At-Home TOEFL: Part 5 – Avoiding Tech Problems

Audrey Uncategorised 0 Comments

This blog post continues from a larger series:

In this post, I’m sharing some tips about how to avoid tech problems with your computer on the day of your test.

My first student just reported back to me on the at-home TOEFL test experience. All in all, she really loved how much more comfortable and focused it was to take the test at home.

She shared a technology issue that took ProctorU (the proctor service) about 50 minutes to solve . Because my student is so wonderful and helpful, she wanted to make sure that you avoid the same headache.

The Problem

Basically, the reason why she had a problem starting her TOEFL iBT “at-home” test on her computer was because… There were a few programs that kept running in the background. My student didn’t realize that these programs were running.

The result was that she saw this error message on her screen:

“The system has failed to begin recording. Please refresh the page to reconnect and try again. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact our live support.”

The Solution

Of course, ProctorU (the proctor company for at-home TOEFL) has great tech support and they eventually fixed the problem on her computer.

However, you may be able to avoid the 50 minutes of stress that she went through if you turn these things off before your at-home TOEFL test begins.

Turn off the following programs that run in the background:

  • OneDrive
  • DropBox
  • Skype

Below is a quick video that shows how to turn off some of the programs from your “system tray” (which is the name for that place down by the clock).


Also, my student’s computer had a “touch screen” monitor. This functionality requires extra programs, but those can interfere with the at-home TOEFL test software.

If you need to wait for Tech Support, you should open up your Task Manager, because they will probably close extra programs.

This picture shows you how to find Task Manager from your Start menu:

Remember this!

If you have a tech support issue with ProctorU, just take deep breaths. Don’t give up. They will fix it!

The most important thing is for you to stay calm, so that when you begin your test, you do your best.

Good luck!