TOEFL iBT HOME EDITION: THE TOEFL FROM HOME

Have you just received confirmation that you need to validate your English level with the TOEFL and you don’t have much time to do it? If so, you need to familiarize yourself with the TOEFL iBT Home Edition. In this article, you will learn what the TOEFL at Home edition is, who accepts it, how to register and much more about the TOEFL iBT Home Edition.

Table of Contents

What Is the Home Edition?

The TOEFL ibT Home Edition is the same TOEFL iBT test with the only difference that, instead of forcing you to go to an official test center, you can complete it at home. This TOEFL iBT option first came about in 2020 as a response to the confinements experienced around the world. Since then, ETS (the company that owns the test) was able to create a test that could be taken from any computer. Today, it is a globally accepted test.

Who Accepts the TOEFL iBT Home Edition?

The TOEFL iBT is accepted by more than 11,500 institutions worldwide. By volume of acceptance, it is the world leader. However, What happens with the TOEFL iBT Home Edition?  At the time of this writing, ETS does not publish specific data on the Home Edition. On its official website, it specifies that “Home Edition is still a TOEFL iBT test, scores can be accepted and used in the same way as the test center version”. In reality, it is accepted in virtually the same way as the test center version. However, we recommend 2 checks:
  1. Click on the link and check and to see if the institution you are interested in accepts it.
  2. Go to the website of the college you want to apply to and look at its admissions policy. If it determines that you must obtain TOEFL iBT score X by default and, unless it specifically excludes the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the home version is accepted.
Here are 3 examples for you to see:
  • Arizona State: explicitly states that it does not accept the Home Edition.
A screenshot of the Arizona State University website in which it's disclosed that they do not accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition as a valid option
  • NYU: explicitly states that it accepts it
A screenshot of the New York University website in which it's disclosed that they accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition as a valid option
  • Harvard Business School: talks about the iBT, so it includes the iBT Home Edition
A screenshot of the Harvard website in which it's disclosed that they accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition as a valid option
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How to Enroll for the Home Edition?

In this blog you will find an article in which we explain in detail the registration process for the TOEFL exam. However, here are the steps you need to complete:
  1. Register at ets.org
  2. Log in and access the “My Tests” section.
  3. Click on the option “TOEFL Home Edition”.
  4. Verify your email address to receive all your communications.
  5. Verify your time zone in the “Change My Time Zone” zone.
  6. Finally, “Register For This Test”.

Technical Requirements for Taking the TOEFL iBT From Home

We recommend that you ALWAYS check the official ETS website for new updates. However, we have prepared a summary of the most significant ones:
  1. Technical
    • Equipment: see this link for more details
      1. You must use a computer (laptop or desktop). Phones and tablets are not valid.
      2. Only one monitor can be used. If you have more than one screen they must be disconnected.
      3. Operating systems: Mac® and Windows®.
      4. Browsers: Chrome™ or Firefox®.
    • Software for the test
      1. You will need to download ETS Secure Test Browser to your computer
      2. Run the ProctorU Equipment Check“. This command is used by ETS to validate that your equipment is ready for test day. Do this operation and do not stop until you get the validation. To avoid problems complete this process days before the test date
      3. Make sure that your antivirus and firewalls do not interfere with the proper functioning of the testing software.
    • Speakers and Microphone
      1. Speakers:
        • Allowed: internal and/or external speakers.
        • Not allowed: headphones or earphones of any kind
      2. Microphone:
        • Allowed: any type of internal or external microphone that is not part of equipment that includes headphones.
        • Camera: Allowed: internal or external. Must allow you to give a 360 view of the room if you are required to do a verification.
  2. Environment
    • Privacy
      1. You must be alone in the room with the doors closed at all times
      2. You cannot do the examination in a public place
    • Location
      1. Your computer (including keyboard) must be located on a table.
      2. The location of your computer must be constantly facing the door to verify that it is kept closed
      3. The table and its surroundings must be free of the following objects: telephones (except for when required for ckecking), cameras, notes, notes and books
      4. You must be seated in a chair at all times. No beds, couches or anything other than a chair are acceptable
      5. You are not allowed to have food or drink during the exam.
    • Attire
      1. Ears and eyes must remain in full view during the entire exam. Religious attire is permitted as long as the ears are visible. Masks are not permitted.
      2. Dress appropriately during your exam as you will be observed by the examiner and your photo will be shared with the institutions receiving your scores.
      3. Smartwatches are also not allowed.
    • Note-taking materials
      1. Paper notes are not allowed
      2. In order to take notes, the use of the following is allowed
        • Whiteboard using erasable marker pen
        • A sheet of paper inside a protective plastic sheet on which to write with an erasable marker
        • At the end of the exam you must show the examiner that all notes taken have been erased.

In addition to this summary of requirements, here is a link to a video showing everything you will need to do on the day of the test.
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When Do You Receive Your TOEFL iBT Home Edition Scores?

Once the test is over, these are the dates you should keep track of:

  • Receipt of your scores: within 4 to 8 days after your test. You will receive an email from ETS informing you that your scores are available in your account.
  • Receipt of your transcript: You will receive your transcript 2 days after you access your scores in your ETS account.
  • Receipt of your scores by your application centers: As an applicant, you have 4 free designations for ETS to send your scores. In other words, your scores can be sent to 4 institutions at no cost to you. The time it takes for each institution to receive your transcript depends on the method by which they receive it (Data Manager or Server Feeds). The timeframe ranges from 4 to 10 working days.

Why Should You Take the TOEFL From Home?

After reading this article carefully, we guess you are asking yourself the following question: Why should I take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition and not go to a testing center? EPIC PREP always, whenever possible, recommends our students to take the home version for 3 main reasons:

  1. Speed : usually when you want to register for the Home Edition version you usually have availability within 2 to 3 days. When we talk about using an authorized center, the issue becomes more complicated. The deadlines are longer and the time offers are much more restrictive. If you are in a hurry to take the TOEFL, the home version is a better option.
  2. Accessibility: depending on where you live, you will not have a center near you, so in terms of costs (travel) the iBT Home Edition provides you with an access point regardless of where you are.
  3. Concentration: This last point is controversial and will always depend on the center. However, there is a fairly widespread complaint among students who take the exam in official Spanish centers. Usually the centers tend to be noisy and a bit chaotic, so they tend to have a negative impact on the student’s concentration. So if you need peace and quiet to perform at the highest level, opt for the Home Edition.

Hopefully this blog post has resolved all your doubts. However, if you have questions in regards to your TOEFL preparation, get in touch and we will let you know how EPIC PREP can help you achieve your goals. Differently, if you preffer to continue reading here is the link to our TOEFL courses page.

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