The TOEFL formerly known as Test Of English as a Foreign Language, is a test of an individual’s ability to use and understand English in an academic setting designed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and TOEFL is a registered trademark of ETS. It was developed to address the problem of ensuring English language proficiency for non-native speakers wishing to study at U.S. universities. It has become an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities. Additionally, institutions such as government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, or scholarship programs may require this test. A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then will no longer be officially reported.
Since its introduction in late 2005, the TOEFL iBT format has progressively replaced both the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT), although paper-based testing is still used in select areas. The TOEFL iBT test has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid.
Although initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to wait for months, it is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once a week.
The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) is “an English language test designed specifically to measure the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment.
The TOEIC Listening & Reading Test is a two-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 200 questions evenly divided into listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Each candidate receives independent scores for listening and reading comprehension on a scale from 5 to 495 points. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to achieved results:
There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version:
The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organisations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all candidates with a score from “band 1” (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“expert user”) and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a “band 0” score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that he has worked to maintain his level.