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TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition: Which Is Best for My Students?

 This article covers:
  • What is the difference between TOEFL and the TOEFL online test?
  • Why take the in-person TOEFL iBT test? Why take the online TOEFL iBT Home Edition?
  • What is the TOEFL Home Edition?
  • When can you take a TOEFL test? How long does it take to get TOEFL results?
  • What are TOEFL exam and prep vouchers? How to use test vouchers to get TOEFL discounts and practice for the test?

Since 2020, the TOEFL iBT Home Edition has become incredibly popular with students. It is also widely accepted at colleges and universities around the world. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is a permanent part of the TOEFL family of tests and it can be taken four days a week.

The content of the TOEFL iBT Home Edition is exactly the same as the TOEFL iBT taken at test centres. The price and score validity period are also the same as the TOEFL iBT. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when helping your students choose between the TOEFL IBT Home Edition and the regular TOEFL iBT.

Writing book

Why Take the In-Person TOEFL iBT Test

1. Score Reports Are Faster

Students who take the TOEFL iBT Test usually get their scores within six days. ETS even publishes a schedule that lists exactly when your students can expect to get their results. On the other hand, students who take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition must wait 10 days to get their results. This means that if there is a deadline coming up, the TOEFL iBT Test might be a better choice.

2. Note-Taking Is Easier

If your students take the TOEFL iBT Test at a test centre, they’ll be given a pencil and a few sheets of paper to take notes on. They’ll be able to write on both sides of the paper and can get more paper if needed. In contrast, students who take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition must write on a single whiteboard or a single plastic sheet using erasable marker. They must erase their notes when the whiteboard or sheet is filled up. Most students find note-taking on paper much more natural and easier than using a whiteboard and marker. Students also have more space to take notes on paper. If your student depends heavily on their notes when answering questions, taking the TOEFL iBT Test at a test centre might be a good idea.

3. Technical Problems Are Less Frequent

If your student takes the TOEFL iBT at a test centre, they will use computer equipment that’s regularly tested and maintained. This means they likely won’t experience any technical problems. If they do experience a problem, they will simply be moved to a different seat. If they take the test at home, they will be dependent on their own computer equipment. If they are worried about the quality of their computer or internet connection, it might be a good idea for them to take the TOEFL iBT Test at a test centre

Curious about how TOEFL compares to IELTS or PTE? Learn more about the different types of English Proficiency Tests and which is best for your students.

Why Take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition

1. The Testing Environment Is Quieter

Students are often surprised by how noisy test centres can get. When 30 people are answering TOEFL speaking questions at the same time, it can be difficult for your student to concentrate. Another surprise for students is that not everyone starts the test or takes a break at the same time. This means there’s a lot of movement around the test centre, which can be distracting. By comparison, most students can enjoy a quiet environment if they take the test at home. This can lead to better performance and higher scores. If your students are easily distracted by environmental noise, you should recommend that they take the test at home.

2. Available 24 Hours a Day

The TOEFL iBT Home Edition Test is available four days per week. During those four days, students can book appointments to take the test at any time of the day. This means that students can take the test whenever they are most energetic and likely to perform well. In most cities, the TOEFL iBT Test can only be taken in the morning. This can be a disadvantage for people who just aren’t at their best early in the morning.

3. No Lengthy Travel Required

Some students live quite close to a TOEFL test centre, but many do not. A long commute to a test centre early in the morning can be costly, and it can also affect a student’s performance on the test. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition helps students avoid these complications and focus on reaching their target scores. Before they make their final decision, encourage them to login to their ETS account. Then, using the “Find Test Centers” tool, determine the location of their closest test centre.

TOEFL vouchers
Why use TOEFL Exam and Prep Vouchers

You can offer your students amazing discounts of 20% or more on their TOEFL tests and practice materials, while simplifying their application process, by providing them with a prepaid TOEFL voucher. ApplyBoard has partnered with ETS to offer TOEFL exam vouchers as well as TOEFL prep vouchers to help your students practice and prepare for the test.

You can purchase test and prep vouchers anytime online and give your students the voucher codes. Your students can then easily and safely redeem their vouchers online whenever they are ready by using the voucher code at the checkout.

Ready to save up to 30% on TOEFL iBT and iBT Home Edition tests and practice materials for your students? Purchase vouchers now or learn how to redeem TOEFL test vouchers and Official TOEFL prep vouchers.

TOEFL iBT logo
Additional Tips

While both TOEFL tests are attractive options, they each come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Before your student makes their final decision, remember to check which tests are accepted at their intended school. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition Test is widely accepted around the world. However, some institutions only accept scores from the original TOEFL iBT Test. If your student plans to take the Home Edition, check the ApplyBoard platform or speak with your ApplyBoard Representative to see if the institution will accept at home scores.

If your student plans to take the TOEFL at a test centre, remember that test centres can fill up quickly in some cities. Encourage your student to keep an eye on availability using their ETS account, and don’t wait until the last minute to book their test.

Interested in more tips to help your students succeed in their TOEFL Exam? Discover tips to give your students extra confidence for their exam day with this TOEFL practice advice