In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, TOEFL created the test which enables candidates to be assessed for English proficiency in the “safety and security” of their own home.
“We’re very pleased that so many institutions around the world have understood our mission
The TOEFL IBT Home Edition “gives the test takers the opportunity to still take an English proficiency test, but in the safety and security of their own home”, said Michelle Hampton, director, TOEFL institutional relations at ETS.
“The benefit of that is that if, let’s say the test taker doesn’t live nearby a test centre normally, or they’re caring for loved ones in the household… They’re able to complete this important part of the application process.”
Hampton said that to date universities aren’t seeing any difference in the test performance of their students, whether they’re taking the home version or in a test centre.
Currently more than 11,000 institutions and organisations that accept the TOEFL IBT have also accepted the total IBT Home Edition test.
“We’re very pleased that so many institutions around the world have understood our mission in trying to make this happen and realise that it’s the exact same test as the one that we give in the test centre,” Hampton added.
Delegates heard that the new test should be of particular use for Indian students who want to study abroad.
“The Indian student population has been coming to the US really as long as the test has been around since 1964, so the experience and the exposure to the assessment is very strong,” Hampton said.
“There are generations of Indian families who have taken the test and studied abroad. It’s important to us because they are a large percentage of the test taking population that we have around the world, whether they’re studying in the US or elsewhere.
Hampton said that her organisation’s “hearts are torn” because, while they want these students to be able to pursue their studies abroad, they know that they’re currently being “devastated and families are upset with the losses that they’re experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
It is hoped that the fact that Indian students will be able to take the test from their homes, will help students continue with their study abroad plans, despite the high numbers of Covid cases in the country.