COVID-19: Students to take global exams TOEFL, GRE at home

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New Delhi: Global exams like TOEFL and GRE will be taken at home except in mainland China and Iran in view of the COVID-19 situation across the world, according to the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The tests had been suspended across the globe following the coronavirus outbreak.

"At-home solutions will now be worldwide for test takers who have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both TOEFL and GRE will be taken at home till the situation is conducive for tests to be conducted at centres," Srikant Gopal, executive director of the TOEFL Program, told PTI.

"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," he added.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are crucial exams for admissions in top universities across the globe.

According to officials, in mainland China, ETS is working to accommodate the students who have been impacted by the test cancellations.

"Testing will be conducted through artificial intelligence technology and the use of live human remote monitoring service ProctorU, the leading proctoring solution for online testing. The test will be identical in content, format, on-screen experience, scoring and pricing as those taken at a test center, an official said. "Every test feature that students would expect in the test center such as the ability to preview, skip questions, review and change answers on the GRE General Test, and the ability to view reading and listening scores at the end of the TOEFL test will be available to test takers via these solutions," he added.

The students will have an opportunity to select from numerous test times each week to find a time that is most conducive to their schedules. Registration is currently open for test dates through June.

"It was imperative for us to create a timely, flexible and reliable solution to allow students the opportunity to take these tests, so that they can complete time-sensitive applications that will allow them to continue on their educational journeys. Test takers can expect the same valid and reliable tests that are administered in test centres from the comfort of home," Alberto Acereda, executive director of the Global Higher Education Division at ETS, said.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has soared past one million and fatalities have topped 50,000 as the United States reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far.

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