Planning to Study Abroad? All the English Proficiency Exams You Might Have to Consider!


Last Updated: December 3, 2022
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Are you one of those who get excited by the thought of moving abroad, studying there, making new friends, exploring cities, being independent and looking out for yourself or are you among the ones that get stressed by the whole idea of driving to an unfamiliar location? Whichever group you fall in, you do like the idea of foreign education, right? As cliche as it sounds, it does make a difference to your personality. 

Well, you must know how the whole “studying abroad” is a lengthy procedure and so many things are included. Be it a passport, visa, university applications, scholarships, or SOP. But wherever you go, there is one thing you are definitely going to need and that is English Proficiency Tests. It is also a mandatory requirement while applying for your student visa. If you do not start prepping for this right now, things might seem complicated later. So, did you know there are many more tests apart from IELTS and TOEFL, the ones whose names you keep hearing everywhere? If not then let’s explore the different tests that you will require for your dream uni! 

Why Do You Need These Tests At All?

In order to enroll in a university or college overseas, you must still meet a set of established academic requirements. As Indians, English is not our first language, correct? The purpose of English language proficiency tests is to give those whose first language is not English, the opportunity to study abroad in nations like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and others where English is the official language.

An English proficiency test is made up of various test portions that evaluate the fundamental language abilities, including:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

The basic idea is to create a standarised test for all. The majority of the accessible English proficiency exams have a fee, the cost of which varies by area. The interesting part is that there is not one but many such tests and it can be confusing to choose the correct one for yourself. Let’s explore some of the most well-liked English exams to choose which is best for you!

Here is A List Of Different Tests!

The most common English language competency test for study, employment, and immigration is this one. For admission into the majority of prestigious institutions and colleges abroad, the IELTS is a required exam for Indians and other non-native English speakers, particularly in the Commonwealth countries. IELTS is a fantastic option if you wish to study in 

  • Australia
  • Canada 
  • New Zealand
  • The US
  • UK

IELTS exams are accepted for admission to all academic programs at institutions. Depending on your needs, you can take the IELTS test immediately after graduating from college or after earning your bachelor’s degree.

The skills evaluated in this test are:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Administered over four times a month at 71 centers in India, this examination lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes. The tests are evaluated from 0 to 9, with a higher score indicating a stronger mastery of the language. The score of the same is valid for two years.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the full name of the exam. The TOEFL test is created to assist students in understanding and communicating effectively and efficiently in a university setting or environment. It is accepted by more than 8,500 colleges and universities in 130 countries worldwide. The TOEFL exam is the one that universities in the US and Canada prefer, although many colleges in the UK do not accept it. 

The TOEFL iBT exam contains four sections (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking) each graded from 0 to 30, for a total possible score of 120.

Your results are valid for two years after they are announced. The typical exam lasts four hours, with optional 10-minute breaks. The test is available both online and in person. The current test is known as TOEFL iBT, and it is offered all year round, typically on weekends.


The test format also permits an unlimited number of retakes, although only one attempt is permitted every three days.

  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)

The TOEIC exam is intended to assess a person’s proficiency in using the English language in a professional setting and in communicating effectively with coworkers from different cultural backgrounds. 

The test is divided into three distinct sections. Section I focuses on listening, section II focuses on reading, while the last focuses on biographical questions. While the original TOEIC is used in more than 150 nations, it is principally employed in Japan, Korea, the United States, and Canada.


About two hours and thirty minutes are spent on the listening and reading portions of the TOEIC exam. Additionally, the TOEIC Writing test with eight questions takes about 60 minutes to complete, whilst the TOEIC Speaking test lasts for 20 minutes. 

A computer is used to administer the TOEIC speaking and writing test. In this test, both written and spoken English are equally important. The student’s final grade ranges from 0 to 400.

Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI, is a test that assesses a person’s accuracy in speaking English. The OPI evaluates an applicant’s competence in speaking English, and this language test is typically conducted over the phone with the official OPI tester and candidate.

The four OPI required phases are:

  • Introduction phase
  • Warm-up
  • Interview
  • Cool-down

Additionally, the interview phase is divided into two parts: level checks and probes. The test takes less than 40 minutes thanks to focused test forms. OPI ratings range from 0 (No Proficiency) to 5. (Functionally Native). The elements in function, accuracy, substance, situations, and the text type utilized during the interview test are among the assessment factors used to grade the OPI test.

The Cambridge English exams differ slightly from the previous English proficiency exams. The other examinations give you a graded English score, whereas the Cambridge exams are classic “pass or fail” exams. The Cambridge English tests are frequently offered in a classroom or office setting, but they are also accessible to people at approved testing facilities in the UK and other countries. These Cambridge tests are an excellent way to demonstrate your level of English at the conclusion of a course, just like you would with a course at a college or university, because they are always valid.

To guarantee effective patient communication and internal requirements, future medical professionals are advised to take the Occupational English Test, or OET. 

It evaluates the language skills of medical professionals who want to work in an English-speaking setting. This test evaluates the communication and comprehension abilities of overseas students via the use of practical exercises and scenarios.

Universities and hospitals in the UK, the US, Australia, Dubai, New Zealand, and Ireland all have confidence in and acceptance of it.

Your speaking, reading, writing, and listening abilities are tested on the OET. The OET test grades range from 0 to 500 and from A to E. (a higher score represents a better understanding of the language). OET may be easier for you to comprehend because it focuses on healthcare and uses language you use in everyday practice.


All universities and other organizations in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand accept Pearson Test of English for all immigration and visa needs. It is recognized in more than 70 nations. PTE is the first English language test ever that is entirely AI-based and accepted by colleges.

For the PTE Academic, there are three sections that last, on average, three hours each. The speaking and writing test is the first part of the PTE exam, and the reading test is the second. The listening test is the second to last element of this exam.

Anytime is a good moment to take a test. Your exam can be scheduled 365 days a year, 24 hours in advance. In most cases, the results are out 48 hours after completion.

The two different PTE test formats receive separate scores. For instance, the PTE Academic test has a scoring range of 90 to 10, with 90 being the best score and 10 being the lowest.  Likewise, the PTE General’s grading is consistent with the CEFR Level Scale.

The Duolingo English Test is one of the easiest and least expensive English Standardized Tests you can take, and it is recognized by many organizations across the world. 

It is a 60-minute online test with immediate results that is accepted by several colleges in the US and the UK. It is a cutting-edge, thorough, and on-demand English language competency examination tool that evaluates both native and non-native English speakers’ language proficiency.


The CEFR Levels (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which include proficiency levels C2 to A1, can be used to convert the Duolingo English Test’s scoring scale of 10 to 160 to determine your level of English proficiency.

An English language competency test called the ISE (Integrated Skills in English) is offered by Trinity College London. The ISE is a modern test qualification for English language proficiency, in addition. Additionally, proving a person’s competency in English is widely accepted and recognized by organizations and government agencies.

The ISE divides its tests into two parts that you can take individually, unlike other English proficiency exams. There is a reading (passing score 15) and writing module (passing marks 14 out of 28) as well as a speaking (passing marks 8 out of 16) and listening lesson (passing marks 3 out of 8)

The speaking and listening exam lasts between 13 and 25 minutes, depending on the level you took, while the reading and writing module takes 2 hours across all levels.

The EF Standard English Test is another name for the EF SET. It is the first free, universally accessible English standardized language assessment test available online. It is a low-cost English assessment exam that can be used in place of more pricey language assessment tests that are offered on the market to measure English proficiency.

It does not assess speaking or writing abilities, only reading and listening abilities. You must listen to the audio samples in the EF SET listening skills section before responding to the follow-up questions. Additionally, the reading exam component includes a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, paragraph completion, reading passages, and emails. The EF SET has six CEFR levels, with scores ranging from 0 to 100. 

Thousands of colleges all over the world acknowledge the iTEP, also known as the International Test of English Proficiency, as one of the most well-known.

 The main countries that accept it for admission are Canada, the US, Mexico, and Colombia but it is recognized by more than 700 academic institutions worldwide.

Additionally, it is the market’s most popular internet-based English proficiency test. Typically, the iTEP test takes 90 or 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.

There are five sections of the test: speaking, listening, reading, and grammar. There are questions in each segment aimed at various English ability levels. Depending on what you plan to use your certification for, the iTEP offers several benchmark scores, just like any English standardized assessment test. Despite the fact that they advise an average total score of 3.8 and you may take up to two tests in any 30-day time period.

The top English proficiency test for immigration, citizenship, and professional designations in Canada is the CELPIP Test.(The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program). Several governments, professional associations, colleges, universities, and employers have formally adopted the CELPIP Tests. The four main sections of the CELPIP general test: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking—must be completed in less than an hour. A passing score for express admission would be at least 7 points in each of the sections.

The Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP) series was created by CaMLA, a nonprofit partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Cambridge. It provides tests of proficiency at three separate levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Schools, organizations, governments, and companies all across the world recognize the Michigan Tests as valid evidence of English language proficiency.

Depending on the degree of difficulty, the test structure varies. For instance, the level 2 test is divided into four sections:

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Listening comprehension
  • Reading comprehension 

Additionally, each portion of the MTELP exam at each of the three test levels contains a different set of questions and subjects.


Get Set With English Tests!

Overwhelmed after reading up about all these tests? Well, we are sure we can help you here. Experts at Mentoria can help you choose your course, country, degree, everything! Once you have chosen which exams to take, you need to start your prep. Kick-start your career discovery journey with Mentoria & be sure to find the right career fit for you. Our 4-step career guidance solution, helps us find the right career fit for you from 3 streams, 850+ courses & 12,000+ careers!