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English Language Proficiency Test (IELTS, GRE, TOFEL, etc.)

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Getting a good grade on the English language proficiency test increases your chances of studying at a university abroad, earning a scholarship and still ensuring entry into the job market abroad.

Before reading further, pay attention to this information;

To have the proficiency certificate, you will need to already have a good level of English.

We are explaining this at the outset because candidates are challenged to show their knowledge of speaking, listening, writing and reading skills.

In other words, if you are a basic level (beginner), try to look for a preparatory course.

Meanwhile, the main exams that enable certification in English today are;

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) ;
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System);
  • GRE
  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication);

In this post, we are going to clarify what each English proficiency test is for you.

English Language proficiency test: which one to choose?

It is quite possible that when accessing this post, you already have an idea of ​​which proficiency test you are going to take, right?

If you haven’t already, it is important to know that each test has a specific objective.

Some universities require TOEFL. Others require IELTS. While for the job market, large multinationals apply for TOEIC.

If you are still in doubt about which test may be the most suitable for your goal, stay with us, as we will give the direction of the main proficiency exams.

TOEFL

One of the most well-known English proficiency exams in the world, the TOEFL is required by academia.

Although European universities accept a good grade on the test, it is infinitely more requested by American and Canadian educational institutions.

More than 100,000 universities accept the TOEFL score and the good news is that you can choose from more than 50 dates throughout the year to do so.

In other words, if you still feel that you are not prepared to test your knowledge, you have time – and availability – to take the test without worrying about a single date in the year.

You can also retake the test as many times as you like, but you only need to be careful not to apply more than once in 12 days.

It is worth remembering that TOEFL is administered by ETS and can be carried out via the internet at an authorized application centre.

How to take the exam?

To take the TOEFL, it is necessary to register in advance on the website and check where institutions qualified to take the exam are located.

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What is the validity of the TOEFL?

The score you obtain on the TOEFL will be valid for two years. Stay tuned, therefore, in the period that you will need to use this test.

How is the test?

The TOEFL test consists of four stages (reading, listening, speaking and writing). You will have four and a half hours to do it and a quick ten-minute break to take that breath.

Remember that time is counted for each of the sessions, so managing it is essential for a successful test.

See How Each Of These Steps Works

Reading: You will have to answer between 36 and 56 questions about excerpts from academic texts. Interpretation of text and assimilation of the utterance is essential in this stage.

Time: 60 to 80 minutes.

Listening: After listening to lectures or dialogue, you will answer between 34 and 51 questions on the topics discussed.

Time: 60 to 90 minutes.

Speaking: You will be challenged to express an opinion on a topic or to talk about the tasks done in the previous steps.

Time: 20 minutes

Writing: In this phase, you will put your power of argument (in English, of course) into practice and support an opinion in writing. Some answers based on listening and reading tasks should also be written.

Time: 50 minutes

IMPORTANT: Be prepared to hear accents from a wide variety of countries. In addition to the American, of course, accents from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia may appear.

How much does TOEFL cost?

The cost of taking the TOEFL varies by country and can be expensive. So you must be well prepared to make the exam worthwhile.

IELTS

Another English proficiency exam well known among students who wish to qualify abroad is the IELTS.

Accepted in up to 140 countries, the test is the “darling” of European universities.

It was created by the University of Cambridge (England) and today is administered by the British Council.

The support of IELTS is so much that 10,000 organizations – including universities, government institutions and companies – accept punctuation as a prerequisite.

The IELTS score goes from 0 to 9 and the ideal score will depend on your university – the most competitive ones usually ask for more than 7.5. Others already admit with 5.5.

How to take the exam?

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It is necessary to choose the city and schedule the exam online. Like TOEFL, there are numerous dates throughout the year for you to take the test.

What is the validity of IELTS?

There is no clear rule about the validity of IELTS. However, there is an international standard that recommends that any proficiency test must be accepted within a maximum period of 2 years.

This is also the time for which your data is registered in the British Council system.

How is the test?

There are two types of IELTS tests: Academic, aimed at those interested in studying abroad, and IELTS General Training, for those looking for internship and job opportunities.

The IELTS test is also composed of four stages (reading, listening, speaking and writing). You will have up to 3 hours to perform it. So, again, we remember: manage your time.

Reading: it is the stage that will most demand the candidate since they are more profound questions.

To guarantee a good result, the student needs to apply to the test already knowing its structure. There are three texts and 40 questions to answer.

The questions will be distributed in different formats: multiple choice, filling in the gap, etc.

Time: 60 minutes

Speaking: Unlike the TOEFL in which the conversation takes place via computer, with more than one candidate in the room, at IELTS, the candidate takes the oral exam individually with an examiner trained by the University of Cambridge. This stage is divided into three parts.

At first, the examiner asks about your daily life, then guides you to talk about a certain subject and, finally, there is a discussion/debate on some theme from the previous step.

If you don’t know a specific answer, don’t worry and create. What will be assessed is your ability to verbalize!

It is worth remembering that IELTS speaking does not necessarily have to happen on the same day that you will perform the rest of the test. If you prefer, you can do it on another date.

Time: 11 to 14 minutes

Listening: The stage is divided into 4 audios (dialogues and monologues) that address everyday topics and the academic environment.

After listening to them, you must answer 40 questions divided into a multiple-choice format, complete the sentence, among others.

Time: 40 minutes

Writing: The student must write two essays on different topics. It is important here to write the ideas coherently and, above all, not to escape the theme.

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Time: 60 minutes

TOEIC

Are you looking to expand your professional career in the international market? Then the Test of English for International Communication, TOIEC is for you!

Prepared by the same institution responsible for the TOEFL, the ETS, the TOEIC exam. It aims to measure your proficiency in English in everyday situations and aimed at the job market.

 

Today TOIEC is accepted worldwide by more than 14,000 companies, government agencies and English teaching programs, totalling up to 150 countries.

Too much, right?

Because it has a level of requirement similar to the other proficiency tests mentioned in this article, ETS recommends that the student has at least an intermediate level of English to take the exam.

How to take the exam?

You can take your TOEIC Test by calling (11) 3656-1322 or on the website. If you choose the online modality, you can define, when registering, where you will take the exam.

TOIEC is applied by authorized centres in the main capitals of the country and some cities in the interior.

What is the validity?

The TOIEC validity follows the same scheme as the IELTS and Cambridge exams.

There is no predetermined rule, but it is not recommended to use the exam score 2 years after taking the test.

How is the test?

The TOIEC test is divided into two parts.

The first is listening and reading, a paper test with 200 questions that involve dialogues, text interpretation, as well as phrases to complete.

Time: 2 hours

The speaking and writing stage, on the other hand, involves conversation, description of photographs, reading aloud, as well as debates in which you will be invited to express your opinion on a certain subject.

In written comprehension, you must describe a sentence based on the photograph shown, respond to a written request and write an opinionated text.

Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Conclusion

English is the language of global opportunity and in an increasingly competitive job market, it is extremely important to know how to master it so that you can later use it wherever you want!

Whether for everyday situations, higher education or the job market, having the language at the tip of the tongue is undoubtedly the gateway to communication without borders.

NOTE: Do not forget that the English proficiency exam does not pass or fail. It assesses your ability to use and understand English

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