How to prepare for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in 2020

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test is now available for those who are unable to take the English language proficiency test at a centre due to public health concerns.

The home edition will be identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the ones in test centres. The main difference is it will be taken on your own computer at home and monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.

From now until September 30, 2020, at-home tests are available around the clock four days per week, and appointments may be available as early as 24 hours after you’ve registered. (plz follow AP style for date)

Here’s how to prepare for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test.

Take practice tests

The TOEFL is designed to test non-native English speakers on their writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills.

Take a practice test to determine which area of the test you need to spend more time preparing for. TOEFL iBT practice tests can be found on the ETS website along with a number of other online resources.

Engage a tutor if you need one

Feel like you need some help acing the test? You can always hire an online tutor.

Preply has a list of TOEFL test prep tutors who will teach via Skype. You can choose one based on your budget and needs.

On Preply’s website, you can book an Online TOEFL test prep class, a trial lesson or send messages to potential tutors too.

When hiring an online tutor, make sure to choose carefully so you don’t end up wasting the fees. Check out their educational background and teaching experience, and be sure to book from reputable websites only.

Use to practice your writing.

Set up an account free of charge (no credit card required), type any text in the left-hand text box and immediately see how you can improve your writing for fluent, native English in the right-hand text box. The changes in both the original and revised texts are highlighted so you can learn for next time. You get to practice with 10,000 word per month for free and then up to 50,000 words per month if you upgrade for only US$10.

Make sure you have the right equipment

Ready to take the test? Once you’ve registered and paid the test fee, ensure that your computer has the following requirements for the at-home test to run:

Computer: Desktop/laptop. PC with Windows® operating system version 10, 8 or 7, or a Mac® computer with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra recommended)

Browser: Chrome™ or Firefox® browser

ETS Test Browser – click here for guidelines to install

Speaker: internal or external; not part of a headset

Microphone: internal or external; not part of a headset

Camera: internal or external, to show a 360-degree view of room

ProctorU® Systems Check from the computer you’ll use to test

Set up your at-home test space

When preparing for test day, spend some time creating a quiet and distraction-free space to take your test. The ETS website states that you must be alone in a room with no one else entering while you’re taking the test.

You are also not allowed to take your test in a public space, such as a cafe or a park. Other requirements are as follows:

Computer and keyboard must be on a desk or other tabletop surface.

The tabletop and surrounding area must be clear of all items not approved for use during the test.

You must sit in a standard chair; you may not sit or lie on a bed, couch or overstuffed chair.

Food and drinks are not allowed during the test.

Make sure you have everything on hand at least an hour before the test.

Adapted from an article by Study International Staff first published on on June 25, 2020