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Deciding which English Proficiency Test to Take

English proficiency test

When given the choice to clear a language proficiency test, the student finds himself in a dilemma that more often than not wastes his precious time and leads nowhere. Which of the two tests is easier? Which one needs less time for preparation? How can I get this over with? Which one is easier to score on? These and a host of other questions beset the student and remain unanswered not for the want of earnest people capable of giving advice but for the want of unanimity of opinion.

Which one of the two tests is easier is the hardest to answer categorically. In fact an attempt to offer an answer to this question would be an exercise in futility. The TOEFL and the IELTS both have two versions, very different in content and difficulty level. The TOEFL Ibt is certainly harsh as compared with the TOEFL Pbt ; the IELTS Academic more demanding than the IELTS General. Overall the two IELTS test versions are a notch easier than the two TOEFL versions as far as Reading, Writing and Listening go. So the best way to decide on which test to take is to get down to taking a diagnostic test of each one and getting your scores. This pretty clearly will expose you to the level of the tests and give you and your trainer an idea of which one you have the potential to handle.

Also remember the two tests are different in terms of duration. The TOEFL Ibt is a grueling three and a half hours plus long and can unsettle even the best of test takers. The IELTS, either version, is shorter not only because the duration for each section is shorter but because the Speaking section is conducted as a separate module a few hours later or the next day. If tenacity is not your greatest virtue, avoid the TOEFL ibt.

From a trainers perspective, it is definitely easier to train and hope for results on the IELTS. Except for the IELTS Academic Reading section, that tends to crescendo to a difficulty level, the rest of the test is manageable in terms of content – topics of the passages are not outlandish, vocabulary doesn’t leave you blinking and listening tracks are simple, short and retainable.

In summation it will probably be easier to handle the IELTS. In fact, if you are required to take the General IELTS, you are fortunate. The test is really simple and all one needs to do is practice loads of essays and speaking scripts. The Academic IELTS is a hand full if reading is not your favorite pastime! But the rest of it can be practiced and learnt in a couple of training modules. The TOEFL ibt, which is currently the most taken language proficiency test, does challenge the student’s understanding of English and needs proper training and instruction. Those who nail this test are undoubtedly adept with the language.

Option Training Institute, located in Knowledge Village, Dubai, puts each student through a diagnostic test before drawing up class schedules for him. This allows trainers to be prepared for where the student stands with respect to each section of the test. Besides, it allows the trainers to evaluate whether the student can be trained to achieve the required score in the stipulated sessions. A complete assessment of the situation is prepared and put on record before training commences.

With the most experienced and committed trainers, our institute is committed to results and prefers to ‘guide’ students towards their goals not just enroll them!