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TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition Test and Other COVID-19 Updates

Updated September 23, 2020

Please bookmark this page. It will serve as a consolidated resource for important information about TOEFL® testing and test taker support initiatives related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). There will be ongoing updates.

Newest update: Test centers are reopening, including in Mainland China. See below for details.

Testing in Mainland China

TOEFL iBT® Testing

In Mainland China, TOEFL iBT® test administrations resumed at a limited number of locations. Additional locations and dates are being added as conditions permit.

Because the availability of seats is still limited, ETS is encouraging students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at this time to register for the TOEFL ITP® Plus for China solution.

TOEFL ITP® Plus for China Solution

To meet the needs of students from Mainland China who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test due to testing suspensions there, ETS and the TOEFL program are temporarily offering the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution. This solution combines the existing paper-delivered TOEFL ITP Level 1 test with a short, unscored video speaking interview, provided by Vericant.

The TOEFL ITP test of academic English is an ETS research-backed assessment with valid, reliable and accurate results. It shares the same rich heritage as the TOEFL iBT test — the world's most widely accepted and respected English-language assessment. The TOEFL ITP test is normally administered by institutions for their specific placement, progress, monitoring and program exit needs, and as such, is generally not intended as a replacement for TOEFL iBT. However, as part of the TOEFL ITP Plus solution, it is a suitable choice for evaluating applicants for admission purposes from China while the TOEFL iBT test is not available.

During this period, this TOEFL ITP Plus version of the test will be administered in China as a paper-pencil test in official test centers under ETS-mandated protocols, procedures and proctors to provide security comparable to that of the TOEFL iBT test, as well as best-in-class procedures for high-stakes paper-based testing.

To learn more, visit the TOEFL ITP Plus for China website, or sign up for one of our informative webinars.

At Home Testing

ETS launched the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition test to meet the needs of students affected by test center closures. It's the same valid and reliable TOEFL iBT test, delivered to test takers at home. Monitoring of the test will be conducted using live remote proctors and artificial intelligence technology by ProctorU®, the leading proctoring solution for online testing.

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is available worldwide, everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, except Mainland China and Iran. Test centers are reopening in mainland China and Iran, as well as many other countries. View Test Center Reopenings below for more information.

Webinars

We are hosting a series of webinars about at home testing to facilitate the sharing of information and answer questions from programs and institutions. We hope you and your colleagues can join us; register for the webinar to learn more, or download the latest version of the webinar presentation.

Should you have questions in the meantime, please see the FAQs below, visit the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition student microsite or email us at toeflnews@ets.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did ETS decide to offer the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition?

ETS is committed to supporting institutions and students during this global health crisis. This at home solution provides a convenient, flexible and safe option for testing, allowing students to complete their applications, so that institutions can make informed admissions decisions.

Where is the Special Home Edition available?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, except Mainland China and Iran.

In Mainland China, TOEFL iBT testing has resumed at a limited number of locations. Additional locations and dates are being added as conditions permit.

In Iran, our test center network is operational and resumed TOEFL iBT testing in June.

How long will the Special Home Edition be available? Is this a long-term solution?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is expected to be available until test centers reopen and the situation returns to normality.

How does the Special Home Edition compare to the regular testing option?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is the same valid and reliable TOEFL iBT test you know and trust. The test is identical in content, format, on-screen experience and scoring to the test given at a test center. Students can prepare for the test using the same prep materials. Only the delivery method has changed.

How does the Special Home Edition compare to other English proficiency tests that can be taken from home?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is the same research-based, valid and reliable TOEFL iBT test of academic English from ETS you already know and trust, so there is no need to compromise your high standards for English-language testing. As you consider whether to accept an at home test, please consider whether it has the quality and security required to fairly and accurately evaluate and admit qualified students who can succeed in your program.

Unlike other at home tests, you can be confident in the security of TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition because there are live, remote proctors for real-time human monitoring of the test taker throughout the test session, in addition to best-in-class artificial intelligence technology. As a result, you can be confident in the scores you receive from this home edition of the TOEFL iBT test.

How soon will scores be reported?

Score reports are being delivered on the regular schedule.

Scores for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition that are sent electronically will be received in 6–10 days.

Paper score reports will be mailed within 11 days after the test date. Delivery times will vary based on local postal services.

Is anything changing with the scoring or the score scale?

There are no changes to the method of scoring or the score scale, so scores can be accepted and used in the same way as the test center version.

Will scores be delivered in all formats?

Scores will be available in all current formats: electronically online via the ETS® Data Manager and automated server-to-server data feeds or paper score reports.

Will TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition score reports contain MyBest scores? Will Special Home Edition scores be factored into MyBest scores calculations?

Yes, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition will offer all of the same features that have been implemented for the TOEFL iBT test over the last year, including MyBest scores and faster score reporting. Special Home Edition scores will be included in MyBest scores calculations.

MyBest scores allow you to see your applicants' best performance in each section across multiple test dates (in addition to traditional scores from a single test date) and can thus enable you to widen your pool of qualified applicants if you choose.

Will the TOEFL Speaking Sample still be available online?

Yes, the test taker's response to one of the questions in the Speaking section of the test will be available online.

How will I know if test scores came from a Special Home Edition test?

Score reports for TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition tests will have a test center code of STNRP, followed by the test taker's 3-digit ISO country code. For example, STNRPKOR means it was a remote proctored (RP) test delivered in Korea. Paper and PDF score reports will also indicate "Special Home Edition" in the Test Center field.

What safeguards are in place to ensure the security of the at home test?

ETS is employing multiple best-in-class security measures that use both real-time human monitoring and artificial intelligence technology to see and respond to even the hardest-to-detect incidents:

  • Live proctors will ensure constant vigilance, including confirming the test taker's identity and scanning their home environment before testing begins, flagging any suspicious activity and intervening if necessary.
  • Artificial Intelligence technology — such as facial recognition, gaze tracking and video recording of the entire session — will guard against malicious activity. Examples of test taker activities that AI will flag as possible cheating incidents include attempts to open a new browser, run unpermitted software and use unpermitted objects such as a cell phone.
How does the remote proctor confirm the test taker's identity and verify ID documents?

Before the test begins, photos are taken of the information within the ID document and of the test taker. The proctor verifies the identification document is current, valid and acceptable, and then uses facial recognition to compare the ID document with the person sitting at the computer. Artificial intelligence is then used to randomly verify the test taker matches the identification document multiple times throughout the test.

Are there accommodations for test takers with disabilities?

Yes, accommodations are available when taking the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. Test takers can request accommodations via their ETS account before registering for a test. If they receive approval for accommodations of extended time, extra breaks, screen magnification or selectable colors, they can register for a test directly in their ETS account. For all other approved accommodations, test takers must register through ETS Disability Services.

Test Center Reopenings

As the world begins to open again from the pandemic, so are test centers. Openings vary by country and are dependent on the prevalence of the coronavirus and local government mandates. The availability of test centers could change due to these factors, which are out of ETS's control. Test takers can search for currently available test seats on the TOEFL iBT registration page.

In Mainland China, TOEFL iBT testing has resumed at a limited number of locations. Additional locations and dates are being added as conditions permit.

In Iran, our test center network is operational and resumed TOEFL iBT testing in June.

View the list of countries where TOEFL iBT testing is available.

Enhanced Test Center Procedures

All test centers are following prevention steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This includes frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and providing disposable wipes so that test takers can wipe down their testing areas. Test takers are required to wear masks at the test center, removing as needed for ID photos.

Rescheduling

ETS is working to make the reschedule process as smooth as possible for test takers whose test appointments are impacted by the pandemic by automatically rescheduling tests, returning test fees or providing a free, self-serve reschedule link in test takers’ accounts so they can reschedule their exams.

Score Reports

Score reports are being delivered on the regular schedule:

Electronic Score Reporting: Official scores will be available approximately 6 days after the test date (6–10 days for the Special Home Edition).

Paper Score Reporting: Paper score reports will be mailed within 11 days after the test date. Delivery times will vary based on local postal services.

Other Support for Test Takers

ETS and the TOEFL® program are committed to supporting students whose tests have been canceled. Recent initiatives include:

Free Test Prep: ETS is providing a free TOEFL® Practice Online (TPO) test to affected students in locations with large-scale cancellations, such as Mainland China.

We are also encouraging students to take advantage of other free TOEFL practice resources, including:

Information: The best resources for students to keep themselves apprised of TOEFL news include:

Mainland China

Other countries

Recent Communications to Institutions

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please email us at toeflnews@ets.org.

GRE® Test Updates

For updates on GRE testing, visit www.ets.org/gre/cv-update.

Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website for the latest information and news regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).