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Korean Test Takers Pay Most for TOEFL

Posted September. 21, 2006 05:59,   


Controversy has been raised as test takers of TOEFL, a test of English as a foreign language for people who plan to study in the U.S., are now required to pay an “express charge” of $25 when applying for the test when it is near at hand. The TOEFL format was changed from a CBT (Computer-Based TOEFL) into an iBT (Internet-Based TOEFL) this month.

Korean test takers belong to the group which pays the highest testing fee in the world, which was previously fixed globally, but now differs by countries after iBT was introduced.

$25 More in Express Charge-

The testing fee of iBT is $170 when one registers at least seven days before the test, but the amount goes up to $195 four to six days before the test. The additional $25 is an “express charge” which did not exist in the CBT. As usual, one cannot register three days before the test.

“The change in the testing fee system is applied globally simultaneously according to the decision by Educational Testing Service (ETS) of the U.S.,” said Kim Nam-hyung of the Korean-American Educational Commission, which is in charge of TOEFL testing in Korea. “But we have not been given a specific explanation from ETS about why they set up this new rule with the introduction of iBT.”

Koreans Pay the Most in Testing Fees-

Another change that occurred after iBT was introduced is differing testing fees by countries.

Out of upwards of 110 countries that conduct the iBT, Korea, alongside about 10 countries in East Asia and the Middle East including Japan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Hong Kong, pay $170 in TOEFL testing fee, the largest in the world.

Some point out that the amount is too big compared to Canada’s $160, France and Germany’s $155, and $150 of Singapore and the U.S.

Dong-A Ilbo sent an e-mail to ETS on September 15, asking for an explanation regarding this change, but it has not received an answer yet.

Internet-Based TOEFL was introduced in Korea in September 2006, and the new testing format will completely replace the CBT in October.