Should I Take The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition?

Dominic Tinodi May 01, 2020
Should I Take The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition?

This post is primarily intended for international students, whose native language is not English

A few weeks ago we were still writing about "5 Academic Tests You Need To Know About To Get Recruited in 2020" as part of our Friday Scholarship Guide, but none of that really matters right now. Still a good read whenever the situation gets back to normal. ;)
Let's turn our attention to the reality we live in right now:

Across the higher education as well as college recruiting universe, organizations have been reacting to the challenges and obstacles posed by Covid-19. Some faster, some slower, some in more interesting ways than others.

While the decision by NCAA and NAIA to grant spring sports athletes another year of eligibility has been heavily affecting the recruiting landscape (not always positively), the ETS (in short for "Educational Testing Service") has decided to move forward with a home edition for students to take the TOEFL iBT test. By doing so, the organization allows students to plan their next steps; something, neither SAT nor ACT have managed (or cared) to do so far, leaving thousands of students (and universities' admissions offices) exposed to test closings, depending on the development over the upcoming weeks.

Test Format

If you have ever looked into the test format before, rest assured the Special Home Edition is in no way different form the standard format at a test center:

"The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the TOEFL iBT test taken at a test center.

While you are provided with a computer at the test center, now your own computer simply replaces the one you would happen to borrow during the test.

Advantages of Taking the Special Home Edition


Get one of the key pieces of your recruiting process out of your way!
While we usually recommend you take either SAT or ACT first, it's a brilliant moment to do things differently in 2020.

SAT or ACT give you a great deal of uncertainty of when you may be able to take the test again (who knows what virus and governments have planned for society), but TOEFL Special Home Edition has come to stay until June 30, 2020.

Save Money

You may not live in a city, which usually offers the TOEFL iBT Test. Now you can easily take the test at home without any traveling costs of getting to a test center.

Technical Requirements

While the list of technical requirements is long and can be reviewed here, these are the basics:

  • Computer
  • Windows operating system (including installation of the ETS Test Browser)
  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Camera
  • Privacy (your own room)

Definitely make sure you comply with these technicalities before signing up and paying the test fee - we know the "Windows" piece may be a tricky one for some of you ... !

Next Steps - Recruiting Process

Got time in May/June apart from studying to finish your academic year or perhaps even high school?

  • Awesome, go check out the requirements of testing at home and sign up for the Special Home Edition.
  • Prepare well and thoroughly, as you do want to get the maximum out of your abilities.
  • Get your result and put it on your Smarthlete Recruiting Profile

In case you are wondering what we mean by that ("Recruiting Profile"), it's what Smarthlete is all about. Providing you with the right platform to get recruited. Either on your own or with the help of recruiting experts.

Have a look at what we have in store for you on: Smarthlete or feel free to contact us with any questions you may have by emailing
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Dominic Tinodi May 01, 2020