TOEFL exam 2019: Here are the changes that the Educational Testing Service is planning for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. The new changes will reflect in the coming months.
After its first round of changes in the month of May, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is all set make another set of changes in the Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL examination. While the first round of changes was put into effect from August 1, 2019, the new changes will reflect in the coming months. The first round of changes in TOEFL saw the exam pattern, time duration and marking scheme being tweaked. Along with this several helpful options for aspirants were also introduced in the registration process. Here is an excerpt of exclusive interaction that Educational Testing Service (ETS)’s Executive Director of the TOEFL Program, Srikant Gopal had with Financial Express Online.
– How the candidates reacted after the first round of changes took place?
Students have responded very positively and were excited to see the changes that were announced in May and launched as of Aug. 1, which included MyBest scores, a shortened test and a new registration and account management system. MyBest scores provides a ‘superscore’ that allows students to show their best section scores across all valid test dates in a two-year period and provides them with an opportunity to showcase their potential to institutions while increasing their chances of meeting the TOEFL iBT total score requirements for admission. The shortened test reduces test taker fatigue, and the new registration and account management system provides a more user-friendly experience for students to register for the test and access test prep materials.
– What are the new changes in the pattern of exam?
We recently announced two major changes – the availability of afternoon test sessions and a shorter wait period for retesting. Beginning immediately, students can register for afternoon test sessions on select test dates worldwide. These sessions are in addition to the morning sessions that are currently available, effectively doubling the testing capacity of participating test centers on those dates. In regards to a shorter wait period for retesting, we have reduced the window from 12 days to 3 days, which allows students to test on consecutive weekends as available dates permit. In addition to these, we also announced the launch of a free, full-length practice test at www.ets.org/s/toefl/free-practice.
– How will these changes impact applicants and institutions?
The latest TOEFL test changes provide a better test experience for students and institutions. In addition to the benefits of the last announcement described above, the afternoon test sessions, the shorter retest wait period and the free, full-length practice test announced last week provide flexibility for both students and institutions. These flexible testing options are important for students as they navigate application deadlines, and for institutions, the earlier that a student can test or retest, the sooner an institution can receive their accompanying score report. This score report, with the addition of MyBest scores, allows institutions to make informed admissions decisions quickly and effectively based on a wider eligible pool of qualified applicants.
– How is the new TOEFL test more beneficial for candidates?
The improved experience for the TOEFL test applies feedback we’ve heard from students and institutions to ensure that test-takers can feel confident in the end-to-end process of the test (from registration through test day) and that institutions get what they need to make informed admissions decisions. In regards to MyBest scores, 74% of universities surveyed indicated they preferred to see this on applicants’ score reports. An important factor in making these changes, such as the shortened test time, was to ensure that the quality, validity, and reliability of the test remained constant, and therefore market research was conducted prior to implementation. The latest changes provide more options for students, as flexibility and convenience are important to them in their busy schedules as they prepare for university.
– Are there more changes in pipeline for TOEFL?
We are continuously looking at ways to enhance the TOEFL test experience and provide value for both students and institutions. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.
– Apart from the pattern change, are there any other major announcement that ETS is planning to make?
We are excited about the rollout of these enhancements and additions and to continue exploring ways to create a better TOEFL test experience.