ETS announced the suspension of all testing in Russia and Belarus yesterday.  Scheduled tests will continue until Sunday March 13.  After that, there will be no tests.  New registrations are not permitted at this time.  This affects the TOEFL iBT and the TOEFL iBT Home Edition.

Pearson suspended testing in Russia a couple of days ago.  I don’t have confirmation, but it looks like IELTS was suspended in Russia a few hours ago, as students have reported getting email notifications that they won’t be able to take the test.

According to last week’s earnings call, revenue for the Duolingo English Test in Q4 2021 was $8,095,000. At $49 a pop, we might extrapolate that the test was taken 165,000 times in October/November/December of 2021. The actual number is probably a bit higher than that due to discounts and freebies.

This is up from a revenue of $6,695,000 in Q3 2020, and $4,197,000 in Q4 of 2020.

Here are the historic revenues:

Q4 2021 – 8,095,000
Q3 2021 – 6,695,000
Q2 2021 – 4,833,000
Q1 2021 – 5,035,000

Q4 2020 – 4,197,000
Q3 2020 – 5,607,000
Q2 2020 – 4,598,000
Q1 2020 – 753,000

I took the TOEFL Home Edition a couple of days ago.  I’m not allowed to mention anything specific about the test, but I can share a few general observations.  They are:

  • My experience was fine. There were no problems with the ProctorU platform and the ETS test software.
  • The TOEFL hasn’t changed since last year.  It is the same old test.  No surprises.
  • ETS really ought to take advantage of the “rules” box in the ProctorU platform.  Currently they leave it blank, but it would be a great place to write rules about things like picking up your cellphone during the break, wearing earrings or having a drink.
  • The test difficulty level is about the same as all of the official ETS materials.
  • One of the reading questions was stupid.  I stared at the screen for about five minutes trying to pick the correct answer.
  • I didn’t know how to access the ProctorU chat box during the test.  I had to ask, and was told to use alt-tab.  I would not have know that if I had not asked.
  • Be sure your computer is plugged in.  The test is delivered in full-screen mode, so you won’t see your battery status.

Just a short grammar guide this week. While this may be a short guide, but it is about one of the most common mistakes I see when checking TOEFL essays.

You must remember that every is normally used before a singular noun. Like this:

Every house in the neighborhood is expensive.”

Or this:

“I want to eat every cookie in the box!”

Do not use a plural noun after “every.” Do not write:

Every houses in the neighborhood is expensive.”

There is one exception, however. You can use a plural noun in expressions that refer to intervals. As in:

“I still talk to him every few days.”

Or:

“We all get together every five weeks.”

ETS is now offering a 60 hour course called the “Official TOEFL iBT Prep Course.”  This is the first time ETS has sold a course for the TOEFL iBT, I think. According to some posts I saw on LinkedIn, it will be delivered via the E2 language learning platform (just don’t try to buy it direct from the E2 website, as the course sold there is different). I don’t know much about the content of ETS’s program, but they describe it this way:

The Official TOEFL iBT Prep Course has more than 60 hours of content and 200+ activities to help you prepare for the TOEFL iBT test and build the English skills you need in an academic setting. With unlimited access during the 6-month subscription, this self-paced course features in-depth lessons and activities, pre- and post-tests, and score ranges for the Speaking and Writing post-tests using the same automated scoring technology as in the actual TOEFL iBT test!

It costs $129.99. 

If you pay $20 more, you get all of the above plus “Speaking feedback on fluency, pronunciation and language use in pre- and post-tests and several activities within the course” and “scoring on TOEFL iBT-like activities.” I guess that means some of your practice answers will be submitted to the ETS SpeechRater and e-rater.

You can purchase the course by visiting this page. I will probably buy access in the near future.