takibari

English Proficiency Test

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hello admin!

I'm not sure if this is the relevant sub-forum to post this poll. But if it isn't, simply remove it or move it. thanks.

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am just curious about the different standardized exams available to test one's english proficiency. i know the above tests were developed for a certain purpose (TOEFL for university/TOEIC for work (Japan)/IELTS for work (Europe)) but barring that, what do you think is the best exam to take to test your english proficiency? generally, the exam that you believe if you take it and receive a high mark, you're likely to have a higher score in the other exams too.

Saholy likes this

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That's a very interesting question, however it is a very difficult question to answer, as the answer is strongly 'attached' to the place where you are living. If you are living in Asia, for instance, a different exam might be useful (the best) than for people living in Europe. Still, it's interesting to hear everyone's opinion on this! Thank you for bringing this up Takibari.

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TOEFL is what our universities here in Jamaica use to test non-native speakers. I have heard a few complaints in regards to it being challenging but the majority think it's a walk over. I guess once you know the basic compounds of the English-language then TOEFL will be ideal for you.

Saholy likes this

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That's a very interesting question, however it is a very difficult question to answer, as the answer is strongly 'attached' to the place where you are living. If you are living in Asia, for instance, a different exam might be useful (the best) than for people living in Europe. Still, it's interesting to hear everyone's opinion on this! Thank you for bringing this up Takibari.

No problem about bringing it up. My boss is Korean so preference is TOEFL and TOIEC. But we also once had a Japanese partner whose preference was Versant and IELTS. In my limited mind, however I look at it, English is the same wherever you are in the world (slight difference with English/Brit). But yeah, this just might be preference/purpose issue as different countries have their own bias as to which should constitute as the "standard" so they get to pick which exam to use to test non-native English speaker.

XLS likes this

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hello linguaholic admin!

Thanks for putting a sticky to this topic. While I'm genuinely interested to know the answer to the poll, it appears majority don't share my interest, haha! Plus, I erroneously pressed the wrong button. So, the answers of the 3 who did participate in the poll were reset to zero. All 3 voted for TOEFL, btw.

In any case, I've initially set the closing of poll to Nov. 2 and that date has passed.

So, feel free to remove the topic. Truly appreciate putting a sticky to it. HUGE THANKS!

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You are welcome Takibari

What do you think about 'reopening' the poll? We need to give our community some more time to vote for it I guess. It's an interesting question, though!

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I have only experienced the TOEFL by helping my mother study for it, as it is the only one I've seen used! I thought it was a pretty good test, around the level of the average high school in an English speaking country's level.

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You are welcome Takibari

What do you think about 'reopening' the poll? We need to give our community some more time to vote for it I guess. It's an interesting question, though!

Wow! Thanks again^^ I don't see any problem re.opening the poll again. That was actually my intention when I reset the button. I thought it would give me the option to change the closing date and extend it further. Unfortunately, it erased the answer of the three that answered.

Please be my guest in re.opening the poll. I'm still really interested to know people's ideas on them. I do understand why this is a difficult question to answer. Most of us are just exposed to one proficiency test. If not for my work, I would not have learned of these proficiency tests myself.

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With the four tests listed, I am more familiar with IELTS. I feel that it is the best English proficiency exam since it is what is required in UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I am not familiar with language requirements in the US.

Most Filipinos want to work/migrate/study in English speaking countries and passing the IELTS is a requirement. I am planning to take the test myself. The test has four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Each test you will be graded from 0 to 9 and they will accumulate your band score. Band 9 means  you are an expert user, 8 is very good, 7 is good, 6 is competent, 5 is moderate, 4 to 2 is limited, and 1 is user. You will get a 0 if you did not attempt.

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The TOEFL is being used here in Jamaica at most if not all the major universities/colleges. I think it is a good one as I have heard most persons saying it is quite easy. I guess everyone's opinions may differ though.

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TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is indeed what U.S. universities require its foreign entrants to take if planning to study in the U.S. Thus, when one takes this exam, one can expect to see a lot of situations relating to University life and Academic lectures.

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I don't know how to answer the poll, as I think it all depends on your need for the test in the first place. If you intend to study in the US you need the TOEFL and it is geared towards the life and needs to function on a campus.

If you need a test for work purposes or general English knowledge also for Europe and Asia, then other tests are better suited to your needs.

The differences in work, culture, academics  vary greatly over the world, and even though English is used on many countries how it is used and applied is different. Personally I find it really hard to adapt to the British way, also very dominant in India, when coming from a US background. Its easier after traveling across the world or in Europe for a while though.

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I took the TOEIC for work once and got 970 out of 990 (why not 1000?!), and for another job, we did the whole preparation course for the TOEFL, but they never made us take the test. In the end, I moved to the US and nobody ever asked me to take any kind of English test to hire me! So yeah, what test you need depends on who is asking for it.

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My professor in college told me that the test that they take in Japan is INCREDIBLY hard. The sentences are structured in a way to trick you into going what would be the right answer typically, but the question would be asking for something else entirely. I can't recall the example that he used, but the sentence could be along the lines of: "We is 3." Then want you to correct it, but what they're looking for is something to do with the number.

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So I've taken both, and it really depends on what you're good at. The TOEFL is better if you don't mind sitting in front of the computer for a few hours and are shy speaking with a native speaker. If you enjoy writing academic style essays, then the IELTS is for you.

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Comparing proficiency tests at all (much less ones in English) isn't something I've given a lot of thought too in the past but I can see how there could be a large and significant variety across tests...now you've given something to wonder about and look into.

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I'm going with the posters who've said it depends on your location. Where I'm from, the most widespread English Proficiency Test is TOEFL. I think TOEFL results is the most common requirement they check for jobs/etc. that would require English proficiency here, so I would assume that getting good results for TOEFL is the best one for a citizen in my country.

A country that prioritizes a different proficiency test would be the best for a citizen of that country too.

In an objective sense, however, I've never really sat down and compared any proficiency tests, English or otherwise, so I don't really know. In the first place, I wouldn't know how to classify which is the "better" test for proficiency. I mean, how would one qualify that?

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I'm going with the posters who've said it depends on your location. Where I'm from, the most widespread English Proficiency Test is TOEFL. I think TOEFL results is the most common requirement they check for jobs/etc. that would require English proficiency here, so I would assume that getting good results for TOEFL is the best one for a citizen in my country.

A country that prioritizes a different proficiency test would be the best for a citizen of that country too.

In an objective sense, however, I've never really sat down and compared any proficiency tests, English or otherwise, so I don't really know. In the first place, I wouldn't know how to classify which is the "better" test for proficiency. I mean, how would one qualify that?

Can I ask where you're from? I know the US mostly uses the TOEFL (the company that makes the test is American I think), but a lot of other Western countries uses the IELTS (UK, Aus, NZ). The majority of places uses both now, even if they have a preference for TOEFL

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For people in the Philippines, the most commonly taken English proficiency test is TOEFL and IELTS.

A lot take the TOEFL because of the American Dream to STUDY in the U.S. It's mostly a requirement to enter a U.S. university. Admittedly, I don't hear much of being required to take the TOEFL for WORK purposes.

Whereas, IELTS is also fairly familiar to Filipinos because we do provide nurses and other skilled jobs to countries such as England, NZ, and Australia. These countries require non-English native speakers to take the IELTS in order to be allowed to work there.

To many here, I understand that because we each have individual needs or purposes for acquiring English proficiency, comparing different Standardized Tests hasn't really come to mind. I just realize that now.

As for me, as I work for a company that used to develop English review materials for different English standardized exams, I was a bit exposed to most of them. Most of them generally just differ in their choice of topics (and categories), but the types of exams are more or less the same.

Most of our clients before were Koreans, and these companies often require us to develop TOEFL and TOEIC exams. We never had a Korean client requiring IELTS review materials.

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I guess it depends on the purpose of why you are taking the English proficiency test. For me, I will be taking the IELTS a couple of months from now for my plan of studying in Australia. They do require a certain band score in IELTS before the university allows me to enroll in the course I chose.

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I guess it depends on the purpose of why you are taking the English proficiency test. For me, I will be taking the IELTS a couple of months from now for my plan of studying in Australia. They do require a certain band score in IELTS before the university allows me to enroll in the course I chose.

What's the score that they require? Back when my mum went to get her PhD, it was only like 6.5

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I'm almost certain that TOEFL is the most widely used and known. I would say it is probably followed by IELTS. I think these two would be the most universally used globally.

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I currently go to a State University in the United States and we are required to take an English Proficiency Exam to determine our acceptance for graduation. We call it the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) and it's typically given once a year and the entire student body who are Sophomore's and higher have to take it and pass the first time. If you don't pass, then you have to take a number of English classes and retake it again once you finish those English classes.

What's worse is that we have a lot of ESL students who take this test and struggle. While Proficiency Exams are a wonderful census for University's, the amount of pressure it puts on students is unnecessary.

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TOEFL is the only English proficiency test available at my university, and from my point of view, it's very efficient. In my country, it became almost mandatory in the past few years for a university graduate to include TOEFL in his/her resume.

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