English tests: an overview
International students who want to study in an English speaking country need to take certain standardized English tests. The most popular among them are TOEFL and IELTS. There are several other tests, too. So which test should you take? Well, it depends upon your English learning needs and goals for further education and career. Here is a quick overview of the important English tests.
The most important English tests are:
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
IELTS – International English Language Testing System
TOEIC – Test of English for International Communication
FCE – First Certificate of English
CAE – Certificate in Advanced English
BULATS – Business Language Testing Service
Two of these tests – the TOEFL and TOEIC – are administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service). The other four tests – IELTS, FCE, CAE and BULATS – are developed by University of Cambridge.
ETS is an American company having its headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. The English tests developed by ETS focus on North American English. They are taken by students who want to pursue higher education in North America or in other countries where North American English is the medium of instruction.
The TOEFL and TOEIC tests are computer based. Paper-based versions are also available in some parts of the world. Almost all questions are multiple-choice and require you to choose the correct answer from four answer choices. The writing parts of these tests, too, are tested at the computer. So improve your type-writing skills before attempting the tests. You must also be familiar with North American accents because you will hear them on the listening sections of these tests.