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The Educational Testing Service announced Thursday that the Test of English as a Foreign Language and the Graduate Record Examination are now available to take at home worldwide -- except in mainland China and Iran.
ETS previously announced it would offer the TOEFL and GRE at home in the United States and a limited number of other countries, so Thursday's announcement is a major expansion.
The inability of students to take the exams has been a major concern to admissions officials at all levels. Most foreign students need to take the TOEFL, and would-be graduate students take the GRE.
“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,” said a statement from Alberto Acereda, executive director of the global higher education division at ETS. “Test takers can expect the same valid and reliable tests that are administered in test centers from the comfort of home.”
ETS is using ProctorU to monitor students while they are taking the GRE or TOEFL. ProctorU has about 1,000 full-time proctors (around the world) and can handle 200,000 to 300,000 test takers per month, according to Scott McFarland, the CEO.
"We're not having to do it all in one spot," McFarland said.
In addition to regular security checks before a test, a ProctorU proctor, one on one, will review every test taker's setup, he explained. This will include a lack of unauthorized books or materials in the test-taking space. Then during the exam, one proctor will watch between two and five test takers.