Student studying virtually and telling us about Coronavirus' impact on tests

Coronavirus’ impact on tests like GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL

It feels like the Coronavirus pandemic has put the world on pause and Coronavirus’ impact on tests worldwide is immense. With all exams getting canceled or postponed, organizations like ETS have found new ways to conduct at-home tests.

Standardized entrance exams such as GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc. are important qualifying parts of a student’s admission profile. A few million students across the globe appear for these exams on a daily basis. However, the scary events happening globally indicate that the Coronavirus’ impact on tests worldwide is also drastic. Due to Coronavirus, governments have enacted strict laws that have led to these exams being either postponed or canceled altogether.

To find a new way around that, organizations such as the GMAC(conducts the GMAT exam) and ETS (conducts the TOEFL and GRE exams) have come up with unique technologies that will help students take these tests at-home. Here’s the latest news about entrance exams for current and prospective study abroad applicants:


In light of the recent events, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has come up with a temporary testing solution. They are conducting the ‘Interim GMAT™ Exam’ which will allow students to take their exams from home. This MBA qualifying test will be launched mid-April and will be available in all countries apart from mainland China. The format of this temporary GMAT exam will be different than the usual GMAT syllabus. The exam will have the Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning sections. However, it will not have the Analytical Writing Analysis which requires an essay assessment by an authority.

While GMAC hasn’t declared the Interim GMAT fees or scoring system, they have declared that they will be charging lower prices than usual. There are also some strict protocols set in place and remote proctors will be used to manage test integrity.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) : GRE and TOEFL

ETS is the testing institution behind top entrance exams such as the Graduate Record Examination(GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL), among others. Students around the globe who want to study abroad take these exams but due to COVID-19, they have been postponed or suspended in many countries. However, ETS came up with a very clever solution for that.

Taking your GRE or TOEFL exams in the confines of your own home might sound weird but it’s happening folks! Slowly and surely ETS is organizing ‘at-home’ GRE and TOEFL tests for students in Coronavirus affected countries worldwide. These ‘at-home tests’ will be administered and monitored by live human remote representatives and the online registration opened on Monday, March 23, 2020.

As ETS works towards bringing the ‘at-home tests’ to many locations in the coming weeks, they are currently available in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Macau (China)

To check if you’re eligible for the following test, you can simply go on the official website and follow the dictated procedure.


While testing institutions like ETS are bringing things online, the British Council and IDP are taking all possible safety and precautionary measures to ensure that the tests are conducted smoothly. In countries that are drastically affected by COVID-19, however, they have declared that the IELTS exams will be postponed or suspended. In countries like Australia where the impact is noticeably lesser in comparison, the IELTS exam is being conducted.

The world is severely suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 and we all have to contribute what we can to help others. In fact, educational institutions are certainly doing their part to help students. Top universities and business schools like INSEAD, are easing their admissions requirements and fees and allowing students to apply without a GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL score. Given that INSEAD ranks 3rd worldwide and has strict student requirements, I’d have to say that this is a big deal.

Legitimate information is rare in these tough times. Therefore, to help you along, we at iSchoolConnect strive to provide authentic information at all times. Check out this blog about How to stay safe from Coronavirus to get more info on Coronavirus’ impact on tests and other aspects of studying abroad. You can also contact us at iSchoolConnect regarding any further questions about studying abroad. Stay safe folks!

Rashmi Kango

A writer by day and a reader by night, Rashmi is a quirky cog, in the wheel that is iSchoolConnect. She spends her days writing intriguing and informative articles about all things Higher-Ed.

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