toefl guide

TOEFL Home Edition - How to Take TOEFL at Home Successfully

Ron Ross October 12th, 2021

The TOEFL Home Edition is a new convenient option created to help test-takers due to test center closures and cancellations. The test itself is the same: you're still sitting at a computer, taking notes, and answering reading, listening, speaking, and writing questions, but from the comfort of your home. If your test center is closed or you have a tight schedule, taking TOEFL at home is an excellent option.

The TOEFL Home Edition

The TOEFL home edition uses the same formatting as the TOEFL. You'll be tested on reading, listening, speaking, and writing in that order with no changes to the test. However, cheating is a major concern, so to help protect against it, you must meet the following criteria.


  • You must be alone in a room and nobody may enter during the test.
  • You can't take the test in a public space such as a park, internet cafe, or restaurant.

Tabletop and seating

  • Your computer and keyboard must be on a desk or other tabletop surface.
  • The tabletop and surrounding area must be clear of all items not approved for use during the test, including cell phones (except when used for check-in), cameras, notes, and study materials. The furniture and décor in the room don't need to be removed.
  • You must sit in a standard chair; you can't sit or lie on a bed, couch, or overstuffed chair.
  • Food and drink aren't allowed during the test.

Clothing and appearance

  • Your ears must remain visible throughout the test, not covered by hair, a hat, or other items. Religious headwear is permitted if your ears remain visible during the test.
  • Dress appropriately for your test. You'll be monitored via camera by the proctor, and your photo will be shared with institutions that receive your scores.
  • Avoid wearing such items as jewelry, tie clips, cuff links, ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, and other hair accessories.

Note-taking materials

  • You may not take notes on regular paper, for security purposes.
  • You may use 1 of the following to take notes:
    • 1 small desktop whiteboard with an erasable marker, no pencil or pen
    • 1 sheet of paper inside a transparent sheet protector, with an erasable marker
  • At the end of the test, you'll need to show the proctor that all notes have been erased.

Planning on Taking TOEFL at Home?

If you're planning on taking the TOEFL iBT® Home Edition, your home testing room and computer must meet certain conditions before registering. If they don't, you must go to a testing center.


  • You must use a Desktop or laptop computer; you can't use a tablet or mobile device
    • PC: Windows® operating system, versions 10, 8 or 7
    • MAC®: Mac OS X® 10.5 or higher (10.13 High Sierra is recommended).
  • Chrome™ or Firefox® browser

Helpful Tips

Be sure to review the TOEFL home edition ProctorU® minimum and recommended technical requirements.

Browser download and equipment check

  • To use the TOEFL home edition, you must download and install the ETS Secure Test Browser on the computer you'll use to test. To fully install the browser, run the file after downloading it. You can close the browser once you see the following message: "Success! You have installed the ETS secure test browser."
  • Run the ProctorU® Equipment Check from the computer you'll use to test. If you fail the equipment check, you must fix any issues before test day. Live ProctorU representatives are available to help.

The equipment check includes a bandwidth check. Since bandwidth differs depending on the time of day and network usage, run the systems equipment check at a few different times to see which time works best. Additionally, be sure to run it at a time and in an environment similar to what you would experience when you test. E.g., your entire family is home and on their phones, other devices, etc.


  • Use an internal or external speaker to hear the proctor.
  • Headsets or earphones aren't allowed.


  • Use an internal or external microphone that isn't part of a headset to communicate with the proctor.


  • Can be a built-in camera in the computer or a separate webcam.
  • The camera must be able to be moved to show the proctor a 360-degree view of the room, including your tabletop surface, before the test.

Registering for the TOEFL Home Edition

Before You Start
  1. Verify that your computer and testing room meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements. If they don't, you won't be able to test.
  2. Have your identification (ID) documents ready. Your primary ID should be a passport. If you do not have a passport, go to ID Requirements to see what other forms of ID are accepted in the country where you are testing. ETS is temporarily accepting government-issued IDs with expiration dates from February 1, 2020, forward. All other ID policies still apply.
  3. If you don't have an ETS account for the TOEFL iBT® test, create an account. Make sure that the name in your account matches the name on your primary ID.
  4. If you need accommodations for a disability or health-related need, you must request them before you register for a test.

How to Register

Follow these steps to register for an at-home appointment:

  1. Log in to your ETS account.
  2. On your My TOEFL home page, select Register/Find Test Centers.
  3. On the Find Test Centers and Dates page, select the option for the Home Edition. Note: The at-home option is dependent upon the country of your account address. If you are eligible to take the test at home, based on the country, you will see the Home Edition option as you begin your registration.
  4. Verify your email address, then continue.
  5. Confirm your time zone, or select a new one.
  6. Choose the 2-month period you would like to take the test, then select an available test date from the calendar.
  7. Select an available time for your test and click “Register for this test.”
  8. Follow the directions to continue your registration and pay for your test.
  9. When you finish, you’ll receive a confirmation email from ETS with your test appointment information and the link to launch your test. Be sure to keep this email safe until test day.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your TOEFL Home Edition Test

If you need to reschedule or cancel your at-home appointment, you must do so at least 4 full days before your test date. For example, if your test is on Sunday, you must reschedule or cancel by Wednesday.

You must pay the US$60 rescheduling fee before you can register for a new test appointment.

Reschedule or cancel by one of the methods below:

  • Online via your ETS account.
  • By phone. You’ll need to provide your appointment number and the full name you used when you made the appointment.
    • In the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, or Canada, call +1-443-751-4862 or 1-800-468-6335.
    • For all other locations, contact your Regional Registration Center.

Note: You can't reschedule or cancel a Home Edition test by mail or email, or via the TOEFL® Official App.

What to Expect On Test Day

Knowing what to expect on test day for the TOEFL home edition will help ensure you're ready to take the test without any hiccups. The link below refers you to the official TOEFL Home Edition website on what to expect on test day.

Official TOEFL iBT - What to Expect On Test Day At Home

How to Prepare for the TOEFL Home Edition

Worried about taking the TOEFL home edition? There is nothing to worry about. The test is the same, and we've helped over 500,000 students achieve their target scores. You can sign up for our TOEFL prep 7-day free trial today.


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