TOEFL iBT® Home Edition Test Day Requirements, Rules, Tips and More!

The TOEFL iBT® Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who prefer to take their test at home rather than a test center. The test is:

  • Accepted by all universities
  • Offered everywhere that TOEFL® testing is normally available, based on the country of your account address, except Mainland China and Iran
  • Identical in content, format and on-screen experience to a test taken at a test center
  • Taken on your own computer at home and monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®
  • Available 24 hours a day, 4 days a week, with appointments as early as 24 hours after you register

Equipment Requirement:

1.   Computer

Desktop or laptop computer; you can't use a tablet or mobile device

  • PC: Windows® operating system, versions 10 or 8
  • MAC®: Mac OS X® 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra is recommended).

Chrome™ or Firefox® browser

2.  Browser Download and Equipment Check

Download and install the ETS Secure Test Browser on the computer you'll use to test. To fully install the browser, run the file after downloading it. You can close the browser once you see the following message: "Success! You have installed the ETS secure test browser."

Run the ProctorU® Equipment Check from the computer you'll use to test. If you fail the equipment check, you must fix any issues before test day. Live ProctorU representatives are available to help.

Computer firewalls and security applications can interfere with the test delivery software. If you experience this issue, you may need to disable or reconfigure your applications prior to the test.

3.  Speaker

  • Use an internal or external speaker to hear the proctor.
  • Headsets or earphones aren't allowed.

4.  Microphone

  • Use an internal or external microphone that isn't part of a headset to communicate with the proctor.

5.  Camera

  • Can be a built-in camera in the computer or a separate webcam.
  • Camera must be able to be moved to show the proctor a 360-degree view of the room, including your tabletop surface, before the test.

Environment and Testing Space Requirement:

1.  Privacy

  • You must be alone in a room with no one else entering during the test.
  • You can't take the test in a public space such as a park, internet cafe or restaurant.
  • You must close all doors in the room before beginning the test.

2.    Tabletop and Seating

  • Your computer and keyboard must be on a desk or other tabletop surface.
  • Position your table and chair so the door to the room will be visible to the proctor. The proctor may require you to do this at check in.
  • The tabletop and surrounding area must be clear of all items not approved for use during the test, including cell phones (except when used for check in), cameras, notes and study materials. The furniture and décor in the room don't need to be removed.
  • You must sit in a standard chair; you can't sit or lie on a bed, couch or overstuffed chair.
  • Food and drink aren't allowed during the test.

3.  Clothing and Appearance

  • Your ears must remain visible throughout the test, not covered by hair, a hat or other items. Religious headwear is permitted if your ears remain visible during the test.
  • Dress appropriately for your test. You'll be monitored via camera by the proctor, and your photo will be shared with institutions that receive your scores.
  • Avoid wearing such items as jewelry, tie clips, cuff links, ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands and other hair accessories.

4.  Note-Taking Materials

  • You may not take notes on regular paper, for security purposes.
  • You may use 1 of the following to take notes:
    • 1 small desktop whiteboard with erasable marker, no pencil or pen
    • 1 sheet of paper inside a transparent sheet protector, with erasable marker
  • At the end of the test, you'll need to show the proctor that all notes have been erased.

What to Expect on Test Day

1.  Before Your Test Session Begins

  • Run a final ProctorU Equipment Check and fix any issues before you attempt to check in for your test. All issues must be resolved before your appointment time.
  • Close all browsers and applications not needed for the test. This can help prevent bandwidth issues while you test.
  • Make sure any other devices in your home that use internet are not running.
  • Gather the materials you'll need for your test session. (All other materials are prohibited.)
    • Passport 
    • Acceptable note taking materials, such as a whiteboard or plastic transparency sheet, that can be erased in view of the proctor
    • Cellphone or hand-held mirror for check in
  • Make sure your testing area meets all environment requirements, including:
    • The room is quiet and well lit.
    • The table and surrounding area are clear.
    • Your table and chair are positioned so that the door to the room will be visible to the proctor.
  • Make sure you are dressed appropriately, with your ears and face visible to the proctor. Avoid wearing any jewelry or other accessories.

2.  Checking In

  • At your appointment time, click the “start your test” link in your appointment confirmation email. You'll have up to 12 minutes after your scheduled time to begin your check in. If you haven't checked in by that time, your test will be cancelled and your fee won't be refunded.
  • Select "Start Session."
  • Complete the authentication steps, which include showing your ID to the proctor. The name on your ID must match the name on your ETS account.
  • The proctor will review the exam rules and request access to your computer screen for monitoring purposes.
  • the proctor will ask you to use either a hand-held mirror or cell phone to show your computer screen.
  • The proctor will ask you to move the camera on your computer to show a 360-degree view of the room, including your tabletop surface, and any other places in the room the proctor may wish to inspect.
  • The proctor will launch the ETS Test Browser and enter the ETS ID and password to access the test.
  • Expect this process to take approximately 20 minutes.

3.  During Your Test

  • If you experience a technical problem during the test, notify the proctor by speaking out loud and waving to the camera.
  • If you lose your internet connection momentarily, you'll automatically be reconnected to the proctor when your connection is restored. If your exam can be reopened, your proctor will do so for you. If you aren't able to reconnect and speak to the proctor, call ProctorU at +1-855-772-8678 for assistance.
  • Your entire test session will be recorded by ProctorU and monitored by a human proctor, and your photo will be taken. Your photo from the test session will be shared with institutions as part of your TOEFL iBT score report.
  • During the test, the proctor will monitor you (via video camera) and your computer screen to ensure you follow all testing procedures.
  • Make sure you can always be seen on camera by the proctor. Suspicious movements could invalidate your test.
  • If you need to contact the proctor during your test, speak to get their attention and/or use the LogMeIn chat. It may take 30–60 seconds for the proctor to reply.
  • If the proctor is attempting to chat with you, the blue owl will bounce up and down.

4.  Testing Policies and Procedures

Be sure to follow all testing rules. Otherwise, your test can be cancelled and your fee won’t be refunded.

  • Don't use any unauthorized materials, including mobile devices, prewritten notes or textbooks at any time during the test, including the 10-minute break.
  • Personal recording devices of any kind are strictly prohibited.
  • You must disable any screen-sharing or remote-access software (such as Zoom, Skype™, TeamViewer™, Microsoft Teams™ and Apple Remote Desktop™) prior to the test. It must remain disabled throughout the test. Make sure that the software will not open automatically during the test.
  • Don't communicate with anyone other than the proctor.
  • There may be references to using a headset during your test. Ignore these; headsets are not allowed in the TOEFL iBT Home Edition.
  • There is a 10-minute break after the Listening section when you may leave your seat. You must return on time. Unscheduled breaks aren't allowed.
  • At the end of the test, you'll be able to view unofficial scores for the Reading and Listening sections. Then you'll have the option to report or cancel your scores.
  • ETS is monitoring reuse of devices and testing locations for unauthorized purposes. Frequent, inappropriate reuse of shared testing devices and common testing locations may result in score delay and/or score cancellation and could impact your eligibility to take future ETS exams.

Tips from Jamboree

  • It is important for you to be in a quiet environment. If your room/home is in a location that is noisy, then schedule your test late in the night. The test is available 24/7, 4 days a week.
  • Take atleast 3 full length mock tests in the same slot as your actual exam.
  • Do not move your lips while reading the questions. It might be interpreted by the proctor as you reading out the questions to someone else, and you might get disqualified.

For more detailed information about TOEFL @ Home, visit the official website of ETS: https://www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home/

FAQs about TOEFL @ Home: https://www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home/faq/

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