions. Learn more about the Vericant university interview.

Who conducted the Vericant interview?

All Vericant interviewers were native English speakers who went through rigorous training to help maintain a high level of consistency and quality for every single interview.

What was the Vericant speaking interview score scale?

The Vericant speaking interview was unscored. However, for institutions interested in self-scoring the interview, view the Vericant Interview Guide.

Security

What security measures were in place for the paper-delivered TOEFL ITP test?

Test centers that administered the paper-delivered TOEFL ITP test were operated by ATA under strict ETS-mandated protocols, procedures and proctoring to provide security comparable to that of the TOEFL iBT test, as well as best-in-class procedures for high-stakes paper-delivered testing.

ETS has stringent identification document requirements for its tests used for high-stakes purposes. For the TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution, only the China National ID document was used by citizens. The National ID card was read by a scanner in each test center that connected to the national database. Citizens of other countries could only use a passport for identification.

Upon registration, the test taker uploaded a photo which appeared on their admission ticket on the day of the test. Identity was matched at 3 points: the test center supervisor compared the test taker photo on the admission ticket with the test taker checking in as well as with the photo found in the national data base. In addition, electronic wanding and PocketHound detectors were also used to detect unauthorized items.

How was the paper-delivered test proctored?

The paper-delivered TOEFL ITP test was administered at ETS-authorized test centers. Proctors were trained in ETS-mandated protocols and procedures.

What security measures were in place for the Vericant interview?

To ensure identity, Vericant used a 3-step verification process.

  • During registration, students were required to upload a clear photo of themselves with their identification document. The student's photo and profile information were then compared with the information on their ID.
  • On the day of the interview, the student's ID document had to match the ID used for registration. It also had to match the individual to be interviewed.
  • After the interview was conducted, during the processing of the interview video, Vericant staff again checked to ensure the student in the interview video was the student registered in the system.

During the interview, interviewers ensured the student was alone in the room and could not receive any aid from another party. Materials for each interview were selected at random by the Vericant system and all follow-up questions were non-scripted and based on the student's response. This guaranteed that no 2 interviews were alike and it was impossible to predict what would be asked.

Once the student received the link to review their interview, the interview could not be edited, so that the university saw exactly what was recorded. Learn more about the Vericant university interview.

What security measures were in place to ensure the same student was taking the TOEFL ITP test and completed the interview?

Both ATA, the organization which administered the paper-delivered TOEFL ITP test under ETS-mandated procedures and protocols, and Vericant, which conducted the interviews independently, verified that the student participating in the test or interview respectively was the owner of the China National ID submitted by that student. The student's ID number was used as the unique identifier to share information about that student between ETS/ATA and Vericant. For non-citizens, the passport and passport number was used.

Scores and Score Reporting

How and when did students receive their scores and interview?

Students had to complete both the TOEFL ITP test and the Vericant interview before scores could be sent to universities. Students received their TOEFL ITP scores and their Vericant interview in their Vericant account 4 business days after completing both. Students were then able to review their TOEFL ITP scores and interview in the Vericant student portal, but were unable to edit the interview.

How did students send scores and the interview to universities?

Once the scores from all the TOEFL ITP tests and Vericant interviews were in the Vericant Student Portal, students went to the "Send to Schools" page and selected the set of test scores (from a single test date) and the interview version (if they had recorded multiple interviews) they wanted to send to each university. They chose as many universities as they wished, but each university was sent only one student-selected set of test scores and interview, which could not be changed after it had been sent.

Students were able to send their scores and interview to any of the 4,000 institutions around the world that were in the Vericant database. If a university was not in the Vericant database, the student could contact Vericant support to have the school added.

How will my institution receive the scores and interview?

Once the student had selected the set of TOEFL ITP scores and the interview to be sent to a selected university, they were sent together to schools by Vericant, to be accessed and viewed by schools using their Vericant School Portal.

If the university already has a Vericant account (email on file), the university user can see the scores and the interview by logging into their Vericant School Portal. The university may also set up an email notification when new scores and interviews are added to the portal.

If the university has Slate integration turned on, the scores and the interview will be sent to the university's Slate database, and the university does not need to log in to the Vericant School Portal.

If the university does not already have a Vericant account (no user email on file) but a student selected the university as a recipient, Vericant will contact the university admissions office through email and advise them to create a Vericant School Portal account to view the scores and interview. Universities, at any time, may also create a Vericant School Portal account in advance.

Vericant maintains a database of over 4,000 institutions to which students could send TOEFL ITP Plus for China scores and interviews, and also provides an easy way for test takers to add additional universities. ETS worked with Vericant to reduce the chance of a TOEFL score user not being in the Vericant database.

To check if your university is already listed in the Vericant database, review the Vericant list of institutions. If it is not listed, we suggest you create a Vericant School Portal account in advance, and your university will be added to the database and made available to students.

The User Guide to the Vericant School Portal for Institutions provides further information, including:

  • setup and technical instructions, including Slate setup or integration
  • tips for navigating the portal
  • a sample score report under the Student Profile page
  • a sample export file under the Student List page
If my institution is not in Vericant’s system, how will we get the scores?

If the university does not already have a Vericant account (no user email on file) but a student selected the university as a recipient, Vericant will contact the university admissions office through email and advise them to create a Vericant School Portal account to view the scores and interview. Universities, at any time, may also create a Vericant School Portal account in advance.

Will the institution get a copy of the TOEFL ITP score report?

Students received their TOEFL ITP scores as a PDF file 4 business days after completion of the test and by mail within 7 business days. The reporting of the scores to institutions will not use this format but will be based on the electronic information provided to institutions in the Vericant School Portal. TOEFL ITP Scores reported to institutions through the Vericant School Portal are official ETS TOEFL ITP scores.

Will there be a photo of the test taker along with official ETS TOEFL ITP score information?

Yes. The official scores and the interview reported in the Vericant School Portal will be accompanied by the photo of the test taker that was taken during the video interview.

How soon were scores reported?

Scores were reported to a test takers Vericant account 4 business days after completing both the TOEFL ITP test and Vericant interview. Test takers were unable to edit the speaking interview. Once the TOEFL ITP scores and interview video were ready, the student initiated the process of sending them to the chosen institutions. Each institution would be sent only one student-selected set of test scores and interview, which could not be changed afterwards.

How can I verify scores sent to my institution?

TOEFL ITP scores reported to institutions through the Vericant School Portal are official ETS scores. If you need additional verification, please email the details of the score report, including the students' National ID or Passport number, to ETS China at itp-verification@etsglobal.org. Scores from the TOEFL ITP test are valid for 2 years from the test date.

Will I be able to see TOEFL ITP Plus for China scores in ETS® Data Manager or the OSVS system that students send to me?

No, you will not be able to see the TOEFL ITP Plus for China scores in the ETS Data Manager or the OSVS system. The scores are only available in the Vericant Schools Portal.

Will TOEFL ITP Plus for China score reports include TOEFL MyBest® scores? Will these scores be factored into MyBest calculations?

No, TOEFL ITP Plus for China score reports will not include TOEFL MyBest scores, and TOEFL ITP Plus for China scores will not be factored into a test taker's MyBest score calculations. MyBest scores are only available for TOEFL iBT tests.