Published: 31st December 2021
Here's what the new ETS India centre means for students taking TOEFL, GRE
ETS offers the TOEFL and GRE examinations, which every student seeking to study abroad in countries like the USA, the UK has to take
Anyone who's ever dreamt of studying abroad and has made it happen knows the lengthy and tasking process. From shortlisting the countries and then the universities to even writing the statements of purpose, the journey is hard and has its share of hurdles. It is especially challenging for those wishing to pursue a Master's degree or a PhD abroad. They have to go through and clear two sets of exams — an English-language proficiency test and a graduate records examination. And among the most popular of these exams are the TOEFL and the GRE.
In a matter that's sure to aid and assist Indian aspirants, ETS — the organisation that has created and conducts TOEFL and GRE exams worldwide — has set up a subsidiary in India, at Delhi. In a conversation with Edexlive, Lejo Oommen, Managing Director of ETS India, tells us how the new India centre will help students of the country that is the second-largest in terms of the number of students going abroad to study every year. Excerpts:
How will the new ETS centre in India impact Indian test-takers? What benefits can be expected?
India is a dominant force in the global marketplace, and it is our goal to become woven into the fabric of the education system. This helps us to grow ETS’s footprint in India and expand educational opportunities for Indian learners. At ETS India, our key objective is to support growth within the Indian workforce by providing assessments and learning products that grow the skillset of Indian learners and workers of tomorrow. We want to be a contributor and asset to Indian students who are working to demonstrate their English-language skills as well as their acquired knowledge in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), business and legal fields. Through high-quality learning products and assistive tools, ETS India will be playing a key role in how students and workers validate their skills and are able to pursue their educational and professional dreams.
Lejo Oommen, Managing Director of ETS India
What support is available for Indian students who are in need of financial assistance?
In an effort to support the needs of all learners we offer free and low-cost test preparations and we also provide support in the form of test vouchers to test takers who demonstrate need through several programs within our assessment programs. For more information about test taker support services, please visit www.ets.org.
A very large number of Indian students move abroad every year to study. This has been the trend for several years now. Why did ETS decide to open the centre now and not before?
The education landscape is evolving quickly in India and we are committed to supporting the community from within, including both institutions and learners. To further strengthen and foster our presence in India, we established a dedicated Indian subsidiary, ETS India, which is equipped with a well-accomplished team to support ETS operations in-country to continue our work of advancing educational opportunities for Indian learners. We recognise that India is the second-largest country for outbound higher education students around the world and offer our TOEFL and GRE assessments to support test takers on their education journey. In order to tap into the abundant opportunities that India offers, we will put a sustained focus on the development and execution of locally created initiatives, supported by a dedicated and strong local management team with an appropriate sales and marketing organisation. Our understanding of the education landscape both abroad and within India will continue to drive demand for our offerings and expand our footprint in the country.
Over the last year and a half, ETS has undergone several changes in terms of how it conducts the TOEFL exam, topping it with the introduction of the at-home edition. What are the plans going forward? What changes can we expect?
As pioneers in the industry, we were the first to acknowledge the challenges imposed by COVID-19 and brought forth an innovative solution — the TOEFL iBT Home Edition — to meet the needs of test takers and institutions. This is the same TOEFL iBT test — in format, content, on-screen experience, scoring and pricing — just delivered from the safety and comfort of students’ homes under very specific and rigorous security conditions. As a result of the success we’ve seen with this offering and its popularity among students and institutions around the world, we added this as a longstanding piece of the TOEFL iBT portfolio.
Recently, to further strengthen the TOEFL iBT portfolio, TOEFL iBT Paper Edition was introduced in October 2021, testing the four skills from the TOEFL iBT test but over two sessions — one in test centres (for the Reading, Writing and Listening sections) and the second at home (for the Speaking section).
Alongside the flagship TOEFL iBT test, the TOEFL program also accelerated the timeline for the development of a unique, innovative and first-of-its-kind product — the TOEFL Essentials test — a versatile, at home English-language test offering a unique combination of quality that institutions want with student-friendly features, affordability and accessibility that students value and need. The questions are fast-paced and dynamic, and the test features a multistage adaptive format that efficiently measures language proficiency by matching test content to test takers’ ability.