End TOEFL monopoly

End TOEFL monopoly

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Toefl Test is the most widely recognized English Language proficiency test in the world and it is mandatory for all university applicants born in a non-English speaking country. It costs between £220 and £260 and consists in 4h of reading, listening, speaking and writing exercises.

But why Toefl?

Every year 2.3 million people take this test for a 552 millions yearly revenue for Toefl test.

Is Toefl test fairly priced?
Is Toefl test the only alternative?

Toefl test is made of exercises that are fairly easy to correct. More than half of the answers can be instantly checked on by a computer as they are on-screen multiple choice. The remaining parts in the speaking and writing sessions consist of short segments that wouldn't take more than 40min to a native speaker to review.

Toefl test implies that their fee is justified by the linguistic research work they do to refine their test, but the test has remained pretty similar in years, and it is not different from exercises you could find in any good quality English Language textbook for higher education.

The reason why Toefl can charge what they charge lays in their leverage: they are almost the only test accepted and recognized worldwide by the top univerisities, and consequently by all the other ones. It may take 22+ hours of extra work for a student to pay for this test, after saving up for university's fees.

This petition aims to challenge Toefl test monopoly and to invite top universities to consider other quality language tests, opening up this market to competitors and bringing the students' unjustified milking to an end. We cannot accept this anomaly in a free market.

An example: Duolingo test.
Duolingo test is an English Language test costing £50 to students. It is already accepted alongside Toefl by a few univeristies. Even though Toefl may well bully or even attempt to pay universities into only accepting itself, Duolingo test is an alternative that is only waiting for top universities' recognition to thrive in the market.
If it is not recognized by most universities, and especially by the most sought-after ones, a test won't be worth taking because a student may have to still pay for a Toefl test in their second choice institution.

Other high quality English Language proficiency tests may arise once the market is made conquerable, in the sense of free from the ideology that sees Toefl as the only high-quality test available.

We invite more universities to consider Duolingo test alongside Toefl, ignoring Toefl's demands of exclusivity, and see how it can work as well as Toefl does. Or at least, open to other English Language tests of their liking which they consider able to assess their perspective students' language proficiency. 

Toefl test doesn't have any magical hyper-sophisticated infallible way to assess English Language proficiency that a quality Higher Education interactive textbook doesn't have, and consequently, that other tests may well be able to provide.

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