Hey everyone! I’m David, one of the Magoosh TOEFL experts! Last week I took ETS’ new at-home TOEFL exam. Here’s how it went, what you need to know, and more. To read about my experience, check out my blog post here:
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (read before commenting, as there's a good chance one of these will answer your question 🙂 )
1) What kind of computer operating system do I need?
You can take this test using Windows 7 or higher, or using Max OS X 10.5 or higher.
2) What kind of camera, microphone, and speakers do I need?
Any kind of built in or external camera is acceptable. With the exception of headsets, any kind of built in or external microphone or speakers are also acceptable.
3) What can I take notes with?
You may take notes on a white board or a single plastic sleeve with a single sheet of paper in it. To write your notes, you can use a dry erase marker, or a permanent marker with alcohol wipes for erasing.
4) Can I wear a head covering for religious purposes?
Yes, but otherwise, headwear is prohibited.
5) How does registration and scheduling work, and what test times and dates are available?
You register for the test through the official ETS TOEFL website. You then follow emailed instructions to schedule the test through ProctorU. Test times are offered every day of the week throughout the day, but there may not be many days and times available if you register very short notice. At the time this is being written, you can register about two months in advance if you like. To see exact test date availability, log in to ProctorU after registering for exam through ETS.
6) How does the ETS browser work, and how do I log into the browser to take the test?
Once you download the browser, you should be able to open it, and you should call ETS/TOEFL tech support if you can't. The browser will prompt you for a username and login; your ProctorU proctor will fill in that login for you on test day.
7) How will the proctor connect to me and talk with me?
On test day, your proctor will connect to you through a live chat application that you'll be prompted to download when you click to begin your test in ProctorU. After connecting to you by chat, the proctor will speak to you by both voice and chat.
8) What objects are allowed in my testing room?
You can have just about any object in your testing room. However, in your immediate testing area (your desk, anything within an arms' length), you should only have your marker and note-taking board or sheet, and your testing computer/equipment.
9) Can I take the test in a computer lab?
Yes, as long as you don't have prohibited items in your immediate testing area. (See the question above.)
10) Can a TOEFL Home Edition score be submitted instead of a regular TOEFL iBT score?
Yes. Both scores are treated equally by universities and other organizations.
11) I had technical problems and couldn't take the test. Help! What do I do?
Contact ProctorU's live chat and see if they can help. In some cases they can, and in other cases they'll refer you to ETS. In that case, I recommend calling ETS and asking to speak to a test-taker advocate.
Rinad H. says
I happen to have cancelled my score by mistake since I chose cancel at the end of it instead of report…
will my test be scored regardless of my cancelling it? I feel so daft having done that. So sad about paying an extra 20$ too
Samirah's Wonders says
Is going back to the text after reading the question allowed in case of online TOEFL ibt exam?
priyasi monga says
Hi ,David i m having internet issue .Requorement is of 1 mbps and my internet speed is 50mbps still the proctor u extention is not improving .
Noon Styles says
Hey can you answer this urgently my test is tommorow. Can i write my notes on a pen and paper?
Aziz Vohra says
I am applying for toefl at home. The thing is I am staying out of India right now and the address which I have filled in ets website is my Indian permanent address. When I move forward to pay fees, it shows me fees according to India, and not the place where I am actually staying.
So I want to know can I take exam with my permanent address being in India and I staying outside India during the exam?
Fernando Matosinhos says
HI David, I applied for home edition and Proctor U checked my devices… after that nothing happened… nothing or nobody asked me to show the room or movie my camera… what do you think has happened??? there wasn't any start button available as well to start my test… I lost my application and my money…
DHARANEESH RAJU says
Can I use 3-4 transparent sheets for taking notes ?? Or should I need to use only one sheet ?
Maria Martinez Zerda says
Thanksss, great explanation
Aruna Chandran says
While running the procturU check, it is showing red on internet settings eventhough I have a good internet connection. What to do in that case?
David Jarillo says
Hi could you please say the names of the books that you showed?
Professional 7 says
Raptor Jésus says
why does he never blink ???
Gokce Degerli says
DO NOT TAKE THIS TEST!! my student took the test and there was an error during the test. We contacted the ets and waited for the ınvestıgatıon process whıch by the way supposed to take 7-10 days, took more than a month. and fınally no refund no reschedulıng of a new test. ıts a complete waste of tıme and money. my student mıssed hıs application deadline for unıversity because of their mistake with full scholarship. thıs exam costs a lot of money especıally for countrıes where dollar ıs almost 7 tımes of local currency. the worst part ıs, they are makıng refunds for amerıcan test takers but not for test takers from asia or europe. beacuse there ısnt any way for test takers from these regions to take action. go to reddit there are pages full of complaints. as an educator ets lost complete trust wıth me.
Apfel Apfel says
Home Edition is a complete scam filled with uncompetent technicians» DO NOT TAKE IT.
Abir Chowdhury says
2 important questions (if these are mentioned in other comments, just inform me, I will find out):-
1) Can I get a big white board, and put it beside my work desk, on another table? and using that white board while taking the test on the work-desk?
2) What is the optimum internet bandwidth/speed for this whole test? As I live in a rural area, and the speed fluctuates sometimes.
In any case of WiFi interruption, can I keep my mobile phone to use mobile data using hotspot?
andres arias londoño says
Thank you for the video and have shared your experience. During the test, Am I able to have a bottle of water?
I did the ProctorU equipment check but it gives me an error regarding my operation system.
I'm on Windows 8.1 and I am getting this error: "The minimum version for Windows is 08. You have 8.1." Makes no sense at all.
Hopefully the support will answer in time.
Felix Payr says
How long does the Home Edition Test take?
I guess So says
Hello! My test is this coming Sunday and I’m nervous but I want to ask you if we can test in a room with a bed ? Thanks 😬
G Z says
Amazing video!!! Thanks!!!! Have a question 🙏… How do they recognize that the one who is doing the exam is really you, do they have software that recognizes faces? Thankkkkkyouuuuuuu
Добрый Человек says
It might be an obvious question but I would like to know: what do you use to erase your notes?
Bê Welat says
Can we take notes in speaking section?
AJ Gupta says
Thank you very much kind sir, i was freaking out and stressed but you gave me some hope… God bless
braulio vargas says
David, thanks for the explanation. Would you please talk about the camera? Laptops come with camera, yet the visual angle is limited, plus the are fixed and do not rotate. What happens in this case?