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

Updated May 27, 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.

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 Available Worldwide

As of April 2, 2020, the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition test is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. 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. To learn more, visit the TOEFL ITP Plus for China website.

Also, in Mainland China, ETS is working closely with NEEA to accommodate test takers impacted by test cancellations, including adding test dates once regular testing resumes, though at this point, it is unclear when that will happen.

ETS launched the at home 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.

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. 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 this solution?

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 solution available?

As of April 2, 2020, the test is available worldwide with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. In Mainland China, ETS is working closely with NEEA to accommodate test takers impacted by test cancellations, including adding test dates once regular testing resumes, though at this point, it is unclear when that will happen.

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

At this time, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test is available until test centers reopen and the situation returns to normality.

How does this solution compare to the regular testing option?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test 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 this solution compare to other English proficiency tests that can be taken from home?

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test 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?

Scores for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test will be received in 6–10 days.

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 TOEFL MyBest scores? Will Special Home Edition scores be factored into MyBest calculations?

Yes, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test 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 Postponements and Rescheduling

Due to concern for the health and safety of students and staff, and in compliance with local and national government directives, TOEFL test centers have been closed in some locations for limited periods of time.

View the list of locations where ETS has suspended TOEFL testing countrywide.

Other countries and regions have limited testing available. Test takers can search for currently available test seats on the TOEFL iBT registration page.

Rescheduling

ETS is working to make the reschedule process as smooth as possible for affected students by automatically rescheduling their test or returning test fees so that they can reschedule their exam.

To minimize the impact of postponements on test takers, ETS is temporarily waiving rescheduling fees for all test takers — whether their test has been postponed, automatically rescheduled, or they are concerned about visiting a test center that remains open.

Score Reports

Due to the mandatory business restrictions at ETS facilities related to COVID-19, delivery of paper score reports may be delayed. Most paper score reports are being sent from ETS 1 to 2 weeks after the test date.

Electronic score delivery will continue on the standard schedule. Score users are encouraged to sign up for the ETS Data Manager. Electronic scores reported to you during the past 2 years will become available the same day.

Other Support for Test Takers

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

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

Seat availability: In areas where test centers have been closed, ETS is working with on-the-ground partners to ensure test seats will be available once testing resumes.

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 the updates on GRE test postponements, visit www.ets.org/gre/cv-update.

Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

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