What to do if you still need to take an English proficiency test

Need to provide proof of English proficiency for the 2020 fall semester? Here are two online tests we accept.

During these trying times, we want to accommodate our prospective students as much as we can – also when it comes to obtaining English proficiency test results. We know that test centres have been suspending on-site testing, which is why we extended the deadline for you to provide English test results to 15 July 2020 .

If you’re an admitted candidate who still needs to take an English test, you may be wondering how to do this. Did you know we accept results from the online versions of the TOEFL iBT and IELTS tests? That’s right, it’s now possible to take your English test from your own home. We took a look at the online TOEFL iBT and IELTS tests and summarised what we found for you below.

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition was developed in response to the global pandemic to replicate the TOEFL iBT as you’d take it in person at an actual test centre. The at-home test is available in every country where the TOEFL iBT is offered, except Mainland China and Iran. Currently, according to their website, the test will be available every Tuesday through Friday until 30 June, and appointments can be booked on rather short notice. Fees vary by country but are the same as the fees for the regular TOEFL iBT.

Before registering for the test, you must fulfil the technical requirements, such as having a working microphone, speaker and camera. As of now, you can take the test on a computer with either a Windows or Mac operating system. Prior to taking the test, you’ll have to run a system check on your device and make sure your workspace is adequately prepared. While there are many steps involved, it’s all to ensure that the test can be conducted smoothly and fairly, and that your surroundings are as close as possible to the conditions at an actual test centre.

The test itself will be administered by a real proctor (via the online proctoring platform ProctorU) for its entire duration. This means you won’t be left alone with just your computer, so if you experience any technical issues at any point during testing, the proctor will be able to help you and make sure you aren’t disadvantaged.

IELTS Indicator

Similarly to the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, the IELTS Indicator  is aimed at students who don’t have access to an in-person IELTS test. The IELTS Indicator is structured and timed just like the computer-based IELTS and costs 149 USD. Not every institution accepts this as a direct substitute for the in-person IELTS. But the Hertie School does accept the IELTS Indicator as sufficient proof of English proficiency, and you can be assured that we won’t ask you to retake the in-person IELTS test once it becomes available again.

As for the technical requirements, the IELTS Indicator also works on both Windows and Mac operating systems. You’ll also need a microphone, camera and speakers/headphones (for the listening and speaking portions). For the IELTS Indicator, only the separately scheduled speaking section will be conducted in a one-on-one setup with a supervisor.

Check if the online versions of the TOEFL and IELTS tests are right for you

Please make sure you read the information provided on each test provider’s website very carefully and check the eligibility requirements before booking an appointment. We recommend that you take a closer look at the FAQ sections as well, and reach out to us if you have any questions or doubts.

If anything, this pandemic has pushed many of us to find innovative new solutions, most often with the help of modern technology and digitalisation. If you have any further concerns regarding the English language proficiency requirement, we’re here to help. As always, you can reach us at grad-admissions[at]hertie-school[dot]org.

About the author

  • Lisa Vogel, Student Assistant | Recruitment and Admissions

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