Which English Proficiency Exam Is Right for You?

There are so many different types of English proficiency exams out there. How do you choose which one is right for you? We’ve composed a guide to show you the difference between each one and (hopefully) will help you decide which one is right for you.

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TOEFL

What does it stand for?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language

What is the TOEFL test?

The TOEFL test measures how well you can apply your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to complete academic tasks. The test is 3 hours long and is taken on a computer or on paper. The TOEFL test consists of four sections speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

TOEFL Test Scores:

You will receive a total score out of 120 based on your performance in all 4 sections of the test.

Who accepts TOEFL?

More than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.

We recommend the TOEFL test if you are:

  • planning to study at a higher education institution
  • applying for a scholarship at a higher education institution
  • looking to track your English-language learning progress
  • applying for a visa in an English-speaking country.

 

IELTS

What does it stand for?

International English Language Testing System

What is the IELTS test?

The IELTS Test assesses the English language proficiency of people wanting to work and study in an English-speaking environment. Like other English proficiency exams, the IELTS assesses your reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The IELTS speaking test is unique because it involves a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner. The reading, writing, and listening modules are 2 hours and 45 minutes long, while the speaking test is about 15 minutes long.

There are two versions (Academic or General) of IELTS test: the Academic IELTS test and the General IELTS test. The IELTS Academic test measures the English language proficiency required for an academic environment, while the IELTS General Training test measures your English language proficiency in everyday contexts.

IELTS Test Scores:

If you take the IELTS exam, you will get a band score for each skill (listening, reading, writing, and speaking), and a overall band score (of all the skills) between 0 and 9.

Who accepts the IELTS?

IELTS is accepted by more than 9000 organizations in over 145 countries.

We recommend the IELTS test if you are:

  • planning to study at a higher education institution
  • looking to work in an English-speaking environment
  • looking to track your English-language learning progress
  • looking to immigrate to Australia, New Zealand, or Canada.

 

FCE

What does it stand for?

First Certificate in English

What is the FCE test?

The FCE test is an English Language Proficiency test administered by the Cambridge English Language Assessment. The test is at the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It includes 5 sections: Reading (1 hour), Writing (1:20), Use of English (45 minutes), Listening (40 minutes) and Speaking (14 minutes).

FCE Test Scores:

If you take the FCE test, you will get a score is between 0 and 100 and is based on all 5 sections

CERF Level C1, or A – 80-100
B – 75-79
C – 60-74
CEFR Level B1 – 45-49
Fail – 0-44

Who accepts FCE?

The FCE is accepted by thousands of businesses and educational institutions worldwide.

We recommend the FCE test if you are:

  • applying for a visa in an English-speaking country.
  • preparing for further English language learning (and the Cambridge CAE exam)
  • looking to work in an English-speaking environment
  • planning to study at a higher education institution

 

CAE

What does it stand for?

Certificate in Advanced English.

What is the CAE Exam?

The CAE is an international English language examination developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment. The test is at the C1 level of It is targeted at Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.  It includes four papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The speaking test is conducted face-to-face with two examiners and two candidates.

CAE Test Scores:

A – 80-100

B – 75-79

C – 60-74

CEFR Level B2 – 45-49

Fail – 0-44

Who accepts CAE?

The CAE is accepted by thousands of educational institutions, businesses, and government departments worldwide as proof of high English proficiency.

We recommend the CAE if you are:

  • planning to study at a higher education institution
  • applying for a scholarship at a higher education institution
  • looking to work in an English-speaking environment
  • immigrate to an English-speaking country

 

At EC Toronto, we offer IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, and FCE Exam Preparation classes.  Check out EC Toronto English school in Canada.

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