The problem with TOEFL iBT

You know what one of the big problems with the iBT (Internet) version of the TOEFL is? The Internet is not always stable. Just a few days ago, TOEFL students in Asia had a lot of trouble taking the exam:

The problem was with the main ETS (the company that runs TOEFL) server in the United States. About 4000 students in South Korea had to wait over two hours for the server to be fixed before they could take the exam. Some could not take the test at all. ETS has had a lot of computer system and network errors since it adopted the Internet-based Test (iBT) TOEFL in 2006. This is because the iBT format has to download test questions from the main server throughout the test, while the previous system, Computer-based Test (CBT), saved questions separately on each computer.

Many students who needed the TOEFL scores for college admission will now now have the scores in time to apply. Some have even urged legal action against ETS. People in smaller towns and cities often travel to a larger city to take the exam… that’s a lot of lost money and time.

ETS said the problem was caused by its main server in the United States and it will refund fees or allow a free retake for those who had to give up the test.

Do you think that’s enough, or should ETS compensate students further? If you have taken the TOEFL iBT before, did you experience any technical problems?

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