International Certificate home testing: Benefits, rules and requirements

Pearson Languages
A woman sat in front of a laptop, with a pen in hand and a paper on the desk. She is looking at the camera

Education has embraced remote and hybrid learning – and it looks like it’s here to stay as a more accessible option for students everywhere. For the same reasons, even higher-stakes English exams are proving it’s possible to throw off old-fashioned approaches and adapt to the changing needs and expectations of today’s test-takers. The Pearson English International Certificate is available online (as well as in paper-based format) and can be taken in a home environment. It has a number of benefits for both teachers and test takers.

In this post, we will look at why testing from home is a good option and explore the rules and requirements for the online Pearson English International Certificate.

5 benefits of remote language testing

1. Flexibility to take the test anywhere

One of the great things about taking the online International Certificate is that test-takers can do it from any private location with a reliable internet connection.

While we offer the option to take the test in one of our authorized computer-based testing centers, we now also offer testing from home with the OnVue online proctoring system. Both delivery methods are backed by the same level of robust security, meaning International Certificate test results can be equally trusted regardless of where the test was taken.

2. Fits into learners’ schedules

The online International Certificate allows test-takers to schedule their 2-hour test at a time that fits into their timetable and is not restricted by location. This means that they don’t have to take time off work or education to take the test, or suffer the additional stress or inconvenience this can cause to their lives.

Using just one system and one log-in, they register for the test, schedule it for whenever suits them and then, when the time comes, sign in to gain access to the online proctoring system.

3. Easy-to-use testing platform

The International Certificate is available through Pearson English Test Hub, the online assessment portal that brings teachers, test-takers and tests together in a single, user-friendly space.

Test Hub is extremely straightforward to use for scheduling, taking tests and accessing results – while also delivering powerful, data-rich insights into test performance for both teachers and test-takers.

Furthermore, we have clear resources showing new users how to navigate the platform, as well as online videos on our YouTube channel to help learners familiarize themselves with the online International Certificate format.

Also available through Test Hub is the Readiness Test, which predicts readiness to pass the International Certificate, as well as the Level and Benchmark Tests – assessments that teachers find invaluable for placing new students in the right class and tracking their progress to proficiency.

4. Quicker to mark and issue results

All tests are scored using an AI system. This speeds up the turnaround time for results, making the whole process much more efficient than the paper-based exam.

Governments trust Pearson’s world-leading scoring technology, businesses and universities globally and is powered by the expert input of thousands of skilled, experienced English teachers. Since 2022, the online International Certificate has been scored entirely using this system, bringing the score turnaround time to under 2 weeks – a fraction of the time taken to score the paper-based test.

5. Accessible to all

Running an assessment online means that many people from around the world can access it. So, this will allow people in some of the world's most remote areas to get a recognized English certificate and change their lives, as long as they meet the following requirements.

Pearson English International Certificate requirements

There are a number of requirements that test-takers need to be aware of when taking the exam from home. These include:

  • a computer - test-takers must have access to a computer or laptop for the test duration. We recommend using a personal rather than a work computer as the testing software uses a secure browser that restricts other programs from running. Therefore, firewalls or network settings on work computers may cause problems.
  • a government-issued ID - To sign in to the online testing system, test-takers must have their government-issued ID, such as a passport, identification card or driving license, ready to present.
  • internet access - As the test requires continuous audio and video streaming, test-takers need to maintain a good internet connection. Additionally, we recommend connecting to a hardwire ethernet cable. Alternatively, test-takers should ask others at home to avoid using the internet during the exam.
  • a headset - Test-takers need a wired headset to take the test, rather than a Bluetooth one. This needs to include a microphone. Make sure it is of good sound quality so that tasks can be completed effectively.
  • a webcam - Test-takers need a webcam as they’ll be monitored by our online proctoring system throughout. This is to ensure that they do not have help from another person, or their notes nearby.
  • a private testing space - Test-takers must ensure they have a quiet and comfortable location that is completely private while doing the test. The proctor must end the session if anyone appears – even momentarily – during the test. The candidate is the only person allowed to see and answer the test questions.

The International Certificate testing rules

There are a number of simple, yet critical rules to follow when taking the International Certificate test from home. These include:

  • minors need adult consent - Test-takers who are under 18, an adult must be present to show their ID and provide consent. Then they must leave the room for the test to begin.
  • test taker must remain in webcam view - The test is under 2 hours with one optional 10-minute break. Aside from this break, people taking the test must not stand up or leave their workspace.
  • remove watches - Test-takers must remove all watches and smart watches to be stored out of sight.
  • store personal items away - Test-takers must store all their personal items out of reach during the test. They can not use phones, books, pens, notes or whiteboards.
  • clear exam workspace - There shouldn’t be any clutter on the desk or workspace. The proctor will check that no prohibited items are in the room before beginning.
  • no handwritten notes allowed - Test-takers are not permitted to take handwritten notes during the test. They may use the notes feature in their browser to take notes.

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