A message from a 2021 NEAS Management Conference Sponsor – ETS Toefl
In 2021, the ETS Research Division released a report on the comparability and reliability of remote proctored tests. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition was launched in April 2020, shortly after the global pandemic took hold. Several hundred thousand test takers have successfully undertaken remote proctored tests offered by ETS over the last year, which has provided the ETS research division with a significant volume of data with which to compare its test centre delivered iBT and its remote proctored iBT Home Edition.
The research shows that there is significant comparability and reliability in test results across both the remote proctored iBT Home Edition and the test centre-delivered iBT. The Home Edition version of the iBT TOEFL test is provided at scale due to a unique partnership between ETS and ProctorU, which allows the test to leverage the ProctorU Live+ remote proctoring service, enabling a fully proctored English test to be delivered anywhere in the world. This has unlocked significant opportunities for prospective test takers who could not access a test due to temporary test centre closures or due to health concerns during the pandemic. The Home Edition test can be taken 4 days a week, 24 hours a day, providing flexibility and choice to test takers, parents and education agents. Research shows that English test results are largely comparable across remote proctored tests and test centre-delivered tests, providing Admissions officers confidence when assessing applicants and their English language abilities.
Due to the popularity of the iBT Home Edition test, ETS will be launching a new test product in August this year, known as TOEFL Essentials. The TOEFL Essentials test will also be a remote proctored test and offered 24 hours a day across multiple days a week. Like the iBT TOEFL, the TOEFL Essentials test will be a four-skills test. However, it will be an adaptive test covering both Academic and General English skills, at half the length and cost of a standard iBT TOEFL. It will not replace but will sit alongside and in parallel to existing test centre-delivered iBT TOEFL and remote proctored iBT TOEFL Home Edition test options.
ETS TOEFL is committed to education research, quality and innovation and recognises the difficulties that the pandemic has created for test takers, test centres, educators and administrators. The report by Spiros Papageorgiou and Vanessa Manna (2021) Maintaining access to a large-scale test of academic language proficiency during the pandemic: The launch of TOEFL iBT Home Edition, is provided in the link below.