If you are taking the TOEFL Home Edition, make sure to check your microphone. Don’t just use the ProctorU website test, but actually make a recording and listen to it.
I often get sample answers from students that sound horrible. They sound like they were recorded using Thomas Edison’s wax tube machine. I can barely understand what they are saying. The worst part is that the TOEFL raters will have the same challenge! This could affect your score… or result in a score hold.
Internal microphones (like in your laptop) are often terrible. If yours is bad, consider getting an external microphone.
Just remember that you cannot use a headset microphone. Nothing can cover your ears during the test. Therefore, you should use either an internal laptop microphone or one that sits on your desk.
I’m not a microphone expert, but I really like the Samson SAGOMIC Go Mic. It is pretty cheap, and I use it regularly in my life. It makes clear recordings.
My favorite “expensive” microphone is the Blue Yeti Nano.