BCIE - English Tests

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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Test format
The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – in under three hours. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening, Reading and Writing must be completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The order in which these tests are taken may vary.

The Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to a week before or after the other tests. This will depend on your test centre.

Listening: 30 minutes

You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write your answers to a series of questions.

These include questions that test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas.

A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.

Section 1 A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

Section 2 A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.

Section 3 A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.

Section 4 A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Academic Reading: 60 minutes

The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.

The Academic version includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

Academic Writing: 60 minutes

The Writing component of IELTS Academic includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

Task 1. You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.

Task 2. You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow people to rehearse set responses beforehand.

Part 1. The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

Part 2. You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3. You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

Find a test centre near you:

https://www.britishcouncil.org/exam

 

Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)

About the TOEFL iBT® Test
The TOEFL iBT® test, delivered via the Internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL® Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?
The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

About the TOEFL iBT® Test
The TOEFL iBT® test, delivered via the Internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL® Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?
The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

Who Accepts TOEFL Test Scores?
More than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. For more information, including using your scores to satisfy visa requirements in Australia and the U.K., how to find institutions that accept TOEFL scores, and more, see Who Accepts TOEFL Scores.

Where and When Can I Take the TOEFL iBT Test?
The TOEFL test has more test dates (over 50 per year) and locations than any other English-language test in the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment.

This retake policy will be enforced even if a violation is not immediately identified (for example, inconsistent registration information).

If the violation is identified after registration but before the test date, your test appointment will be canceled and your test fee will not be refunded.
If the violation is not identified until after your scores have been reported, your scores will be canceled. You and any score recipients will be notified by a cancellation letter, and your test fee will not be refunded.

 

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

ABOUT THE TEST
PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing all via computer in a single 3 hour test session.

To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test centre. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.

During the three-hour test session there will be three main parts to the test: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.

PTE Academic assesses real-life, academic content, so you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will hear a range of accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so you will be exposed to the type of accents you will encounter in everyday life.

TEST FORMAT:

PART 1: SPEAKING & WRITING (77 – 93 minutes)

  • Personal Introduction
  • Read aloud
  • Repeat sentence
  • Describe image
  • Re-tell lecture
  • Answer short question
  • Summarize written text
  • Essay (20mins)

PART 2: READING (32 – 41 minutes)

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Re-order paragraphs
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice questions
  • A ten minute break is optional

PART 3: LISTENING (45 – 57 minutes)

  • Summarize spoken text
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Fill the blanks
  • Highlight the correct summary
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Select missing word
  • Highlight incorrect words
  • Write from dictation

 

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

Exam format
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is a thorough test of all areas of language ability.

The updated exam (for exam sessions from January 2015) is made up of four papers developed to test your English language skills. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.The Speaking test is taken face to face, with two candidates and two examiners. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

Reading and Use of English (1 hour 30 minutes)
8 parts/ 56 questions. Shows you can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests your use of English with different types of exercise that show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
Writing (1 hour 30 minutes)
2 parts. You create two different pieces of writing, such as essays, letters/emails, proposals, reports and reviews.
Listening (about 40 minutes)
4 parts/ 30 questions. Tests your ability to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as interviews, radio broadcasts, presentations, talks and everyday conversations.
Speaking (15 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts. Tests your ability to communicate effectively in face–to–face situations. You will take the Speaking test with another candidate. 

More Information

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