Standardized tests are used in academic and professional settings to determine skill and knowledge levels.
Proficiency examinations measure an individual's language and reasoning abilities. Schools have different requirements for admissions; check with your intended institution to make sure you register for the appropriate exam and are familiar with minimum score requirements. Since each test has advantages and disadvantages, consider your strengths and weaknesses before registering.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Reading, listening, writing and speaking skills are measured on a scale of 0-9 (9.0 being the top score). The exam is handwritten and takes almost three hours to complete.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) was developed in the 1960s at Stanford University and is trademarked by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Reading, listening, speaking and writing skills are assessed, and note-taking is allowed. The four-hour iBT is Internet-based and taken on the computer. Scores are valid for two years.
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standard requirement for most graduate programs in the United States. Run by Educational Testing Service, the exam can be taken on paper or at a registered computer center. The exam lasts nearly four hours, and measures analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning abilities.
Life Skills is an English language proficiency test that rates a candidate's ability to speak and understand English. The test is required for UK immigration law. Three forms of the test are available: A1, A2, and B1. You will need to be able to converse with another test taker, listen and respond to questions, and follow basic instructions.