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What is exactly checked in the English proficiency test?

I am a literature graduate. When I started searching for a job that suits my qualification, I noticed that many of them require the candidates to take an English proficiency test to prove their English levels. Now I have decided to take a test to qualify for a good position. Is there anyone who has taken such a test and can tell me what to do? Which is the most suitable test for me to try? Somebody has told me to prepare for ielts online test. What does it involve? How difficult is it and what will be an admissible score in this test?

Alexa Spicer

in Exams and Tests

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Tara Andrews on January 22, 2018

Well, it is a reality that many jobs will require you to provide additional proof for your linguistic capabilities along with your degree in literature. If you search the term ‘English proficiency test’ on Google, you can see that there are thousands of them, though only a few are globally recognized. As you have already heard about ielts test, we’ll start from there. The test is co-owned by Cambridge Assessment English, the British Council, and IDP Australia. This test is accepted by thousands of educational institutions and employers across the world. You can take this test in pen and paper or online format. This test takes approximately three hours and it checks your listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities. Usually, the result of the test is declared on the 13 th day on a scale of 1 to 9. Remember, there is no pass or fail in this test; instead you are supposed to get a score that your employer wants to see.

However, before jumping into a conclusion, make sure that your would-be employer will accept IELTS. In fact, there are many language proficiency tests out there, including many other Cambridge tests like CAE, FCE, KET, PET, CPE, and from other test providers, like TOEFL, PTE, and many more. Anyway, don’t take these English ability tests without proper preparation. If you are not familiar with the test format and timing, it is highly likely that you will waste your precious time reading instructions instead of answering questions at the test center.

If you are taking ielts to check your English skills, start your preparation from the past question papers available at Cambridge University Press. They are available in book form, from Cambridge IELTS 1 to Cambridge IELTS 12. These tests will give you a clear idea about the test format, timings, question types and your expected score in the test. In addition to this, a large number of websites and printed books are available to prepare for IELTS. Though some of them fall short of the required quality, you can use them to become familiar with the possible questions in the writing and speaking modules of the test.

In these English language tests, they do not check your general knowledge. Therefore, the questions in these tests are arranged in such a way that any person without specialized knowledge in any topic can answer the questions. However, it is often seen that the speaking and writing questions are repeated in different test locations in slightly different ways. Therefore, it is a wise idea to collect the reported writing and speaking questions of the past year from different
countries and be prepared to answer them.

Olive Wilsona year ago

I had to take the online IELTS test three times to get my required score so I warn you the test is not easy, especially the reading module of the test. There were three reading passages with a total of 40 questions. There were multiple choice questions, fill the blanks, yes/no/not given questions, and questions to find suitable headings for paragraphs. When I attempted the test the first time, I only managed a miserable 5 band out of 9 in the reading. That means only about 17 correct answers out of 40. Then I joined the IELTS classes offered by the British Council and learned the reading strategies like skimming and scanning to improve the reading score. Thus, when I took the test the third time, my reading score rose to 7.5, that is, about 33 answers out of 40 were correct. So, the conclusion is, don’t ignore training. In these timed language proficiency tests, right strategies are as important as linguistic capabilities.


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