TOEFL, GRE to be taken at home amid coronavirus outbreak
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, global exams like TOEFL and GRE will now be taken at home, except in China and Iran, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) said. ETS is a nonprofit that administers the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). The tests had earlier been suspended globally due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Home tests will be monitored using live remote proctors
The Executive Director of the TOEFL Program, Srikant Gopal, told PTI, "Both TOEFL and GRE will be taken at home till the situation is conducive for tests to be conducted at centers." Both tests are important for admissions in leading universities around the globe. The monitoring of the test will be done using live remote proctors and artificial intelligence technology by ProctorU.
'Highest standards for validity, reliability, and security to be ensured'
Gopal told PTI, "At-home solutions will now be available worldwide for test-takers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic." He added, "Precautions are being taken to ensure that the tests students will take from home meet the highest standards for validity, reliability, and security. These tests employ multiple best-in-class security measures that use both real-time human monitoring and artificial intelligence technology."
Home tests 'identical' to those taken at test centers
An official told PTI that the home test would be "identical in content, format, on-screen experience, scoring and pricing as those taken at a test center." He said usual test features such as the ability to preview/skip questions and review/change answers on the GRE, and the ability to view reading and listening scores at the end of TOEFL will be available to test-takers.
ETS working towards solutions for China and Iran
A notification on the ETS website read, "In Mainland China, ETS is working closely with NEEA to accommodate test-takers impacted by test cancellations, including adding test dates once regular testing resumes. We are working to offer at-home testing in Iran as soon as possible."
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 was first reported in China's Wuhan city in December 2019. The disease is caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus attacks a host's respiratory system triggering symptoms such as fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it may cause pneumonia, multiple organ failure, or death. COVID-19 has spread to roughly 170 countries, killing over 53,000 and sickening 10 lakh.