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GRE and TOEFL write from home

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GRE and TOEFL write from home

To keep students from wasting time because of the pandemic, the American ETS Testing Center will allow you to take exams at home online. In addition, the company has opened up access to valuable resources for students. How the tests will be administered and how ETS students will help is below.

Transition to a distance testing format for students

The coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments in all areas of society, including education. The coronavirus situation, at least, has added new nuances for university applicants. How to prepare for exams and, more importantly, pass them under quarantine conditions, is a difficult question for applicants, as schools and testing centers remain closed. It turns out a lot can be solved with technology.

TOEFL and GRE exams: special Home Edition

On April 2, ETS made an official announcement: the home version of the language tests became available in all countries except Iran and mainland China. The decision was made to help students not to change their plans.

In a short period of time, 18,000 students from 116 countries registered for the distance testing, which will last until about the end of June. More than 2,000 people have already been tested remotely. The Testing Center recommends applying as soon as possible - this will increase the chances of meeting the required deadline.

The home testing is completely the same as the standard exam, and students will receive traditional certificates when they pass. While the entire testing format has been maintained, there have been innovations and nuances of their own:

Making the new schedule.

Because registration for the exams is in advance, and test center closures have disrupted scheduled test dates, ETS is creating a new schedule to accommodate remote test-taking. The additional test publishing fee (which would normally be charged) is temporarily waived.

New nuances.

Students will send in their photos and a scan of their passport before the test begins. An observer will check all documents and confirm the student's identity. Artificial intelligence technology will also perform personal identification. The further testing course is fully consistent with the classical version of the TOEFL and GRE.

Quality Test

Home testing must ensure that tests are consistent, reliable and safe. For this purpose, the company uses real-time monitoring tools and artificial intelligence technology.

Live monitors.

Tests are conducted using remote monitoring supported by ProctorU. ProctorU is a highly sensitive, real-time monitoring of test sessions where the number of participants is limited. Live observers provide:

  • ID.
  • A scan of your home environment before the test begins
  • Constant vigilance and surveillance
  • A record of any suspicious activity in the room.

Artificial Intelligence Technology.

They will protect against malicious activity and monitor for fraud. Technology features:

  • Facial recognition
  • Gaze capture.
  • Video recording of the entire session
  • Tracking attempts to open a new browser
  • Records attempts to use a cell phone and any untested items.
  • The quality of remote testing is constantly improving with updates.

Additional accommodations for people with disabilities

Students with disabilities can request:

  • Extended testing period
  • Additional breaks
  • Preferred colors
  • Screen magnification.


Will home testing become the new standard after the pandemic is over?

No, once the quarantine is over, when all testing centers can open, the language exam will take place under normal conditions.

Is the testing completely identical to the classic TOEFL?

Yes, the exam is completely identical in content and format, students also take the test using computers. The only difference is the way the test is taken.

How do I prepare for the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition?

The same way you prepare for the regular version of the exam. Now more and more educational centers are moving to an online format, and it is quite possible to prepare for the test efficiently and effectively! Another option: with the help of recognized study guides, such as the Official TOEFL iBT Guide.

Will the quality of the test go down?

Live observers and the best artificial intelligence technology guarantee test quality. It is quite possible that artificial intelligence will eliminate the inevitable human factor - gaze fixation and constant observation using technology may even increase test transparency.

When can I get my test results?

TOEFL results will be available within 6-10 days of delivery, the GRE certificate in 10-15 days.


Will the method of assessment change?

No, the method of assessment will be the same as for the regular test.

What form will the exam results be sent in?

In the usual format: the ETS manager will send the results by email. At this time, the company has suspended paper certificates as well as regular mail.

You can prepare at the best colleges and language centers in America - all of them have created online courses at relatively affordable prices. A selection of the best courses from the best institutions in the United States:

  • International Mother Tongue

Individual Tuition = from $50 per class

  • FLS Chestnut Hill College Summer Camp

Online Pathway (from $295 per week)

  • FLS St. Peter's University

TOEFL courses ($460/week)

  • EU New York

English for Students ($455 per week)

  • LAL New York, Fordham University

Online English camp (from $53/week)

  • EC Boston School

English courses 16+ (from $79/week)

  • EC Miami

Individual English (from $80 per week).

How has the pandemic affected education in the United States?

Major companies are eager to study the impact of the pandemic on the education sector and use the data to make predictions for the future. According to the Forbes Education infographic, the pandemic will lead to the following:

  • The proliferation of online courses.
  • Low student engagement with regular course copying
  • Increased demand for professional services that will provide sufficient engagement.


Students entering U.S. universities in 2020 face serious challenges, but education centers are doing everything they can to make it easier for the applicants themselves and the institutions themselves to survive this time. It is for these reasons that some are calling the quarantine a disaster for education, while others are calling it a revolution. Either way, don't give up on your plans because of the quarantine: Thanks to technology, you can achieve your goals, albeit not in the most conventional and understandable format.


Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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