Dan, one of our international MBA candidates, took the TOEFL exam yesterday from his home. As you probably know, ETS is now offering candidates to take the GRE and TOEFL exams at home since the testing centers around the world are closed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan has already taken this exam once in the past, at the ETS testing center, and can, therefore, compare the 2 experiences:
Dan, how did you book the exam?
I booked the exam the same way as the previous tests were set. I went into the ETS website (the official site of the company behind the TOEFL and GRE tests), I paid the test fee and set a deadline. After setting this, I was directed to a company called ProctorU (probably the technical body that operates the ETS exams). I set an appointment with them (note that the exams seem to be according to the US Pacific time zone, as the earliest slot was for 08:00 AM Pacific).
Was their system flexibility / was the scheduling easy?
Absolutely – there were loads of test slots and even when I wanted, the day before the exam, to reschedule the day, they agreed with no extra cost at all!
What technological aids did you use? Did you buy a special camera?
I saw online that the use of a mac is a little more complicated so I organized a “regular” windows laptop and used that.
Describe the steps until the exam
When I logged in, I was contacted by a friendly operator, who first asked to see my ID (he scanned it). He then took over my computer and asked me to rotate the screen in order for him to see the entire room. He checked my ears (no headset is allowed), asked me to roll up my sleeves, take my phone out of the room and the exam has begun.
Tell about the course of the exam
At first, I asked if it was okay to write things on a blank page – he didn’t agree to this but agreed to a notebook or whiteboard. Then the exam started as usual (4 parts: writing, reading, speaking and hearing), the camera was working throughout the exam and the operator was overseeing me. In the middle of the exam, there was a break. I stepped out for a minute, and when I returned, the operator asked me again if I can show him my ears and sleeves and the exam resumed.
It was definitely a lot calmer and relaxing than an exam at the exam centers. We started on time; I was home and everything was calm. I even got half the score (reading and hearing) immediately and am now waiting for the full score.
Great – we wish you all the best and of course that you will soon be accepted into the best MBA program in the world!
For more readings on the effects of the coronavirus on Top MBA Programs read here: