I learned this month that Cheolsan Library in Gwangmyeong has a wealth of English magazines.  They subscribe to:  Scientific American, Discover, Reader’s Digest, The Monocle, Time, National Geographic, The Economist and Guitar World.  How about that? That’s the best haul of English-language magazines I’ve yet encountered in Korea.  

I read a few relevant articles this month.  In the May/June 2022 issue of Discover, I read “Massive Craters are Exploding into Existence.” Big holes are appearing across Siberia, and scientists don’t exactly know why. Articles about physical geography are common the TOEFL, and I don’t often link to examples here, so make sure to check this one out.  It is longer than what you will find on the real test, but in the same ballpark.  It has a great amount of relevant vocabulary.  Highly recommended.

In the May 2022 issue of Scientific American, I read “Innovative Fish Farms Aim to Save the Planet.”  I know that fish farms may not be the most interesting topic in the world, but they are a topic that ETS has used in the past, both in the reading and writing sections of the test.  This is pure TOEFL content.

Finally, in the February 14 and 21 issue of “The New Yorker” I read an enormously long article about Caetano Veloso. It isn’t exactly TOEFL material, but I recommend anyone interested in modern Brazilian history or in music from that country.

According to reports from Iran, ETS tests (TOEFL and GRE) will resume in Iran on June 1.  Here’s what test center operators were reportedly told a few days ago:

Effective June 1, 2022, all GRE and TOEFL testing in Iran will be resumed. Please login to your TC Portal account to check upcoming dates for testing to ensure readiness has been completed. We appreciate your patience during the temporary suspension of testing.

All ETS tests have been suspended in Iran since about May 3.  Apparently ETS’s renewal of its OFAC license was somewhat tardy.

It has been announced that IDP CEO Andrew Barkla will step down in September. He has served in that position since 2015. This means that both ETS and IDP will be getting new leadership around the same time.

Barkla made headlines in 2019 when he became the highest paid CEO in Australia, earning about 38 million dollars in compensation.

The bottom line is that Barkla’s tenure as CEO has been an astounding success.  He took the company public in 2015 with a value of $3.40 per share, and brought it to a high of $38.88 in November of last year.  Everyone involved has made a lot of money.

That said, I can’t help buy wonder why the IELTS didn’t get a permanent computer based version until 2017, and why it still doesn’t have a home edition.  That sort of technological tardiness has surely cost the firm some amount of shareholder value over the past few years.


Michael Knab (from the ETS YouTube channel) was recently on the “Tests and the Rest” Podcast to discuss the TOEFL iBT and related tests from ETS.  I’m really happy to see ETS doing both big things and small things to promote the test and ensure its longevity in a changing marketplace.  Interestingly, the podcast confirmed my belief that ETS was working on the TOEFL Home Edition even before the pandemic.  That tracks with some of my reporting  back in March of 2020.

According to last week’s SEC filings, revenue for the Duolingo English Test in Q1 2022 was $8,080,000.  That’s almost exactly the same as Q4 2021.  It is up about three million dollars from Q1 of 2021.

At $49 a pop, we might extrapolate that the test was taken 165,000 times in the quarter. The actual number is probably a little bit higher than that due to discounts and free tests.

Here are the historic revenues:

Q1 2022 – 8,080,000

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

Reports indicate that ETS has suspended TOEFL and GRE tests in Iran until further notice. The reasons are unclear. Does anyone have information about this?

Students were notified about cancellations about ten hours ago.

Update:  According to reports from Iran, test center operators have been informed that testing in Iran will resume on June 1.

Update:  I have been told that ETS is awaiting the renewal of its OFAC license.   When that has been renewed, testing will resume in Iran.  I don’t know when that will happen.

Update:  Below is the message sent by ETS.